You should be familiar with salt and sugar since they’re present in diets around the world. The salt we consume is known as table salt and is made up of sodium and calcium molecules.1 Sugar is a type of molecule naturally present in most plants, although you’re likely familiar with the white powdery substance we use to sweeten our food. This sugar typically comes from sugarcane or sugar beets.2 Both salt and sugar are essential for carrying out normal body processes.
Salt and Sugar Uses and Health Benefits
Salt and sugar usually get a bad rap, especially in Western diets where people often get too much of both. However, if you’re lacking these vital nutrients, they can be extremely important to your diet.
Salt and sugar benefits individuals who are dehydrated. Dehydration occurs due to a lack of fluids, either from not drinking enough water or from rapid fluid loss, such as if you are frequently urinating or have diarrhea. Dehydration is typically accompanied by thirst, dry mouth, muscle cramps, dark, yellow urine, and headaches.3 You may become dehydrated after long, intensive exercise or when you are ill.
To regulate the fluid in your body, your body pays close attention to osmolarity, which is the amount of solute in the blood and other bodily fluids. Sodium—which helps
Therefore, too little solute in the body will also mean too little water because the body wants to keep that solute-to-water ratio balanced. Eating or drinking a salt and sugar remedy when you’re trying to replenish the water in your body will help you retain that water. That’s why sports drinks, which contain salt and sugar, are popular among athletes who lose water and other substances when they sweat. It’s also why salt and sugar benefits individuals with diarrhea because they’re losing fluids in their stool, and a salt and sugar diet will help reduce fluid loss while they’re sick.
If you need to replenish fluids with salt and sugar, you can do so by adding a teaspoon of sugar with a pinch of salt into a glass of water and drinking it throughout the day.
Salt and Sugar Side Effects and Precautions
A salt and sugar remedy is recommended as a short-term solution to fluid retention problems. If you have a serious on-going condition in which you need a salt and sugar solution, be sure to talk to your doctor for a more thorough examination and personalized recommendations.
Intaking too much salt and sugar over long periods of time can lead to more serious conditions, such as high blood pressure.5 However, salt and sugar are considered safe, and you should have no problem taking them to help with fluid retention. Talk to your doctor if you have any serious medical conditions or other concerns about taking a salt and sugar remedy.