Does Putting Salt in Water Really Hydrate You More? Science Backs Up This TikTok Trend
TikTok has become a breeding ground for viral trends, from dance challenges to cooking hacks. In the world of health and wellness, trends can spread like wildfire, often fueled by flashy videos and promises of quick fixes. One such trend that gained traction recently involves adding salt to water for supposedly enhanced hydration. But does this hack really hold water, or is it just another case of social media misinformation? In this blog post, we'll dive into the science behind this TikTok trend and separate fact from fiction.
The Trend Explained
The TikTok trend suggests that adding a pinch of salt to your water can lead to better hydration. Proponents of this trend claim that salt helps the body retain water more effectively, thereby preventing dehydration. Some even go so far as to claim that salted water provides superior hydration compared to plain water.
TikToker @sadiebreann_ shared that she has been adding salt to her water for over a year because it helped her pee less and made her less swollen during her pregnancy.
People are claiming that the reason salted water hydrates you better is because drinking water is stripped of minerals, and salt adds some of those vital minerals that our bodies need back in.
The Science of Hydration
According to an interview with Board Certified Emergency Physician Dr. Joe Whittington on BuzzFeed, he confirmed that the idea of adding a pinch of salt to water for improved hydration has some basis in science. "Sodium is an electrolyte that helps regulate fluid balance in and out of cells. When you sweat or become dehydrated, you lose both water and electrolytes, including sodium. Adding a small amount of salt to water can aid in the rehydration process by helping replenish these lost electrolytes," he said (via BuzzFeed).
However, Dr. Joe emphasized that doing this is mainly beneficial for those people who are engaging in prolonged, intense physical activity or people who are otherwise losing a lot of fluids.
The amount of salt needed for effective hydration — as well as how much salt can be “too much” — varies based on individual needs and underlying health conditions, according to Dr. Joe. "That can make it difficult to give broad recommendations. A general guideline would be no more than a quarter teaspoon per liter of water to stay on the safe side." - via BuzzFeed.
According to Dr. Joe, any salt that is high in sodium will work. "Specialty salts like Celtic salt, Himalayan pink salt, or even sea salt often contain trace minerals that table salt doesn't have — but the minerals are usually in minuscule quantities that likely won’t have a significant impact on overall health," he explained in the article.
The Bottom Line
Lastly, Dr. Joe said to BuzzFeed that while water can be a source of minerals, it's generally not a primary one. "A well-balanced diet usually provides all the minerals you need, so mineral-depleted water is rarely a significant health concern for the average person," he concluded.
In a world where social media can often amplify trends without scientific backing, it's essential to approach such trends with a critical eye. When it comes to your health, relying on well-established practices backed by research is always the wisest choice.