What Are the Benefits (and Dangers) of Water Fasting?

Fasting, a method acting of restricting food intake, has been practiced for thousands of years. Water fast is a type of fast that restricts everything except body of water. It has become more popular in recent years as a quick way to lose weight. Studies have shown that water fast could have health benefits. For exercise, it may lower the hazard of some chronic diseases and induce autophagy, a serve that helps your body break down and recycle old parts of your cells ( 1, 2 ).

That said, human studies on water fast are very express. furthermore, it comes with many health risks and is not desirable for everyone. This article gives you an overview of water system fast and how it works, deoxyadenosine monophosphate well as its benefits and dangers . partake on Pinterest

What is water fasting?

Water fast is a type of fast during which you can not consume anything besides water. Most water fasts survive 24–72 hours. You should not follow a urine fast for longer than this without medical supervision. here are a few reasons why people try water fast :

  • religious or spiritual reasons
  • to lose weight
  • for “detoxing”
  • for its health benefits
  • preparing for a medical procedure

The main reason why people try water system fast is to improve their health. In fact, respective studies have linked water fasting with some impressive health benefits, including a lower gamble of certain cancers, heart disease, and diabetes ( 1, 2, 3 ). Water fast may besides promote autophagy, a process in which your body breaks down and recycles previous, potentially dangerous parts of your cells ( 4 ). popular diets like the lemon detox cleanse are modeled after the water fast. The lemon detox cleanse entirely lets you drink a mix of lemon juice, water, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper respective times per day for up to 7 days ( 5 ). however, water fast has many risks and can be very dangerous if followed for excessively long .

Summary Water fast is a type of fast during which you ’ re not allowed to consume anything except water. It ’ mho linked with a lower risk of chronic disease and autophagy, but it besides comes with many risks .

How do you water fast?

There are no scientific guidelines on how to start water fast. however, respective groups of people should not water fast without checkup supervision. This includes people with gout, diabetes ( both types 1 and 2 ), eating disorders, older adults, pregnant women, and children ( 6 ). If you have never water fasted before, it ’ s a good estimate to spend 3–4 days preparing your body for being without food. You can do this by eating smaller portions at each meal or by fasting for share of the day .

Water fast (24–72 hours)

During a water fast, you are not allowed to eat or drink anything besides water. Most people drink two to three liters of urine per day during a body of water fast. The body of water fast lasts for 24–72 hours. You should not water flying for longer than this without medical supervision because of health risks. Some people may feel weak or airheaded during a water fast and may want to avoid operating heavy machinery and driving to avoid causing an accident ( 7 ) .

Post-fast (1–3 days)

After the water firm, you should resist the urge to eat a big meal. This is because eating a large meal after a fast may cause uncomfortable symptoms. rather, break your fast with a smoothie or smaller meals. You can start introducing larger meals throughout the day as you feel more comfortable. The post-fast phase is particularly important after longer fasts. This is because you may be at risk of refeeding syndrome, a potentially fateful condition in which the body undergo rapid changes in fluid and electrolyte levels ( 8 ). This phase normally lasts a sidereal day, but people who fast for 3 or more days may need up to 3 days before they feel comfortable eat larger meals .

Summary A water flying normally lasts 24–72 hours and is followed by a post-fast phase. If you ’ re new to water fast, you might want to spend 3–4 days preparing your body to be without food by reducing your fortune sizes or fasting for part of the day .

Potential benefits of water fasting

Both human and animal studies have linked water fasting to a variety of health benefits. here are a few health benefits of urine fast .

May promote autophagy

Autophagy is a action in which old parts of your cells are broken down and recycled ( 4 ). several animal studies suggest that autophagy may help protect against diseases like cancer, Alzheimer ’ second, and heart disease ( 9, 10, 11 ). For model, autophagy may prevent damage parts of your cells from accumulating, which is a hazard agent for many cancers. This may help prevent cancer cells from growing ( 12 ). Animal studies have systematically found that water system fast helps promote autophagy. Animal studies besides show that autophagy may help extend liveliness cross ( 1, 3, 13 ). That said, there are identical few human studies on water fast, autophagy, and disease prevention. More inquiry is needed before recommending it to promote autophagy.

May help lower blood pressure

research shows that longer, medically monitor water fasts may help people with high lineage pressure lower their blood pressure ( 14, 15 ). In one cogitation, 68 people who had borderline high lineage pressure water fasted for about 14 days under medical supervision. At the end of the debauched, 82 % of people saw their rake pressure accrue to healthy levels ( 120/80 mmHg or less ). additionally, the average cliff in blood pressure was 20 mmHg for systolic ( the upper value ) and 7 mmHg for diastolic ( the lower value ), which is meaning ( 14 ). In another study, 174 people with high blood blackmail water fasted for an average of 10–11 days. At the end of the fast, 90 % of people achieved a lineage blackmail lower than 140/90 mmHg — the limits used to diagnose senior high school blood pressure. additionally, the average fall in systolic lineage imperativeness ( the upper value ) was a substantial 37 mmHG ( 15 ). unfortunately, no human studies have investigated the link between short-run water fasts ( 24–72 hours ) and blood pressure .

