Ali Spagnola interviewed me about transforming my body over 5 months through dry fasting. You can follow her on Instagram here.
Today’s post is about dry fasting. I have actually covered plenty of other elements of periodic fasting, consisting of suggestions around longer fasts, but recently I have actually gotten enough concerns about this specific angle that I believed I ‘d address it.
Dry fasting is going without both food and fluid. That implies no coffee, no tea, no broth, and no water or liquid of any kind (other than the saliva you manage to produce). It’s a severe kind of fast whose fans and professionals are adamant that it can solve severe health problems. Does it? Is it safe? And what kind of research is offered on it?
Where Does the Idea of Healing Dry Fasting Come From?
The primary supporter of dry fasting is a Russian medical professional called Sergei Filonov. Filonov is still practicing from what I can tell, somewhere in the Altai mountains that span Central Asia. I discovered an extremely rough English translation of his book– Dry Medical Fasting: Truths and myths. Difficult to read completely since it’s not an expert translation, but manageable in little pieces.
His fundamental thesis is that dry fasting creates a competitive environment in between healthy cells, unhealthy cells, and pathogens for a scarce resource: water. The dry fast function as an effective selective pressure, permitting the strong cells to endure and the weak and unsafe cells to die off. The end outcome, according to Filonov, is that the body immune system burns through the weak cells for energy and to conserve water for the practical cells, resulting in a more powerful organism in general. He points to how animals in nature will hole up in a safe, comfy area and take neither food nor water when recovering from major conditions, illness, or injuries that avoid them from moving around.
However when they’re able to move while recuperating from more minor concerns, they’ll consume water and abstain from food. I’m partial to this naturalistic line of idea, but I do not understand if the claims about animal behavior throughout illness are true.
Another claim is that dry fasting speeds up fat loss relative to fasts that consist of water. There may be something to this, as body fat is actually a source of “metabolic water”– internal water the body can rely on when exogenous water is restricted. Burning 100 grams of fat produces 110 grams of water, whereas burning the same amount of carbohydrate produces just 50 grams of water.
Exist Any Dry Fasting Studies?
We do not have numerous long term dry fasting studies. We have one 5-day study in healthy grownups. For five days, 10 healthy adults refrained from eating food or drinking water. Numerous physiological criteria were tracked daily, including bodyweight, kidney function, heart rate, electrolyte status, and circumference of the waist, hip, neck, and chest.
Participants slimmed down (over 2 pounds a day) and inches off of various circumferences, including waist, hip, neck, and chest. The drop in waist circumference was especially big– about 8 centimeters by day five. High blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen salt, saturation and potassium levels, creatinine, and urea all remained steady throughout the study. Creatinine clearance– which can be a marker of muscle breakdown but also a normal artifact of fasting– increased by approximately 167%.
The most voluminous research study we have on dry fasting is the Ramadan literature. During the month of Ramadan, practicing Muslims complete an everyday dry fast– from sunrise to sundown– every day. They consume no food and beverage no fluids throughout daylight hours, which, in the countries where Islam initially emerged, run about 15-16 hours. These are shorter dry fasts than the 5-day quick comprehensive above.
What takes place to health markers throughout Ramadan? Primarily good ideas.
In fatty liver patients, Ramadan fasting lowers blood sugar, insulin levels, inflammatory markers.
In overweight and obese topics, Ramadan fasting decreases inflammatory markers, body weight, and insulin resistance.
In obese adults, Ramadan fasting enhances the lipid profile.
Athletic performance is compromised throughout Ramadan (like impaired maximal force production of the muscles), though not as much as you ‘d expect.
A 15- or 16- hour dry quick isn’t very extreme, even in the hot environments of the Near East. Two or three day-long dry fasts, particularly in hot weather, is another thing entirely. What works and is safe across 16 hours may not be reliable or safe over 3 or four days.
I question if there’s a hereditary component to dry fasting tolerance, too. Have populations who’ve invested thousands of years in hot, dry, desert-like environments established higher hereditary tolerance of periods without water? I find it likely, though I have not seen any hereditary data one way or the other. It’s an interesting thing to ponder.
Is Dry Fasting Safe?
Undoubtedly, avoiding water can be harmful. While we’ve seen individuals go without food for as long as a year (offered you have enough adipose tissue to burn, take minerals and vitamins, and are under medical supervision), going without water is a riskier proposal. The number I’ve constantly heard was 3 weeks without food, three days without water, though I’ve never ever actually seen it validated or sourced.
One reason I’m skeptical of “three days” as a quick and difficult guideline is that most cases of people dying of dehydration happen in alarming scenarios. Individuals are lost out in the wilderness, hiking around in vain searching for their way back to the trailhead. They’re thrown in jail after a night out drinking and forgotten by the guards for three days. They’re spending 24 hours dancing in a tent in the desert on several psychoactive drugs. These are severe circumstances that truly increase the requirement for water. Your water requirements will be much higher if you’re treking around in heat bathing in stress-induced cortisol and adrenaline, or dancing hard for hours on end. Really rarely do we hear of people setting out to avoid water on purpose for medical advantages, water on hand in case things go south, and ending up dehydrated. Part of the factor is that very few individuals are dry fasting, so the swimming pool of prospective proof is little. I picture this last group will have more freedom.
Still, if you’re going to attempt dry fasting, you have to take some basic precautions.
When Dry Fasting, 6 Precautions To Take
1. Get Your Doctor’s Okay
Sure, the majority of will be skeptical at best, however I ‘d still advise not skipping this step– especially if you have a health condition or take any kind of medication. Diuretics (often used for blood pressure management), for one example, include another layer to this image.
2. No Exercise
Avoid anything more intense than walking. For one, the hypohydration will incline you to middling outcomes, increasing cortisol and minimizing testosterone. 2, the hypohydration may progress quickly to dehydration. If you’re going to exercise during a dry quick, “break” the quick with water first and then train.
3. Keep It Brief
Yes, there was the 5-day study, but those people were being kept an eye on by doctors every single day. I ‘d say 16-24 hours is a safe ceiling and most likely provides most of the benefits (as Ramadan literature programs). Any longer, buyer beware. (And, naturally, ensure you get completely hydrated in between any dry fasts you might do.).
4. Fast While You Sleep.
Ramadan-style probably isn’t perfect from a pure physiological viewpoint. The length (16 hours) is excellent, but the consuming schedule is not. Those who observe Ramadan fasting routine frequently awaken before daybreak to suit food. They may keep up late to eat more. They go to sleep in a well-fed state, never quite making the most of the 8 hours of “complimentary” fasting time sleep usually provides (and, obviously, that’s not what their fasting practice has to do with). For a health-motivated dry quickly, on the other hand, you should take advantage of it.
5. Take Weather Condition Into Account.
Hot, damp weather will typically trigger the most water loss. Cold, dry weather will cause the least. Change your dry fasting period accordingly.
6. Listen To Your Body.
I’ve said this a million times, but it’s particularly worth saying here. Listen to your instinct rather than your agenda if you’re not feeling well throughout the dry fast. When you’re ill, (And don’t begin a dry quick. That need to go without stating.) This is an optional tool. There are hundreds of other ways to serve your health and well-being. Don’t lose the forest through the trees due to the fact that you’re drawn to a practice that feels more extreme. Approach it wisely, however let your body’s instinct be the last arbiter.
That’s it for me. I haven’t done any dry fasting, not on purpose a minimum of, and I’m not especially interested in it for myself, but I have an interest in your experiences. Do any of you do dry fasting? What have you observed? What do you recommend?