Do you have a habit of drinking salt water? Do you even know the kind of impacts it has on the body? It is very likely that you don’t know of the things that happen when you drink salt water. While there are some benefits to this, there are some downsides too.
Owing to the fact that every person’s body and body functions are different, it is very important that you pay close attention to the good and the bad of the salt water consumption.
If you are wondering what happens to the body when you drink salt water, we have some answers.
What happens to the body when you drink salt water?
Before we discuss about the possible benefits and side effects of salt water consumption on the body, it is important to know the basics.
Our body’s saline concentration (R) is made of 9 grams of NaCl. Any kind of disruption to that level can cause negative impacts on the body.
Salt is made of sodium and chloride, both of which are the electrolytes that the cells in our body need for smooth functioning.
When you are externally drinking salt water, it is important that you know the limits. Excess consumption can result in a very common condition of Hypernatremia which is a condition caused by the high levels of sodium in the body.
If you are still confused as to what happens when you drink salt water, we have a few benefits and side effects to share with you.
Benefits of salt water on the body
1. Could be re hydrating for the body
Especially during the summers when you sweat a lot, the same causes an imbalance in the electrolyte levels in the body.
Drinking salt water can help replenish the lost sodium and chloride through sweating.
Not just that, it is also rehydrating after a bad case of stomach flu.
But, with the benefits, you do need to be cautious with the amount. It is important that you refrain from drinking a lot and indulge in a few sips for better results.
2. Staves off the risks of throat infection
If you have been having a hard time with coughing your lungs out, it is likely that salt water can help with it.
Salt has potent antimicrobial (R) properties which work wonders in getting rid of throat infection that could be making you cough.
Drinking warm salt water also helps fight off the inflammation that could be inflicting pain and discomfort.
Not just that, even gargling with salt water (R) has been found amazing for your oral health. It helps prevent the risks of gum diseases and improves the dental health of an individual.
3. Possible detoxification
Our blood needs detoxification every now and then. Be it through the natural means by the kidney or even with an aided support by you.
Salt water is believed to have amazing blood detoxification properties, especially because of the antimicrobial properties of the salt.
Even though there are no scientific evidence available to back this up, it is believed that drinking salt water in the morning could help flush out the excess toxins out of the body.
The only line of caution is to ensure that you never overdo the amount of salt that you are consuming.
Side effects of drinking salt water
1. Possible risks of dehydration
Much like how the salt water helps improve the levels of hydration after a sweaty day, there are risks of it causing dehydration as well.
Our kidneys are programmed to eliminate a certain fraction of salt from the body via the urine. So, when you drinking a lot of salt water, it becomes tougher for the kidneys to perform the filtration so quickly.
This, in turn, causes a spike in the NaCl levels in the blood stream.
When the levels of the electrolytes are more outside of the cell, through the process of osmosis, the cells lose the water levels in them to compensate for the excess salt in the bloodstream.
This makes your body dehydrated.
There are also chances that you will end up urinating more frequently, which also contributes to dehydration.
2. Risks of hypertension
Excess consumption of salt water causes heightened levels of salt in the blood stream.
In order to maintain the body’s homeostasis, the cells lose their water content, imposing more water and fluids to flow out into the blood stream, thus imposing pressure on the blood vessels.
If it becomes persistent, it is likely that the same will end up affecting the normal functioning of your vital organs in the body and contribute to the risks of high blood pressure(R).
Be very careful because the consistent impacts on your blood pressure and the organ function can prove fatal in the longer run.
3. Possible risks of cramping
Another one of the things that happen when you drink salt water in excess is cramping.
One of the most common reasons why this happens is because of the excess buildup of sodium around the periphery of the cells.
Following that, because of osmosis, the cells start shrinking, which impact the muscle contraction and movement and result in the risks of cramps or involuntary contractions.
If the same becomes a habit, it is likely that the same could end up affecting the overall muscle movement and functions in the long run.
4. Impacts on kidney functions
Last but not the least on what happens to the body when you drink salt water is that it ends up affecting the kidney functions.
Since the kidney is responsible for excretion, a sudden high influx of the salt in the body causes the kidneys to start malfunctioning because of the excessive pressure.
When the level of salt in the blood stream is more than its supposed to, the kidneys work more to compensate for that.
Persistent overworking of the kidney ends up affecting it negatively. It can fail working anytime if the same happens over the course of time.
If you have been wondering of the things that happen when you drink salt water, it is likely that you only knew of the side effects. Salt water can come in handy at times as well. It is on you on how you balance the concentration that you are drinking. Don’t overdo the consumption at all because that will end up imposing the side effects that we have highlighted.