Dry Fasting: The Truth About This New Health Industry Trend
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Dry Fasting: The Truth About This New Health Industry Trend

Is dry fasting as dangerous as you've heard? Learn the startling truth behind fasting without water, and how it may help boost your health & energy.

dry fasting

Intermittent fasting can improve your health and increase longevity.

While the most popular fasting method involves drinking massive amounts of water, there’s another way to do an intermittent fast…

Dry fasting.

Why dry? This type of fasting takes water out of the equation.

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If the first question that pops into your head was “wouldn’t I get dehydrated?”, you’re in good company.

Most people brush off dry fasting as something dangerous that should never be attempted, and there’s a lot of misinformation out there that fuels this fear.

Dry fasting can be extremely beneficial to cell regeneration and repair.

And dry fasting can be done safely as long as you take all the steps necessary to do it right.

In this article you’ll learn everything about how dry fasting works, why it works, and if you should try it:

What is Dry Fasting?

Dry fasting is a type of fast that doesn’t allow any water intake. The lack of water may help accelerate some of the protective effects you get on a regular water fast, like reduced inflammation and metabolic health.

However, it’s a more advanced fasting method that only people who have previous experience with normal fasts should attempt.

It can be easier to undertake it if you’re on the ketogenic diet because your body will then be able to sustain itself during the fast without hunger pangs, cravings, or even thirst.

Dry fasting is lesser known than water fasting and often considered dangerous, but did you know that millions of people around the world actually do an dry fast for a month each year?

During Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, Muslims do a total fast in which they don’t consume water or food during daylight hours (12 hours on average). In some polar regions, it can be as long as 22 hours.[*]

Fasting is used by nearly all religions as a form of cleansing, penitence, self-discipline, or to feel closer to their deities. Fasting is practiced in:

  • Judaism (during Yom Kippur)
  • Christianity (during Lent and Advent)
  • Mormonism (one Sunday of each month)
  • Buddhism (to aid meditation)
  • Jainism (to reach transcendence)
  • Islam (during Ramadan).

The Islamic, Mormon, and Jewish fasts are the only ones that prohibit water, so they’re true dry fasts.

The benefits of fasting are backed by research.

Studies find that caloric restriction or fasting can enhance longevity, increase neurogenesis (neuron production), lower oxidative markers, balance insulin levels, and improve brain plasticity.

Dry fasting in specific is associated with significantly reduced inflammation, lower blood pressure, and balanced glucose[*][*].

The Two Types of Dry Fasting

Just like regular fasting, dry fasting can be intermittent or prolonged.

Intermittent Dry Fasting

You can do an intermittent dry fast by eating and drinking only for a small window of time each day and fasting the remaining hours. The distribution can be:

  • 16/8 intermittent fasting: You’d eat in a window of 8 hours and fast for 16 hours. This is the most common type of intermittent fasting.
  • 20/4 intermittent fasting: You’d eat in a window of 4 hours and fast for 20 hours. This is less common.

The dry fast done by Muslims during Ramadan is often called Ramadan Intermittent Fasting (RIF) because it mimics a traditional intermittent fasting. People consume one meal in the morning, abstain from food and water for 10-18 hours a day, and then eat dinner late at night. This refuels their body before the next day’s fast.

Intermittent dry fasting is the best approach because it lets you to reap the health benefits of the fast without endangering your health.

Prolonged Dry Fasting

A prolonged dry fast is when you go without food or water for over 24 hours. This is not advisable because the extended lack of water can harm your health. Water is vital for the function of all your organs, so a dry fast should be kept short.

The dry fast done by Mormons on Sundays and Jewish people on Yom Kippur are similar to a prolonged fast, but they still don’t go above 24-25 hours. This long period increases the chances of experiencing unpleasant side effects like headaches, such as the “Yom Kippur headache” common in Jewish women[*].

Some sources make a distinction between a “soft” and “absolute” dry fast. A soft dry fast is a common fast that allows external contact with water (like showering or swimming). The absolute dry fast is an extreme approach in which you can’t have any contact with water, even bathing. However, there are no science-based benefits to doing an “absolute” fast, so you can stick to the normal soft fast.

You may wonder if a dry fast has any serious advantages over a water fast that will make it worth your while.

