There are so many people who carry out fasts for religious or spiritual reasons, for detoxing purposes, and more. I, myself, have carried out the water fast on two occasions when I was in high school. I thought it was the obvious way to shed an abundance of weight because I wouldn’t be consuming any sugars, starches, or carbs. Years later, I wonder what I was possibly risking with my health.
What is the Water Fast?
Water fasting is the act of fasting all foods and only consuming water. Many people water fast to lose weight or for its health benefits. It is advised that the water fast exceeds no more than 72 hours at a time, however doing so for a longer time should not be done without medical supervision. After the water fast you shouldn’t eat a large meal because doing so could cause discomfort.
Heart Health and Water Fasting
Medically supervised water fasting can help lower blood pressure for those who suffer from high blood pressure. There have been research studies conducted where people with high or borderline high blood pressure saw a decline in their blood pressures bringing it to a healthier level. Obviously this sounds like a positive reason to try out a water fast, but the negative is also a an effect on heart health.
Even though you are only drinking water you can still get dehydrated. Approximately 20- 30% of your water intake comes from your food intake daily. If you are only drinking water you still may not be consuming as much water as you need to refrain from getting dehydrated. Dehydration can also lead to a low blood pressure. I know I just got done telling you a lower blood pressure was a positive, but your blood pressure getting too low can cause issues as well. Orthostatic hypotension is also many people who water fast experience. Orthostatic hypotension is when your systolic blood pressure falls to at least 20 mmHg (at least 30 mmHG in patients with hypertension) and/or your diastolic blood pressure falls to at least 10 mmHg within 3 minutes of standing.
I know it may be tempting to try out the water fast, especially because I succumbed to the temptation I had. Please be careful if you’re thinking about water fasting and make sure you consult your primary physician before, during, and/or after attempting the water fast.
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