Salty Food Doesn't Make You Thirsty After All


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Salty Food Doesn't Make You Thirsty After All

Up is down.

Ask pretty much anyone and they'll tell you that eating salty foods makes a person thirsty. Alas, here's a reminder that just because a belief is held by basically everyone you can and will ever know doesn't mean it's actually true.

Now, a pair of studies, the results of which both appear in the current issue of The Journal of Clinical Investigation, has found that eating salty food doesn't actually make you thirsty in the long run—but it can make you hungry.

And all it took to find that out was a simulated mission to Mars.

A group of researchers—from institutions including the German Aerospace Center, the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, and Vanderbilt University—put two groups of ten male volunteers into a sealed mock spaceship for two simulated flights to Mars. Group number one was examined over a period of 105 days, and group number two was studied over 205 days. The men all ate identical diets, except they were fed different levels of salt in their food.

The results showed that those who ate more salt had a higher salt content in their urine and produced a higher quantity of urine—no surprise there. What did surprise the researchers was this: The subjects who ate more salt did not actually drink more water—in fact, those who ate the saltier diets actually drank less water. In addition, the human "cosmonauts"—the scientists' term, not ours—who ate the saltier diets complained more about being hungry. So salt made the test subjects feel hungrier, but not thirstier.

Read the full story at Munchies.