Even though most of the research on fasting has been done on the water-based version, emerging research, as well as studies on religious dry fasts, show some serious benefits to forgoing water.

Dry Fasting vs. Water Fasting

Water-based intermittent fasting has impressive health benefits, like fighting cancer cells, neuroprotection, improved insulin sensitivity, promoting a longer and healthier lifespan, reduction of fat tissue, cellular repair through autophagy, and sustained ketosis.

When you fast, you allow your body to regenerate, heal, and get rid of harmful agents more easily.

An intermittent dry fast can further intensify this cleansing process without dehydrating you.

Get this: Limited fluid intake pushes your body to burn more fat since fat can be used to produce metabolic water (water that your body makes internally).

For every 100 grams of fat, your body can make 107-110 grams of water, compared to 60g from carbs and just 42g of water from protein.[*][*][*][*]  

In other words, fat is the most efficient source of internal water.

Since you won’t be hydrating your body with external liquids, metabolic water is of extreme importance and your body will strive to make it from fat at a higher rate than it would on a water fast.

This fat-burning effect can accelerate and support your state of ketosis.

Given that fat is necessary for a successful dry fast, it’s ideal if you do it while following the ketogenic diet.

High-fat meals in between the fast will help you breeze through it with minimal discomfort.

Dry Fasting In The Ketogenic Diet

Dry fasting on the keto diet is easier because you’ll experience less hunger, less thirst, less discomfort, and your body can produce more metabolic water from fat.  

One study compared the effects of eating a meal high in fat, protein, or carbs before a traditional 12-hour dry fast.  

People who ate fat before fasting had the lowest amount of discomfort compared to people relying on carbs or protein, and they also experienced less hunger and thirst compared to the high-protein group.

People relying on the high-protein diet had the most discomfort and side effects (11 vs. 3 just after fatty meals).[*]

Eating fat before the fast also provided these perks:

  • Post-fasting systolic and diastolic blood pressures decreased significantly.
  • Post-fasting glucose also decreased.  

Fasting while on the ketogenic can also improve brain function and energy, because the blood-brain barrier becomes more permeable to ketones during any type of fast[*].

Here’s how a combining the keto diet with a dry fast can protect your brain:

  • The fast makes your brain more receptive to ketones through a permeable blood-brain barrier.
  • Having fewer liquids in your system means more fat burning to create metabolic water.
  • More fat burning means more ketones in your bloodstream.
  • Having more ketones in your system means more energy available for your brain.

A third advantage of dry fasting on the ketogenic diet is that fat can help suppress your perceived need for water.  

This even happens to people who aren’t fasting. The more someone eats fat, the less they tend to drink water, according to research. On the other hand, foods like fiber, caffeine, and alcohol trigger a higher water consumption[*][*].

The Top 8 Health Benefits of Dry Fasting

Dry fasting can protect your brain, metabolism, and prevent disease through impressive anti-inflammatory effects. Here are the top benefits of fasting without water:

dry fasting

#1:  Enhanced Cognitive Function And Protection

An intermittent dry fast can have these effects on your brain:

  • Increased neuron protection against dysfunction and degeneration
  • Increased creation of new neurons
  • Increased brain plasticity
  • Decreased neuronal excitotoxicity

One study found that a Ramadan dry fast increased the levels of a neurotrophin called BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor)[*].  Neurotrophins are proteins that promote the survival and growth of neurons.

The roles of BDNF are maintaining memory and learning capacity, regulating neurogenesis and neuronal survival in the adult brain, and metabolic regulation. In fact, its one of the proteins responsible for the positive adaptations of the brain in situations when there’s little food available[*][*][*].

Even a short-term fast can improve brain function by killing harmful or unnecessary cells through autophagy[*].

Another way a dry fast protects the brain is through ketone production. Ketone bodies reduce two things in your brain: glutamate (an excitotoxin that can cause neuronal death if unregulated) and oxidative stress[*].

#2: High Anti-inflammatory Activity

When you’re dry fasting, your inflammation levels plummet.

