November 25, 2021

All You Need To Know About Dry Fasting

What is Dry Fasting, and how does it work?

Only when you assumed Internet health and diet fad couldn’t get any weirder (we’re talking at you, emerald eggs, perineum sunbathing, and snake diet), a new one has emerged—and it’s really hazardous. Here’s a detailed look at dry fasting.

Dry fasting has lately gained traction among lifestyle influencers. What is the concept? That water is really harmful to your health—and that eliminating some key sources from your diet may help you reach “optimal body weight.”

Sophie Prana, an Austrian influencer with 2,350 YouTube subscribers (and 18,700 Instagram followers), uploaded a clip of her dry-fasting, liquid diet, describing its health benefits as the “greatest option for body [and] planet.”

Of course, Prana was not the only one who advocates for dry fasting. Dry fasting, according to Alice Copilot, a “dry fasting and detox expert,” may help clean up skin aging and problems including “acne, eczema, cysts, allergy, rashes, and psoriasis.” She even goes so far as to say that it’s “the secret to correcting skin problems.”

“While there are some variants, dry fasting basically entails drinking no tap as well as bottled water and relying solely on the water obtained from food, primarily fresh fruits and vegetables,” Jackie Newgent, Registered dietitian, culinary dietitian, writer of The Clean & Easy Diabetes Cookbook, as well as a counselor for Lunch Unpacked, explains to Health. “This has been ingeniously called ‘living water,'” she adds, even though “living water” isn’t a thing.

Nutritious-food-items

But is there enough scientific evidence?

Health Experts Opinion on Dry Fasting

“You’re needlessly straining the body or straining it to its limitations,” Sass explains when you don’t drink enough water. According to Sass, water is necessary for good digestion and circulation and regulating body temperature, eliminating waste, lubricating joints, supporting organ function, avoiding urinary tract infections and protecting organs and tissues.

Those assertions regarding dry fasting’s effect on skin problems, on the other hand, don’t hold any, um, water. “While some influencers believe that dry fasting is rich in vitamins, healthy skin, and inflammatory, if you don’t drink enough water, the reverse is true,” adds Newgent.

Not only does dry fasting pose serious risk body’s functions, but it may also be hazardous, according to Newgent. “If you’re dehydrated, you’re more likely to develop kidney stones and have urinary tract infection,” she adds. Dry fasting, according to Newgent, maybe exist for certain individuals owing to dehydration problems.

Overall, experts—that is, educated professionals who have earned dietitian certifications—agree that skipping water is not only harmful but also possibly hazardous. Brittany Modell, RD, creator of Brittany Modell Nutrition & Wellness, calls people who practice and promote it “downright irresponsible,” adding it’s simply another example of social media can drive harmful behaviors.

Intermittent fasting which is similar to Ramadan fasting may help you live longer by providing additional health benefits

While the most common fasting technique is to drink water, and a lot of it, there is another option of intermittent fasting…

Intermittent Dry Fasting vs Prolonged Dry Fasting

Intermittent Fasting

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Dry-fasting-diet

You can perform an alternating intermittent dry fast by just eating and drinking for a few hours every day and then fasting the rest of the time. The distribution may be as follows:

  • 16/8 intermittent fasting entails eating for 8 hours and then fasting for 16 hours. The most frequent form of intermittent fasting is this.
  • 20/4 intermittent fasting entails eating for four hours and fasting for twenty. This is a rare occurrence.

People take one meal daily, then fast for 10-18 hours without food or drink, until eating supper late at night. This refuels their bodies before the fast the following day.

The ideal method is intermittent dry fasting, which allows you to enjoy the advantages of the fast without jeopardizing your health.

Prolonged Fasting

The dry fasts observed by Mormons on Sundays and Jews on Yom Kippur are comparable to extended fasts, although they do not go more than 24-25 hours. This prolonged time raises the risk of unpleasant side effects such as migraines, such as the so-called “Yom Kippur headache” that affects Jewish women[*].

Some sources differentiate between a “soft” and an “absolute” dry fast. A popular fast that permits exterior contact with water is a soft dry fast (like bathing or swimming). The complete dry fast is a strict regimen in which you avoid water absorption, including bathing.

