Published On By Rachel Nall

FastingWhen you fast, a common question may arise about whether drinking water is acceptable. There is no simple answer to such questions as it depends on factors like the type and purpose of your fast.

However, completely avoiding water for extended periods may disrupt normal bodily functioning and lead to severe dehydration.

Staying hours without drinking sufficient water could also make you ill, cause you to faint or collapse, and might lead to persistent headaches and fatigue.

This article will guide you on the need for adequate water intake and list factors influencing your water needs.

The article will help clear your doubts about whether you can drink water while fasting and also mention drinks that should be avoided during fasting.

What Is Fasting?

Fasting is an intended abstinence from food or liquids for a specific timeframe. It has gained popularity among people looking to reduce weight and fat mass. However, different fasting types come with their own pros and cons.

Fasting may take different forms, including dry fasting, where no liquids (including water) are consumed. Intermittent fasting involves specific eating and fasting windows. Extended dry fasting is not advised, as water is essential for bodily functions.

Types Of Fasting

  1. Dry Fasting

    Dry fasting means abstaining from consuming liquids, including water, during the fasting window. It is modeled after certain religious fasts, but it is rarely advised to go without water for an extended period due to its essential role in supporting critical bodily functions.

    Some people combine dry fasting with intermittent fasting to reap both their benefits. However, depriving the body of water through dry fasting may lead to dehydration and other health complications.

    Therefore, it is essential to exercise caution and seek a doctor’s consultation before attempting dry fasting. Doing so could help you learn the risks associated with dry fasting and take appropriate steps to minimize them.

  2. Intermittent Fasting

    Intermittent fasting is a fasting schedule that is based on periods of non-fasting and fasting over a specified timeframe. It may impart potential benefits for health and weight management.

    Some approaches to intermittent fasting include alternate-day fasting, periodic fasting, and time-restricted feeding. Time-restricted fasting implies consuming all meals within a specific fasting window, such as 8 hours daily.

    Fasting periods during intermittent fasting could reduce blood sugar and insulin levels. Consuming solid foods raises blood sugar by triggering insulin release. Intermittent fasting may regulate blood sugar and insulin levels by abstaining from food for specific periods.

    Creating a consistent fasting schedule may reduce overall calorie consumption, contributing to weight loss and potential health benefits.

    You may consume water during intermittent fasting. Staying hydrated does not impact blood sugar or insulin levels and may support bodily functions while preventing dehydration.

Health Benefits Of Water-only Fasting

  1. Promote Kidney Function

    Research studies found that water-only fasting could enhance kidney function by reducing oxidative stress and lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.

    Oxidative stress indicates the imbalance between free radical production and the body’s ability to neutralize them. Water-only fasting could help prevent kidney cell and tissue damage by subsiding oxidative stress.

    Elevated LDL (bad) cholesterol levels are associated with an increased risk of kidney disease. Water-only fasting could lower LDL cholesterol levels, thereby reducing the risk of kidney problems.

    Fasting may potentially enhance kidney function by promoting urine production. Adequate hydration may maintain kidney health and might prevent conditions like kidney stones. Drinking water while fasting may support urine production and prevent dehydration.

  2. Lower Blood Pressure

    Water-only fasting may positively impact hypertension and help reduce elevated blood pressure. Such reduction in blood pressure could be essential for maintaining cardiovascular and arterial health.

    It may lower blood pressure in hypertensive people, potentially decreasing their need for antihypertensive medications. Such effects may indicate that water fasting might be an effective alternative to managing high blood pressure.

  3. Enhance Heart Health

    Research suggests fasting, specifically water-only fasting, may positively impact heart health. A study comprising healthy participants found that water-only fasting increased red blood cell count, human growth hormone, and hemoglobin levels.

    Another study with 30 healthy participants who undertook water-only fasting for one day concluded that it significantly reduced triglyceride levels, a chief risk factor for heart disease. Water fasting could protect the heart against free radical-induced damage, preserving healthy heart function.

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What Can You Drink While Fasting?

Calorie-free beverages, like black coffee and unsweetened tea, could be consumed during intermittent fasting to stay hydrated.