Studies show dry fasts like the Ramadan intermittent fasting (RIF) significantly lower the concentration of inflammatory markers like these[*][*][*] :

  • TNF-α: This molecule is able to induce fever, inflammation, and cell death. It can increase the chance of Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, psoriasis, and inflammatory bowel diseases when it’s not properly regulated.
  • CRP: High levels of CRP are associated with an increased risk of diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease
  • IL-1b: Important mediator of inflammation and is linked to heart failure.
  • IL-6: This proinflammatory molecule can worsen autoimmune diseases and infections. It’s associated with a higher risk of diabetes, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, and further malignant growths in people with breast cancer.
  • CXC Chemokines: Molecules that cause inflammation when unregulated.

Intermittent dry fasting also reduces inflammation by decreasing the levels of leukocytes (immune cells), because leukocyte-derived inflammatory molecules contribute to inflammatory diseases[*].

By reducing inflammation, a dry fast can help prevent many degenerative diseases.

#3: Balanced Lipids

Dry fasting can positively affect levels of triglycerides, good cholesterol, bad cholesterol, and total cholesterol.

Several studies show that after dry fasting[*]:

  • HDL (good) cholesterol levels increased in women.
  • Total cholesterol and triglycerides decreased in men.
  • LDL (bad) cholesterol decreased in both sexes.

Interestingly, the quality of the fats you eat before and after your fast can affect your lipid levels.

For instance, people dry fasting in Morocco had a significant reduction in total cholesterol and triglycerides even one month after the fast had ended. Meanwhile, people in Kuwait doing the same fast had no significant changes in cholesterol or triglycerides[*][*][*].

This difference may be explained by the different fats consumed in each country. The positive effect on Moroccans was associated with a higher consumption of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, while Kuwait is more focused on saturated fat[*].

If you eat different fats before doing a dry fast, you’re more likely to experience lipid control.

#4: Glycemic Control

A dry fast can also regulate blood sugar, another important metabolic marker. This is no surprise, considering that the protective effects of fasting are in part thanks to a 50% reduction in glucose and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-I).[*]

Multiple studies find that after a dry fast, people have decreased blood glucose levels and increased insulin sensitivity[*][*].

#5: Diabetes Prevention

Thanks to its glycemic benefits, dry fasting may prevent the onset of diabetes.

In Mormon communities who dry fast for 24 hours, studies find a lower incidence of diabetes. From the study groups, 20% of non-fasters had diabetes while only 10% of fasters had developed diabetes[*].

Another study found that patients with type 2 diabetes who did an intermittent dry fast for 15–21 days had a significant reduction of hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels, which is an indicator of the average blood sugar concentration[*].

#6: Lower Blood Pressure

Many studies find that people have a lower systolic blood pressure at the end of dry fasts,[*] and these effects may be greater on a keto diet.

One study found that blood pressure had decreased after people ate either carbs, protein, or fat before the fast, but only those who ate fat had a remarkable reduction[*].

#7: Prevention of Coronary Heart Disease

Dry fasting may lower the risk of coronary heart disease.

Studies done on people who dry fast for 24 hours  find they have a lower prevalence of coronary heart disease compared to non-fasters, even after adjusting for other risk factors[*].  

Seventh-day Adventists tend to live approximately 7 years longer than other white adults, and this may be connected to the heart-healthy benefits of dry fasting[*].

#8: Bone Health

A molecule called parathyroid hormone (PTH), which is vital for bone formation and integrity, is increased during dry fasting.

This spike in PTH leads to bone resorption, bone formation, and increased calcium levels during and after a dry fast[*].

Dry Fasting and Weight Loss

Some people can use water-based intermittent fasting for weight loss, but with dry fasting the effects on weight loss are mixed.

Research finds that people tend to have a lower body weight, body mass, and body fat at the end of dry fasting, but these effects are modest and short-lived since people gain most of the weight back afterward[*][*][*][*].   

One meta-analysis found that after Ramadan, people had lost 1.2 kg on average. Across 16 follow-up studies, the average re-gained weight in the 2 weeks after Ramadan was 0.72 kg[*].

Most of the weight loss observed during dry fasting is due to two things:

  • Lost water weight: At least half of your total weight is water weight (59% for men and 50% for women). When you dry fast, you’re bound to see a decline in total weight because of the reduced water in your system. Water weight is quickly gained back once you break the fast, so it’s not a reliable form of weight loss.  
  • Calorie restriction: The calorie restriction in dry fasting also helps with short-term weight loss, however, if you go back to eating higher levels of calories when the fast is over, you’ll gain the weight back.

