Does salt increase thirst?

  • TITLE: Does salt increase thirst?
  • AUTHOR: Leshem M.
  • REFERENCE: Appetite. 2015 Feb;85:70-5. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2014.11.014. Epub 2014 Nov 15
  • YEAR: 2015

Our diet is believed to be overly rich in sodium, and it is commonly believed that sodium intake increases drinking. Hence the concern of a possible contribution of dietary sodium to beverage intake which in turn may contribute to obesity and ill health. Here we examine whether voluntary, acute intake of a sodium load, as occurs in routine eating and snacking, increases thirst and drinking. We find that after ingesting 3.5 or 4.4 g NaCl (men) and 1.9 or 3.7 g (women) on nuts during 15 minutes, there is no increase in thirst or drinking of freely available water in the following 2 h compared with eating similar amounts of sugared or unflavored nuts. This suggests that routine ingestion of boluses of salt (~30-40% of daily intake for men, ~ 20-40% for women) does not increase drinking. Methodological concerns such as about nuts as vehicle for sodium suggest further research to establish the generalizability of this unexpected result.