May improve insulin and leptin sensitivity

Insulin and leptin are important hormones that affect the body ’ s metamorphosis. Insulin helps the body shop nutrients from the bloodstream, while leptin helps the body feel full ( 16, 17 ). research shows that water system fast could make your consistency more sensitive to leptin and insulin. Greater sensitivity makes these hormones more effective ( 18, 19, 20, 21 ). For model, being more insulin medium means your torso is more effective at reducing its blood sugar levels. interim, being more leptin sensible could help your soundbox process hunger signals more efficiently, and in turn, lower your risk of fleshiness ( 22, 23 ) .

May lower the risk of several chronic diseases

There is some evidence that water fast may lower the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease ( 2, 24, 25 ). In one study, 30 goodly adults followed a urine fast for 24 hours. After the fast, they had importantly lower lineage levels of cholesterol and triglycerides — two risk factors for heart disease ( 26 ). respective animal studies have besides found that water fast may protect the heart against damage from spare radicals ( 2, 27 ). barren radicals are fluid molecules that can damage parts of cells. They are known to play a function in many chronic diseases ( 28 ). furthermore, animal research has found that water fast may suppress genes that help cancer cells grow. It may besides improve the effects of chemotherapy ( 29 ). Keep in mind, only a handful of studies have analyzed the effects of water fast in humans. More research in humans is needed before making recommendations .

Summary research shows that water fast may lower the risk of many chronic diseases and promote autophagy. however, most research is from animal or short-run studies. More studies are needed before recommending it .

Dangers and risks of water fasting

Although water fast may have some benefits, it comes with health risks. here are a few dangers and risks of water fast .

May lose the wrong type of weight

Because a water system fast restricts calories, you will lose a fortune of weight cursorily. In fact, inquiry shows that you may lose up to 2 pounds ( 0.9 kilogram ) each day of a 24- to 72-hour water fast ( 7 ). unfortunately, a set of the weight you lose may come from water, carbs, and even muscle bulk .

May become dehydrated

Although it sounds foreign, a water fast could make you dehydrated. This is because roughly 20–30 % of your casual body of water consumption comes from the foods you eat ( 30 ). If you ’ re drinking the lapp total of urine but not eat foods, you might not be getting enough water. Symptoms of dehydration include dizziness, nausea, headaches, constipation, low blood pressure, and depleted productivity. To avoid dehydration, you may need to drink more than common ( 31 ) .

May experience orthostatic hypotension

orthostatic hypotension is common among people who water fast ( 32 ). It ’ mho defined as a drop in blood atmospheric pressure that happens when you abruptly stand up, and it can leave you dizzy, lightheaded, and at risk of faint ( 7, 32, 33 ). If you experience orthostatic hypotension while fasting, you may need to avoid drive or operating clayey machinery. The dizziness and risk of faint could lead to an accident. If you experience these symptoms during a water fast, this firm may not suit you .

Water fasting may worsen several medical conditions

Although a water fast is relatively short, there are a few conditions that may be aggravated by water fast. People with the follow medical conditions should not water system fast without first seeking advice from their healthcare provider :

  • Gout. Water fasting may increase uric acid production, a risk factor for gout attacks (7, 34).
  • Eating disorders. There is some evidence that fasting may encourage eating disorders like bulimia, especially in teenagers (35).

Summary Although water system fast may have some health benefits, it comes with many risks and dangers. For example, water system fast could make you prone to muscle loss, dehydration, rake imperativeness changes, and a variety of other health conditions .

Will water fasting help you lose weight?

Like other types of fast, body of water fast can help you lose weight. however, it comes with plenty of health risks. If you want to reap the benefits of fasting but besides want to lose slant, intermittent fast and alternate-day fast are credibly more effective approaches. These fasts provide similar health benefits but can be followed for much longer periods, as they allow you to eat food, decreasing the gamble of food deficiencies ( 36, 37 ) .

Summary A body of water debauched can help you lose weight, but other types of fast can offer you the benefits of fast and weight loss with fewer risks .

The bottom line

Water fast is a popular method of fasting that may have some health benefits.

however, most of the health benefits of body of water fast have been observed in animal studies, and the same effects might not apply to humans. Water fast besides comes with several risks, specially if you fast for longer than 3 days or have medical conditions like gout or diabetes. If you want the health benefits of fast, try safer methods like intermittent fast or alternate-day fast. These fasts allow you to eat some food, making them easier to follow long term .

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