What Is Sole Water, and Does It Have Benefits?
Countless health claims circulate around this product, and proponents suggest that it can help you lose weight, balance your hormones, decrease muscle cramps, and improve sleep.
While these benefits sound impressive, there is no research to back them up.
This article examines sole water, its purported benefits, and whether you should drink it.
What is Sole Water?
This is typically done by adding pink Himalayan salt to a glass jar until it's a quarter of the way full, then filling the rest of the jar with water and letting it sit for 12–24 hours.
If all of the salt dissolves, more is added until it no longer dissolves. At this point, the water is considered fully saturated.
Most proponents of sole water recommend drinking 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of this mixture in an 8-ounce (240-ml) glass of room-temperature water every day to reap a multitude of health benefits.
It's suggested that this beverage balances your body's positively and negatively charged ions, such as sodium and other minerals, which let necessary elements and signals in and out of cells (2 Trusted Source).
Some people claim that sole water helps promote an optimal ion balance, thus maintaining fluid levels and overall health. Nonetheless, this theory has never been tested (3 Trusted Source).
Additionally, several unsubstantiated claims about the health benefits of sole water are related to the mineral content of pink Himalayan salt.
Sole water is water that has been fully saturated with pink Himalayan salt. Proponents assert that drinking this water balances ion levels and provides a number of health benefits.
Does Sole Water Have Health Benefits?
Advocates of sole water suggest that it can benefit digestion, lower blood pressure, improve sleep, prevent muscle cramps, and more.
However, sole water's effects have not been tested by scientific research.
Boasts a Lot of Minerals, But Not in High Amounts
Most of the claims surrounding sole water involve its mineral content.
Like other salts, pink Himalayan salt is mostly composed of sodium chloride, which helps maintain fluid balance and blood pressure in your body.
Unlike other salts, it is extracted by hand and doesn't contain additives or undergo much processing. Therefore, pink Himalayan salt boasts over 84 minerals and other elements, such as iron, magnesium, calcium, and potassium. These minerals give it a pink color (4).
While this may seem like an impressive number of nutrients, the amounts of each mineral in Himalayan salt are very low.
For example, Himalayan salt is only 0.28% potassium, 0.1% magnesium, and 0.0004% iron — negligible compared to the amounts of these minerals that you get from whole foods (4).
You would have to drink large amounts of sole water, thereby consuming excess sodium, for it to be considered a good source of these nutrients.
In reality, sole water does not affect your body in the same way as fruits, vegetables, and other foods that are high in these minerals.
Proponents also suggest that this drink improves bone health and energy levels due to its iron and calcium contents, even though its amounts of these nutrients are negligible (7 Trusted Source, 8 Trusted Source).
Sodium's Effect on Sleep
Since pink Himalayan salt is mostly sodium chloride (salt), sole water is higher in sodium than it is in other minerals.
However, due to the large size of its crystals, pink Himalayan salt is slightly lower in sodium than regular table salt.
Keep in mind that sole water likely contains significantly less sodium than pure pink Himalayan salt since it's made by diluting salt in water.
Nevertheless, this drink still packs sodium. Because sodium is critical for proper sleep and adequate hydration, sole water proponents claim that it can improve sleep and hydration — though there is no research to back up these claims (11 Trusted Source).
One 3-day study from the 1980s in 10 young men determined that a diet of less than 500 mg of sodium per day led to sleep disruptions (12 Trusted Source).
Notably, this is an extremely low amount of salt. Most people consume much more than the recommended 2,300 mg of salt on a daily basis (13 Trusted Source).
Even though this study is dated, included a very small sample size, and did not specifically assess pink Himalayan salt, proponents still cite it as evidence that sole water aids sleep.
What's more, other studies have found the opposite to be true. Their results indicate that poor sleep may be associated with increased salt intake (14 Trusted Source).
Sodium and Hydration
Sodium plays an essential role in maintaining fluid balance in your body. In fact, inadequate sodium intake can lead to dehydration and water loss, especially if combined with heavy exercise and sweating (15 Trusted Source, 16 Trusted Source).
Since adequate sodium intake is necessary to maintain proper hydration, proponents of sole water suggest that it can help keep you hydrated.
However, drinking sole water is not a more effective way to meet your sodium needs than consuming salt or foods that naturally have sodium. In fact, sole water contains less sodium than regular table salt.
Plus, most people already consume more than the recommended 2,300 mg of sodium per dayand don't need to add more to their diet. Excessive sodium intake is linked to several health issues, including high blood pressure (13 Trusted Source, 17 Trusted Source).
Most Other Benefits Are Not Supported by Research
Additionally, proponents often claim that sole water:
- improves digestion
- assists in detox and balances pH in your body
- balances blood sugar
- improves bone health
- boosts energy levels
- acts as an antihistamine that fights allergic reactions
Notably, no research backs up these assertions because sole water has not been studied in humans.
These supposed benefits are often attributed to its mineral content, though this drink harbors minuscule amounts of nutrients. While some suggest that sole water can balance positive and negative ions in your body, this theory has never been tested or proven (3 Trusted Source).
