Water Fasting: What are the pros and cons of this practice?


What is water fasting?

Fasting is defined as a procedure that involves the restriction of food intake. This practice has been widely practiced by many people for more than a thousand years. When related to water fasting, it is typical fasting which restricts the intake of food items and juices and allows only the intake of water. This fasting can be performed only for 24 to 72 hours. In recent times, water fasting has become a popular venture by people who are eager to lose weight quickly. Its positive impact in quick weight loss has been proved by studies.

Before you can leap into water fasting, it is advisable to consult your doctor or make sure to follow water fast under medical supervision. Some of the common reason that people opt to practice water fasting include spiritual or religious reasons, for detoxification, equip themselves for a medical procedure, for quick weight loss, and for the health benefits its nurtures.

What are the steps involved in water fasting?

There aren’t any rules or guidelines that need to be adhered to while performing a water fast. However, this type of fasting is restricted to several groups of people who require the governance of a medical supervisor.

The groups of people that fall under medical supervision include people with gout, chronic kidney disease, diabetes (both types 1 and 2), pregnant women and children, eating disorders, and older adults. If in case you haven’t had the opportunity to perform a water fast earlier then it is essential that you prepare yourself both mentally and physically a few days before you plan to fast. In order to prepare yourself for the fast, it is advisable to consume a small amount of food or try fasting during any part of the day.

During the fast

During a water fast you aren’t allowed to consume or drink anything except water. As a result, people end up drinking two to three liters of water on a daily basis during the fast. The fast is scheduled to last for 24 to 72 hours. People tend to develop dizziness during the fast, it is, therefore necessary that they avoid overworking, operating heavy machinery, and driving.

What happens during post-fast?

Once the fast is completed you should refrain from gobbling big meals. Eating large meals after fasting can lead to uncomfortable symptoms such as nausea, stomach ache, etc. It is advisable to break your fast with a light smoothie or small meal. By doing so, you don’t cause disturbance to your hungry stomach and avoid developing any uncomfortable symptoms. The post-fast phase is deemed important as it may leave you open to the risk of refeeding syndrome. Refeeding syndrome is the condition that is associated with the reinstitution of nutrition to patients who are starved, malnourished, and metabolically stressed. It is potentially a fatal condition where the body experiences a rapid change in fluids and electrolytes.

What are the benefits of water fasting?

It may help in autophagy

Autophagy is a regeneration process involving old parts of your cell. During the process, the old parts are broken down and recycled to form new and healthier ones. Studies have proved that autophagy has been associated with preventing the body against diseases such as Alzheimer’s, heart, and cancer. In animal studies it has been proved that water fasting helps to extend life span however, it is yet to be researched on humans.

May promote blood sugar control

Fasting is a gateway to improve blood sugar levels especially for those who are on the verge of developing diabetes. Water fasting reduces the calorie intake which in turn helps reduce insulin resistance. By decreasing insulin resistance you tend to induce your body’s sensitivity to insulin. This sensitivity to insulin helps your body transport glucose between your bloodstreams and cells more efficiently.

May enhance better health

Chronic inflammation for a prolonged period of time can have serious consequences. Inflammations are associated with developing certain chronic conditions such as cancer, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis (a long-term autoimmune disorder that primarily affects joints), and diabetes. Water fasting helps prevent free radicals (unstable molecules that can cause damage to cell parts) from damaging heart health. In addition, studies have proved that water fasting may help suppress genes responsible for causing cancer and in the long run help improve the effects of chemotherapy (a type of cancer treatment that uses one or more anti-cancer drugs as part of a standardized chemotherapy regimen).

It may improve heart health

Research has proved that adding fasting to your routine may be beneficial when related to the heart. When water fasting is carried out in a proper manner it significantly reduced blood pressure, bad cholesterol or LDL cholesterol, and also help reduce triglycerides levels in the blood. In addition, water fasting is also associated with lowering the risk of coronary artery disease (a condition associated with reduced levels of blood flow to the heart muscles).

May prevent neurodegenerative disorders

Studies have proved that water fasting is linked to having a positive impact on brain health. As mentioned earlier water fasting may help reduce inflammation. The reduction of inflammation can aid in reducing neurodegenerative disorder. The neurodegenerative disorder is associated with the progressive loss of structure or function of neurons, including the death of neurons. It supports the increase of generation of cells and can help cognitive health overall.

It may help boost metabolism

Water fasting is linked to consuming lesser carbs or calories. The lower levels of calorie intake lead to quicker weight loss. Water fasting may help increase metabolism. The increased levels of norepinephrine (is an organic chemical in the catecholamine family that functions in the brain and body as a hormone and neurotransmitter) may boost metabolism and help in rapid weight loss.

