Water Fasting Tips
Block water fasting (4+ days drinking nothing but h2o) is definitely intense. As I write this, I have to date completely one extended (7 day) water fast, and I have my next one scheduled for about 1.5 months from now. The experience was so profoundly positive for me, and so in this post I am sharing some tips that I believe ensured I had a successful/ positive experience. Hopefully my insights help make your experience a bit easier.
Water Fasting Tips
- WATER QUALITY! Do not embark on a water fast on tap water, or poorly filtered water. Conventional tap water is filled with garbage (chlorine, fluoride, among give or take a bajillion other things you don't want in your body). I don't advise you drink tap water in your day to day life, but especially when water fasting, as the goal is to remove the toxic burden, not increase it. Water filters like "Brita" quite literally do nothing but remove debris. I get spring water delivered to my house bi-monthly, and did the fast on spring water. Another option would be a solid filtration system (like hardcore 12-step ones that restructure and remineralize water).
- Salt: add a high quality sea salt to your water when needed throughout the fast. It's a real game changer for energy/ strength. I used about 1-2grams of sea salt per day, just trust your body's wisdom and add a pinch in your water when it feels right.
- Dry brush everyday! Even though I live an extremely #lowtox lifestyle, my body is still detoxing from the everyday pollutants that I’m inevitably exposed to living in a big city. Days 2/3 of the 7-day fast I could definitely kinda smell myself detoxing (trust me, you'll know)- and dry brushing is imperative for moving lymph fluid and helping your body get rid of dem toxins.
- Avoid using ANY products (shampoo, body oils, creams, toothpaste, etc) during your fast. Your body absorbs everything you put onto in, right into the blood stream. I only used a pump of Living Libations Frankincense face oil (daily) and my masseuse did use almond oil for a massage I got, but other than that nothing on my body. I brushed my teeth with water and used a copper tongue scraper (which are life changing btw- I use mine 2-3x daily always). Just give your body a rest from having to process anything, even the natural stuff.
- A true fast means NOTHING BUT WATER. No lemon, no coffee, no tea, no supplements, no vitamins, no nothin’. Even black coffee will trigger your internal clock/ metabolism (shoutout to Dr. Rhonda Patrick for debunking that myth so vehemently perpetuated by the Bulletproof cronies). If you want true cellular level regeneration, HGH boost, and stem cell production - stick to good ol’ h2o.
- I debated having some San Pellegrino mineral bubbly water during the fast (I actually went out and bought some Day 1) but decided against drinking it. I couldn't find any information online on the effects of co2 and bubbly water on fasting (apart from bro science), and since I know bubbly water can be harsh on the stomach, I decided to give my body a rest from any form of assault. On day 7 of my fast I actually got a reply from Dr. Daniel Pompa regarding the sparkling water and confirmed that in fact NO: bubbly (San Pellegrino) water is not kosher for a water fast.
- Mind over matter: fasting is massively a mental game. Line up some informational podcasts and books/ videos about the benefits of fasting to keep you in line with your goals and priorities. Also line up like 8 seasons of a Netflix show, because that shit is distractingAF and will help you get through the first few (harder) days of fasting. I really found myself incredibly productive day’s 3 and onwards, but still keeping my activity level extremely low.
- Speaking of activity level: REST. I’ve heard so many different accounts of people’s fasting experiences, some people doing an extreme amount of activity throughout. No matter what your energy levels are: your body is going through an extreme detox and internal process; if you are breaking down muscle (exercise), you are stunting the benefits of a water fast. I do recommend one hard workout on Day1 to deplete your glycogen stores (and kickstart the autophagy process) but after that, really do rest. Gentle walking, stretching, and dry brushing is great for moving lymph fluid; but focus on relaxation and self-care. If you’re like me (always go, go, go!) this is not easy, but trust the process. This would be a great time to book a massage (but factor in that you may feel too weak to make your way there and back). Honestly, do not make any commitments with people if you can... otherwise you risk either disappointing them, breaking your fast early, or absolutely exhausting yourself. Chill, bruh.
- I cant stress enough the importance of your pre-fast lifestyle. I read and listened to SO many peoples experiences on fasts, and some were straight out of a horror movie. Like, for reals. They should make a horror movie and call is “Super Toxic People Attempting To Water Fast”. And all that tells me is those people were in massive withdrawal from addictions (sugar, caffeine, etc). The more you develop a healthy relationship with food and exercise, the easier and safer this experience will be for you.
- Consider recruiting a buddy to fast with you for an added layer of motivation and support. There are also many online forums and Facebook groups for water fasting support, but honestly I recommend staying out of those big groups. They are great for moral support, but TERRIBLE for reliable information. Every Tom, Dick, and Jane speaks as if they have a PhD in fasting… the information on those groups is just truly frightening, and the energy as a result is quite frightening.
- Seek guidance! I am a self-proclaimed lunatic in the realm of self-experimentation and detoxification. I have a deep trust in my intuition, and I know my limits (/ general lack thereof). Going into this fast, I gave myself permission to stop at any point if it did not feel right. Knowing my experience with detoxing, and my current health status, I ventured in alone. For most people, I would recommend either starting off with incorporating intermittent fasting (eating within a constricted time window in the day), and then playing around with 1, 2, or 3 day water fasts.
- Set an intention for your fast. Setting an intention and truly connecting to the purpose behind a challenge gives you motivation when times get rough. I purposefully did not touch at all on the weight loss aspect of fasting, because I believe it is a very dangerous motive to fast in the name of weight loss. Weight loss on a fasting protocol is a by-product of engaging in a healthy ancestral practice, but doing it for the sole purpose of losing weight is not only toxic, but can be dangerous. If you are having trouble losing weight or maintaining a healthy stable relationship with food and exercise, please read my blog post on self-love and addiction.
- And finally, perhaps the most important tip of all is making sure you break your fast properly. MANY of the long term benefits (like boost in HGH and stem cell production) happen during the re-feeding period, so you want to make sure you do not under any circumstance scarf down any big ol' meal as soon as the fast is over. Your digestive system will be extremely sensitive, and your body is in need of cooked, gut healing, easily digestible foods as it builds back its lining, and repopulates your gut flora. Broths, cooked veggies, fermented foods are at the top of the list for breaking a fast, and read more about my guide to breaking a water fast HERE.
Becoming Fully Human Water Fasting Crew
I am going to start a private Facebook group for those interested in staring, or the already avid water faster. I will be hosting a 5 day water fast once a season open for anyone to participate, and we can share information, support, and keep each other accountable through the process. If you're interested in joining, you can request by clicking HERE.
May your fasting journey(s) be deeply healing, extremely insightful, and rewarding beyond belief! I would love to hear any other tips you have for new and old fasters: what made your journey more pleasant? How long have you fasted? Do share!
May the h2o be with you,
ps. Read about my 7 day water fast experience HERE.
and read about my 10 day water fast experience HERE.