Nowadays, fasting is more popular than it ever was before. Many people include it in their lifestyle for its numerous health benefits. There are two popular ways to fast properly.
One way is consuming no food or beverages for a selected period; this is known as “Intermittent fasting.” The other way is known as “water fasting,” as the name implies it is without any restriction of water intake.
There are countless health benefits of water fasting. Fasting with water means you cannot consume any food or any other beverages, excluding water that means no coffee, tea, or any other zero-calorie drink.
Water is an entirely calorie-free beverage; thus, oxygen in water improves your digestive system and helps your liver to eliminate harmful toxins out of your body.
It is also known as “water cleansing.” When you are fasting with water, your body undergoes the detoxification process, which effectively removes toxins from your body.
The typical period of water fasting lasts about 24 to 48 hours. However, for your safety, it is recommended that you should not continue your water fast for more than 72 hours.
Health Benefits Of Water Fasting
There are numerous benefits of water fasting, but you should know that researches are very limited to human beings.
Therefore, probable risks may compensate for the benefits of water fasting if it is not done properly or continued for a longer period.
Water fasting is also beneficial for skin as it increases the production of collagen in the skin.
The following are some major benefits of fasting with water that will surely motivate you to adapt to fasting as a healthy choice.
1. Lowers Blood Pressure
Consuming less salt and drinking more water is associated with lowering blood pressure.
The good thing is that fasting with water allows you to do both things, which effectively reduces your blood pressure.
Medical research and studies reveal that fasting with water effectively lowers blood pressure in patients with borderline hypertension.
It also reduces your blood pressure to a healthy level of 120/80 mmHg or less.
However, the subjects in these studies fasted for approximately 14 days or more, which is highly not recommended without medical supervision.
Unfortunately, there is not much research available on short-term periods of 24 to 72 hours in humans.
Thus, water fasting results may be different for 2 to 3 days as compared to long-term water fasting.
2. Detoxification & Autophagy
Many of the toxic chemicals are formed by metabolism in your body. They are stored in fat cells far away from normal blood circulation to protect the body’s cells and organs.
During fasting, your body utilizes fat to meet the energy requirements.
Therefore, toxins stored in fat cells are also removed by your body.
This process of toxin removal that your body undergoes during a water fast is known as water cleansing or detoxification.
Since during water fast, your body does not have much to digest. Thus, blood circulation increases into your major detoxifying organs such as lungs and kidneys to help eliminate more toxins from your body.
Moreover, your fat cells are also used and replaced by your body during the water. This process your body undergoes is known as “autophagy.” Studies show that autophagy effectively aids in preventing heart diseases, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.
However, recent researches on animals show that fasting with water contributes to autophagy.
Unfortunately, we cannot be sure that it is true for human beings too. There are very limited studies supporting the relationship between autophagy and water fasting in humans.
3. Weight Loss
One of the major benefits of water fasting is that it promotes weight loss.
During a water fast, you are restricted from eating any food; thus, you are more likely to experience weight loss.
Not surprisingly, at first, your body tends to lose water weight and glycogen instead of actual fat.
Afterward, your body does not have access to carbohydrates, and it takes a couple of days for it to happen.
Then your body starts burning stored fat as primary sources for energy are already utilized. So, water fast can be very effective when it comes to losing body fat.
Recent studies prove that fat loss is factual besides the water weight you lose, which will probably come back.
An average person can expect to cut off 1 to 2 pounds a day, considering that you do it in a proper healthy way.
Therefore, doctors highly recommend that you should not overdo it in terms of losing more weight or continue it for too long even to ignore the signs and symptoms that you should stop.
4. Boosts Immune System
Just like other cells, white blood cells have a limited lifespan as well. With aging and with time, they become less functional.
Water fast is very beneficial for your body’s immune system.
Recent studies reveal that after four days of water fast, your body stimulates stem cells to produce new functional white blood cells, with increased immunity against infections and diseases.
Doctors suggest that this is very beneficial for people with weak immune systems or chemotherapy patients.
It is also very beneficial for adults as their white blood cells become less functional and immune system less effective with aging.
Recent studies prove that water fast for a minimum of at least four days not only forces your body to utilize fat cells as energy.
Nevertheless, it breaks down a huge amount of white blood cells too, which are probably less functional or damaged white blood cells.
5. Prevents Inflammation
Water fasting plays an important role in preventing inflammation. By just fasting with water for 3 to 7 days, you can effectively reduce inflammation and other health issues related to it.
Moreover, water fasting also improves autoimmune inflammatory conditions such as “rheumatoid arthritis” and other diseases caused by inflammation.
Recent studies show that fasting with water effectively aids in decreasing inflammation levels in your body and promotes healthy living
Another research among 50 adults showed a significant decrease in inflammatory markers after water fasting for 12 hours a day for a minimum of 30 days.
Furthermore, consuming a very low-calorie diet with water fasting has proven to reduce inflammatory levels. It is very beneficial in treating a chronic inflammatory condition known as “multiple sclerosis.”
Despite the numerous benefits of fasting with water, it is still not safe for everyone to water fast.
It is highly recommended that you should not water fast and seek advice from a medical professional before you consider doing it.
If you are/have:
- under 18
- pregnant or breastfeeding
- heart problems
- undergoing blood transfusion
- uncontrolled migraines