Intake Recommendations

In 1993, the European Scientific Committee for Food established an acceptable sodium intake range for adults: 25–150 millimoles (mmol) per day, which is equivalent to 575–3,450 milligrams (mg)* (55, 64, 65). In Germany, Austria and Switzerland (D-A-CH) the Dietary Reference Values for sodium for adults ≥ 19 years is 1.5 g / day (= 3.75 g salt / day) for men and women (64, 65). The German Nutrition Society (DGE) has defined a guidance level of up to 6 g per day for table salt (NaCl). This is comparable to a teaspoon of salt and corresponds to a daily sodium (Na) intake of about 2.4 g (66, 67)

* 1 mmol is equivalent to 23 mg sodium and approximates 58 mg sodium chloride.

The U.S. Food and Nutrition Board has established an adequate intake level (AI) for sodium and sodium chloride (salt) in grams (g) per day based on the amount needed to replace losses through sweat in moderately active people and to achieve a diet that provides sufficient amounts of other essential nutrients (5):

  Life Stage  Age Males and Females
Sodium (g/day)
Males and Females Salt (g/day)
  Infants0–6 months0.120.30
  Infants 7–12 months0.370.93
  Children  1–3 years12.5
  Children 4–8 years1.23.0
  Children9–13 years1.53.8
  Adolescents14–18 years1.53.8
  Adults19-50 years1.53.8
  Adults51-70 years1.33.3
  Adults70 years and older1.33.0
  Pregnancy14-50 years1.53.8
  Breast-feeding14-50 years1.53.8

Authored by Dr Peter Engel in 2010, reviewed and revised by Dr. Volker Elste on 20.09.2017.