Can you drink boiled salt water?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “can you drink boiled salt water” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not you can drink boiled salt water. Moreover, we are going to discuss how a person can die from drinking saltwater and which factors make saltwater deadly.

Can you drink boiled salt water?

It is not recommended to drink salt water or saline water even if it is boiled. If there’s too high a concentration of salt coming into the human body, 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.

Thus to make seawater or saline water fit to drink, you should remove the excess salt from it because the process of boiling will only sterilize the salt water and make it free from bacteria and other microbes. But to make it fit for drinking, you should remove the excess salt from it.

It is worth mentioning that you can only drink saltwater as a saltwater flush. A saltwater 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 saltwater flush detoxes the body or removes so-called waste buildup and parasites from your digestive tract.

How can you drink salt water as a saltwater 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 saltwater 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.

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. CIn general, colonleansing with salt water 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

You can read how to desalinate water here.

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. 

But, you can cook with seawater.

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 fresh 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 fresh water, 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 saltwater. 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.


In this brief guide, we answered the question “can you drink boiled salt water” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not you can drink boiled salt water. Moreover, we discussed how a person can die from drinking saltwater and which factors make saltwater deadly.


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.