Although much of the study on fasting has focused on the water-based form, early data and research on traditional dry fasts indicate that skipping the water has some significant advantages.

Top 8 Health Benefits of Dry Fasting

Dry fasting has powerful anti-inflammatory properties that may protect your brain, metabolism and prevent illness. The following are the top dry fasting benefits:

1. Improving Cognitive Function And Providing Protection

Brain-Netwrork
Brain-network

The following are some of the consequences of an intermittent dry fast on the brain:

  • Increased neuronal protection against aging and dysfunction
  • New neurons are being created at a faster rate.
  • Increased plasticity of the brain
  • Neuronal excitotoxicity is reduced.
  • Cell regeneration

According to one research, a Ramadan dry fast boosted the levels of BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor)[*]. Neurotrophins are proteins that help neurons to survive and develop.

Memory and learning ability are maintained by BDNF, which also regulates neurogenesis and neuronal survival in the adult brain and metabolic control. In fact, it’s one among the proteins responsible for the brain’s beneficial adaptations in circumstances when food is scarce.

Even a short-term fast may enhance brain function by triggering autophagy, which kills damaging or unneeded cells.

Ketone production is another way a dry fast protects the brain. In your brain, ketone bodies decrease glutamate (an excitotoxin that, if uncontrolled, may cause neuronal death) and oxidative stress.

2. Potent anti-inflammatory properties

After-effects-of-inflammation
Consequences-of-inflammation

When you go on a dry fast, your inflammation levels drop dramatically.

Dry fasts, such as the Ramadan intermittent fasting (RIF), have been shown to reduce the concentration of inflammatory markers. It may also help avoid several degenerative illnesses by decreasing inflammation.

3. Lipids in a Healthy Balance

Blood-regulation

Triglycerides, good cholesterol, bad cholesterol, and total cholesterol levels may all be improved by dry fasting.

According to many studies, following a dry fast:

  • Women’s HDL (good) cholesterol levels rose.
  • Men had lower total cholesterol and triglycerides.
  • LDL (bad) cholesterol levels fell in both men and women.

Surprisingly, the kind of fats you consume before and after your fast may impact your lipid levels.

People who dry fasted in Morocco, for example, had significantly lower total cholesterol and triglycerides even one month after the fast ended. Meanwhile, no significant changes in cholesterol or triglycerides were seen in individuals fasting in Kuwait.

The various fats eaten in each nation may explain this disparity. Moroccans had a beneficial impact because they consumed more monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, while Kuwaitis consumed more saturated fat.

You’re more likely to achieve lipid management if you consume various fats before going on a dry fast.

4. Glycemic Control

Another key metabolic parameter, blood sugar, may be regulated by a dry fast. This isn’t surprising, given that fasting’s protective benefits are partly due to a 50% decrease in glucose and insulin-like growth factor 1. (IGF-I).

According to several studies, people had lower blood glucose levels and improved insulin sensitivity following a dry fast.

5. Diabetes Avoidance

Dry fasting may help to avoid diabetes because of its glycemic advantages.

Studies have shown a reduced incidence of diabetes in Mormon populations that dry fast for 24 hours. Twenty percent of the non-fasters in the study had diabetes, whereas only ten percent of the fasters had diabetes.

Another research discovered that individuals with type 2 diabetes who fasted intermittently for 15–21 days had lower hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels, a measure of average blood sugar concentration.

6. Blood Pressure Control

Many studies show that people’s systolic blood pressure drops after a dry fast, and these effects may be amplified on the keto diet.

According to one research, blood pressure dropped when individuals ate carbohydrates, protein, or fat before fasting, but only those who ate fat had a significant drop.

7. Coronary Heart Disease Prevention

Without adequate human nutrition may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease

Even after controlling for other risk factors, studies on individuals who dry fast for 24 hours show that they have a lower prevalence of coronary heart disease than non-fasters.

8. Joint and Bone Health

Hip-Joint
Hip-joint

During dry fasting, a chemical called parathyroid hormone (PTH) is elevated, important for bone development and integrity. This rise in PTH causes bone resorption, bone growth, and higher calcium levels.

While Dry Fast, Will I Become Dehydrated?

