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Is Water Fasting Safe?

Water Fasting is a term used when an individual does not have any intake of food except water. This form of fasting is practiced in many countries as a ritual in Asia like India. However, people also practice Water Fasting as a means to lose weight and in some cases to fight certain medical conditions [2].

Various studies conducted on the pros and cons of Water Fasting have come up with varying opinions. Some studies have highlighted the benefits such as weight loss with occasional water fasting although they also suggest that there are other more effective ways to manage weight than Water Fasting [1].

Studies also suggest the positive physiological effect that water fasting has on people practicing it even though the safety of such a practice is still debatable since not much research has been done on it. A research data studying adverse events occurring due to Water Fasting suggests that at maximum only mild to moderate noticeable events were observed [1].

Studies also suggest that water fasting should only be done at a time when the energy needs of the body is at a minimum. The above data does suggest that water fasting is safe; however, details of how safe water fasting is has been detailed below in the article [1].

Is Water Fasting Safe?

Is Water Fasting Safe?

There is no bench mark as to the length of the water fasting; however, most physicians agree that it should be no longer than three days at a maximum to be safe for an individual to go without food. Water Fasting is considered to be quite safe and has varying degree of health benefits; however, there are also some risks involved [1].

This is especially true in people who do water fasting too frequently and for prolonged periods of time. Age and certain medical conditions also play a factor in determining the safety of Water Fasting. For such individuals it is best to seek consultation from a healthcare physician if they wish to start water fasting [2].

It is also not safe to do water fasting in people under the age of 16, older than age of 65, and critically ill people. People with risk factors for cardiac conditions can benefit from short term water fasting. Additionally, people with hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and diabetes also can benefit from practicing water fasting once in a while [2].
The biggest advantage of water fasting is for people who are overweight and wish to lose it in a healthy manner even though there are alternatives such as exercising and burning calories which also have the same effect [2].

In conclusion, Water Fasting is considered to be quite safe if it is done within the parameters as advised by the physicians. Water Fasting should not be done for more than three days in a stretch. There are a variety of health benefits such as weight loss which can be achieved from water fasting [1,2].

Additionally, water fasting is also considered to be beneficial for people with high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiac risk factors. Thus it is not too bad for the body to stay away from food completely for a day or two to stay fit and healthy [2].


Also Read:

Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:May 23, 2019

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