May increase levels of growth hormone secretion

Growth hormone is the core for protein hormone that plays a vital role in many aspects related to health. This hormone is involved in weight loss, muscle strength, growth, and metabolism. Several studies brought to light that water fasting could naturally increase human growth hormone (HSH).

People who fall under the strictly “no” category

Water fasting isn’t safe for everyone. People who are barred from practicing water fasting include children under 18years, older adults, and those who:

  • Suffer from an eating disorder or anorexia
  • Underweight problems
  • Pregnant or lactating women
  • Suffer from heart problems
  • Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes
  • Suffer from an uncontrollable migraine
  • Are scheduled for a blood transfusion
  • Are under specific medical treatment (in this case consult your doctor before practicing water fasting)

What all can go wrong in water fasting?

Though it nurtures varied health benefits it does have a skeleton in its cupboard. Here are a few risks associated with water fasting they include:

You can lose the wrong weight: Since there is a restriction on the intake of calories you tend to lose weight rapidly. It is however unfortunate that you may lose weight that comes from carbs, water, and at times even muscle mass.

You can develop dehydration: It may sound weird that you can come in for dehydration. But truth being said, water fasting can make you dehydrated. Though you consume the same amount of water as a substitute for foods, it is still proved that you may not get enough water. Water fasting can cause dehydration as it doesn’t acquire the necessary water content from foods. Dehydration is associated with symptoms such as headaches, low blood pressure, dizziness, nausea, constipation, and low productivity. In order to balance your water level during a water fast, it is mandatory that you drink more than usual water.

You can come in for orthostatic hypotension: Orthostatic hypotension is a condition that is related to a sudden drop in blood pressure levels when you perform any sudden action. For instance, there is a sudden drop in blood pressure when you stand up and you remain dizzy and are prone to faint. This condition is common among people who fast. It is therefore advised that during water fasting make sure not to operate heavy machinery or drive.

It may worsen certain medical conditions: Though water fasting is performed for only a short period of time, it can aggravate certain medical conditions. It is therefore advisable to avoid water fasting for the below mentioned medical conditions that include:

  • Since water fasting is associated with increased uric acid production it should be avoided by people suffering from gout. Gout is defined as a disease in which defective metabolism of uric acid causes arthritis, especially in the smaller bones of the feet, deposition of chalk-stones, and episodes of acute pain.
  • Water fasting may develop the risk of type 1 and type 2 diabetes; it is a big no for people with diabetes.
  • People diagnosed with chronic kidney diseases should avoid water fasting as it can cause damage to the kidneys.
  • Should be avoided by teenagers as it can lead to eating disorders such as bulimia. Bulimia is defined as an emotional disorder characterized by a distorted body image and an obsessive desire to lose weight, in which bouts of extreme overeating are followed by fasting or self-induced vomiting or purging.
  • During water fasting the body tends to develop an increased amount of stomach acid without any food to digest. As a result, it can lead to heartburn.

Important points to remember

  • Always keep in mind to start a one day fast if you are new to water fasting. This rules out any adverse effects that you may develop during fasting.
  • Fasting is a two-way stream which involves both physical and mental well-being.
  • Consider having a well-balanced meal before you begin your fast. By doing so, it gives you the essential energy needed to sustain your water fasting.
  • Choose a time that is of complete rest, possibly a day when not at work. It is better to do so, as you make feel giddy or weak when fasting.
  • It is advisable to avoid fasting when unwell or tired.
  • Never try doing demanding exercises as you can lose energy quicker.
  • Remember to drink sufficient water during the fast and try to maintain the same throughout the day.
  • Don’t consume large meals when ending the fast as it can lead to uncomfortable symptoms such as nausea and vomiting.

Is it for you?

Water fasting is one of the popular methods of fasting that has found its prevalence for many years. Water fasting contains many health benefits and also comes with several risks associated with it. Therefore, care should be taken before you venture into it and always make sure to consult your doctor before you do so.

Want to live a healthy lifestyle?

Subscribe to free FactDr newsletters.

REVAMP YOUR

If you're enjoying our website, we promise you'll absolutely love our new posts. Be the first one to get a copy!

Get factually correct, actionable tips delivered straight to your inbox once a week.

I want the latest scoop on :

We hate spam too. We will never share your email address with anyone. If you change your mind later, you can unsubscribe with just one click

By clicking Subscribe, I agree to the FactDr Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of FactDr subscriptions at any time.

