Is Water Fasting Safe? Here's What You Should Know

Hold off the hunger pangs! Water fasting is more than just skipping meals! But is it safe? here you can find the entire truth about water fasting.

Is Water Fasting Safe? Here's What You Should Know

What does Water Fasting mean?

Water fasting is a fasting method that involves the person to abstain all varieties of food and drinks except water. This fasting has been used for centuries for spiritual, religious, and several health reasons. Throughout history, the practice of water fasting was implemented to purify the self and enhance self-discipline to seek spiritual enlightenment. A crucial part when it comes to water fasting is, making sure you are physically and mentally prepared to undertake this. Oh, why did I make it sound like water fasting requires psychological strength? Well, it can be risky at times, and here in this blog I have detailed the exact reason why it might pose a threat. With that being said, let me dissect the different types of Water Fasting.

Different Types of Water Fasting:

Different tyoes of fasting

A citation from research from M. Brady, S. Kinn, cites “Shortened preoperative fluid fasts do not increase the risk of aspiration, regurgitation, or related morbidity in adults.” Water fasting is more like an umbrella, it has several terms interlinked to it. We might be aware of intermittent fasting, related to that there are OMAD, alternate day fasting, and extended fasting, these fasting functions from a few days to multiple weeks. Each fasting has its own benefits.

Discomfort That People experience while in water fasting:

As you proceed with water fasting without the intake of any foods, it becomes a challenging journey. Some experience strange behavior and pain in their body, here's a glimpse of all the potential discomfort one may experience while they are embarking on their water fasting journey:

Hunger Pangs: In the initial stages your stomach growls with pain, sooner the growling fades and the pain invades. This is a stage where your body adjusts to the lack of incoming fuel.

Lethargy: The body enters pervasive tiredness, and a lack of motivation this is nothing to worry much about, this is your body's reaction toward general sluggishness. But, here's the catch, even simple tasks appear more like a monumental effort. This makes you re-think if you must proceed with water fasting further or stop in the middle, but in the end, it is totally your call.

Headaches and Dizziness: This is unskippable just like YouTube ads, changes in blood sugar levels and dehydration play a peal role here which further triggers headaches. Lightheadedness and dizziness are quite common as well, especially when you stand up or when you change positions quickly.

Brain Fogs: Along with brain fog, many who tried water fasting complained they also suffered to focus for a longer span. You can't concentrate easily, you often tend to forget things, and even the simple tasks appear as if they are overburdened to do!

The Mood Swings:  The stress you get from hunger can affect you physiologically, and give rise to irritability and mood swings (mood tsunamis). Patience grows thin, and frustration seems to be the only thing that surrounds you!

Nausea, Constipation: People with breathing difficulties reported experiencing nausea during their water fasting. And your digestive systems get accustomed, as you never let your intestine potentially to intake any food.

Sleep Discomfort: You will face issues Falling asleep or staying awake during work hours. You can often experience vivid dreams which can disrupt your normal sleep patterns.

Health Benefits of Water Fasting

Weight Loss and Metabolic Benefits

People usually see the result of water fasting! When I say “result” the first thing that comes to everybody’s head is nothing but “weight loss.” However, the rapid weight loss is a positive result of reduced inflammation and improved insulin sensitivity. This plays a massive role in our well-being and health.

Potential for Improved Mental Clarity and Focus

The advocates for water fasting addressed they have enhanced mental clarity, and more focus during their fast.

Potential Health Risks and Challenges from Water Fasting

Nutritional Deficiencies

Undertaking waterfasting for prolonged amounts of time can lead to vitamin deficiencies, and a lack of protein and minerals as well. This could possibly bring in health hazards if they are not managed properly.

Potential Impact on Muscle Mass

Autophagy is a process where your body eats muscles for energy, and a person who undergoes water fasting will have to overcome this phase. But this can also be a threat to some, this may result in a negative implication for your physical health.

Risks for Individuals with Certain Medical Conditions

People having certain medical conditions must stay back from the concept of water fasting. People with diabetes, eating disorders, and chronic illness may face negative reactions if they take in water fasting. At this point, it becomes a potential threat to your health.

How to manage hunger during water fasting?

Drinking plenty of water is an easy step to consider, this provides temporary comfort. Intake 

Herbal Teas:

Herbal tea for water fasting

Plain herbal teas are absolutely fine to intake while you are doing your water fasting! Just make sure that there are no hidden ingredients such as "natural flavors" 

Stay Busy:

Reading a book to deal with hunger pangs

Perform the activities that keep your mind and body engaged. To keep your mind engaged, you can consider reading a book. If you want to indulge more in it, you can try fictional books.

And if you can't distract yourself from feeling hungry, then you can try physical activities that contain light exercises.

Sugar-Free Gum:

A image of someone consuming a sugar free gum

Chewing Sugar-free gums can help you with a sense of oral satisfaction and reduce your craving for hunger. 

Adequate Sleep:

Make sure you get enough time to rest your eyes! Quality sleep can make you to reduce your urge to eat and pace with your hunger hormone.

Infused Waters:

Infused Water

An infusion of cucumber, lemon, or berries in your water adds flavor and makes the process of drinking an enjoyable one. Stay hydrated with flavored waters, this plays a major role in suppressing your hunger and prevents your streak of boredom of drinking plain water.

Cold Showers:

An image displaying cold Shower

Taking a cold shower helps you reduce the feeling of cravings, especially when you are in the middle of your water fasting. This stimulates your endorphins and helps you with increased alertness.

Preparing for a Water Fast

Pre-fast Dietary Changes

Before proceeding with water fasting, it is advised to prepare your body to adapt to these changes. The fasting is not just a usual one, it is a transition, so in this case, before you proceed with the fasting you must intake a diet that is rich in nutrients and whole foods.

Hydration and Electrolyte Balance

Don’t be tricked into thinking that if you drink massive amounts of water you will be properly hydrated, if there’s a lack of electrolyte balance in your body, you will be water-deprived. This means if there’s a loss of balance in electrolytes, it is similar to dehydration, and prolonged water fasting might also make you a victim of potential nutrient deficiencies. Traditionally water fasting involves the consumption of water only, other beverages and food are excluded. But during water fasting you can consume water added with electrolyte supplements.

Psychological and Emotional Preparation

As water fasting packs a lot of benefits like weight loss, and health improvement, it is essential to consider these practises with professional guidance at all costs. And I would also like to inform you of the fact that it requires severe commitment. As I mentioned at the start, it is crucial to keep in check that you are mentally and emotionally prepared for water fasting it might require a significant commitment and may also impose psychological effects that must be addressed. 


Water fasting is a powerful process that embarks multiple benefits, but be careful to consider your health status before you indulge fully. After all, the choices we make often come up with a reward right?