According to the latest study, savory foods are better for keeping your body hydrated!
Debunking the myth
It’s widely-held that eating salty foods makes us thirsty. However, an international study has revealed the fact that this is nothing more than a myth. An international group of scientists have tested this theory by monitoring the salt intake and the hydrating levels of astronauts, during a year-long simulated mission to Mars. The tests resulted in the fact that the theory according to which salty foods make you thirsty is only an old wives’ tale.
On the contrary, researchers found out that intensely savory food eliminated thirst, making the astronomers more energetic and hydrated.
The first long-term study for analyzing the link between diet and drink habits
This study is definitely going to transform the way that scientists look at the urea from the human body. It was once seen only as a wasteful protein secreted in urine, but now it has been proven that urea holds great value.
Researchers’ decision to test cosmonauts had two advantages.
First of all, it was useful information for the astronomers, because hydration is vital on long-term space voyages, where drinks and food are limited. Secondly, testing cosmonauts has provided a perfectly controlled environment. Every aspect of someone’s nutrition, salt intake and water consumption can be controlled and measured during such a simulation.
The subjects involved were two groups of 10 male volunteers who were sealed into a mock spaceship.
The first group was examined over a period of 105 days, and the second one, over 205 days. They both had the same diets, except that, over periods of a few weeks, they were given three different levels of salt intake from the foods.
The results have confirmed the fact that consuming more salt led to a much higher content of salt in urine.. Also there was a correlation between the amounts of salt and the overall urine quantity. The increased levels weren’t due to more drinking and this is the novelty. The fact is that a salty diet led to less quantities of liquid drank by the astronomers, and salt was triggering a mechanism for conserving water in their kidneys.
The final results prove that salt stayed in the urine and water moved back into the body and the kidneys.
The function of urea in the human body
Professor Jens Titze, MD of the University of Erlangen and Vanderbilt University Medical Center, was surprised by all this, and wanted to know what alternative force is making water move back. Therefore he and his colleagues have conducted some experiments in mice that involved urea – the substance formed in the liver and in the muscles as a way of shedding nitrogen.
In mice, urea was accumulating in the liver, counteracting the water-drawing force of sodium and chloride. Mice on high-salt diets were eating more compared to the others. It turns out that salty diets lead to increased hunger.
Urea keeps water in our bodies when they get rid of salt, and this way we conserve water instead of letting it be carried away by salt into the urine.
These new findings have definitely changed the way scientists have seen the whole process through which the body maintains a proper amount of water.