Water fasting is the type of fast that focuses on water consumption. But can you drink tea while water fasting?
This is a frequently asked question since, based on other fasts like intermittent fasting, it is strongly advised to drink lots of fluids while you fast. It is even suggested to drink tea while intermittent fasting to help curb diet.
Sadly, this isn’t the case with water fasting. While tea is still liquid, anything besides water should not be consumed.
Water fasting has been known to be quite intense and offers its own risk since water is your only sustenance. Although it has its own health benefits, it’s important to stress that it does not apply to everyone.
Here’s more of what you should know about water fasting and what steps you’d be smart to take if you’re considering this type of diet yourself.
What Is Water Fasting?
Water fasting means solely drinking water, without any food at all, throughout the duration of the diet. It may be done for health purposes as well as for spiritual and religious reasons. Approaching water fast with caution is advised.
This kind of fasting is thought to enhance health and might inspire dietary and lifestyle modifications1,2.
This kind of intervention has been shown to trigger physiological changes that may be beneficial to health. They consist of increased lipolysis, autophagy, reduced inflammation and oxidative stress symptoms, regulated hormone activity, improved physical and mental well-being, and enhanced ketogenesis3.
Fasting typically lasts anywhere from 1 to 3 days, a water fast is most often suggested for medical reasons, while intermittent fasting is more advocated for weight loss and health benefits.
Water Fasting Guidelines
There are no established scientific methods for beginning water fast. Most healthy people can do a water fast with no significant complications. However, some individuals should not fast without advice from medical professionals.
It’s a good idea to spend 3–4 days prepping your body for going without meals if you have never done water fasting before.
Your body will benefit more from the fast and be able to maximize the experience of autophagy and cell renewal if you consume light, wholefood meals (fruits and vegetables) and avoid consuming any processed foods.
Why Should You Try Water Fasting?
The primary motivation for water fasting is to enhance one’s health, just like intermittent fasting.
Numerous studies have connected water fasting to a number of impressive health advantages, such as a decreased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and a few types of cancer4, 5, 6.
Water fasting may also encourage autophagy, a process in which your body eliminates and reuses old, potentially harmful cell components7.
Is Water Fasting Safe?
A research study was conducted on 12 middle-aged men to show whether water fasting for eight days may be a threat to the health of people doing this practice8.
They did not consume any food during the eight days of water fasting, only mineral water. This led to a significant decrease in perceived stress, weight loss, changes in body composition, dehydration, enhanced ketogenesis, hyperuricemia, lower serum glucose concentration, and hyponatremia, according to the study.
All participants were confirmed to be safe and to still feel well after eight days of water fast. However, the emergence of the aforementioned negative metabolic effects, despite partially successful renal compensations, shows that the body would suffer if it continued to fast.
Who Should Not Try Water Fasting?
Water fasting carries a lot of risks and dangers, despite the fact that it might offer certain health advantages.
People with the following medical condition should not water fast without a doctor’s approval:
- Gout: Water fasting carries many risks and dangers, even though it might offer certain health advantages9.
- Eating disorders: There is evidence that fasting, especially in teenagers, may exacerbate eating disorders like bulimia10.
Water Fasting Benefits
- Reduces consumption of sodium, sugar, and alcohol: Even without making any other dietary adjustments, abstaining from alcohol for a few days or longer may eventually result in weight loss and a decrease in blood pressure for those who routinely consume alcohol11.
- Promotes cell recycling: It is believed that this procedure, known as autophagy, may help to avoid cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease12
- Blood pressure reduction: Lower blood pressure readings are correlated with two things: drinking more water and eating less salt. You can perform these activities while on a water fast, which may lower your blood pressure.
- Aids in preventing diabetes: According to research, fasting of any kind may enhance insulin sensitivity13.
Water Fasting Risks
- Upset stomach: After severely limiting calories for a while, eating again (particularly in bigger amounts) can make you feel uneasy and uncomfortable in your stomach.
- May result in nutrient deficiencies: Your body needs specific vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, amino acids, and electrolytes to function correctly, all of which are limited when you restrict your caloric intake.
- Hyponatremia: Also known as water intoxication, is when only water is used to replace the salt that is lost via sweating14.
- Unable to engage in physical activity: In addition to the risks of hyponatremia, water fasting makes it difficult to remain physically active, which is essential for good health.
