User Reviewed

How to Perform a Water Fast

Two Methods:Plan your water fastBegin Your Water Fast

There's no more grueling type of fast or cleansing diet than a pure water fast. Unless of course you're on a fast where you consume absolutely nothing, including water. On this fast, you can only have water. According to many alternative health experts, the health benefits can be extraordinary.[citation needed] Fasting allows the body time to heal from all of the toxins and pollutants in our food and environment.[citation needed] It also costs nothing to do. Follow these steps to learn more.

Note: A fast of this type should only be performed by an informed adult who has checked first with their doctor. It is not suitable for any person under the age of 18. The most important rule of a fast is to always be under a doctor's watchful eye, especially if you are doing a five to 30 day water fast. The best idea is to consult your doctor and ask which fast is right for you. Water fasts should not be taken lightly.

Method 1
Plan your water fast

  1. Image titled Perform a Water Fast Step 1
    Select a length of time to do your water fast. While many regular fasters can do a water fast from 3 to 30 days,[citation needed] beginners should experiment by trying several shorter fasts first to see how their bodies react. Try a 2 day water fast, just to see how things go, and if things go well, continue.
  2. Image titled Perform a Water Fast Step 2
    Plan your water fast for a period during which you will not be under a lot of stress or during which fasting might interfere with your daily routine.
  3. Image titled Perform a Water Fast Step 4
    Prepare yourself for the many side effects you may experience during fasting, like headaches, dizziness and nausea. Be prepared to stop the fast before any of these symptoms become overwhelming. Remember, during the next couple days, if you don't clean out your body,[citation needed] your body will clean out itself by urination and bowel movements and it could be a rough couple of days.
  4. Image titled Perform a Water Fast Step 5
    Consult your doctor if you have any medical condition, or take any medications. This may make fasting difficult or put too much strain on your body.

Method 2
Begin Your Water Fast

  1. Image titled Perform a Water Fast Step 6
    Get plenty of rest during your water fast. You may experience a drop in stamina and energy during this time. Don't overexert yourself. Maintain healthy sleep patterns. Fasting is all about rest - physical, emotional, sensory and physiological.[1]
  2. Image titled Perform a Water Fast Step 7
    Drink at least 7 to 10 glasses, each 8 oz., every day.[citation needed] Natural spring water is the best option, but if you don't have access to that, then whatever you need to do to drink enough water is what you'll have to do. Tap water is what most do.[citation needed]
  3. Image titled Perform a Water Fast Step 8
    Alternate a juice fast with a water fast if you're contemplating a longer fasting period. That way, your body can receive important vitamins and nutrients on a periodic basis.[citation needed]
  4. Image titled Perform a Water Fast Step 9
    Break your fast with the cleanest and easiest foods to digest. This means fruits as a primary, and vegetables secondary.[citation needed] Stay away from the processed junk that got you clogged up in the first place.
  5. Image titled Perform a Water Fast Step 10
    Avoid intense exercise during this time. Instead, try yoga. But it must be a quietening restorative yoga. It's a calming way of stretching the body's muscles, and getting the good exercise that a fasting body needs. You may also do light walking to keep your muscles strong and to aid in the detoxification process.


  • Depending on how big you are to begin with will depend on how long your fast will take to work and lose weight.
  • Eat foods high in vitamins and mineral the day before your fast.
  • If you are looking for an easier alternative, try a juice fast.
  • After your fast, drink grapefruit juice.[citation needed] An hour or two after the grapefruit juice is consumed, the digestive system should be reawakened, though "groggy". Feel free to slowly eat an apple. That should suffice. Do this at the end of the day and sleep. Then you can graduate to yogurt and whole grains, then eventually meat products. One day of recovery is recommended for every five days of fasting.
  • Fruit juice is the same as drinking sugar... As well as carrots and beets. If you are looking to really cleanse and lose weight use organic kale, celery, cucumber no skin cilantro, spinach etc. for a green juice fast.


  • This can be a means of weight loss, but if you go back to eating junk food, instead of eating healthy foods you will regain weight and reload your body with many toxins you worked so hard to rid yourself of.
  • Don't fast if you are on the brink of anorexia or you find yourself disliking food.
  • Some conditions are contraindicated for fasting including late stages of liver or kidney disease; insulin dependent diabetics; advance stage alcoholics; hyperthyroidism and advanced thyroid malfunctions, those with irreversible wasting diseases like AIDS (advanced stage), tuberculosis, infectious diseases like advanced SARS and H5N1 Avian influenza or other lethal bird flus; extensive carcinomas and metastatic cancers (when fasting would contribute to their malnourished state); atrial fibrillation; cardiovascular diseases, vascular diseases with poor circulation to various parts of the body, cerebral degeneration due to arteriosclerosis (organic brain syndrome) or Alzheimer's disease; serious cardiac diseases including heart failure, severe cardiac rhythm disturbances, post-myocardial infarction, and severe cardiomyopathy and valvular heart defects.
  • Always consult a physician before attempting any sort of a fast or cleansing diet, especially a water fast. Many medical conditions such as diabetes and hypoglycemia can be aggravated by fasting. Stop your fast and seek medical treatment immediately if severe gastrointestinal distress or episodes of fainting or disorientation occur.
  • Many doctors who once recommended colon cleanses, now advise against them. Your body will naturally cleanse itself. Many people found that an enema made them weak, dizzy, and dehydrated.
  • Enzyme deficiency: Some people should not fast because they have a low liver enzyme which does not allow them to make ketones fast enough. How will you know? Mostly you won't know for sure unless you're under the care of a specialist but you can guess pretty well. Most people on a fast will start improving on day three as the ketones in their blood start to rise, but people who have this enzyme deficiency can't make enough to keep themselves well so they keep feeling awful after day three, four, etc.. any sudden sharp drop in your energy level after day two should be seen as a warning that you should consider a juice fast, not a water fast. And you should immediately stop the fast and take raw fruits and vegetables for a few days before attempting any more fasting of any kind. Note that this deficiency is extremely rare, but it happens.
  • Full disclosure requires that we also tell you that many of the statements in this article are disputed, including exactly which conditions are contraindicated for fasting, whether or not to fast for 2 days (because the worst symptoms of fasting such as malaise tend to stop after 2 days so ending your fast on day 3 is missing some of the benefits), how much water is needed, and whether or not to continue taking medications, and exactly how to wean off of medications, among other issues. It also doesn't talk about the enzyme deficiency that is extremely rare but prevents a few people from ever fasting (see enzyme deficiency warning above). Your best bet if you are contemplating a fast longer than 7 or 10 days is to find a doctor who is trained in fasting and have them guide you and monitor your condition during the fast. A nearby medical school can help you find such a doctor. Youtube can also help you locate someone to start talking to who may recommend someone in your area. No article can be a complete repository of all medical knowledge on a subject, so this is only a very general guide.

Article Info

Categories: Accuracy | Articles in Need of Sources | Nutrition and Lifestyle Eating | Water Ice and Sports Drinks