Dehydration-causes-severe-thirst
Severe-dehydration-dry-fasting

If you don’t have a sufficient nutritional intake pre and post-fast, severe dehydration is a danger, but it may be prevented if you follow the proper practices.

Researchers examined the impact of dehydration on the metabolisms of individuals who fasted throughout Ramadan (a month-long periodic dryness fast). Dehydration was either moderate or non-existent, which was surprising.

The percentage of urine samples taken in the afternoon was very high in one research, indicating that the body was successfully saving water both via urinary concentration and decreased urine volume.

The results from Malaysian Muslims were perhaps the most interesting. Despite the water limitation, researchers discovered that body’s water content was preserved throughout the fast. Their bodies adjusted for the water shortage by reducing water losses, resulting in internal equilibrium.

As a consequence, the body’s water content stayed relatively constant during the dry fast.

Without Water, the Body Regulates Itself

These results indicate that your body will try to regulate its moisture contents levels over a brief dry fasting phase, preventing dehydration adverse effects.

Kidney stones are one of the potential adverse effects of dehydration. However, studies show that dry fasting does not increase the risk of stones since the quantity of crystal-forming chemicals in urine decreases.

Your risk of dehydration may be reduced even more if you eat a high-fat diet, since “fat reserves or fatty meals are considered to be especially useful as a barrier against desiccation”, according to Nature.

Stages of Dry Fasting

Your system will have to go through two phases of fuel-burning while you try dry fasting:

Stage 1: Glycogen Burning

This burning phase may last up to 2-3 days. Thus in an occasional dry fast, this would have been the sole source of fuel.

When you burn glycogen instead of fat, your body produces less metabolic water, which may make you feel more uncomfortable.

Stage 2: Fat Burning

Following a ketogenic diet may save you time and help you burn fat right away.

Starting with fat will help you remain hydrated, reduce thirst, avoid pain, and enter keto much more quickly.

If done correctly, dry fasting may enhance a variety of metabolic indicators and protect against illness. If you don’t know how to handle it, it may be fatal.

Who should try Dry Fasting?

  • Someone who has done many water fasts and has experienced no negative consequences.
  • Someone who has developed a fat tolerance.
  • Those who aren’t prone to headaches or migraines.
  • People who do not have any eye disorders.

Who Shouldn’t Dry Quickly?

  • Anyone who has never done a water fast before or has only performed juice fasts.
  • People who suffer from headaches or migraines, since a dry fast may make them worse.
  • People addicted to stimulants such as coffee and tea should avoid fasting since withdrawal may induce headaches and irritability.
  • Those who suffer from dry eye, glaucoma, or cataracts. In certain circumstances, dry fast has been found to worsen the symptoms.

4 Steps to Successful Dry Fasting

Step 1: Adapt to Being Fat

Eat a high fat, low carb diet to train your burning fat instead of glucose. Following a typical ketogenic diet, which includes the following foods, you may become fat acclimated in around one week.

  • Fats provide 70-80% of calories.
  • Protein accounts for 20–25 percent of total calories.
  • Net carbohydrates account for 5-10% of calories (total carbs- fiber)

To determine your own keto macros, use the keto calculator.

Step 2: Try with a Water-Only Fasting

To put it another way, you’re testing the waters. Instead of going cold turkey on a dry fast, see how your body reacts to water-based intermittent fasting.

This is the most important stage since it will determine whether or not your body is ready to attempt a dry fast.

For a week, do an intermittent fast in that you only eat 8 hours each day and go 16 hours without food intake (but taking plenty of water)

Step 3: Start preparing your body a week ahead of time.

To prevent withdrawal symptoms, stop taking coffee or other boosters one week before the dry fast. To make the adjustment easier, consider cutting down on meals for calorie restriction.

Step 4: Follow a 16-Hour Dry Fast.

Now you may attempt lasting 16 hours without any food intake and just rehydrating for 8 hours.

You may fast for as much as you like, but a few days should be enough to observe any good (or bad) results. During the dry fast, you should not be thirsty, grumpy, or uncomfortable due to the preceding procedures.

Take the essential measures to prepare your body and mind before trying your first periodic dry fast to prevent serious complications such as cardiovascular disease, damaged cells, brain swelling and electrolyte imbalance etc. Too much weight loss can also have grave consequences