Fasting is an ancient practice where an individual avoids taking food and it’s been a part of religious practices by people all over the globe. However, in recent times fasting has become quite a famous method to lose weight and there are many methods like water fasting, intermittent fasting etc. In recent days, dry fasting or absolute fasting is gaining a lot of attention among fitness enthusiasts and if you are planning to go for it, then this article is for you. Also Read: 6 Popular Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting, You Should Know
Dry fasting entails foregoing both food and liquid and does not permit you to take any fluids including water, tea or soups for an extended duration ensuring the body meets the energy from toxins present in the body. In fact, one day of dry fasting is equal to three days of water fasting as far as overall detoxification of the body is concerned.
There Are Two Types Of Dry Fasting - Soft Dry Fast And Hard Dry Fast:
Soft dry fast is a method where a person can brush, take bathe and wash the face, while hard dry fast is a fast where you do not come in contact with water at any means- total abstinence. In this state, the body is deprived of food or water and it starts to make use of everything available for generating energy at the cellular level. This type of intense fasting will generally put the body in trouble and the body gets more stressed out to look out for more water. Also Read: Water Fasting, Is It For You?
This process makes the bodywork really harder to use the cells that are inefficient. It leads to autophagy which is the body’s natural way of recycling old and worn out cells to produce energy. Besides these, new cells are regenerated and wards off bad ones, thereby only strong cells thrive.
Some evidence reveals that fasting has benefits like weight loss and slow down ageing, but dry fasting can be fatal since you are not permitted to drink water which may put you under the risk for dehydration and other complications.
Who Can And Who Can't Do Dry Fasting?
Dry fasting is not recommended for people with pre-existing diseased conditions and eating disorders. However, healthy individuals should seek proper advice from health experts before starting.
Read through this article to get an insight into the supposed benefits, potential side effects and dangers of dry fasting.
Health Benefits Of Dry Fasting:
Dry fasting is effective for weight loss due to the total restriction of calories. Researchers suggest that intermittent dry fasting observed during Ramadan month by healthy adults leads to short-term weight loss. However, there are not sufficient scientific claims to approve that regular and repeated dry fasting is safe.
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Enhanced Immune Function
It is believed that dry fasting bolsters the body’s immune system, by the way, that fasting resets the immune system by clearing worn-out cells and allowing the body to regenerate new ones. Furthermore, evidence also suggests that limiting calories but not water reduces inflammation and shields the immune system.
The association between dry fasting and reduced inflammation was studied and it was observed that pro-inflammatory cytokines levels were reduced in adults who observed one-month fasting during holy months. However, further research is required to understand the link between dry fasting and reduced inflammation in normal adults.
Studies reveal that fasting promotes wound healing and slows down premature ageing signs, this is attributed to calorie restrictions. It is evident that an adequate amount of water intake enhances skin health, hence more studies are needed to support that dry fasting would also help in improving skin health.
Side Effects Of Dry Fasting:
Dry fasting has certain potential side effects which include:
Hunger is a common side effect of any type of fasting and also avoiding water increases the hunger, as water helps to keep you satiated.
Deprivation of food and water leaves the body without the needed fuel and this may make you feel fatigued, weak and lethargic.
As hunger increases, you are more likely to feel cranky and disturbed.
Decreased Urine Output
When water is totally avoided, urine output decreases and you may feel dehydrated and urine may be dark and smelly.
Avoiding caffeine and essential nutrients like carbohydrates and water can lead to headaches.
When the body is deprived of nutrients you may feel tired and hungry and it may be hard to concentrate at work.
Complications Of Dry Fasting:
If dry fasting is continued or repeated it may lead to severe complications which include:
Continued dry fasting may cause dehydration and result in electrolyte imbalances and hypotension which may be fatal.
Severe dehydration may result in urinary tract infection (UTI) and kidney stones.
Prolonged fasting can put you under severe vitamin, mineral and other nutrient deficiencies.
Dry fasting may make some person to binge eat after withdrawing fasting which can elevate the risk of eating disorders.
Avoiding food and water may drastically bring down the blood sugar levels resulting in hypoglycaemia.
Dry fasting affects each person in different ways and there is not enough evidence to support the claims. It depends on several factors including overall health status, age, physical activity level and how often you fast. Although fasting has some benefits, there are healthier and better ways that may help you to lose weight without any complications. If you are interested in dry fasting always consult with your doctor or health experts before doing.