Is Salt Water Hypertonic?

Salt water is that form of water that comprises of approximately 3.5% of salt. It can be found in the oceans along with in lesser amounts in underground water and brackish water. Even, the level of salt can be different in the same water body. If you will look at the point where fresh water joins the seawater, there water will be less salty. There are some waters that are more salty than others, for example Red Sea.

What is Hypertonic Solutions?

Hypertonic solutions are those solutions that contain greater amount of solute or dissolved element in the solution. In simple terms, hypertonic solutions contain higher amount of solutes and lesser amount of water.

Hypertonic solutions are different from other types of solutions. If a cell come across a hypertonic surroundings, water will move from inside to the outside of the cell. It will lead to shrinking of the cell as the pressure from indie of the cell begins to go down. In hypertonic solution, water begins to move out of the cell due to osmosis process. If this continues, it can lead to the death of a living organism. For instance, if you take a long swim in the ocean water, you will feel that your body has dried out because the ocean contains larger amount of salts.

Is Salt Water Hypertonic?

Yes, saltwater is a hypertonic solution as it comprises of additional salt as compared to the human blood and drinking saltwater such as seawater can disturb the overall mechanism of the body as happens in the case of a hypertonic solution. Body cells dry up and might lead to fatal consequences.

Salt water is a hypertonic solution because it contains higher amount of salt as compared to the salts inside the cells. Osmosis makes the water pass from permeable cell membranes.  Osmosis is a process where water moves from the regions of lower concentration to regions that have higher concentration. 

It is not because of the salty taste that humans do not consume seawater. There is a significant scientific explanation to reason why humans need fresh water to drink and not salty seawater, to stay fit and healthy.

Why Salt water is hypertonic?

More than 70% of Earth is covered in water and majority of that water is available in the form of inconsumable saltwater. You might find it weird but even if humans do not drink salt water, their body still need salt and water to function properly.

The main reason why we do not drink salt water is that it contains high amount of salts in it. and human body needs only a small amount of salts. If a human body drinks too much of salt water, the kidneys in the body flush out the extra salts through the urine.

The salinity level of human blood is  9, i.e. 9 grams of salts in each 1,000 grams of liquid in the body. When it is said that saltwater is hypertonic, it means it has more salt as compared to human blood. In reality, the salinity level of saltwater is 35, a lot higher than what human blood need.

If you drink salt water, your body would evacuate the excess salt through the urine, but it means your body will also get rid of too much water from your body. It would result in dehydration and you will begin to feel thirstier.

Along with that, the loss of water from your body would lead to problems like muscle contractions, queasiness, and increase in blood pressure. With continuing consumption of saltwater, you might face severe effects like organ failure or death.

Since salt water is a hypertonic solution, when it gets to outer part of the cell membrane, the water in the cell begin to leave the cell to connect with the salt water just like is the nature of a hypertonic solution. This will leave the cells dehydrated and in shrinking condition and that can ultimately lead to fatal consequences like coma or death.

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