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What Is Water Fasting and Should You Try It?

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  Published on January 26th, 2022
  Reading time: 3 minutes
  Last modified July 9th, 2023
water fasting graphic

There are so many different types of fasting out there that it can be hard to keep up! There are dry fasts and wet fasts… eggs fasts and bone broth fasts. What about water fasting? What is it, is it beneficial, and what are some considerations you should take into account before trying it? 

What Is Water Fasting?

A water fast is exactly what the name suggests. During the fasting window, you only consume water. No coffee, no tea, bone broth, or anything else besides water. This eliminates any potential for consuming foods or drinks that would break a fast

Water fasts are typically conducted for a 24 hour period but can be shorter or longer. Water fasts should not be conducted for longer than 72 hours without speaking to your physician first. 

What Is The Purpose of Water Fasting?

Drinking lots of water is important during fasting

Water fasts can be conducted for many reasons. Some people find that fasting after getting kicked out of ketosis or after of period of making unhealthy eating choices can help reshift focus and get your head “back in the game.” Some people feel that fasting offers a feeling of mental clarity and lightness. It can also be a tool to help with mindset or because of the numerous benefits listed in the section below. 

What are the Pros of a Water Fast?

Water fasting is a form of intermittent fasting that produces the same benefits, including weight loss. It is important to keep in mind that there are long-term and short-term benefits of fasting. Overall, fasting just one time in your life isn’t going to dramatically improve insulin levels; however, being consistent with your fasting practices can. Water fasting can help: [1] [2]

  • Reduce bloating
  • Improve GI health
  • Improve blood sugar levels
  • Reduce caloric consumption 
  • Increase autophagy
  • Reduce oxidative damage

What are the Cons of a Water Fast?

There are a few problems that can arise from water fasting. The first is nutritional deficiencies, specifically of electrolytes. Electrolytes are small molecules that your body needs to carry out functions like nerve and muscular functioning. Potassium, magnesium, and sodium are all electrolytes obtained through diet

Taking electrolytes to help with heart palpitations on keto

When fasting, the amount of these electrolytes consumed is zero, therefore fasting should not be prolonged without supplementation of electrolytes. Electrolyte deficiency can lead to headaches, nausea, fatigue, and muscle cramps. 

Additionally, if you have a history of binge eating disorders or habits, fasting should be avoided. Fasting can be a tool to help get your mindset on the right track, but for some, depriving themselves of food can lead to binge eating. If you find yourself overconsuming foods or binging after a fast, you should reduce fasting windows or stop fasting altogether. 

Final Thoughts on Water Fasting

Fasting can be a tool to help improve health and mindset, but should never be used as punishment. Fasting isn’t the answer to fast weight loss or punishing yourself for overeating. Fasting should be a tool in your arsenal to help you feel better and improve your overall well-being. 

Have You Tried Water Fasting?

Comment below and share your experiences and tips with the community!

At ketogenic.com, we are committed to supporting, inspiring, and educating people on the benefits of living a ketogenic lifestyle. We do this by bringing together the top researchers, practitioners, and thought-leaders who provide resources, experience, and awareness associated around the Ketogenic diet. Utilizing the latest cutting-edge research along with practical experience, the team at ketogenic.com aims to foster awareness, understanding, and connectedness in helping others optimize their life on a ketogenic diet.



Wilhelmi de Toledo F, Grundler F, Sirtori CR, Ruscica M. Unravelling the health effects of fasting: a long road from obesity treatment to healthy life span increase and improved cognition. Ann Med. 2020 Aug;52(5):147-161. DOI: 10.1080/07853890.2020.1770849. Epub 2020 Jun 10. PMID: 32519900; PMCID: PMC7877980.


Golbidi S, Daiber A, Korac B, Li H, Essop MF, Laher I. Health Benefits of Fasting and Caloric Restriction. Curr Diab Rep. 2017 Oct 23;17(12):123. doi: 10.1007/s11892-017-0951-7. PMID: 29063418.

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