What’s the deal with water fasting?

Water fasting involves drinking nothing but water—not even tea or coffee. Few have demonstrated that it can be as effective as a controlled diet for weight loss, but there isn’t a lot of evidence out there to back up these claims.

Although many people have turned to this diet trend with the intention of losing weight, others have adopted it as a way to cleanse their bodies of toxins and reset their digestive systems. Like any other popular health regimen, it’s important to do some research on the risks and benefits before you start, so you know exactly what you’re getting into.

There are two ways to water fast:

  1. One is a simple fast in which you eat nothing but water for anywhere from 12 to 24 hours followed by the gradual introduction of fresh fruits or vegetables to your diet.
  2. The other involves consuming nothing but water along with vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other supplements throughout the day.

So what exactly are the benefits of water fasting?

Both methods of water fasting are effective when it comes to weight loss. You can drop as much as 2-3 pounds in a week by fasting on water alone.

Sustaining yourself only on water for an extended period of time reduces oxidative stress in your body. Oxidative stress – caused by free radicals, which are unstable molecules that cause damage to your cells – is one of the main causes of inflammation. Many chronic diseases are linked to inflammation, including heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and even cancer. Water fasting can help you prevent chronic diseases by boosting your immune system, reducing inflammation and purging toxins from your body. Water fasting can also improve the way your cells repair themselves, which in turn, makes you age slower.

Water fasting can also improve digestion. A phase of digestion known as intestinal transit time, refers to how long it takes for food to travel from your stomach to your colon. If you have a slow intestinal transit time, you may experience bloating and/or constipation because undigested foods will remain in your intestines for some time. By getting rid of toxins that are causing constipation or other digestive problems, water fasting can speed up the time it takes for food to move through the intestines.

The purging of toxins, that may be causing depression or anxiety, during water fasting can be very beneficial for mental wellness. Water fasting can also be a good way to give your brain a rest from food so that you can think more clearly, which is important for anyone who needs to perform at their best mentally.

Is water fasting safe for everyone?

For safety reasons, water fasting is usually restricted to a maximum of 24–48 hours. After this, you should gradually introduce solid foods back into your diet. You should not water fast for longer than 2 days in a row. Fasting will help you lose weight, but it can come with some negative side effects. Water fasting for a long period of time can cause your body to become deficient in certain nutrients, which can lead to an electrolyte imbalance that can cause headaches, fatigue, nausea and decreased productivity.

Water fasting is not safe for people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have existing health conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure. If you’re considering water fasting for weight loss or health reasons, consult with your doctor first to ensure it’s safe for you.

Amy R
Author: Amy R

County Medical

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