Fasting is a very common phenomenon globally perceived by many people. In fasting, you are generally advised to abstain from ALL kinds of food and drink, even water, for a particular period of time, be it a few hours, a day, or even a few days.
Now, fasting isn’t just a single-faced phenomenon. There are various reasons involved behind this. For some people, fasting is associated with religious sentiments. For some, it is required for a medical procedure, or for some, fasting is a part of their diet, for example, intermittent fasting.
While fasting, if you have come across this dilemma as to whether or not you should drink water, here are all the deets you need to know.
Can You Drink Water While Fasting?
In simple and straight words, YES and ABSOLUTELY. Hydration is one of the most important factors to keep your body’s metabolism running right. And there is nothing better than plain water to keep up your hydration scores!
Water is a vital nutrient that makes up more than two-thirds of the human body. Furthermore, its significance in our daily lives cannot be overstated.
It is required for hydration as well as the transfer of nutrients and oxygen to the body’s cells. Water is essential for bacterial removal from the bladder, digestion, maintaining healthy blood pressure, and maintaining a steady heartbeat.
Water has also been found to aid in the protection of organs and tissues, the regulation of body temperature, and the maintenance of sodium balance.
Going without water for more than 15-16 hours is not medically advised. It can lead to severe dehydration symptoms which might worsen the health condition, considering you are already in a fasting state where all the solid foods are restricted.
How Much Water Should You Drink While Fasting?
There are many factors associated with the amount of water you can drink while fasting. When you fast, you avoid particular foods and stop eating for a set length of time. In that period of time, you can drink as much water as you want. In fact, since you cannot consume solid foods, water is the best way to suppress your hunger pangs and help you keep full.
Again, drinking ‘as much water as you want’ comes with certain terms and conditions. If you are consuming only water, you need to remember that it can also lead to overhydration thus as a nutritionist, I would advise you to not keep water fast beyond 3 days (72 hours) unless having proper medical guidance for that.
Here are some pointers you can imply to determine the amount of water you can drink while fasting-
- Firstly, your water needs are majorly governed by the kind of fast you are doing. If you are required to fast before any medical procedure, your doctor would devise the amount of water you can consume. Some medical providers may allow you to consume water up to 2 hours before your treatment because clear liquids like water are readily digested.
- On other kinds of fasts, say IF, you can and should drink optimum amounts of water to keep you completely hydrated. Half of your body weight in ounces should be consumed like water. However, on fasting, drinking more water is considered healthy taking into notice that you identify your body’s thirst signals. So, if you weigh 200 pounds, for example, you need to drink at least 100 ounces. If you’re fasting, boost your consumption to 200 ounces, or roughly double that amount. Note that you can also resort to other options for hydration like ORS drinks, lemon water, etc. along with water to maintain fluid regulation.
- Your age and other body health conditions also play a crucial role in determining your water consumption. So make sure to consult your doctor and get yourself regularly checked up so that you do not dehydrate or overhydrate yourself.
- The color of your urine is another factor that might help you determine when and how much water you should drink. If your urine is exceptionally clear, it could indicate that you are overhydrated. One of the indicators of dehydration is when it turns dark yellow.
- Other factors like your daily activities, environment, etc. also influence your daily water consumption. So, you need to look out for your daily recommendation based on all the factors considered and discussed properly with your medical supervisor.
Advantages Of Drinking Water While Fasting
While fasting overall can have many health benefits, drinking water while you are on this restrictive eating pattern might turn out to be a good goal for you.
Here are some quick advantages of water fasting-
- Without a second doubt, if you are not eating and only drinking water, you can lose weight! Because there is no new calorie intake during a prolonged duration of water fasting, weight loss occurs.
- According to research, water fasting can help prevent cancer. This practice promotes healthy cell recycling.
- Fasting of any kind, including water fasting, can improve insulin sensitivity and lower your chance of developing type 2 diabetes.
Fast-Friendly Drinks Other Than Water
Maintaining proper hydration during fasting is a must. Since solid foods are restricted during fasting, you are missing out on many nutrients, including essential electrolytes as well. To cover for it, you can sip on healthy electrolyte drinks which not only favors good hydration but will also help pace up your energy.
You can also choose different kinds of water to consume like flavored water, sparkling water, etc. for quick hydration. WIthin beverages, you can sip on black coffee, tea, etc. in a restrictive and limited pattern.
In cases of fasting for medical procedures, it is safe to consume pulp-free juices, unsweetened tea, sparkling water, etc. Medical guidance is advised before resorting to any beverages or drinks in this matter.
You can and must drink optimum amounts of water while fasting to prevent dehydration and other complex health risks. The amount of water you consume depends on many factors like your age, environment, other health parameters, and thirst scale.
So, yes, go ahead with gulping down that extra glass of water you are dicey about!