 

 

 

Related Posts

Trending Topics

anal sex
Anal Sex : Tips from experts on how to be kinky yet safe Whether it irks you or stokes your fantasies, anal sex has always been an intriguing…
diverticulitis diet
Diverticulitis diet: The right way to eat if you suffer from the disease Are you suffering from diverticultis but clueless about your diet ? Read this complete plan…
Penis pump: Pump your way out of erectile dysfunction One of the options to treat erectile dysfunction is by the use of a penis…
Maltitol: Things you must know about this artificial sweetener Sugar alcohols are produced by fruits and vegetables. Maltitol is an artificially produced sugar alcohol…
passion fruit juice
Passion fruit: How one exotic fruit can help you fight infections and cancer! Passion fruit: Why does this exotic fruit have such an enticing name? And how can…
Top natural diuretics: The instant benefits you can get from nature’s water pills Since diuretic drugs are known to cause side effects, it is better to choose a…
Jicama: A fiber-rich tuber for your weight loss goals Pronouced as HEE-kah-ma, Jicama is the "new kid on the block" that has taken the…
hidden benefits walking
9 benefits of walking we bet you didn’t know! Did you know walking can be the miracle pill for eternal youth? Everyone knows walking…
TBHQ: A carcinogen lingering in your child’s favorite snacks TBHQ - Why you should shun the practice of eating instant noodles or microwave popcorn…
eating disorder anorexia
Eating Disorders: Lifestyle choice or a psychological condition? Is eating disorder just a harmless bad habit? Or does it represent grim psychological disorders?…
dance health benefits
5 unbelievable effects of dance on your overall health! You enjoy dancing, but did you know what else it does to your body? Dancing…
yoga health benefits
How to practice yoga for astounding health benefits Can a 5000-year-old system be the ultimate body healer? Did you know yoga can make…
liver detox facts
7 liver detox facts and why ignoring these could kill you! Are you taking care of this organ that handles over 500 different vital functions in…
occupational hazards types
Occupational Hazards: How to vouch for your health at your workplace Occupational hazards affect millions worldwide. Chemical spills, faulty wires, deadly pathogen, and work-stress can happen…
Latest findings on Kombucha; a teacup full of yeast and bacteria How can a tea consisting of a live culture of bacteria & fungi be healthy?…
about mediterranean diet
Why you should be adopting a Mediterranean style of diet today Ever wondered why the Mediterranean diet is so healthy? One simple solution to lowering risk…
Juice Plus: Can you really replace actual fruits with pills?  Juice Plus supplements intend to fill nutritional gaps present in our daily diet. But how…
How can Kegels help you overcome weak pelvic muscles & incontinence? Kegel exercises are pelvic floor strengthening exercises that can help you overcome incontinence issues that…
Coconut oil woman
Coconut Oil: How one oil dominates the kitchen and the medicine kit too Coconut oil has been a favorite in many Asian kitchens. But more than a cooking…
Benefits of exercise: Top reasons why you should be sweating it out more in the gym Are you leading a sedentary life and still not motivated enough to get up from…
low fodmap plan
Troubled with IBS? Here’s a complete roadmap to the low FODMAP diet Leaky & inflammatory gut troubling you? No medicine bringing you relief from the pain? Why…
Melatonin: Fascinating facts on the hormone that brings you the Zzzs Did you know, melatonin - the chemical that puts you to sleep every night is…
The science behind daith piercing: Can it really cure migraine? Since the ear has several pressure points, it is believed that daith piercing activates the…
TRX: Why is this total resistance workout the best choice for your body? TRX or total resistance exercise is a form of exercise where suspension belts are used…
social media adddiction
Your health in the age of Social Media: Why is digital detox a necessity? Did you know that more than 400 million people are dangerously addicted to social media?…
lifestyle diseases
The Big 5 lifestyle diseases: How your everyday living might be killing you You'd be shocked to know how unhealthy and potentially fatal your everyday routine could be.…
eating myths debunked
8 ‘healthy eating’ myths you believed until now Is a zero-carb diet really healthy for you? Are organic products worth their cost? Did…
paleo keto diet
Paleo vs. Keto: Which diet plan is best suited for your body goals? Is eating like a caveman the right way to go? Can you really eat fats…
Improve sex life
9 best tips from around the world for better sex life How can the pungent-smelling garlic pack in a punch to your libido? How could something…
Salt dangers
Sodium chloride: The wonders and dangers of the simple table salt Sodium chloride is a salt containing sodium and chlorine ions at a 1:1 ratio. It…