- Tiredness, wooziness, and difficulty concentrating: Extreme calorie restriction can cause symptoms such as lightheadedness, weariness, and mental fog.
What To Do After You Fast
Once you break your fast, it can be very tempting to dive into a large or heavy meal. This is exactly what you should avoid doing.
Jumping into food too fast can lead to refeeding syndrome which occurs when food is introduced too quickly after a period of malnourishment. You may be at the highest risk if you lost more than 15 percent of your body weight in the past 3 to 6 months or if you’ve gone with little to no food for the past 10 or more consecutive days.
This can cause severe, debilitating symptoms like fatigue, confusion, seizures, heart failure, and even death in some cases. Always consult a medical professional with every diet you wish to partake.
When you do eat, it’s best to start with a small meal or snack. If you fasted for a prolonged period, it’s recommended to gradually increase the size of your meals back to normal over the next 1 to 3 days.
Can You Drink Tea While Water Fasting: Try Intermittent Fasting Instead
While we’re on the subject of teas, although it may not be included when you do water fasting, you can drink them if you do intermittent fasting.
Since water fasting is more extreme, you can start with intermittent fasting to acclimate yourself with how fasting works. When you do decide on intermittent fasting, it’s best to know the type of teas that can benefit you.
Teas to Consume Fasting
A popular beverage that has unique uses for weight loss is green tea. This tea is excellent for managing the health benefits of fasting in various ways, including boosting metabolic rate, raising body energy expenditure, burning fat more quickly, reducing hunger hormone release, and producing the effects of fullness.
Two to three cups of hot green tea (you can use loose-leaf tea or tea bags) consumed throughout the day should be adequate to provide health benefits. There are various types of green tea, but they are unlikely to differ significantly in terms of weight loss. The richest nutritional value is likely to have been kept in plain, little processed green tea.
This is another herbal tea that you can drink while water fasting. It has many digestive advantages, including the ability to lessen nausea sensations and speed up food digestion.
The same plant that produces green tea is also used to make black tea, which is manufactured by extensively oxidizing the tea leaves. The leaves turn black as a result of the longer oxidation, which also raises the quantity of caffeine to almost half that of regular coffee. This tea contains L-theanine, an amino acid that also promotes focus and energy.
Rooibos tea aids in the effective metabolization of body lipids and lowers the dangers and complications associated with obesity.
Tea Caffeine Impact On Fasting Periods
The amount of caffeine you receive will directly depend on the volume of water used, the steeping period, and the water’s temperature. Therefore, you should use at least 8 fluid ounces of hot water and steep the black tea bag for at least 5 minutes to extract the maximum caffeine out of it and into the beverage that you drink.
Tea fasting, especially with caffeinated varieties, may aid in weight loss. The fasting window not only encourages you to watch your calorie intake but caffeine and green tea have both been linked to better weight management15.
Other Health Benefits Of Drinking Tea While On Intermittent Fasting
Satisfy Hunger Pangs:
The body’s normal process of obtaining energy from food may cause you to feel hungry for the first few hours. Tea can aid in reducing hunger in this situation as it produces a temporary feeling of fullness.
The catechins in tea, which are antioxidants that lower the body’s free radical levels, also prevent the release of the ghrelin hormone, which increases hunger.
Tea consumption during a fast also aids in the management of the body’s detoxification process, which is started when a protein is activated. This protein encourages the body to flush out damaged cells and speeds up cell regeneration, helping to maintain overall body mass.
Increasing Weight Loss:
In addition to having few to no calories, catechins in tea also promote weight loss by raising body temperature. Also raised by the presence of caffeine are energy expenditure and fat oxidation.
While fasting, the body experiences stress, which can be reduced by drinking tea, which also supports healthy brain function. You can maintain composure, awareness, and attention throughout your fasting period.
2 Goldhamer A, Lisle D, Parpia B, Anderson SV, Campbell TC. Medically supervised water-only fasting in the treatment of hypertension. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2001 Jun;24(5):335-9. doi: 10.1067/mmt.2001.115263. PMID: 11416824.
4 Alirezaei M, Kemball CC, Flynn CT, Wood MR, Whitton JL, Kiosses WB. Short-term fasting induces profound neuronal autophagy. Autophagy. 2010 Aug;6(6):702-10. doi: 10.4161/auto.6.6.12376. Epub 2010 Aug 14. PMID: 20534972; PMCID: PMC3106288.
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