Dry Fasting

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Dry Fasting

Post by Nightly Orange on Sat Apr 07, 2018 6:11 pm

Anyone else have experience with dry fasting, where you abstain from both solid food as well as liquids?

I've know about different fasting protocols for years now and have done wet/water fasts for up to 120 hours, but somehow it slipped my radar until a few days ago that dry fasting was a thing. I ended my first dry fast (36 hours) this morning.

According to dry fasting proponents, it's 3 to 4 times more effective than a water fast of the same length (in terms of weight loss, fat burn, and autophagic benefits). I'm not sure how accurate that is, but it was cool to try. I didn't find a 36-hour dry fast significantly more difficult than a 36-hour wet fast, so from now on, whenever I go on a short fast I'll make it dry. If the touted benefit of being 3x more effective is true, it'd be a more efficient use of my time. I suspect that extending it beyond 48 hours would be much tougher though.

Random notes:

  • For the first 24 hours, I noticed that I got thirsty, but it was some kind of phantom psychological thirst, because I was still able to produce plenty of saliva. Probably conditioning from drinking a glass of liquid every couple of hours my entire life.
  • Woke up in the middle of the night (around the 30-hour mark) with my mouth feeling extremely dry and really craving some water, but after lying there for an hour or so, the thirst went away again and saliva production returned to normal.
  • When I got up in the morning, I didn't feel thirsty at all and broke the fast simply because I intended to break the fast, rather than out of a desperate need to drink some liquids.
  • I was always under the impression that people die after 3 days without water, but apparently this is BS, since people have been recorded doing dry fasts longer than this.
  • You can make your own water from fat metabolism (waste products from oxidizing triglycerides are carbon dioxide and water), which is why you don't necessarily dehydrate to death within days. It helps A LOT to be keto-adapted before doing a dry fast though, because you need good fat-burning abilities to hydrate this way.
  • Apparently you can absorb water through your skin, with the effect becoming more pronounced as the fast extends, so truly hardcore dry fasting proponents do what's call a "hard" dry fast, where they don't even shower or brush their teeth. I have no idea how significant this effect is. Personally I took a shower because I didn't want to be gross.
  • You can do dry fasting just like intermittent fasting, e.g. restricting both your food and liquid intake to a 4-hour window (or whatever you prefer) each day.
  • Even though I didn't drink anything, I still urinated 4 times during the fast.


I think that's about it. Oh yeah, when I broke the fast, I had some slight, uh, accelerated bowel motility. This never happens to me on a 36-hour water fast (only on 60+ hour water fasts), so it's at least weakly supportive of the idea that dry fasts are like time-compressed wet fasts.
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Re: Dry Fasting

Post by RedComet on Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:16 am

Thank you for the report! That's really interesting. I can say that I have no intention of trying this, but it's interesting nonetheless.
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Re: Dry Fasting

Post by Dawn on Sun Apr 08, 2018 3:36 am

I just did a 16 hour dry-fast, not a problem at all. I don't know if I would do a dry fast in the middle summer here in the south of Spain, but right now it is practically raining every night and 16 hours isn't that much.

One of the things I like about fasting is that if I have any problems arising from have g eaten something I shouldn't have, it seems to heal super fast- but I haven't noticed if it heals faster on the dry fast.

It really doesn't feel that different from at 16 hour regular fast. I don't mind trying a 24 hour one next time.

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Re: Dry Fasting

Post by John Caton on Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:49 am

A significant amount of water is produced as a by product of respiration. The body can utilize any excess as it would ingested water. In a fast, if respiration increases by burning fat, it makes sense that excess water is available to maintain bowel and urinary needs, but for how long before dehydration sets in?

I believe autophagy is the only real benefit of fasting so I'm perplexed how water from respiration would make autophagy more effective. Interesting topic.

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Re: Dry Fasting

Post by Rig D on Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:24 am

I, too find this an interesting topic. Like RedComet, I will not try it myself. Dry fasting just doesn't feel like a fit for me.
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Re: Dry Fasting

Post by Ellito on Sun Apr 22, 2018 7:16 am

Dry fasting seems like a terrible idea. Vasopressin (a water retention hormone) tends to stimulate cortisol.

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Re: Dry Fasting

Post by Paysan on Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:26 pm

Before I tried dry fasting, I think I'd check into Ramadan fasting, which runs from sunrise to sunset each day for 30 days. Even just skipping food and drink for a minimum of 12 hours seems to have deleterious effects on certain classes of people; so fasting is discouraged for pregnant and nursing women, and growing children. Also the already ill, but that is a given. Since so many people practice Ramadan fasting, there should be enough results to guide someone trying it. But unlike Ramadan fasters, the OP continued it for 36 hours. It sounds iffy to me, and I IF several times a week, and have longer fasts occasionally. Wet ones, of course.

It seems in the hurry-up world that even a beneficial practice like fasting has its acceleration proponents, but I'd be scared of more repercussions, like renal failure. Shocked

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Re: Dry Fasting

Post by sharperhawk on Sun Apr 22, 2018 1:46 pm

Dry fasting combined with base jumping in the Himalayas is the path to godhood. Bim Boff did it when he was only three years old.
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Re: Dry Fasting

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