This is why dry fasting alone is not enough to lose weight and keep it off. However, if you combine it with the ketogenic diet you will experience sustained weight loss.

One of the biggest concerns about dry fasting is dehydration. You would think that restricting water for half a day can’t be good for you, right? But it’s not that simple.

Will I Get Dehydrated During a Dry Fast?

Dehydration is a real threat if you don’t eat a healthy diet before and after the fast, but it can be avoided if you practice the right habits.

Researchers studied people who fasted during Ramadan (a month-long intermittent dry fast) to measure the effects of dehydration on their metabolisms. Surprisingly, dehydration was either mild or non-existent.

In one study, the concentration of urine samples collected in the afternoon was very high, which meant the body was effectively conserving water both by urinary concentration and lower urine quantity[*].

Perhaps the most fascinating findings came from Malaysian Muslims. Researchers found that total body water content was conserved during the fast despite the water restriction. Their bodies compensated the lack of water by minimizing water losses, which created internal balance[*].

The result is that total body water content remained roughly the same before, during, and after the dry fast:

dry fasting

These findings suggests that in a short dry fasting period, your body will work to balance its water content levels so you won’t experience dehydration side effects.

One of the possible side effects of dehydration is kidney stones, but studies find dry fasting isn’t a risk factor for stones because the concentration of crystal-forming substances in urine actually decrease[*].

Your dehydration risk might be even lower if you follow a high-fat diet, because according to Nature,“fat reserves and fatty foods are believed to be particularly valuable as a protection against desiccation”[*].

Wondering how your body can regulate itself when there’s no water? It’s explained in part by these five mechanisms:

#1: Water Turnover Rate

Your water turnover rate is the pace at which lost water (sweating or peeing) is replaced with new water (from drinks and foods).

In a dry fast, the water turnover rate is slowed down because there’s no incoming water except for metabolic water. This makes your body compensate by cutting off water losses (eg. less peeing), which maintains your body water at acceptable levels.

The general rule is that when water turnover rate is altered, total body water content is usually conserved[*].

#2: Secretion of The Antidiuretic Hormone (ADH)

When water is limited, your blood can start to get more concentrated. In the long-term, this makes your blood sticky and less able to circulate in your body properly.

Your body can prevent that in the short-term thanks to ADH.

During dry fasting, the lack of water in the blood triggers the secretion of ADH, which is in charge of reabsorbing water.

ADH travels to the kidneys and redirects water back into the blood, so your blood stays diluted and your urine is concentrated instead. The other way around (concentrated blood and diluted urine) can cause serious damage[*].

That’s why a high concentration of urine during a fast is a good sign of internal hydration.

#3: Turning Fat Into Water

As mentioned before, your body can use nutrients, but especially fat, to make metabolic water.

For every 100g of fat you have in store, your body can make 107g of water. On average, someone who uses up 2500 calories/day will make around 250mL of water per day[*].

This amount is not enough to cover your daily water needs, but it’s enough to cover the water you lose through respiration[*].

If you eat a high-fat diet, you’ll be able to burn more and produce more water. Evidence suggests that athletes gain more metabolic water through the oxidation of fat.[*]

#4: The Water Levels That Cause Dehydration Can Vary

Short-term water restriction is not likely to dehydrate you. According to the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), the slight drop in hydration that happens when you restrict fluids for a few hours is compensated by the day-to-day fluid intake (driven by thirst and consumption of meals).[*]

This is what happens in an intermittent dry fast.

You also might not need as much water as you think. The average recommended daily water intake is 2.7L for women and 3.7L for men, however, the National Academies explain that “as with AIs [adequate intakes] for other nutrients, for a healthy person, daily consumption below the AI may not confer additional risk because a wide range of intakes is compatible with normal hydration.”[*]

#5:  Increased Water Intake After The Fast

One of the behavioral reasons people don’t dehydrate during a dry fast is they consume enough liquids before and after. Apparently, dry fasters compensated for daytime water restriction by drinking more during the night, which prevented them from becoming chronically dehydrated[*].

In summary, you most likely won’t get dehydrated if you stick to a intermittent dry fasting (instead of prolonged) and consume plenty of fats and fluids before and after. Your body will help keep your water balance stable too.