Here are four fast-friendly drinks you can enjoy while fasting:

  • Black coffee: It provides a much-needed caffeine boost and contains antioxidants that may impart various health benefits. Just drink coffee without any added sugar or cream and in moderation.
  • Unsweetened tea: It may help quench your thirst during fasting. Tea is also rich in antioxidants and might be soothing to your digestive system.
  • Flavored water: Flavored water might be a refreshing choice to add flavor to your drinks. Look for options that are naturally flavored and free from added sugars or artificial sweeteners.
  • Sparkling water: Sparkling water could be suitable if you crave some carbonation. It provides a fizzy sensation without any calories or sugar. You may also add a squeeze of lemon or lime for an extra flavor twist.

Factors That Influence Your Water Needs

Factors like physical activity, climate, age, illness, caffeine consumption, and certain medications may influence an individual’s water needs.

  • During physical activity or in a hot climate, the body may lose water through sweat, increasing the need for hydration.
  • Illnesses such as fever, diarrhea, or vomiting might also lead to dehydration and require increased water intake.
  • Age is another factor to consider, as older people may have a decreased sensation of thirst and may need to be more conscious of their water consumption.
  • Caffeine consumption, which has diuretic properties, may cause increased urine output and, therefore, a higher water requirement.
  • Certain medications, like diuretics, could increase urine production and necessitate greater water intake to maintain hydration levels.

Paying attention to these factors and adjusting water intake could prevent dehydration.

Amount Of Water Your Body Needs Daily

The National Academy of Medicine suggests that people should consume 9-13 cups of water daily. However, these guidelines might not consider factors like exercise, medication, or medical conditions.

Pay attention to cues such as dry mouth, dark urine, or feelings of fatigue. These may indicate that you need to increase your current water intake.

Can You Consume Water While Fasting For A Blood Test?

Drinking water before getting a blood test is highly recommended as it does not impact the test results. Instead, it encourages blood drawing by maintaining adequate fluid levels in the veins.

However, consult your physician for specific instructions on drinking water before medical procedures, as guidelines could vary.

Fasting Before Medical Procedures

Fasting before medical procedures is a common practice to ensure an empty stomach and may subside the risk of complications during surgery.

Medical professionals typically advise fasting for 8-12 hours before the procedure, which helps prevent issues like vomiting, aspiration, and regurgitation.

However, some doctors may allow you to drink clear liquids like water up to 2 hours before the procedure, as water is quickly absorbed.

It is crucial to consult with your medical team to get specific guidelines on drinking water prior to the medical procedure.

Drinks To Avoid During Fasting

Certain beverages should be avoided while fasting as they could contain calories or sugar, potentially breaking the fast and hindering the desired effects.

  • Soda
  • Sports drinks
  • Coffee (with cream, milk, or sugar)
  • Smoothies
  • Milk
  • Alcohol

Remember to consult a doctor for specific guidance on what drinks to avoid while fasting, especially if you have any underlying medical conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can Drinking Water While Fasting Help With Weight Loss?
    Drinking water while fasting could aid weight loss by promoting hydration, supporting detoxification, increasing metabolism, and improving digestion.
  2. Who Should Avoid Fasting?
    Pregnant or breastfeeding women, people with diabetes, children under 18 years, and those with a history of eating disorders should refrain from fasting. It might lead to potential health risks or complications in such populations.
  3. Are There Any Risks or Complications Associated With Not Drinking Water During Dry Fasting?
    Not drinking water during dry fasting (for extended periods) may pose health risks and complications.
    Dry fasting restricts all fluids, including water, which might lead to severe dehydration and associated health complications. Therefore, consult a doctor before attempting dry fasting.
  4. Is It Safe to Drink Sparkling Water or Flavored Water While Fasting?
    As long as they don’t contain additives, sparkling and flavored water can be consumed without breaking the fast. They could help hydrate the body and reduce the chances of dehydration.


When considering fasting, it is permissible to drink water as it plays a pivotal role in supporting essential bodily functions. Water intake during fasting could help reduce blood pressure, support kidney function, and improve heart health.

Listening to your body’s thirst cues, like dry mouth, feelings of fatigue, or dark urine, could indicate that the body lacks water. Identifying these signals may help you stay hydrated and avoid dehydration.

Try consuming calorie and sugar-free beverages while on a fast, including black coffee, unsweetened tea, or sparkling water. Avoid consuming drinks such as alcohol, soda, or sports drinks, which may raise insulin and disrupt your fasting.

  • The information in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice.
  • It is not recommended to disregard/delay seeking professional medical advice or treatment because of what you read or accessed through this review.
  • The results may vary from individual to individual.
  • Consult your doctor for any underlying medical conditions or if you are on any prescribed medicines before using the product.

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