Why can't I drink sea water

It is known only too well from films - castaways die of thirst in the open sea, even though they are surrounded by water. How is that possible? Why does salt water have a different effect on the body than drinking water? We have the answer!

Humans have to drink to survive. Within a few days without water we die of thirst. A certain amount of salt is also important for our body. Our organism is designed to keep the salt content in the blood at 0.9 percent. In order for our organs to function properly, the balance of our water-electrolyte balance must be maintained. Sea water, on the other hand, has a salinity of 3.5 percent. So if we drink too much sea water, the balance is seriously upset and in the worst case scenario it can even lead to death.

A special process determines why our body cannot live on salt water in the long term: osmosis. It ensures that the salt is evenly distributed in our body. However, the salinity of sea water is far higher than the salinity of our blood. When we now drink salt water, the body tries to compensate for and excrete the considerable excess of salt. However, the kidneys can only cope with this if they are given enough fresh drinking water without salt.

In various magazines or online portals you read again and again about weight loss and purification methods that advise you to consume salt dissolved in water regularly. With such methods, however, extreme caution is required or not advisable at all, as dehydration can quickly lead to further complications.


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