Dry Fasting Stages

When you fast, your body will go through two stages of fuel burning:  

Stage #1: Burning Glycogen (If You’re Not Fat-Adapted)

When there’s no food or water, your body will try to burn stored glycogen if you’re not fat-adapted. This burning mode can last 2-3 days, so this would be the only fuel in an intermittent dry fast.

Burning glycogen instead of fat will make your body produce less metabolic water and might cause more discomfort.

Stage #2: Burning Fat

You can take a shortcut and start burning fat from day one by adopting a ketogenic diet.

Using fat from the start will help you stay hydrated, lower thirst, prevent discomfort, and enter ketosis much faster.

Now that you know how dry fasting works, here’s how to do it in a safe way:

Dry Fasting The Right Way

Dry fasting can improve many metabolic markers and protect against disease if you do it under the right conditions. It can be potentially deadly if you don’t know how to approach it. Here’s how to make it work:

Who Should Dry Fast?

  • Someone who has plenty of experience with water fasts and has had no side effects from them.
  • Someone who is fat-adapted.
  • People who aren’t prone to migraines or headaches.
  • Someone who isn’t coffee or tea-dependent.
  • People without any eye-related diseases.

Who Shouldn’t Dry Fast?

  • People who have never tried water fasts before, or those who have only done juice fasts.
  • People who are prone to headaches or migraines, because a dry fast can trigger them[*].
  • People dependent on stimulants like coffee and tea, because the withdrawal during the fast can cause headaches and moodiness[*].
  • People with dry eye syndrome, glaucoma, or cataracts. Dry fasting has been shown to exacerbate the symptoms in these conditions[*].

How Long Can I Dry Fast?

An intermittent dry fast of 16 hours per day is ideal.

Intermittent dry fasting has been the most researched, while there’s no evidence to guarantee the safety of dry fasts that last more than a day.

4 Steps To Dry Fasting Success

Here’s how to succeed at dry fasting:

Step #1: Become Fat Adapted

Teach your body to burn fat instead of glucose by eating a high fat, low carb diet. You can become fat adapted in around one week by following a standard ketogenic diet, in which you consume:

  • 70-80% of calories from fats
  • 20-25% of calories from protein
  • 5-10% of calories from net carbs (total carbs- fiber)

Use the keto calculator to find your individual keto macros.

Step #2: Experiment With a Water-Only Fast

Test the waters, literally. See how your body responds to water-based intermittent fasting instead of going cold-turkey on a dry fast.

This step is the most crucial because it will tell you if your body is prepared to try a dry fast at all.

Do an intermittent fast for a week in which you only eat 8 hours a day and spend 16 hours without eating (but drinking plenty of water).

If you don’t experience any serious adverse effects like headaches or excessive weakness your body may be able to handle a dry fast.

Step #3: Prepare Your Body One Week In Advance

It’s advisable you quit caffeine or other stimulants one week before the dry fast to avoid withdrawal symptoms. You can also start to cut down on meals and daily calories to make the transition smoother.

Step #4: Stick to A 16-Hour Dry Fast

Now you can try going 16 hours without eating or drinking anything and rehydrating only in the 8-hour window. You can do this intermittent fast for as long as you want, although a few days is enough to notice any positive (or negative) effects.

Thanks to the previous steps, you shouldn’t feel too thirsty, moody, or uncomfortable during the dry fast.

Common Dry Fasting Mistakes (And What To Do Instead)

Mistake #1: Bingeing After The Fast Is Over

Overeating after fasting can cause digestive problems like bloating and stomach aches as well as rapid weight gain, especially if you eat too many carbs.

Transition out of the fast by eating in moderation and drinking plenty of water to hydrate your body.

Mistake #2: Exercising Too Hard

Excessive sweating will increase water loss, messing with your body’s efforts to maintain water balance. This can dehydrate you and make you light-headed.

If possible, save your intense gym sessions for before or after the fast. You can also opt for light exercise instead.

Mistake #3: Ignoring Your Body

Ignoring your body’s signals is the worst mistake you can make on any fast.

Pay attention to how you’re feeling throughout the dry fast and don’t hesitate to break the fast if you feel something’s not right. You might need to shorten the length of your fast or adjust some other lifestyle factors like exercise or caffeine.