Lectin: The common link of proteins between peas and people Lectins are a type of protein that are found majorly in legumes. Most people are…
Kava: Is it the healthy substitute for alcohol you have been waiting for? Native to the beautiful South Pacific islands, Kava is a famous beverage rooted in the…
Hemp Seeds: The actual science behind this controversial crop Inspite of being credited as a superfood, hemp seeds are still shrouded with layers of…
PiYo (Pilates + Yoga): Bringing you the best of both the worlds PiYo exercise routine was formulated for people who find it tedious and grueling exercise regimens…
Dragon Fruit – Blessing from Nature’s Basket The dragon fruit is packed with nutrients and yet low on calories and is the…
Creatine: Is this the right peak athletic-performance supplement for you? Creatine is the amino acid that boosts our energy. Did you know creatine supplements can…
erectile dysfunction treatment
Erectile Dysfunction: Effective tips to help you get back on charge Erectile dysfunction is a common male sexual dysfunction. Don't stress out. Just follow these amazing…
Vitamin B12: The unknown repercussions of this nutrient deficiency Vitamin B12 is also known as cobalamine; involved in the development of red blood cells…
The real reason why you shouldn’t be eating ramen noodles Instant ramen noodles might be your go-to snack for your hunger pangs. But with each…
Lauric Acid: 8 health benefits you can derive from coconuts Appropriate use of saturated fats containing lauric acid can provide you numerous health benefits. This…
Cranberry: Top reasons why you should grow this “superfruit” in your own backyard Cranberry is a favorite among foodies and health enthusiasts alike. Read more on how it…
cancer facts
8 hard-hitting truths no one tells you about cancer Did you know that 1.5 million new cases of cancer are reported every year? Can…
carrageenan seaweed
Carrageenan: How a simple seaweed extract could better your gut health & immunity Eat more ice cream to prevent cold and flu? –With carrageenan you get one simple…
acne removal tips
Anatomy of acne: 7 instant steps to kiss those zits goodbye Blackheads, whiteheads, or pimples-call them what you may. Acne is never good news.Did you know…
improve digestion weight loss
Power up your gut: 8 proven steps on how to improve your digestion Did you know you have a colony of bacteria in your gut that help you…
Milk Thistle skin
Milk Thistle: Find possible cures for fatal diseases in these purple blooms Milk thistle is well-known for treating liver conditions. However, did you know that it comes…
Jackfruit: Slice your way into higher immunity, better digestion, & more… Native to the South East Asia, the jackfruit is a fruit brimming with thousands of…
waterchestnut
Water Chestnuts: The tastiest ways to include this healthy tuber in your diet Water chestnut is not a nut after all. It is a tuber (much like the…
Female Masturbation: Tips on how to turn up the heat during a solo mission As a female, do you find yourself constantly wondering as to what is the best…
Burpees: World’s most challenging fitness routine now made simple for you The majority of the fitness regimens mainly concentrate on a particular muscle group whereas Burpees…
Surgery or home-remedy; what is the right way to treat a burn The treatment of a burn injury depends on its severity. You can save a life…
autoimmune diseases facts
Autoimmune Diseases: Find out if your body is attacking you right now Did you know your body can harm itself? What are autoimmune diseases and why does…
Trisodium Phosphate: How a paint thinner made its way into your breakfast Ever thought how toxic chemicals find their way into our foods? How can they harm…
What is the right way to take a pregnancy test? A pregnancy test is undertaken to determine if you have conceived. A home pregnancy test…
Fibromyalgia fatigue
HCG Diet: The dangers of using this diet to lose weight HCG is a natural hormone produced by both men and women that corresponds to fertility.…
What is the average penis size and why should you care? Scientifically speaking, the average size of the penis depends on numerous factors such as genes,…
sleep deprivation
Don’t let your sleep deficit grow into memory loss or heart attack Why is sleep important for us? How could sleep deprivation harm you? We bet you…
Keto diet healthy
Keto Diet: Did you know you could eat fats to burn fats? Keto diet - A wonder diet that lets you eat fats and lose weight too!…
collagen benefits skin
Collagen: Get age-defying skin and faster hair growth with this miracle protein Collagen – Wrinkle-free skin, stronger nails, and thicker locks – now you have more reasons…
Isagenix diet
Isagenix Diet: Do you really need liquid meal replacements to lose weight? Isagenix Diet - What are liquid meal replacements and why is the world going ga-ga…
maltodextrin sugar
Maltodextrin: What are the hidden health benefits of this food additive? Maltodextrin is one of the few food additives that has been relatively deemed safe. Many…
