Is Water Fasting Safe? The Pros and Cons of This Popular Diet Trend

  • 24 months ago
5 minute read.
Is Water Fasting Safe? The Pros and Cons of This Popular Diet Trend

How safe is water fasting? This question comes up a lot, as more and more people adopt the diet trend as a way to lose weight or get healthier.

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. Others are merely curious about the practice and want to know if there are any benefits to be gained from it.

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. Here are the pros and cons of water fasting to help you figure out if it’s something you want to try.

What is water fasting?

Water fasting involves drinking nothing but water—not even tea or coffee. A few studies have demonstrated that it can be as effective as a controlled diet for weight loss, but there aren’t many good studies out there to back up these claims. In some cases, not drinking during a fast can cause dehydration and other problems that could require medical treatment.

Also read: 4 ways in which fasting helps build self-control

Ideal ways to do water fasting?

There are two primary ways to water fast:

  1. One is a standard fast in which you eat nothing but water for anywhere from 12 to 24 hours and then add in fresh fruits or vegetables.
  2. The other involves consuming nothing but water along with vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other supplements throughout the entire day. Both are effective when it comes to weight loss.

Benefits of doing water fasting

#1. You’ll lose weight quickly:

You can drop as much as 2-3 pounds in a week by fasting on water alone. If you’re trying to lose weight, you might want to consider water fasting since it could help you shed pounds faster than many other weight loss methods.

#2. Anti-Aging:

Water fasting can help you live longer since it reduces oxidative stress in your body. Oxidative stress is caused by free radicals, which are unstable molecules that cause damage to your cells as they try to stabilize themselves. Water fasting can also make your immune system stronger, reduce inflammation, and improve the way your cells repair themselves, which makes you age slower.

#3. Improved Digestion:

When you eat a meal, food goes through several phases in your digestive tract before it’s absorbed into your bloodstream as nutrients. One of these phases is called intestinal transit time, which refers to how long it takes for food to travel from your stomach to your colon. If you have a slow intestinal transit time, then you may experience bloating and constipation because undigested foods will spend too much time in your intestines. 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.

Is Your Digestive System Healthy

#4. Reduced Inflammation:

Water fasting can help reduce inflammation in your body by reducing oxidative stress, which 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. If you want to live a long life without these diseases, then water fasting could be an effective way to keep your body free from inflammation-causing toxins.

#5. Chronic Disease Prevention:

Water fasting can help you prevent chronic diseases by boosting your immune system, reducing inflammation, improving digestion, and purging toxins from your body. If you want to live a long life without having to deal with chronic diseases like heart disease or diabetes, then water fasting could be an effective way to keep your body free from these problems.

#6. Improved Mental Health:

Water fasting can help improve mental health by purging toxins that may be causing depression or anxiety. It’s also 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. If you want to live a long life without having to deal with diseases like Alzheimer’s, then water fasting could be an effective way to reduce oxidative stress in your body and boost your immune system.

Who should avoid water fasting?

If you’re in poor health, have a chronic illness, or have a history of disordered eating, then water fasting isn’t for you. If you suffer from an eating disorder, it’s especially important to avoid water fasting.

  • Children under 18.
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women.
  • People with a history of eating disorders, disordered eating, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, Orthorexia Nervosa, or any other mental health condition that may be affected by fasting.
  • People who are underweight (BMI < 18.5).
  • People who have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, or pre-diabetes.
  • People taking prescription medications that may be affected by fasting (for example, insulin)
  • People taking non-prescription medications may be affected by fasting (for example, blood pressure medication).

How long can you fast?

For safety reasons, water fasting is usually restricted to a maximum of 24–48 hours. After 24–48 hours, you should gradually introduce solid foods back into your diet. You should not water fast for longer than 2 days in a row. Although many people can water fast safely for up to 2-3 days, it’s best to talk with your doctor before attempting such an extended fast.

What are the negative health effects of water fasting?

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 headaches, fatigue, and nausea.

Other negative effects could be decreased productivity due to the above 2 effects, disturbed electrolyte balance, and the worst-lost weight might regain.

It’s also 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 as a way to lose weight quickly, talk to your doctor first about whether it’s right for you.


Water fasting is a weight loss technique that dates back to ancient times. It has been used as a cleansing method and can help detoxify your body of harmful toxins. However, some adverse side effects are associated with water fasting, including fatigue, dizziness, muscle cramps, and nausea. If you’re interested in water fasting for weight loss or health reasons, consult with your doctor first to ensure it’s safe for you.

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