Can you die from drinking saltwater?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question “can you die from drinking saltwater?” with an in-depth analysis of can we die from drinking salt water?. Moreover, we will also discuss how a person can die from drinking salt water and which factors make saltwater deadly.

Can you die from drinking saltwater?

Yes, a person can die from drinking salt water. Human kidneys can only make urine that is less salty than saltwater. Therefore, to get rid of all the excess salt taken in by drinking saltwater, you have to urinate more water than you drank. Eventually, you die of dehydration even as you become thirstier.

Can drinking too much saltwater kill you?

Yes, it can. If there’s too high a concentration of salt coming in, the cells force out extra water to maintain balance, basically wringing themselves out. As the cells stop functioning, you stop functioning. This is called death. Likewise, if the concentration of salt is too low, the cells suck up a bunch of water and start exploring.

What dose of saltwater is considered lethal?

The lethal dose of saltwater is estimated to be less than 10 g of sodium (<5 teaspoons of salt) in children, and less than 25 g sodium in adults (<4 tablespoons of salt)

What are the side effects of drinking saltwater?

Drinking saltwater on an empty stomach may cause nausea and vomiting. You may also experience cramping, bloating, and dehydration. Colon cleansing with saltwater, in general, may cause an electrolyte imbalance due to the rapid loss of sodium and fluids.

This may lead to:

  • muscle spasms
  • weakness
  • confusion
  • irregular heartbeat
  • seizures
  • blood pressure problems

For what purpose can you drink saltwater?

You can drink salt water as a saltwater flush. A salt water flush is used to cleanse your colon, treat chronic constipation, and help detox your body. 

A saltwater flush involves drinking a mixture of warm water and non-iodized salt. Drinking salt and warm water has a laxative effect. It usually causes urgent bowel movements within 30 minutes to an hour, although it may take longer.

Is drinking salt water as salt water flush effective?

In most cases, a saltwater flush is effective in the short-term at cleansing the colon by causing bowel movements. Still, there’s no scientific evidence that a salt water flush detoxes the body or removes so-called waste buildup and parasites from your digestive tract.

How can you drink saltwater as a salt water flush?

  1. Dissolve two teaspoons of non-iodized salt (such as Pink Himalayan sea salt) in one quart (four cups) of warm water.
  2. Add lemon juice to improve the taste, if desired.
  3. Drink the mixture as quickly as possible on an empty stomach.

You should feel the urge to have a bowel movement shortly after drinking the saltwater mixture.

A salt water flush is typically done first thing in the morning, upon waking. It may also be performed in the evening, a few hours after your last meal. It doesn’t matter what time of day you do the flush as long as it’s done on an empty stomach.

How can drinking seawater prove deadly to humans?

Seawater contains salt. When humans drink seawater, their cells are thus taking in water and salt. While humans can safely ingest small amounts of salt, the salt content in seawater is much higher than what can be processed by the human body. 

Additionally, when humans consume salt as part of their daily diets, they also drink liquids, which help to dilute the salt and keep it at a healthy level. Living cells do depend on sodium chloride (salt) to maintain the body’s chemical balances and reactions; however, too much sodium can be deadly.

How does drinking simple unsalted water help fight the side effects of saltwater?

  • When you drink salt water or seawater, the results of osmosis are spectacularly disastrous. The salinity of seawater is almost four times that of our bodily fluids and if you drink water with as much salt concentration as seawater, the net transfer of water from the inside of your cells to the outside will cause the cells to shrink considerably, and shrinkage is never good.
  • Unless you drink a lot of freshwaters, the body’s regulatory mechanism in this situation is potentially fatal. With excess salty water, the change in sodium concentration outside your cells is the main culprit. To regain an isotonic state, a must for cell survival, the body attempts to eliminate the excess sodium from its extracellular fluids. It secretes urine.
  • Human kidneys can only produce urine that’s slightly less salty than salt water. So, to remove the extreme amount of sodium taken in by saltwater, we urinate more water than we drank. And dehydration sets in.
  • The body tries to compensate for the fluid loss by increasing the heart rate and constricting blood vessels to maintain blood pressure and flow to vital organs. You’re also most likely to feel nausea, weakness, and even delirium. 
  • As you become more dehydrated, the coping mechanism fails. If you still don’t drink any freshwater to reverse the effects of excess sodium, the brain and other organs receive less blood, leading to coma, organ failure, and eventually death.

Conclusion:

In this brief guide, we have answered the question “can you die from drinking saltwater?” with an in-depth analysis of can we die from drinking salt water?. Moreover, we have also discussed how a person can die from drinking salt water and which factors make saltwater deadly.

Citations:

https://www.bonappetit.com/trends/article/why-can-t-you-drink-saltwater
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salt_poisoning
https://www.usgs.gov/special-topic/water-science-school/science/water-qa-why-cant-people-drink-seawater

Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.