Safety and Side Effects of Dry Fasting

A dry fast can be safe if you follow the conditions above: keep it short, eat plenty of fats, rehydrate when you’re out of the fast, experiment with water fasts first, and pay attention to your body.

A dry fast can be extremely harmful if:

  • You do it longer than a day. This can cause severe dehydration.
  • You’re taking medications. It’s not advisable to fast while on medications unless you are supervised by a doctor.
  • You try it without experimenting with other fasts first.
  • You’re exposed to excessive heat or physical exertion.
  • You’re pregnant. Pregnant women should only fast under doctor’s orders.

Some of the side effects of dry fasting reported on studies are:

  • Low performance in sports during the evening
  • Headaches
  • Temporal disrupted sleep (because of the change in circadian rhythms)

Dry Fast Safely

Dry fasting can enhance ketosis, banish inflammation, and improve metabolic health, but it shouldn’t be done by beginners without fasting experience.

To avoid any negative impact on your health, take the necessary steps to prep your mind and body before attempting your first intermittent dry fast.  

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32 thoughts on “Dry Fasting: The Truth About This New Health Industry Trend

    1. Hi. I am doing a 90 hours dry fasting. 42h have passed, I feel still great and continue doing what is planned.

  1. Thank you for this well-researched and very informative article. It’s an eye-opener. I really appreciate quality content like this!

  2. I have done 3 times 3 days dryfasting. one 6 days dry fasting and one 7 days dry fasting.
    the last one l lost 9 kilos, and gain back 6 kilo, but one month after ending the 7 days dry fast, I lost another 2 kilo of body fat.
    Because I do OMAD 22 hours fastimg 2 hours eating.
    I just started another dry fast, lost 4 kilo the first day, so now l am on the same waight as when l finnish the last dry fast. I am OK not tired not tirsty, just a little bit under normal.
    I am dry fasting to get rit of my stuborn belly fat. plus my body will be cleant up again. I had pimples every time l grow a beard, now l have a beard again, but no pimples.
    so the dry fasting has cured my skin.

  3. I did 72 hours dry fast,was dizzy on day three kept pushing.i broke my fast and next day had a minor stroke.This was not my first time doing this .I had successfully done it before so it wasn’t something really difficult for me I thought I could help so.eine out there

  4. This is flawed as the studies you mentioned didn’t include a control study. A ramadan study is inherently flawed because – it doesn’t compare benefits of dry vs wet fasting. You need to provide more specific studies.

  5. I know this is not a scientific study, but many of the Muslims I know gain weight during Ramadan because they eat massive amounts of goodies before dawn (think Christmas treats but for Ramadan) and then again after sunset. My Palestinian neighbor even jokes about having period and Ramadan pants she can wear for that bloated, overnight weight gain.

  6. I did my first 25 hour dry fast last week, I feel great my mind is awaken compare to my water fast for several months. This is amazing! Even 16 hours, 12 hours dry fast every day, I enjoyed the feeling of having always an extra energy. I just notice even I don’t get enough sleep, like I can wake up from 3 or 4 hours sleep and work all day and still has the energy to workout in the afternoon and in the evening. Mind you, I work in a call center where I have to wake up and work from 1AM to 10AM, still the energy is there. This is much better than my water fast.

