The dangers of guzzling soy sauce

By Alejandro Freixes, CCNN Head Writer

Soy sauce has lots of sodium (salt), and we all know that sodium can be bad if you down too much of it. Now, what you might not know is that having tons of sodium all at once can actually kill you! A salt dose of 0.75 grams to 3 grams for about every 2 pounds you weigh can end your life.

Now, before you feel like you ‘ve got to grab a calculator and start doing ratios, let me break it down for you and also let you know why we’re talking about soy sauce like it’s some kind of death-dealer. See, there was this not so clever 19-year-old guy who weighed 160 pounds, and his buddies dared him to drink a quart of soy sauce. That’s about 170 grams of salt, which is a little over one-third of a pound. Just one-third of a pound of salt can kill someone who weighs around 160 pounds! Basically, if you drink 1 gram of salt for every 1 pound you weigh, you can die.

So, this silly guy, whose friends probably felt terrible afterwards for daring him to drink so much soy, ended up in the hospital. He was lucky enough to survive after they put tubes from his nose to his stomach to suck out some of the soy. Within four hours of drinking the soy sauce, he was then transferred to a bigger hospital at the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville. They measured his blood sodium levels and said it was the highest they’d ever seen for someone who didn’t suffer lasting damage to their nervous system.

What’s the moral of the story? Don’t do stupid dares, just because your friends pressured you. Don’t drink tons of soy sauce (although you’ll be perfectly fine putting a little bit on rice or meat and using it in moderation). Do watch your sodium levels!