Why are people adding salt to their drinking water? The quest for hydration may have gone too far.

Drinking water every day is key to maintaining overall well-being. Not only does proper hydration regulate a healthy body temperature, but it also lubricates your joints and helps get rid of waste.2

Despite these benefits, most people fail to consume enough water day-to-day. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that from 2015 to 2018, children in the U.S. only drank an average of 3 cups of water daily while adults drank an average of 5 cups.1

However, people on social media claim one easy and affordable tip that can help with hydration is adding salt to your water

One TikTok user states that adding Celtic sea salt to your water bottle can help you better absorb the water because the minerals in the salt can help “pick up the water molecules and drive them into our cells.” Even a certified clinical nutritionist made a video claiming that she adds salt to her water to help with hydration and replenish water and sodium levels. “To prevent headaches, muscle aches, and low energy, I make sure to add salt into my water or use an electrolyte supplement like LMNT,” she said.

But does it actually work? Here’s what experts want you to know before you begin adding salt to your drinking water

The Role of Sodium in Hydration

According to Danielle Crumble Smith, RDN, a certified registered dietitian at Top Nutrition Coaching, adding a small amount of salt to your water can help increase hydration, especially during vigorous exercise or in hot climates where you might be sweating heavily or losing water and electrolytes rapidly.

Replenishing Lost Electrolytes

Adding salt to your water is best for athletes and active people who are losing electrolytes like sodium through sweat from high-intensity or long-duration physical activities, Crumble Smith said.

For instance, it can be beneficial for people who are competing in marathons, triathlons, or regularly completing high-intensity workouts.