Why People Are Taking Celtic Sea Salt With Their Daily Water

This hydration hack has made its way to TikTok—but here’s what you need to know before trying it for yourself.

Sometimes, even if you have your emotional-support water bottle at your side at all times, it's difficult to stay hydrated throughout the day. If you struggle to reach your daily goal, a recent TikTok hack claims to be the solution—but like many trends on the app, it's worth taking a closer look at before trying.

In a TikTok made by @ciarawithcurls, she discusses trying the tip for getting better hydrated, initially promoted by naturopath and health lecturer Barbara O'Neill. The technique involves letting a few crystals of Celtic sea salt dissolve on the tongue before drinking water to improve water absorption in the body because of the magnesium it contains. (This video explains the science behind it, and it currently has over 900,000 views.)

Many people are tired of trying (and failing) to get the water intake they need. As another TikTok user commented on Ciara's video, "How do I get myself to drink water? I hate it. I know it's terrible, but I go days without drinking water. I drink other stuff but not water."

Celtic sea salt in wooden bowl with wooden spoon

Karisssa / Getty Images

It's a common struggle, and it can be tempting to try all the tricks that claim to make staying hydrated easier—here's what to know about this one.

Is Celtic sea salt really the answer to combating dehydration?

According to the Mayo Clinic, Celtic sea salt is nutritionally the very similar to table salt. In fact, while Celtic sea salt is said to have traces of dozens of minerals that table salt doesn't, most of them (including magnesium) can be found more abundantly in foods—so if getting enough of those trace minerals is important to you, dietary changes will be more effective.

The primary difference between table and sea salt is their size and texture. Celtic sea salt (along with Himalayan and kosher salt) has larger crystals.

Is trying Celtic sea salt worth it?

Like many trendy health products, Celtic sea salt is pricey. On Amazon, a pound costs $12.79, compared to 8 pounds of Morton's table salt, which costs $17.45 (or about $2.18 per pound). Many cooks prefer to use sea salt because its larger crystals add more flavor in a lower amount, so the high cost may be worth it for professional chefs and avid home cooks. But do dubious claims of health benefits make paying about six times as much for Celtic sea salt a worth it for the average person who doesn't drink enough water? Probably not.

As with any health-related question, it's always a good idea to consult your doctor before changing your diet or lifestyle. An extra pinch of salt here and there shouldn't do much harm, but keep in mind the American Heart Association recommends no more than 2,300 grams of salt a day for healthy adults, which is about one teaspoon. For those with hypertension or other health concerns, the number goes down to 1,500 grams. The most beneficial thing to do is find a way to make drinking water more enjoyable (whether that's adding a squeeze of lemon or a handful of berries) and take all medical advice you hear on TikTok with a grain of—you guessed it—salt.

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    1. "Magnesium Rich Food." The Cleveland Clinic.
  1. "How much sodium should I eat per day?" The American Heart Association.

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