  7. I just completed a 60 hour hard dry fast. My first time. I did prepare for this hard dry fast with a week long soft bone broth fast. Meaning, I did have some of the onions celery garlic and meat off the bones that I used to make my bone broth. The last time I ate from my broth was Friday at noon. At 11:45 pm I washed my hands after work and I didn’t touch water again until Monday at 12:45pm. Through out the first day of the fast I had a minor migraine on the left side of my head. Nothing I couldn’t handle. It was gone the last half of the fast. Now a day after my 60th hour I’m not feeling great. I feel like I have a low grade fever. The headache is now more like a tension headache. I have some weakness. I broke my fast with 1 liter of coconut water. I drank the liter within the first hour. My second hour after breaking my fast I drank 1 liter of water. My third hour two liters of water. I felt fine. Functional. So I slowly returned to my normal routine. I had another liter of coconut water over an hour before work. I had to work at 7pm. Thought I should eat so I have some energy. Just in case. I didn’t want to be drained. I had rice chicken and some vegetables carrots zucchini squash. Big mistake!!! I had bad diarrhea. I thought I was gonna have to go home but I pushed through with no further bathroom incidents. I wait tables so I did a lot of walking and carrying plates. Just to give you an idea of the type of stress I put my body under. My upper back was hurting like an 8 on a 1-10 scale. I didn’t feel my best the whole time there but it was bearable. I’m a little concerned about my time in the bathroom. I thought maybe some bile dump from the liver or something. Maybe dehydration or stressed renal function. I don’t know. I have read online that a teaspoon of baking soda with water will help the kidneys. Is this a necessary step after a hard dry fast? Also what does the mixture do for the kidneys?My wife works in a hospital and thinks I might be dehydrated to the point of renal failure due to my feeling ill and weak. I’m just trying to gain some knowledge because I plan to make fasting a part of my lifestyle for the health benefits and I wanna make sure I don’t go through anymore bathroom incidents. Lol. If someone has any answers or pointers I would really appreciate that. Thanks. Emilio.

  8. Emilio,
    I have been been doing different length of hard dry fasts ove last 2 months and everyone has been somewhat different. one

  9. Emilio, Ive done about 8 hard dry fasts of varying duration, 2 to 7 days. Everyone has been somewhat different, it is getting easier tho. had an exit from fasting similar to yours, but it hasnt happened again. Ive used the baking soda many times within the first hour after exiting my fasts with no ill effects but Im not sure it helps anything either. Wont hurt to try. in Sergei Filonov’s book, Dry Medical Fasting/ myths and reality. There is a simple example of exiting a dry fast that Ive tried, it is simple and used for whatever the duration of the fast.
    Slowly drink water for 2 hours after exiting fast then eat yogurt or keifer, plain of course, only for the next 2 hours. then slowly resume healthy vegis and whatever you tolerate after that. I found that to be simple and without any problems for me. Just an example I thot to pass along.The yogurt only helps reestablish bacteria I guess, and it is very mild on starved stomach. Blessings on your dry fasting journey! Dry fasting is the bomb!!!!

  10. This has been a great read and inspiring on cleansing as a whole. I’m on day 8 of a water fast and saw in another article about dry fasting. I looked up dry fasting and it brought me to this page. I am going to try and do a dry fast this weekend. I’m excited. Thank you everyone who shared their experience.

  11. We in India, specific Hindu community do the Dry fasting for 36 to 40 hours every fortnight ( 2 times in a period of 30 days) and the day is called “Ekadasi” – 11th day of Hindu Calendar. It helps a lot and many individuals are very very Healthy.

  12. Thanks for the great article! I think intermittent dry fasting is quite normal. Honestly, without even really realizing it at the time, I’ve been doing these short dry fasts for decades. You know how you go out for dinner on Friday evening, then sleep in late on Saturday and get up and start doing stuff around the house without eating breakfast or drinking anything? Several hours go by and your like, “Oh, wow, time has flown by. I guess I should go eat” and it’s like 3 or 4 in the afternoon. Or that will happen on Saturday to Sunday.

    I’ve been dry fasting for the last 19 hours and I feel fine and don’t plan to eat or drink until dinner tonight, but then again, I’m keto/fat-adapted and have done 18/6 IF every day for the last few months in addition to a few 24-hour water fasts.

    Rao, that’s so interesting! I didn’t realize that. I’ve often noticed that you rarely see overweight Eastern Indians. Ekadasi must be part of the explanation.

  13. 9.oclock tonight will be 3 days into this dry fast, never thought a dry fast is good for you as long as you follow what is outlined in this article. I saved my life in 2004 I was 300 lbs and had issues did a 36 day water fast, after 3 days I was not hungry the toxins that I peeded out I was going for 40 days but was talked out of it. I did a 21 day water fast in 2017 and worked every day, another 21 day in late 2018 each time felt no hunger ,I believe totally that it is all mental, if you’re mind thought is you can’t do it then don’t even attempt it?

  14. So I accidentally broke my fast twice today, once at 0800 with honey in my coffee, then again in the afternoon by drinking a g2 gatorade (about 100 calories), which I did at 1700. Do these 2 beverages delay me from going into ketosis significantly, even though I know I have burned them off today?? My plan is to resume my food/drink tomorrow at dinner. (48 hour dry fast originally planned, but will actually be 24 hours dry dry). How much of that 48 hours really count??

