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You and your friends are at the fair and decide to eat some tasty “fair food”, like pretzels, popcorn, fries, and chocolate covered bacon. Mmm, yum! The food is delicious, but it isn’t long before you feel thirsty. After eating all of that salty, yet oh-so-scrumptious food, it is no wonder you feel thirsty. After all, as everyone knows, the greater your salt intake, the greater your thirst, right? Well, not exactly. A study from Haifa University has proven that there is actually no correlation between salt consumption and thirst.

The study consisted of 58 student participants, with the purpose of determining the effect that the salt in solid food may have on thirst. The participants were present at the lab every few days and were instructed to not eat or drink anything besides water, and to not smoke, for two hours prior to the appointment. When the participants came, they were given three types of nuts to eat on three separate days: one type of nut was eaten each day. The different types of nuts given were candied nuts, salted nuts, and plain nuts with nothing added to them. A few hours after eating, the participants rated their thirst levels through questionnaires and were given bottles of water. They were allowed to drink as much water as they wanted to. The results showed that the thirst levels and the amount of water consumed after the participants ate salted nuts weren’t any different compared to the times that they ate candied or plain nuts.

Does eating salty food make us thirstier?

Image Source: Sam Edwards

To dig even deeper, researchers selected the 10 male and 10 female students that had consumed the largest amounts of salt (on average, 4.4 grams for males and 3.7 grams for females). The researchers then tried to see if there was any correlation between their salt consumption and water consumption, but there was no such relationship. This shows that the students who consumed more salt did not drink more water.

So, if you ever get thirsty after eating some salty fair food or some popcorn at the movies, it is not because of the food—it is probably because you were just thirsty in the first place—a mere coincidence.

Feature Image Source: iced water by 8 Kome

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