Pink Himalayan salt has a great reputation! Some of our customers ask why we don’t use it in our fasting supplements.
We did look into this option when designing our Fasting Salts products. Here’s why we decided against using pink salt.
Why is pink salt considered healthy?
Many people feel it’s more healthy than other types of salt. It obviously looks much nicer, with its lovely colour and uneven texture.
Pink salt is mined rather than evaporated. It undergoes minimal processing.
Just like other types of salt, its main ingredient is sodium chloride. But it also contains over 80 different trace minerals which create its distinctive pink colour.
Standard table salt and sea salt do not typically contain any trace minerals. So for this reason, pink salt can be considered more healthy.
But is pink salt also the best choice to support fasting?
Pink Himalayan salt for fasting
The key electrolytes to replenish during water fasting are sodium, chloride, potassium and magnesium.
Pink salt consists primarily of sodium chloride so it will definitely provide the first two.
But what about potassium and magnesium? This is where it gets a bit tricky.
Trace minerals amounts vary by up to 40 times
Because pink Himalayan salt is indeed natural and unprocessed, the amounts of trace minerals can vary a great deal.
Literally, each sample is different. Without a lab test, there is no way to tell precisely how much potassium or magnesium you are getting with each serving.
You will note that labels on pink Himalayan salt list trace minerals either as a range or as a guideline amount.
A study conducted by Nutritional Research Australia tested 31 samples of pink salt retail products for their mineral composition. They found that the quantities varied from 147mg to 4454mg per kg for Magnesium, and from 98mg to 4528mg per kg for Potassium. (Source table)
That’s a huge degree of variance!
And there is no way to tell for sure how much any product contains – unless you perform your own lab test on each one you purchase.
Magnesium and potassium content in pink salt is not high enough for fasting
Let’s assume you got lucky and ended up purchasing a pink salt product with the highest levels of magnesium and potassium. Would this be enough to support your fast?
The highest levels found by the study were 4454mg per kg for Magnesium and 4528mg per kg for Potassium.
This means a 20g serving of the salt per day (typical maximum recommended amount per day during fasting) would only provide around 90mg each of Potassium and Magnesium.
Whereas the recommended quantities to take during fasting are 1000-3500mg per day for Potassium and 300-500mg of Magnesium.
So, unfortunately, the levels provided by the pink salt are way too low.
If you are only doing intermittent fasting or short-term extended fasting (1-2 days), pink salt may be enough.
But for longer-term extended fasts of over 2 days, you will definitely need more electrolyte support than that.
Impurities in pink Himalayan salt
Another potential problem with pink salt is that it may naturally contain traces of metals like lead, mercury and cadmium. This is where lack of any processing can become a disadvantage.
Unlike electrolytes, these metals are considered unhealthy and potentially harmful to humans in large concentrations.
Of course, most retail products get tested for heavy metals and pass food safety tests. But there may still be tiny traces remaining.
Your digestive system is extremely sensitive during fasting, so a product that’s definitely free from impurities would be a safer bet.
Ingredients in Nutri-Align Fasting Salts
After our evaluation, we decided not to use any pink salt in our fasting electrolytes supplements.
Our Fasting Salts products include pharmaceutical-grade pure dried vacuum salt made in Britain. We then add magnesium citrate and potassium chloride salts on top.
This composition ensures uniform levels of all key minerals in each serving of our supplement.
So that you get precisely the right amount of each electrolyte for optimal balance during your fast.
Fayet-Moore F, Wibisono C, Carr P, Duve E, Petocz P, Lancaster G, McMillan J, Marshall S, Blumfield M. An Analysis of the Mineral Composition of Pink Salt Available in Australia. Foods. 2020 Oct 19;9(10):1490. doi: 10.3390/foods9101490. PMID: 33086585; PMCID: PMC7603209.
T.Kuhn, P.Chytry, G.M.S.Souza, D.V.Bauer, L.Amaral, J.F.Dias Signature of the Himalayan salt, Science Direct, available online 9 July 2019