Anhedonia: Does the chronic inability to feel joy affect you too? How often do you feel dragged down by an invisible force? Do you feel an…
Anticholinergics: The diverse range of diseases a single drug can easily treat What started as a novel treatment for Parkinson' disease has now become an all-encompassing drug.…
Erythritol: A healthy sugar substitute or yet another marketing ploy? Erythritol is a popular choice of a healthy alternative sweetening agent in foods. But how…
GERD heartburn
Heartburn: What are the exact symptoms and the best home remedies? There are easy home remedies for heartburn, which not only acts as a first aid…
11 unbelievable health benefits of thyme you didn’t know! Thyme is a herb that has been used in alternative medicine.It is a well known…
Orgasms: How to perfect the art of achieving intense bursts of pleasure (every time!) Orgasms are dependent not just on the sexual activity but on your partner as well.…
stress depressed anxiety
Are you depressed or just stressed? Know when to see a doctor Why are some people more anxious than others? Is being depressed the same as feeling…
fitness routine fun
10 fantastic ways to make your fitness routine more fun! Are you too bored to exercise? Do you avoid gym cause it's too monotonous? Looking…
alcohol toxic
7 startling facts that will make you quit alcohol today Does drinking really make you friendly and happy? How many calories does a can of…
sugar toxic health
Sugar: 7 new shocking truths revealed about the sweet poison Can drinking soda bring you closer to death? Is sugar slowly poisoning you and your…
antibiotic resistance
Antibiotic Resistance: How common diseases become deadly Can a cold kill you? How important is to get a flu shot? Why do…
nutritional yeast bread
Nutritional Yeast : How can a fungi culture be good for your body? Nutritional yeast: How a simple culture of fungi can transform your skin, digestion, immunity ,…
castor oil hair
Castor oil : A vitamin-rich oil for shiny locks and healthy bowels Castor oil bestows unlimited benefits, whether you use it for your hair or skin. But…
glutamine workout
Glutamine: Why is this the right choice for muscle-gain supplement? Glutamine can help you gain muscles and build higher immunity. Read more to find out…
iron food shellfish
Iron-Rich Foods: Eat these foods to keep fatigue and anemia away! How to ensure a muscles as strong as iron? Eat iron rich foods ! Iron…
black seed oil benefits
Black Seed Oil: What secret benefits could it bestow on your health? Black seeds or nigella seeds are tiny packets of health brimming with amazing benefits. Find…
Bromelain: 11 reasons why you should start adding pineapple to your pizza! If you didn't love pineapples already, here are some of the top health benefits that…
calorie counter
Calorie Counter: Count your calories before they flab Is calorie counting good? Are calories always bad for you? How do you if you…
gout diet purines
Gout Diet : Get relief from painful joints by eating these foods Are you a victim of this painful condition? Are medications providing only short relief? Find…
Cordyceps: How the Caterpillar fungus works as a proven cancer-shield Strange as it may sound, but cordyceps or "caterpillar fungus", a fungus variety native to…
L-arginine: Your search for the ultimate fitness booster ends here L-arginine is an amino acid necessary for the body to perform various functions.  It is…
Love tea, hate tannins? Rooibos tea is just what you need The market is brimming with a multitude of herbal teas. But what makes rooibos tea…
CLA: A breakthrough weight loss supplement with minimal side effects Tried every weight loss supplement in the market with no substantial gain? Why not try…
Oxalates: How healthy greens can sometimes be bad news for your kidneys Oxalates are compounds present in a majority of healthy foods. However, at times an overconsumption…
The Vegan Diet: The benevolent way of eating that wins hearts (and tummies) The vegan diet involves fauna-friendly outlook towards food. Could the diet that hopes to balance…
The complete fitness guide on how to perform Tabata This fitness routine is called Tabata workouts, which is named after Dr. Izumi Tabata who…
Burn those years of stubborn fat-deposits with a few minutes of HIIT! HIIT or high-intensity interval training seems to be the right type of fitness training that…

Related Posts

Want to live a healthy lifestyle?

Subscribe to free FactDr newsletters.

REVAMP YOUR

If you're enjoying our website, we promise you'll absolutely love our new posts. Be the first one to get a copy!

Get factually correct, actionable tips delivered straight to your inbox once a week.

I want the latest scoop on :

We hate spam too. We will never share your email address with anyone. If you change your mind later, you can unsubscribe with just one click

By clicking Subscribe, I agree to the FactDr Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of FactDr subscriptions at any time.