People take salt tablets to replace large quantities of salt lost through exercise, excessive perspiration and to fortify diets otherwise low in salt. Most people meet and even exceed dietary recommendations for salt intake as salt occurs naturally in many foods, fortifies others and exists in water and beverages as well. Certain circumstances and conditions, such as engaging in long and strenuous exercise and pregnancy necessitate additional dietary supplements of salt, acquired through salt tablets.
Salt tablets essentially act like vitamins and other nutritional supplements. They deliver large doses of sodium in concentrated form. Most Americans do not consume salt tablets on a daily basis. However, people spending long periods of time outside in hot weather, pregnant women and even people with certain medical conditions take salt tablets to maintain an adequate balance of salt in their bodies. Humans vary widely in personal sodium needs and sodium tolerance. Typically, American men and women ingest anywhere from 1,750 to more than 5,000 milligrams of sodium every day. According to Swedish expert Dr. Bjorn Folkow, those numbers fall within the safe range of consumption. Humans tolerate wide ranges of sodium intake. Some people exist on as little as 250 milligrams of sodium daily while others exceed 30,000 milligrams daily.