Even though the popularity of water fasting seems like it’s exploded recently in the health world, water fasting has been around since ancient times. Water fasting has been a fundamental part of religions or other spiritual reasons as it serves as a time of spiritual renewal and reflection.
Water fasting offers many benefits to your health from controlling glucose and insulin to reducing inflammation to promoting cellular healing and repair – you can’t go wrong if you decide to give water fasting a try. However, it’s extremely important that you practice it safely so you don’t push yourself too far! The average length of a water fast is 24-72 hours, though some people are able to participate in an extended water fast. Since you cannot consume any solid food or any drinks that aren’t water, a water fast can seem like a daunting task for many – but don’t get intimidated! You can get through it perfectly fine and you’ll probably feel two times better than you did before you started fasting.
It is crucial to practice safe water fasting, so make sure you’re not part of one of the groups that SHOULD NOT partake in water fasting! This includes: pregnant or nursing women, severely underweight individuals, children, or individuals struggling with chronic kidney disease. Conversely, water fasting can bring a plethora of benefits to those who suffer from: chronic inflammatory conditions, autoimmune diseases, Metabolic Syndrome (those who are overweight/obese), chronic health conditions (cancer, diabetes, heart), neurodegenerative conditions, and those who have a leaky gut.
If you’ve never tried a water fast before, it’s a good idea to start reducing your calorie intake in the days leading up to when you plan to fast. Also, drink as much water as you can so your body is well hydrated! The hardest part will be resisting the urge to snack or eat your regular meals. When you’ve mastered the art of a 72-hour water fast and feel ready to embark on a 5 day water fast, here’s some tips to get you through!
Preforming a 5 Day Water Fast: As hard as this sounds, its simply drinking water only for 5 days and avoiding all food. Salt the water you consume with 1/4tsp of Himalayan pink salt per glass (20oz) and use lemon or apple cider vinegar also.
After you make it through the first day, here are some amazing effects that your body automatically experiences:
- Resetting your gut’s microbiome: Fasting can clear out your gut flora and help it organize through the good and bad microbes that might be lurking there. As you know, most of the food that we eat in our diet unfortunately plants bad microbes in our gut that can cause or exacerbate a leaky gut instead of heal it. Therefore, a fast with nothing but clean water is a great opportunity for your gut to repair itself.
- Promotes cellular autophagy: Autophagy is an intracellular process where your cells clean themselves by breaking down older, weaker cells and rebuilding them. Water fasting supports this procedure and might even improve your lifespan!
- Increases Human Growth Hormone (HGH): HGH is a type of protein hormone that is involved in growth, metabolism, weight loss and muscle strength. Water fasting can significantly improve the production of HGH secretion within the body.
- Stem Cell Production: Water fasting can help the body create new white blood cells which repair the intestinal membrane while increasing new stem cells in the joints and tissues that need repair.
- Improves Insulin and Leptin Sensitivity: Insulin and leptin regulate the body’s metabolism which means increasing greater sensitivity to these hormones to make them more effective.
- Lowers the Risk of Several Chronic Diseases: There’s some evidence that suggests that water fasting can lower the risk of diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and other chronic diseases. This is because water fasting can protect against free radicals, suppress the growth of cancer cells, and significantly reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood.