"If you're stranded on a desert island, should you drink ocean water or, um, your own 'water?'"
This is definitely one of the more far-fetched questions Goldberg has been asked in his 20-plus years as an emergency room doctor and assistant professor of emergency medicine at New York University
. But the answer underscores the importance of staying hydrated at all times. Our drink of choice would have been seawater. But Goldberg informs us that we have it wrong: Seawater is three times as concentrated as human blood, and to process it, the body would need to excrete the excess salt through the kidneys as urine. As your body worked to flush out the salt, you'd lose precious fluids, and become even more dehydrated. Before long, your muscles would atrophy, your heart would pound out of rhythm, and you'd eventually die of dehydration. He says it’s probably safer to drink urine than seawater, but you’d likely be too dehydrated to make enough to quench your thirst.