As temperatures heat up in August, new research by healthy meal subscription service Green Chef reveals that people use unusual methods to keep dehydration at bay.
With over 12.1 million views on TikTok and 1.9k online searches every month, Celtic Sea salt water is the latest health craze promising a range of benefits, including increased hydration.
The trend originates from a lecture by naturopath Barbara O’Neil. In the talk, she explains: “When you take a crystal of Celtic Sea salt, put it on your tongue, your mucus membrane starts absorbing the minerals. The magnesium is taken to the cell membrane, and you drink your water, and that magnesium pulls that water inside the cell. It’s the quickest way to hydrate a body.”
But is there any science behind the method? Green Chef’s registered nutritionist and head chef, Anna Tebbs, shares her thoughts and provides important health warnings for those thinking of giving it a go: “Sodium is a vital part of the hydration process. The body loses water and electrolytes like sodium when we exercise or sweat. Water requires a balance of these electrolytes, especially sodium, to help pass it into the body’s cells.
“So yes – sea salt in water can benefit your hydration, but only for those who participate in extremely vigorous physical exercise or very hot or humid conditions. However, there are some serious caveats to this, and I wouldn’t recommend starting to include sea salt in their everyday drinking water.
“Be mindful of your salt intake as excess sodium can lead to other health issues like high blood pressure, which can lead to future kidney problems or heart disease. You may also upset the levels of natural electrolytes in your body, leading to an imbalance in elements such as potassium, calcium and magnesium, which can negatively affect your overall body function.
“While it’s true that salt from the Celtic sea does contain many vital minerals like potassium and magnesium that aren’t found in regular salt, you would have to consume a lot of it to reap the benefits, which I would not recommend. Instead, try including dark leafy greens, bananas and nuts naturally high in these minerals.
“People often forget that proper hydration is crucial for a balanced and healthy diet. Drinking water is especially important to those following specific diets; for instance, the keto diet. Water helps to facilitate the breakdown of fats, making it easier for your body to use fat as its energy source during ketosis. So prioritising hydrating foods will help with this.”
Anna shares a final warning on the trend: “If hydration is your priority, I recommend steering clear sea salt water. Drinking too much salt water can even have the opposite effect, as the high salt content can draw out water from the body’s cells which could lead to an overall loss of water.
“If you want to prioritise hydration, try encouraging yourself to drink more by including fruits and other natural flavourings into your water throughout the day. Create healthy meals using ingredients with a high water content into your diet such as cucumbers, watermelon, broccoli and oranges to keep hydration levels topped up during mealtimes.”