Can you drink water when fasting? Should you do it or not?

Can you drink water when fasting?

Can you drink water when fasting? It depends on your reason for fasting. If it is intermittent fasting then you most certainly should!

Please note: if you are doing a blood test, you will need to touch base with your physician or clinic. This post covers drinking water for intermittent fasting.

  • Fasting becomes much harder without water and has no additional health benefits
  • While we recommend drinking water while fasting, this may not be possible for religious reasons such as during the holy month of Ramadan for Muslims
  • Depending on what kind of fast you want to do and what you’re looking to achieve, you could drink more than just water

It’s been known that humans can survive without food for weeks on end (as shown by Gandhi [1] and extended fasters). However, it’s estimated that the human body can survive 2-3 days without water. There is no precise answer (considering the ethical considerations of studying this) and some sources even say 4-5, which we think is generous.

The issues accompanied with dehydration significantly supersede starvation which include [2]:

  • Heat injury (cramps, exhaustion, heat stroke)
  • Urinary kidney problems (infection, kidney stones, kidney failure)
  • Seizures
  • Low blood volume shock (hypovolemic shock, low blood volume leads to less oxygen in your body)

Furthermore, with starvation (fasting), you may feel hungry, get headaches, or be irritable. Your body has evolved to access and burn fat stores in these periods and again, most people in modern society have enough to survive a week without complications.

Prolonged fasts of a couple months require salt and vitamin intake.

What else can you drink when fasting?

This is all dependent on what kind of fast you are doing. Firstly, practitioners of intermittent fasting will say different things (whatever you’re comfortable with, water only, and even small meals included). Secondly, it depends on what benefits you want from fasting. Lastly, drinking only water or tea is the most ideal because of them being near zero calories.

4  Drinks You Can Have When Fasting For Weight Loss

  1. Water
  2. Black Coffee (No sugar, milk, or cream)
  3. Green Tea (No sugar, milk, or cream)
  4. Matcha Tea (What is matcha green tea?)
  5. Black Tea (No sugar, milk, or cream)

I hope I’ve answered your question: “Can you drink water when fasting?”. In short, the answer is YES, but may not be the case with consideration to your situation.

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Sources

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fasts_undertaken_by_Mahatma_Gandhi
[2] https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dehydration/symptoms-causes/syc-20354086


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