  15. I m also doing Ekadashi as 36 hours dry fasting—- without water and food… my body start cleansing during the dry fasting Coz you are not feeding food and water to your stomach ,, so body don’t work to digest food and water and like our weekends body can do extra work of cleaning the body… but every morning and night before sleep I take water enema by myself… which push out extra waste of body in form of hard stool..

    Emilio did a mistake while breaking the fast… when you stop food and water supply to yor body… you should not start in a bulk

  16. I have dry fasted once before and had to stop for personal reasons. Today, at noon I decided to try a dry fast (soft), and have been doing it for 9 hours and 17 minutes now. I think I might try to pursue this further until morning. Approximately 6 am which will be 18 hours. Thus far, I am feeling ok and starting to feel pretty good. I have headaches on a water fast and have no headaches at all through the past 9 hours. I do have a heart burn; I am not hungry or thirsty however. The only thing I am concerned about is whether or not I will be able to sleep because my energy level is through the roof.

  17. I intuitively did my first Dry Fast one week ago… why? PMS and water retention. I thought “all the “protocols” for PMS bloating and water retention say “drink more water” and that doesn’t work for me as I retain that and feel more bloated, so why not try the opposite” .. so I thought to dry fast for min 12 hours to see if it made a difference… and yes it did.. I actually pee’d more, than if I was drinking water during PMS, I didn’t feel bloated and slept well (during PMS that’s always questionable)… AND actually went to the toilet with ease the next morning (whereas constipation is a PMS mainstay for me, sorry TMI) Also Dry Fasting is much easier to do that fasting with water… I have no hunger during my fast stage (I only do around 16-18 hours) So basically I did a George Kastanza and did the OPPOSITE of PMS protocols… and for me it worked. I listened to my body and it told me what it needed…funny that.

  18. I have dry fasted for 24 hrs successfully three times. It was a miracle cure for getting rid of my arthritic knee pain, and bilateral torn meniscus. Works so well I do it now every two weeks. For anyone out there suffering with pain in your joints or back this truly works like a charm. I’m not on pain meds any longer with exception of a mild anti inflammatory if I’ve had an over busy or long day.. This dry fasting has changed my life and a sincere answer to prayer…from the heart, Vicki

  19. That’s so wild to hear these guys in the video saying that they had such a hard time with dry fasting. I routinely (like weekly or at most monthly) go without water for 16 – 24 hours simply by just being busy and doing a tiny bit of effort. I have to make myself drink water so for me it’s very easy to dry fast. In fact, right now I have not had any food or water since last night at about 7pm and it’s now 9pm the next day. That’s 26 hours and I feel totally normal. I’m getting a little growl in my stomach and will probably go eat something in a bit but not a big deal.
    I can’t imagine it being so difficult to go 24 hours without water. To me a 3-day water fast would be much harder. I like food! 🙂 Maybe I’m just adapted to be able to handle it by the fact that I’ve never been a big water guzzler. I’m 51 now and still have to MAKE myself drink when I don’t feel thirsty during the day and sometimes i just don’t want to force myself, even though I know I’ve only had about 50 ounces of water/liquids that day.
    Maybe there are genetic differences in people’s need for water. I remember as a child in elementary school, when we would all come in from the playground, we would go down the hall in a single-file line and then visit the water fountain. All the kids would drink and I remember I almost never did. I just didn’t have the urge. Maybe the other kids played harder than me. That’s possible since I am an introvert.

  20. Hi, nice article. Would like to mention that a 24/36 hour dry fast is practiced in Hinduism once a year. On days called “Ekadasi” (11th day after new/full moon), generic fasting (36 hour water fast) is practiced (along with staying awake the whole night). However once in a year around May/June a dry fast is suggested.

    1. Technically you would be avoiding them if you are truly dry fasting but that’s why this approach may not be for everyone @Mark

  21. My longest is 6 days (145 hours). I do 2 five days dry-dry fasts per year, and a bunch of 72 hour ones. My next one I will go 170 hours. Profound experience. I learned a lot and willing to share my knowledge and experience.

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