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Saliva As Thirst-Quencher

Why can’t saliva be hydrating despite the presence of 98% water in it? Why don’t you get satisfied with that liquid that’s already in your tongue even before you felt thirsty?

According to Dr. Len Horovitz, an internist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, saliva is a very concentrated fluid that has proteins and enzymes. In fact, it’s even more concentrated than water.

There is less concentration with salts and other solutes in freshwater when compared to human body’s fluids that is why drinking water when you are in deep thirst appears to be so quenching according to Dr. Horovitz.

That happens due to the flowing of water towards higher concentrations or more commonly called as osmosis. Drinking a less concentrated substance makes the human body sips in its fluids and ends up hydrated. On the other hand, drinking a liquid with higher concentration will make the water in your body flow toward the substance so that is why you end up feeling dehydrated.

The human body holds fluids that have the approximate concentration of saline sold in the medical store.


If you drank saliva, it will make you feel thirstier as it is more concentrated compared to saline. Drinking it causes your body fluids to mix up not with the dehydrated cells but with the concentrated saliva.

Horovitz shared in Live Science that saliva is not watery enough.

Severely dehydrated people will be given saline by health care workers. Most especially if the person is unable to take in the liquid through his mouth, it is done through an intravenous (IV) drip.

Horovitz shared that we are made of saline that is why we give saline to hydrate somebody. To prohibit the cells from bursting, saline solution is given to a person.

Furthermore, she added that Gatorade, a drink with electrolytes, is given by doctors to treat patients who can take in fluids orally to hydrate them.

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