Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey likes to advertise his many regimented health habits, which are at times both questionable and sensible.
He practices intermittent fasting (specifically, eating one meal per day and nothing on weekends) and walking to work every day, for example. Recently, he's mentioned that he starts his mornings with "salt juice," a concoction of water, Himalayan salt, and lemon.
Dorsey loves the drink so much, it is reportedly available at Twitter offices around the world, according to a recent New York Times profile of the tech executive.
Most people don't need to consume extra salt to stay healthy
With the exception of athletes, people who spend long periods of time in the heat, have low blood pressure, or are malnourished, the average human doesn't need a special salt-filled drink to keep their nutrition in check.
"Salt is something that you do not make in the body, so we need to get it from outside sources," Wendy Bazilian, a registered dietitian with a doctorate in public health, told Business Insider.
"When we eat a regular diet or multiple meals, there's virtually no question that you will get the requisite approximately 1/4 teaspoon a day (500 mg) most of us need to meet our basic biological needs."
Even if a person has an intense workout where the sweat a lot, a post-exercise meal is usually enough to replenish lost salt, according to registered dietitian and author of Eating in Colour, Frances Largeman-Roth.
If a person is fasting or severely limiting their food intake, however, a salt drink could help them maintain the body's physiological functions, like controlling blood volume and flow and maintaining nerve and muscle function.
Himalayan salt is also known for having more minerals and being less processed than table salt.
That doesn't mean a salty drink can replace a balanced and regular diet. "In our typical scenario and society, breakfast is the time and meal where the most nutritional quality usually happens, so not taking advantage of that or building that into the day can be a potential problem for energy or long-term health overtime if not addressed," Bazilian said.
Plus, if a person doesn't drink water during a food fast it could result in dehydration, even if they do drink salt water pre-fast. "Sodium does help you hang onto water, so his salt juice habit may help him feel better while he's fasting," Largeman-Roth told INSIDER. "Still, I wouldn't recommend this diet to anyone."
The lemon in Dorsey's beverage could offer some benefits
"Lemon water provides hydration and vitamin C at its most basic level," Bazilian said. Vitamin C supports the immune system, promotes healthy skin, and helps with iron absorption into the body.
Water also provides hydration, and Bazilian said it is arguably the most important substance we put into our bodies. "I consider it essential like a nutrient. We would die within days if we didn't have a water source, although you can live for weeks without food," Bazilian said.
While salt juice may not be that useful, she noted some people start their mornings with lemon water as an alternative to caffeinated coffee, which could help prevent a midday sugar or caffeine crash.
"Plus, rituals and routines are often helpful to maintain focus," Bazilian said.
This article was originally published by Business Insider.
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