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Why are tears salty?


Why is there so much salt in our tears? Is it bad to lose salt?

1665 day(s) ago

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Curious1
All liquids in the human body contain salt so every type of liquid that can come out of the body is salty. Why we can taste the salt so clearly in our tears is because tears don’t have anything else to cover up the taste of the salt. At any given time, there is about 1 cup of salt in an adult human body.

Salt plays an important role in our bodies. Salt helps us regulate the balance of water in our bodies. Our body is made of 60% water and it helps oxygen and nutrients get to our cells and helps waste to get out. If we have too much water in our body, it can damage our kidneys. If we have too little, we become dehydrated. When we lose water through urination, sweating, and tears, more water than salt is lost. This means that salt begins to build up in the body. When there is too much salt in the body, our brain triggers our thirst impulse and tells us to drink more water. This is why eating salty foods makes us want to drink more water than usual.

Salt is known scientifically as sodium chloride. It is composed of sodium and chlorine. The sodium in salt helps us our nerves send and receive electrical impulses. Because sodium is needed for our nerves to work, it plays a crucial role in our senses of touch, taste, and smell. Sodium also helps us contract our muscles so we can move our arms and legs. The chlorine in salt helps with our pH balance. It keeps our stomach acidic to aid in digestion and it keeps the rest relatively neutral. Chlorine also helps carbon dioxide to be eliminated from the body through the blood stream.

If we don’t have enough salt in our body, then we begin to experience some negative symptoms that include weakness in the muscles and cramps. Heat exhaustion can also come about from not having enough salt in very hot weather. In Latin American countries and parts of the U.S. southwest, lime-flavored salt is a popular treat for children and it helps them avoid heat exhaustion in the hot weather.


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