Though sole water is marketed as high in health-promoting minerals, it contains negligible amounts of these nutrients. It provides sodium but is not a better source of it than regular salt.
Should You Drink Sole Water?
Since sole water is made from only water and pink Himalayan salt, it should not cause negative side effects in a healthy person who consumes it in small amounts.
However, as no research substantiates its supposed benefits, it should not be considered a health beverage.
Plus, drinking a lot of sole water on top of a diet that contains adequate or excessive sodium may cause you to consume too much sodium.
It's difficult to assess how much sodium sole water contains, but it's likely high in salt.
As the standard American diet is rich in processed foods that are loaded with added sodium, additional sodium from sole water could be harmful. In fact, most Americans already consume more than the recommended amount of sodium (13 Trusted Source).
Excess sodium intake is linked to high blood pressure, osteoporosis, kidney stones, and other chronic diseases (18 Trusted Source).
If you don't need to watch your sodium intake and are interested in sole water, this drink is unlikely to be harmful if consumed in small amounts. Just keep in mind that it has no proven benefits.
Even though the salt in sole water is diluted, this beverage may be an unnecessary source of sodium for those with adequate or excessive sodium intake. If you are on a sodium-restricted diet, avoid sole water.
How to Make Your Own Sole Water
To make your own sole water, fill a glass jar a quarter of the way with pink Himalayan salt.
Then top off the jar with water, seal it with a lid, shake it, and let it sit for 12–24 hours. If all of the salt dissolves after you let it sit, add small amounts of salt until it no longer dissolves. At this point, the water is fully saturated.
When you want to try it, drop 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of sole water into 1 cup (240 ml) of water. It's important to note that no recommended dosage exists due to a lack of research.
Even though sole water isn't likely harmful, it's also unnecessary and has no proven benefits. People who are on sodium-restricted diets or already consuming enough salt should avoid this drink.
To make your own sole water, combine pink Himalayan salt with water in a glass jar until the salt no longer dissolves. Drink 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of this mixture mixed into 1 cup (240 ml) of plain water.
The Bottom Line
Sole water is a drink made from pink Himalayan salt and water. It's often touted as a natural aid for sleep, energy, and digestion.
In reality, it's low in nutrients, and research on its benefits is lacking.
Since most people already consume too much salt, it's likely best to avoid sole water.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Healthline.
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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Joe Roman and Taylor Ricketts
The COVID-19 pandemic in the United States is the deepest and longest period of malaise in a dozen years. Our colleagues at the University of Vermont have concluded this by analyzing posts on Twitter. The Vermont Complex Systems Center studies 50 million tweets a day, scoring the "happiness" of people's words to monitor the national mood. That mood today is at its lowest point since 2008 when they started this project.
The Hedonometer measures happiness through analysis of key words on Twitter, which is now used by one in five Americans. This chart covers 18 months from early 2019 to July 2020, showing major dips in 2020. hedonometer.org<p>These same tweets also indicate a potential salve. Before pandemic lockdowns began, doctoral student <a href="https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=0P0ZYbIAAAAJ&hl=en" target="_blank">Aaron Schwartz</a> <a href="https://doi.org/10.1002/pan3.10045" target="_blank">compared tweets before, during, and after visits to 150 parks, playgrounds and plazas</a> in San Francisco. He found that park visits corresponded with a spike in happiness, followed by an afterglow lasting up to four hours.</p><p>Tweets from parks contained fewer negative words such as "no," "not" and "can't," and fewer first-person pronouns like "I" and "me." It seems that nature makes people more positive and less self-obsessed.</p><p>Parks keep people happy in times of global crisis, economic shutdown and public anger. Research has also shown that transmission rates for COVID-19 are <a href="https://www.sfchronicle.com/news/article/Is-risk-of-coronavirus-transmission-lower-15287602.php" target="_blank">much lower outdoors than inside</a>. As scholars who study <a href="https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=yFzb2EUAAAAJ&hl=en" target="_blank">conservation</a> and how nature <a href="https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=CCnUeN8AAAAJ&hl=en" target="_blank">contributes to human well-being</a>, we see opening up parks and creating new ones as a straightforward remedy for Americans' current blues.</p>
Park Visits Are Up During the Pandemic<p>According to the Hedonometer, sentiments expressed online started trending lower in mid-March as the impacts of the pandemic became clear. As lockdowns continued, they registered the lowest sentiment scores on record. Then in late May, effects from George Floyd's death in police custody and the following protests and police response once again could be seen on Twitter. May 31, 2020 was the saddest day of the project.</p><p>Recent surveys of park visitors around the University of Vermont have shown people <a href="https://osf.io/preprints/socarxiv/sd3h6" target="_blank">using green spaces more</a> since COVID-19 lockdowns began. Many people reported that parks were highly important to their well-being during the pandemic.</p>
