“Dry” fasting (without water) is the most effective form of fasting. It activates mechanisms that allow a much faster body cleanse than with water.
If you haven’t read articles on intermittent fasting or prolonged fasting, I encourage you to do so in order to better understand its benefits, and how to practice it properly.
Let’s see what the dry fast is, and what are the benefits.
What does dry fasting exactly means? Nothing is more simple: no food, no water!
It can seem scary, but in fact, your body knows how to handle this situation very well. Many animals find themselves temporarily deprived of food and water, and activate survival mechanisms to escape death. And we are no exception. Fasting is a great way to discover yourself: how do you behave without food and water?
Fasting can be practiced in two ways: intermittent fasting, or prolonged fasting. Each of these 2 versions can be practiced without water. A very famous example of dry intermittent fasting is Ramadan.
(Too many) people think hard that you have to drink a lot, continually, in order to hydrate and eliminate. Media hype is largely responsible. For some, drinking has become an obsession. In fact, if we eat properly, with lots of fruits and vegetables, we need very little water.
Yellow urine means that you drink the right amount of water. If it’s too bright, you drink too much. If it’s too dark or brown, you are dehydrated. It’s as simple as that.
One of the biggest mistakes during a fast is to believe that you need to drink a lot of water. During the fast, you don’t need to drink… at all!
A little note though: if your fast is prolonged, it’s safer to drink a little (but not necessarily every day).
60% of our weight is composed of water molecules5
The principle is the same as for water fasting… but without water! I therefore let you to check the previous articles about fasting for more details:
- Intermittent fasting
- Extended fast
Depending on the duration of the fast, heat or other parameters, you may need to drink a little water. It’s not a crime. If you are really thirsty, drink!!
Some people wonder around with many questions. Just go experiment and listen to your body. If you feel really bad or dehydrated, don’t hesitate to make the decision to hydrate yourself, even break the fast and feed yourself. Trust yourself!
You can always try another fast later. Do not put too much pressure on yourself, and don’t put yourself in danger.
In some rare cases, body temperature may increase. Some say that fever during dry fasting is a good sign: the body fights infections.
When I discovered that I could fast without water, and when I saw the benefits that came with it, I immediately adopted this variant! For now I mainly do some intermittent fasting, which is sometimes close to Ramadan: no food or water before the evening meal. I sometimes feel a little weak, but the next days I usually feel good!
This let me to see that I was drinking too much water every day, and I feel better now by drinking less.
And you? Does dry fasting scare you?
- Dietary Reference Intakes for Water, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, and Sulfate (2005)
Chapter: 4 Water1(this can vary between 45% and 75% following individuals). And our body knows how to use it! If you stop drinking temporarily, your body will use its reserves. So, no need to panic, and trust your body.
The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition published in 2003 a study stating that no problem was found concerning water deprivation during the fast of Ramadan2Effects on health of fluid restriction during fasting in Ramadan3.
That being said, let’s stay reasonable: if you are too thirsty, drink!
Dry fasting is an accelerated version of water fasting. It is of a impressive efficiency. Some people even say that 24 hours of dry fasting is equivalent to 72 hours of water fasting.
With traditional fasting, you switch to the dominant ketogenic mode in 48 to 72 hours. With dry fasting, it’s only 12 to 24 hours.
Experiment and you will see!
The benefits below are in addition to the benefits of water fasting! Which makes a very impressive amount of bullet points:
- Hunger disappears faster
- The cells divide faster: the body needs nutrients, but mostly water
- The water generated by the body is pure: no heavy metals or endocrine disruptors, usually contained in the water you drink (unless you have a reverse osmosis filter)
- Decreased inflammations: this mechanism needs lymphatic fluid, and therefore water
- The body optimizes its water management in order to preserve only healthy cells: the damaged cells, as well as various bacteria, viruses and parasites will then be deprived of water and die
- Water deprivation at the cellular level favors the use of adipose tissue (fat)4Cell hydration and mTOR-dependent signaling
- Favorable Changes in Lipid Profile: The Effects of Fasting after Ramadan
- Fasting during Ramadan induces a marked increase in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and decrease in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.
- Beneficial changes in serum apo A-1 and its ratio to apo B and HDL in stable hyperlipidaemic subjects after Ramadan fasting in Kuwait.
- Effect of Ramadan fasting in Saudi Arabia on serum bone profile and immunoglobulins
- Anthropometric, Hemodynamic, Metabolic, and Renal Responses during 5 Days of Food and Water Deprivation