What is Water Fasting, and Can it Improve Health?

Fasting has been practiced for many years and involves restricting food intake for a specific period for various…
woman drinking water

Fasting has been practiced for many years and involves restricting food intake for a specific period for various reasons. A type of fasting within this group is water fasting. 

What is water fasting?

Water fasting involves restricting food intake for everything except water. In recent years, it has become a way to increase weight loss, and some studies have suggested it has health benefits. The main element of any fasting process is that it may not be suitable for everyone. 

When people use the water fasting technique, it is typically undertaken for 24-72 hours. Some fasts go on for longer, and this resource on what to expect when water fasting for five days is helpful to see the results and effects of the process. 

Water fasting has been linked to lowering the risk of certain cancers and heart disease. However, there is still limited information and research in this area. Diets such as the detox cleanses are also modeled on this type of fasting. 

Potential benefits of water fasting 

There have been studies carried out on the effects of water fasting, and there are links in both human and animal studies that suggest this process could potentially have some benefits, including:

May reduce blood pressure 

Studies conducted for longer, medically supervised fasts suggested water fasts might lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure. 

Potentially promotes autophagy 

The process of autophagy details how old parts of the cells in your body are broken down and recycled. This activity in the body has been said to potentially protect against diseases and prevent the harmful accumulation of cells such as in cancers. 

May improve insulin sensitivity

Insulin is an important hormone that affects your metabolism. This hormone also helps the body store the nutrients it needs. Studies have suggested that water fasting could make your body more sensitive to insulin and leptin. This higher sensitivity can help make the hormones work more effectively. 

Will water fasting help you with weight loss?

Fasting is a popular method used by people to increase weight loss results. In short, it can aid weight loss due to the calorie deficiency experienced during the fasting period. However, this type of weight loss is not suitable for everyone. Doctors’ advice should be sought before attempting fasts, especially if someone experiences gout or has diabetes. 

Other types of fasting could be tried instead of a prolonged period, including intermittent fasting or alternate day fasting. This style of fasting is believed to be more sustainable in the long term. It ensures you also get the benefits of nutritional food in the intermittent days. 

Exercise during fasting

Light to moderate resistance exercise can help to preserve muscle mass during a fasting period. Activities such as yoga, walking, swimming, and strengthening exercise are a great way to burn fat during this phase. Some people may have different experiences during this fasting process, so ensuring you are listening to your body is essential. 

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