Please verify your email address to receive email notifications.

Enter your email address

We have sent you a verification email. Please check your inbox and spam folder.

Unable to send verification, please refresh and try again later.

  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Why is it ok to drink a salty drink but need a low salt diet?

    Related Topic
    My blood pressure is high so I was told to have minimal salt. When I was in hospital they told me to have the salty drink because of my diarrhoea and some removal of my insides previously. Why is it ok for me to drink the salt but not eat it? Will drinking the salt put my blood pressure up? should i ask my doctor to test my salt level in my blood?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 2




    Arlene is a registered practising dietitian, with a private practice in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, and has built a strong business over the last … View Profile

    With a high blood pressure you should keep your intake of salt as low as possible. However if you had diarrhoea you have to replace the electrolytes which your body lost due to the diarrhoea. They probably gave you re-hydration drinks which have the necessary salts and electrolytes your body needs – not just salt. Your doctor will not recommend you continue drink salty drinks unless the diarrhoea persists. These drinks provide the correct balance of water, sugar and salt that your body needs, but you should not take these drinks unless directed by your doctor. You normally drink re-hydration drinks after every large episode of diarrhoea or vomiting, as well as drinking water. Always try to drink water after each episode of vomiting or diarrhoea, even if you don’t feel like it. A little is better than none at all.

    Your doctor will not give you too many ‘salty’ drinks that it will affect your blood pressure.

  • Ashleigh is an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD, AN) and registered with the Dietitian's Association of Australia with experience in both clinical and private practice. Ashleigh's … View Profile

    Great answer Arlene!

    High salt intake can lead to hypertnesion (or high blood pressure) with dangerous long-term risk factors such as heart disease and stroke. If you have hypertension, it is strongly recommended you follow a low salt diet. Tips for a low salt diet include:

    • Choose "low salt" or "unsalted" products
    • Read the food labels and choose foods with <120mg per 100g sodium
    • Do not add salt in cooking
    • Do not add salt to food
    • Use flavours such as herbs, spices, pepper, garlic, onion, lemon to enhance flavour
    • Limit your intake of processed foods
    • Avoid using pre-made sauces/condiments/canned goods

    When you were in hospital with diarrhoea, the doctors would have recommended a rehydration drink which has an appropriate balance of electrolytes (including sodium, potassium and glucose) to assist with rehydrating your body in view of the losses associated with diarrhoea. These fluids are not recommended in the long-term but rather while your symptoms are obvious.

  • Lorraine Barratt

    HealthShare Member

    A friend of mine was finding he could no longer continue to cycle his usual 65 miles on a Sunday morning. He would crash out exhausted in the afternoon. I asked him if he ate enough foods with iron in them. He said he thought he did. He went to visit his doctor who organised a test for iron and this showed he had sufficient iron in his system. The doctor was not particularly helpful, it was not investigated further and she actually said she was not surprised he was exhausted, cycling 65 miles! Sorry but to me something was wrong, he was a 35 year old man, used to doing that mind of mileage, plus he cycled 30 miles to and from work. 

    I asked if he ate plenty of fruit and veg, oily fish, nuts and seeds, the usual good advice and he said he did. I recommended a nutritionist and he went to see this lady. It transpired having completed a food diary that he was not eating enough fruit and veg and as soon as he did his energy returned. When he told me this, I said I know why, because vitamin c transports the iron around the body. You had sufficient iron, but no transport for it. This is why iron tablets contain vitamin c. He will now buy organic fruit and veg and said he never has an energy issue.

  • Lorraine Barratt

    HealthShare Member

    Stevia seems to be the recommended alternative to sugar but I try to avoid all of these or certainly keep my sugar intake low.

answer this question

You must be a Health Professional to answer this question. Log in or Sign up .

You may also like these related questions

Empowering Australians to make better health choices