For those aiming to shed weight, the inundation of numerous diets has made it challenging to keep track of the latest trends that emerge each month.
Among these diets is ‘water fasting,’ a popular practice in the fitness realm, involving a fast where only water is consumed—no coffee, zero-calorie drinks, or food allowed.
Water fasting restricts all food and beverages besides water, typically lasting 24 to 72 hours, with medical supervision recommended for longer durations. Despite certain claimed health benefits, medical experts do not endorse water fasting due to its association with health issues such as chronic kidney disease, diabetes, eating disorders, and heartburn.
Benefits of water fasting
Some studies suggest that water fasting might assist in managing blood pressure and reducing cholesterol levels.It could potentially lower blood sugar levels, enhancing insulin sensitivity, a key factor in type 2 diabetes development.
Water fasting might stimulate autophagy, a process breaking down and recycling old cell components, potentially aiding in disease prevention like cancer, Alzheimer’s, and heart disease.
Risks of water fasting
Restricting intake solely to water may lead to deficiencies in essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
Weight loss during water fasting may primarily consist of water weight, not actual fat loss, and this weight might return once the body starts burning stored fat.
Insufficient food intake alongside water can induce dehydration symptoms like dizziness, nausea, headaches, and low blood pressure.
Sudden drops in blood pressure, known as orthostatic hypotension, might cause dizziness or lightheadedness during water fasting.
Individuals with diabetes or eating disorders should avoid this diet as it can exacerbate their conditions.
Note: Consulting a doctor before adopting this diet is crucial. The most effective weight loss strategy involves a balanced diet and exercise regimen.