Water fasting refers to a type of fasting in which one stops taking all sorts of foods and only depends on water. This strategy is being followed more and more as a way to shed off excess pounds. Water fasting is not only tried for losing weight. Some people also go for it for religious reasons while others use it for detoxifying their body. Other detox diets are inspired by water fasting too.
Such a fast lasts for 2 to 3 days. Apart from weight loss, a water fast may also benefit your health in other ways. But while weight loss may be one benefit, is water fasting really healthy? Water fasting, you see, may come with some health benefits but even more negative side effects.
Let’s explore this in detail to explore whether or not you should go for water fasting.
The Adverse Side Effects Linked To Water Fasting
In one’s journey to lose weight, water fasting may not prove to be fruitful as it can make him lose the wrong type of weight. This lost weight may come from water itself, carbs and muscle mass. Now this is not the type of weight loss you’re looking for. Despite drinking loads of water during water fasting, you may find yourself dehydrated.
This is because your body gets a major source of water from foods as well. As part of feeling dehydrated, you may experience symptoms such as dizziness, constipation, nausea, headaches, fatigue, etc. Now this problem can be sorted by drinking more water than you usually do. Another common negative side effect of water fasting is orthostatic hypotension.
This condition refers to a sudden drop in blood pressure that may leave one dizzy and unsteady. Orthostatic hypotension may lead to accidents which makes water fasting unsafe. What’s more water fasting can aggravate certain conditions such as gout, diabetes, eating disorders, heartburn, and chronic kidney disease.
Are There Any Health Benefits?
Some benefits are also linked to water fasting which is why so many people go for it. First off, water fasting may indirectly prevent the growth of cancer cells by keeping damaged cells from accumulating. This process is known as autophagy which can also cut down the risk of heart disease and Alzheimer’s.
For those who have high blood pressure levels, water fasting can help lower them. Water fasting can better insulin sensitivity and leptin sensitivity. This can effectively reduce blood sugar and suppress your appetite as well. Water fasting has also been linked to lowering the risk of some chronic conditions. However, more research is needed in this department.
Water fasting may have some benefits for health but the risks that are associated with it, make it just not worth the struggle. A common practice for weight loss, water fasting may suppress appetite, but can you lose the wrong kind of weight. A major benefit of water fasting is autophagy, but it only worsens the condition of those who have gout, heartburn, kidney problems, etc.