What happens when you drink saltwater?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, “What happens when you drink salt water?”. We will further elaborate on the drawbacks and benefits of drinking saltwater.

What happens when you drink saltwater?

If you drink salt water, it may provide many health benefits. Drinking saltwater in moderate amounts may prove to be beneficial, however, excessive consumption of saltwater may be harmful to health.

Human bodies do require salt, but only a certain quantity to process properly, much less than we are actually consuming. An excessive concentration of salt can be toxic. Our body is composed of less than 9 oz of salt in all the tissues, which is incorporated in our sweat, tears, urine and blood. 

When we consume excess saltwater, it may exceed the recommended daily intake of 2,000 milligrams which may be damaging to the heart. 

However, moderate consumption of saltwater has been found to have some health benefits, which we have discussed below:

What are the potential benefits of drinking saltwater?

Drinking saltwater in moderate amounts may help to:

Rehydrate the body

If a person drinks saltwater, specifically if he is dehydrated, the salt supports by moving the fluids into the body and restoring it speedily. This is the idea behind famous energy drinks. This occurs by a well-understood method called diffusion. 

If we have an increased concentration of salt outside the cells in our body, it moves the water into the cell. While if we have a low concentration of salt, the water inside the cells pushes out of the body. This can cause our blood pressure to fall, making us feel very weak and light-headed.

Reduce inflammation

When our salt concentration is too low, our body secretes substances that increase inflammation in the body. It happens since the body has to counteract lower blood pressure. The substances sent out increase the blood pressure, which can cause damage to the heart.

Replenish mineral deficiencies

If our body is suffering from a mineral deficiency, we place our body at risk for a lower immune system and infection. Using natural sea salts benefits in replenishing most minerals that we require for good health as compared to regular table salt. 

What happens when we drink saltwater composed of natural salt is our body gets a good amount of essential nutrients.

Help digestion

Saltwater can help in activating our salivary glands and promotes digestion before we even eat our first bite of food. 

Consuming natural salt helps to facilitate the secretion of stomach acids and improve intestinal absorption. Moreover, it has even been found to assist with constipation as it pulls water into the bowels and promotes intestinal wall contractions.

Promote healthy bones

For bones to appropriately bring in calcium and discharge calcium into the blood, we require good sodium and mineral concentrations. Salt can offset acidic conditions in our body for accurate mineral absorption.

Clear skin

The minerals found in natural salt benefit in keeping skin smooth and may even support in fighting acne. The iodine content in salt benefits our skin by taking in a good amount of oxygen and giving it a wholesome glow. Saltwater can also aid in healing our skin if we have any wounds. 

Salt with an increased sulfur concentration can help to cure certain skin conditions such as eczema, dry scalp, and skin rashes.

Clean out toxins

Consumption of saltwater also benefits our body by attracting toxins and carrying them out of the body. It can also aid in inhibiting bacterial development as a natural antimicrobial agent.

Improve sleep

Consuming natural salt in water may assist by giving better sleep quality since it consists of healthy minerals that lower the concentration of stress-related hormones. This is particularly beneficial for individuals who have increased concentrations of adrenaline and cortisol.

What are the drawbacks of drinking saltwater

If you drink an excessive amount of saltwater, you may consume as much of your daily intake in one glass of water. Our kidneys can only produce urine that has less salt concentration as compared to saltwater.

Therefore, to remove an excessive amount of salt taken in by saltwater, we have to excrete extra water than we really consumed. This results in dehydration, muscle twitches, dry mouth, bloating and thirst.

The body attempts to balance the fluid depletion by increasing the heart pace and narrowing blood vessels to control blood pressure and blood flow to important organs. 

In extreme cases, it may also lead to coma and organ failure.

Also, consuming saltwater on an empty stomach may cause nausea and vomiting.

Other FAQs about Salt that you may be interested in.

How to make a saturated salt solution?

How to remove salt from cooked chicken?

How to store salt

Substituting sea salt for kosher salt

What we can conclude is that salt and water should always be consumed individually and any salt consumption should be supplemented by an abundant amount of freshwater.


In this brief guide, we have provided an answer to the question, “What happens when you drink salt water?”. We have further elaborated on the drawbacks and benefits of drinking saltwater.