We all have ideas about food and what’s good for us. There are sugar-free diets, low carb, high protein, and low or no salt diets all being touted as the cure-all for any number of health woes. A lot of reasoning behind these popular styles of eating come from years of old-school advice about what’s good for you. One of the most prevailing schools of thought has been that too much salt can makes you very thirsty (and also make you bloat). The idea behind it is that salt is dehydrating and therefore must also dehydrate the body. Well, turns out this piece of advice is actually 100 percent wrong.
According to two new studies published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation, eating too much salt does not, in fact, make you any thirstier at all. It used to be that scientists believed that when you ate too much salt, it would take water out of your body and expel it, leaving you parched. Turns out that the only thing that happens is that your body expels the salt, not the water in your body. But how did researchers figure this out?
All it took was some scientific studies of simulated space travel to Mars.
In a major study on potential human life on Mars, scientists studied two groups of “cosmonauts.” The first group ate a salt heavy diet and the second group did not. The salt eaters peed out more salt but didn’t drink more water. They did, however, complain of being far hungrier than the low-salt eating team. This lead researchers to believe that salt is actually filtered out by our bodies, but does trick us into wanting to eat more. This throws the whole idea of salt making us thirsty right out the window.
We guess that means that the idea behind having salted nuts at the bar is all just in our heads and not in our bodies.
Do you find any foods make you more thirsty than others? Tell us @BritandCo!
(h/t Vice; photo via NASA/Getty)