Dry Fasting. Is there any science to this?


Thanks for this video Bunny!

(Doug) #236

I think these have some bearing on the question of dry fasting.


If nothing else, the relationship between salt intake and water intake is not as simple as I thought. The question remains if not drinking water during fasting really makes for faster metabolism and/or fat breakdown than water fasting.

(Omar) #237

very interesting

(aka Nick) #238

That was a really interesting article. It makes me want to read “The Salt Fix”, which has been at the back of my reading list for a little while now. Time to move it to the front I guess. :slight_smile:

To summarize:

Nutritionist: Minimize salt intake, drink as much as much water as possible.

Reality: Eat double to triple the amount of salt the nutritioust recommended, and drink water to satiety.

I’m starting to realize I could solve all of my health problem by just reading a nutrition 101 textbook and doing the exact opposite. :yum:

(Omar) #239


good strategy

(It's all about the bacon, baby) #240

The paper doesn’t say, but I assume the human subjects were eating the SAD. Since high carbohydrate intake has an erffect on the kidneys that encourages the retention of salt and water, it is not surprising that salt would have the documented effects. I was particularly intrigued to see that extra salt inhibits gluconeogenesis, “thus depriving the muscles of energy,” since a high level of carbohydrate should already have inhibited gluconeogenesis. (Gluconeogenesis is an essential process when dietary carbohydrate is low enough, or else we’d all keel over dead on a ketogenic diet, so I don’t see it being inhibited on such a diet.)

Extra salt also appears to stimulate ketogenesis, which we all know is a BAD thing, because diabetic ketoacidosis.

Those dietary guidelines are saving your life, people!


(Doug) #241

They ate more salt and ended up drinking less… I was mighty surprised to see that. The whole deal is complicated - I’ve read through it a couple times and still don’t have a handle on it.

Paul, would it make a difference, though? What I’m seeing is a fairly complicated dance the body does to excrete more salt while recycling more water - with a significant energy cost, apparently. Wouldn’t this apply even eating a lot of carbs?

I was told about the NY Times article by a person who suggested it provided some science behind the notion that dry fasting is better/faster than water fasting, for fat loss. Of course - overall, eating more salt is not the same thing as drinking no water.

If there is a limit on the fat we have access to, per day - and I believe there is - then water fasting probably gets most of us there anyway, and hence I’d argue against dry fasting being any better for fat-burning.

(Mel Simpson) #242


Not sure how much science sciencey is behind it it but here is info for and against. Interesting read.

(Mel Simpson) #243

More info re dry fasting.

(Doug) #244

Mel, have you dry fasted yourself?

That Quora page is similar to the claims I’ve seen made for dry fasting in the past - some are just general effects of fasting, period, while the implication is that dry fasting somehow does it faster or better, and/or that water fasting does not do it - and I never see any proof or even a half-decent rationale behind the belief in that.

One thing is that if there’s a limit on how much fat we can burn per day - and all in all there really does appear to be, i.e. so much per pound or kilogram of fat that we have - then most people are going to be up against that while water fasting. Not drinking water is hardly going to override that. Breaking down fat/stored adipose tissue actually consumes water as a first step, rather than producing it. The notion that the body will break fat down faster to “get more water” is just wishful-thinking, from everything I’ve ever seen.

Maybe I’m wrong, and I’d be tickled if I was. The study that was linked to says, “With weight loss of 1,390 ± 60 g/day, FWD seems to be the most effective dietary protocol, since the magnitude of weight reduction is 50-100% more than observed during juice or water fasting.”

That was partially offset by gaining some water weight back: 5 days dry fasted, then on the 3rd day of eating again they’d regained 1.8 kg, making for an average daily loss of 1.03 kg. That’s obviously well beyond what people lose when water fasting, but I wonder if there was further weight regain after the measurement on the 3rd refeeding day.

Up until now, the numbers I’ve seen for people’s weight loss when dry fasting add up pretty well, when all water loss is figured in, respiration and perspiration included. The mostly accepted maximum fat loss (at least on this forum) of usually about 0.5 lbs or ~225 grams of fat per day, with some increase as one has more fat (the ~31.5 calories per day per lb. of fat thing), has seemed to apply very well.

So now I wonder - does dry fasting make any difference; maybe I’ve got to try it myself.

(Doug) #245

Siim Land is totally full of crap - just making a lot of videos without regard to the truth. Check out the picture on that page:


This is the direct opposite of how it works. :smile: The truth is that 3 water molecules are consumed in the splitting of triglycerides into glycerol and 3 fatty acids. :wink:

(Running from stupidity) #246

Was an excellent post until this final par, Doug…

(Doug) #247

Mic, I can’t just dismiss what that study said, out of hand. What we need is a comparison study of people dry fasting and water fasting, and/or the same people, dry fasting for one period and then water fasting for the next, repeating the cycle a few times.

And heck - sometimes I end up going a whole day, without even trying. Black coffee in the morning, don’t work hard and the weather’s not hot, not much perspiration, don’t drink anything until the next morning. Poof a whole day of dry fasting in the bag…

(Karim Wassef) #248

the body retains water for a period of time in depleted fat cells… dry fasting may be driving the body to extract that water and break down the depleted fat cell structures? That’s a theory that’s plausible to me at least.

(Doug) #249

There’s some significant disagreement over whether that water-in-fat-cells thing really happens, Karim. (I really don’t know, either way.)

Fat cells live like 10 years, too, so I would doubt that getting somewhat depleted of fat means a death sentence. They can expand and contract a whole lot, and some relative few are dying every day, and they get replaced.

(Mel Simpson) #250

Yes I have tried dry fasting. I did 40 hours. I cant stand drinking water or black coffee so it was easy. I’ve also done 24 hours a few times not even purposely dry fasting…just didnt feel like drinking.
I’m not posting about dry fasting bc I think it’s a must for all things health. Just out of interest and info. Hoping someone may have more info. I can see 1 study but many more need to be done to really obtain some decent findings

(Mel Simpson) #251

I found dry fasting easier than water fasting. I didn’t feel thirsty at all

(Bunny) #252

If they (test subjects in the study below) were to have been drinking water when thirsty to satiety would the results be any different or more significant?

I doubt it!

Interesting sample:

5DaysofFoodandWaterDeprivation.pdf (908.2 KB)

Abnormal kidney blood results
(Mel Simpson) #253

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Dr. Satchin Panda on Practical Implementation of Time-Restricted Eating & Shift Work Strategies
(Karim Wassef) #254

autophagy does break down lean mass during fasting. Empty fat cells are a reasonable target. It might be more effective after a water fast… deplete lipids first, then remove water and finally break down the cell with autophagy.