Why I Don’t Recommend “Dry Fasting”

As many of you know I’m a big fan of fasting drinking large quantities of water. I have benefitted a lot myself water fasting and credit as one of the most healthful things I have done in reversing conditions I used to suffer from such as skin conditions, low moods, poor energy levels and digestive issues which I no longer see as separate diseases but rather different symptoms of the same underlying condition. I talk about the benefits of my three-week-long supervised water fast on my podcast. I know that sounds extreme but hey, if you want extreme results you might resort to extreme protocols to get them!

Many people online have beet attesting the benefits of fasting without drinking water and I’ve been asked several times why I don’t recommend “dry fasting” so here is a summary of my thinking so far. I don’t doubt it when people say they receive benefits from it, but I can’t recommend it because it can be dangerous and costs may outweigh benefits.

  • One of the main reasons why water fasting is beneficial is because of the detoxification effect of the body. All our cells produce wate products called metabolic wastes and when we don’t eat anything we give our body a break and can wash out all the cell poop from the organs and bloodstream. The thing is, every waste product needs to body with oxygen and be washed out of the body with water. How can you wash out your excess waste products without adding water?
  • Secondly, a major benefit of water fasting is the rehydration effect. When fasting drinking only water people often get extremely thirsty and that is a signal from the body that it wants help dehydrating on a deeper level. Most people in our society are significantly dehydrated on the cellular level because we eat dry foods that are not found in nature like bread and corn chips. Reversing this condition is not just a case of drinking more water – although that can help most people. When you drink water it gets absorbed quickly through the walls of the small intestine. But what if the whole tube is dehydrated? It’s requires dedication to fix. Juicing can help. So can water fasting. But I can’t see how you can benefit an already dehydrated body by depriving it of water.
  • Finally, on a related point, my fasting teacher is one of two or three pre-eminent experts on water fasting in the entire world. Having run a retreat fasting people on water for 3 weeks and more for three decades one of the things he reports is that people have old dry sticky material in their digestive tract that has been there for weeks months even years, and that while doing a long-term water fast this material rehydrates and is begins to be passed out 3-7 days after the fast while feeding only on high water content fruits, coconut water, etc. But what he has found in his thirty years of experience is that people who have dry fasted in their life have the lowest level of hydration of anyone who comes in (he tests everyone for hydration daily) and have the hardest time removing this nasty sticky stuff because it dries out even more while in a dry fast. He credits removing this material from the body as a major way to restore health because as long as it is in there you will be reabsorbing toxins from it and it will likely impair your ability to absorb nutrients. The YouTuber John Rose once consumed nothing but fruit and vegetable juices for 90 days once and reported he was still removing old hard material after a month or forty-five days  – imagine that. Or preferably don’t!

Being dehydrated is the cause or a contributing factor to so many of the illnesses we see today but people don’t know because they don’t understand the complexities of the issues.  The Iranian Doctor affectionately known as Dr. Batman (Batmanghelidj) explained in his famous book Your Body’s Many Cries for Water just how many conditions he managed to reverse using hydration alone when that was all he had to give prisoners. If you put one crystal of celtic salt in a glass of water the three types of magnesium inside will help carry the water into your cells.

So that’s why I don’t recommend depriving you body of much needed water on a dry fast.

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