<div id="4c7e4" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="bc0ac146ab2a94228f32d973fc2ab272"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1289428912879964160" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">#Goldengatepark #sf #quarantinemood https://t.co/9l3ufnbkt6</div> — Suvd (@Suvd)<a href="https://twitter.com/Suvd19486406/statuses/1289428912879964160">1596258783.0</a></blockquote></div><p>The powerful effects of nature are strongest in large parks with more trees, but smaller neighborhood parks also provide a significant boost. Their impact on happiness is real, measurable and lasting.</p><p>Twitter records show that parks increase happiness to a level similar to the bounce at Christmas, which typically is the happiest day of the year. Schwartz has since expanded his <a href="https://arxiv.org/pdf/2006.10658.pdf" target="_blank">Twitter study</a> to the 25 largest cities in the U.S. and found this bounce everywhere.</p><p>Parks and public spaces won't cure COVID-19 or stop police brutality, but they are far more than playgrounds. There is growing evidence that parks contribute to mental and physical health in a range of communities.</p><p>In a 2015 study, for example, Stanford researchers sent people out for one of two walks: through a local park or on a busy street. Those who walked in nature showed <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2015.02.005" target="_blank">improved moods and better memory performance</a> compared to the urban group. And a team led by <a href="https://penniur.upenn.edu/people/eugenia-gina-south" target="_blank">Gina South</a> of the University of Pennsylvania showed in a 2018 study that greening and cleaning up blighted vacant lots in Philadelphia <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.0298" target="_blank">reduced local residents' feelings of depression, worthlessness and poor mental health</a>.</p>
Creative Strategies<p>It isn't easy to create new parks on the scale of San Francisco's Golden Gate Park or the Washington Mall, but smaller projects can expand outdoor space. Options include greening vacant lots, closing streets and investing in existing parks to make them safer, greener and shadier and support wildlife.</p><p>These initiatives don't have to be capital-intensive. In the University of Pennsylvania study, for example, renovating a vacant lot by removing trash, planting grass and trees and installing a low fence cost only about US$1,600.</p><p>Urban green space is most needed in neighborhoods that have lacked funding for parks, especially given <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/08/nyregion/coronavirus-race-deaths.html" target="_blank">COVID-19's disproportionate impact on Black and Latinx people</a>.</p><p>Cities can also create parklike spaces by <a href="https://theconversation.com/with-fewer-cars-on-us-streets-now-is-the-time-to-reinvent-roadways-and-how-we-use-them-140408" target="_blank">closing streets to cars</a>. Many cities worldwide are currently retooling their transportation systems for the post-COVID-19 world in order to <a href="https://thecityfix.com/blog/bicycles-slower-speeds-livable-city-paris-mayor-anne-hidalgo-plans-ambitious-second-term-dario-hidalgo/" target="_blank">reallocate public space</a>, widen sidewalks and make more space for nature.</p><p>Urban designers, artists, ecologists and other citizens can play a direct role, too, creating pop-up parks and green spaces. Some advocates <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-15/a-brief-history-of-park-ing-day" target="_blank">transform parking spaces into mini-parks</a> with grass, potted trees and seating for just the time on the meter, to make a larger point about turning so much public space over to cars.</p><p>Or cities can invest a little more. Minneapolis, Cincinnati and Arlington, Virginia, have won <a href="https://www.tpl.org/parkscore" target="_blank">national recognition</a> for their ambitious investments in public park systems. These areas could serve as models for neighborhoods that lack access to parks.</p>
<div id="25fd0" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="383f0d2df0237e9359c30dcce6cd6c42"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1276558744835379201" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Looking to safely get outside? Check out the best parks for social distancing in this year's top ten ParkScore citi… https://t.co/HJjEtDsrTD</div> — The Trust for Public Land (@The Trust for Public Land)<a href="https://twitter.com/tpl_org/statuses/1276558744835379201">1593190296.0</a></blockquote></div>
A New Park Deal?<p>The United States has historically driven economic recovery with major infrastructure investments, like the New Deal in the 1930s and the 2009 <a href="https://www.investopedia.com/terms/a/american-recovery-and-reinvestment-act.asp" target="_blank">American Reinvestment and Recovery Act</a>. Such investments could easily include nature-positive spaces.</p><p>Parks are not panaceas, as evidenced by the widely publicized <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/06/nyregion/amy-cooper-false-report-charge.html" target="_blank">racist confrontation between a white woman and a Black birder</a> in New York's Central Park in early July. But Hedonometer data add to a <a href="https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/7/eaax0903?utm_source=miragenews&utm_medium=miragenews&utm_campaign=news" target="_blank">growing body of evidence</a> that they provide <a href="https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1807504116" target="_blank">clear mental health benefits</a>. Creating and expanding parks also <a href="https://www.nrpa.org/contentassets/f568e0ca499743a08148e3593c860fc5/economic-impact-study-summary.pdf" target="_blank">generates jobs and economic activity</a>, with much of the money spent locally.</p><p>We believe investments in nature are well worth it, offering both short-term solace in difficult times and long-term benefits to health, economies and communities.</p>
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