Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Is drinking salt water good for you? Nutritionists give their verdict on 'health trend'

‘The idea that you can flush your system of impurities is a scam’

Sabrina Barr
Friday 25 May 2018 16:54 BST

Health trends frequently come and go, and some are more scientifically sound than others.

In February, an epidemiologist debunked the turmeric “health fad” that had become a widespread sensation, dismissing it as “nonsense”.

Another trend that has recently come under the limelight is “sole”, which involves drinking a blend of water and natural salt.

While some claim that consuming the saline drink can rid the body of toxins and boost energy levels, others are more sceptical about its supposed benefits.

Founder of Practical Nontoxic Living, Sophia Gushée, recently decided to test out drinking sole for a week.

She reported that drinking the mixture helped clear her skin, improve her quality of sleep and spur her to lead a healthier lifestyle.

But Harley Street nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert is not as convinced by the trend, let alone any that promise to detox the body.

“Often we are left confused by these new ‘fads’ we see on the internet, and this appears to be another one that has surfaced that we may need to be cautious of,” she told The Independent.

“Studies have suggested that salt in moderation may be beneficial for regulating blood pressure. However, too much salt may result in high blood pressure.”

While she affirms that it’s necessary to consume small amounts of salt as part of a well-rounded diet, she also states that research into how drinking salt water can aid things like digestion is severely lacking.

“It’s important to know that any benefits all come from it’s main ingredient - water!” she said.

“There’s something you should know about detoxing - the idea that you can flush your system of impurities, leaving you squeaky clean and raring to go - is a scam.

“It’s a pseudoscientific concept designed to sell you things.”

Sole isn’t made simply by adding any kind of salt to water. Wellness Mama states that it’s made by fully saturating water with natural salt, such as pink salt sourced from the Himalayan mountains.

Nutritionist Frida Harju-Westman is of the belief that sole can be beneficial when the correct, natural salts are used, even stating that it can work as an antihistamine for hayfever sufferers.

However, an increase of salt intake in this form can lead to dehydration.

“To avoid this, make sure that you do not drink more than one glass of sole per day and be sure to drink plenty of water,” she advised.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in