Does salt increase thirst?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-75
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


  • Drinking
  • Food
  • Human
  • Salt
  • Sodium
  • Thirst

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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