Where can I find official documentation on difference between Salt Tablets and Table Salt.

Several people online mention that Table Salt is just sodium and less of other minerals whereas Salt Tablets have sodium and more of other elements such as potassium.

When I called a Pharmacist he said just the opposite. He said Salt Tablets are just Sodium Chloride whereas Table Salt has sodium and other minerals.

And when I asked why does Doctor prescribe Salt Tablets, the pharmacist said because it is harder to measure Table Salt, whereas Tablets are pre-portioned.

Where to get official guidance on this?

  • 1
    Table salt is sodium chloride. It may have iodine added. But what are salt tablets? We can't possibly guess at the contents of an unnamed product/drug.
    – Carey Gregory
    Oct 4, 2019 at 20:39
  • Do you have the ability to list of the brand or specific ingredients of the salt tablets you are referencing?
    – L.B.
    Oct 8, 2019 at 14:15

2 Answers 2


Salt that is meant for human consumption refers to sodium chloride. Both table salt and salt tablets contain sodium chloride and not just sodium. They can both contain other naturally present or added minerals.

Table salt usually refers to rock salt, which is obtained from underground mines. It should contain at least 97% of sodium chloride and can also contain other natural or added substances.

Sea salt is obtained from the sea. The main ingredient is sodium chloride and it can naturally contain 0.2 to 10% of other salts, such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium salts of chloride and sulfate.

In some countries, iodine is added to rock or sea salt (iodized salt) to prevent iodine deficiency.

Salt tablets are available as:

  • commercial products, which contain sodium chloride, and may or may not contain other minerals, such as potassium and magnesium, in various amounts (depending on the brand); they are popular among long-distance runners
  • prescribed supplements, usually named "sodium chloride tablets," in which the only active ingredient is sodium chloride and which are intended for various health conditions.

Salt substitutes, which mainly contain potassium chloride, are commercially available or prescribed and are intended to use instead of rock or sea salt to prevent excessive sodium intake.


According to Thought.co, table salt is 97-99% sodium chloride:


with common additives being potassium iodide and sodium fluoride, and anti-caking agents:

  • Calcium aluminosilicate
  • Calcium carbonate
  • Calcium silicate
  • Fatty acid salts (acid salts)
  • Magnesium carbonate
  • Magnesium oxide
  • Silicon dioxide
  • Sodium aluminosilicate
  • Sodium ferrocyanide or yellow prussiate of soda
  • Tricalcium phosphate

Salt tablets are generally only used for sports, and as such are manufactured to enhance performance, and therefore are more likely to contain any number of additives.

According to TorqFitness:


typical composition is:

What is an electrolyte tablet?

Manufacturing methods vary, but generally an electrolyte tablet you’d hope would contain all 5 electrolytes (Sodium, Chloride, Potassium, Magnesium and Calcium) although this isn’t necessarily guaranteed. You’d also hope that it delivers electrolytes somewhere within the range recommended by an expert researcher like Burke (1999):

  • Sodium: 400-1,100mg/l
  • Chloride: 500-1,500mg/l
  • Magnesium: 10-100mg/l
  • Potassium: 120-225mg/l

I doubt there will be any official literature, salt is just simply salt after all!


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