It sounds insane, I know.
But that’s exactly why I was drawn towards it. It goes completely against the grain of what we’ve always been told. That usually means it’s worth trying. It’s not like conventional wisdom is always true.
Conventional wisdom tells us to eat six small meals to keep your metabolism high, right? Or that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And I debunk those common myths in my other videos so you should check it out if this is news to you.
We’re also told that we need to drink 8 glasses of water a day. There’s actually no science behind that number. 8 is such an arbitrary number anyway. What if you drink 7 or what if you drink 9? Does it make you less or more healthy? How big are the glasses supposed to be?
Then we get in the world of intermittent fasting where obviously it’s recommended that you stay hydrated when you go through short periods of time without food. Which I 100% agree with. Staying hydrated is very important.
Dry Fasting vs Water Fasting
That’s where dry fasting comes into the equation. And the protocol is pretty simple. You consume no food OR water for a short period of time. And I get it. It sounds crazy! Why would you do that? It sounds completely out of left field but the more I read about it, the more research I did and discovered all the benefits that comes with it, the more it made sense for me to try it.
It’s so powerful that one day of dry fasting equals three days of water fasting. Go figure.
Now you can do a dry fast in two ways. You can do it intermittently or you can do an extended dry fast.
There’s also two different types of dry fasting. There’s the soft dry fast where you don’t eat or drink water but you still brush your teeth, wash your hands, and shower. But then there’s hard dry fasting where you completely abstain from any interaction with water. So, no brushing your teeth or showering. Crazy, right?
Being the over achiever that I am, I went somewhere in between and did a modified hard dry fast where I only brushed my teeth because unless you’re in complete isolation living off the grid, a fully functioning adult should brush their teeth before leaving the house. So that was my only interaction with water. I also decided to do my dry fasting experiment for 24 hours.
One full day without food or water.
I feel like one full day will give you the minimum effective dose and a 24 hour fast is very doable for a lot of people. Because that’s what this channel is all about, right? It’s all about giving you guys the best information on human optimization with the minimum effective dose.
Now, going into this dry fasting experiment, I already follow a very low carb, high fat, moderate protein diet which means that my body is used to burning fat for energy and I regularly do a daily intermittent fasting routine of 16-24 hours. I’ve also dabbled with a 3 day water fast and a 7 day water fast so my body is used to fasting.
In this video, I’m going to show you my 24 hour dry fasting experience. (SPOILER alert: I didn’t die)
Dry Fasting Results
Hey, I didn’t die! I think one of my biggest takeaways from this experience is dry fasting is a completely different animal compared to a water fast. Because what you’re doing when you take out food and water at the same time is you’re literally putting your body in survival mode. Obviously in a short term controlled setting. And this is where the magic of dry fasting happens.
Dry fasting activates a hormetic response in your body and that short term hormetic response is what triggers all the awesome benefits of dry fasting. Your body eliminates toxins faster and it starts utilizing cells to create energy and even it’s own water. Your body literally goes full ‘Hunger Games’ mode if you’ve ever seen the movie. It literally starts looking for weak, old, and damaged cells and starts breaking them down and recycling them for food through a process called Autophagy. Your body also starts splitting them apart to create water. Talk about survival of the fittest on a cellular level.
Now, Autophagy is one of the awesome benefits of doing a water fast. But it gets even more enhanced when you take water out of the equation and do a dry fast because of the metabolic need of your body to survive.
So as you keep doing this like let’s say once a week, you keep recycling old cells into new ones and this is a great way to ensure that you only have strong and healthy cells in your body. That’s why fasting is always connected to cancer prevention. You’re giving your body a chance to do a cellular cleanse and doing a short term dry fast enhances this process even more. And the key word here is short term. You’re putting your body in survival mode in a controlled short term situation.
Again, I’m emphasizing short term here. I’m not advocating that you go a full week of dry fasting because dehydration can cause some serious negative effects in your body. We’re trying to go after the minimum effective dose here which is anywhere between 24,48, or even 72 hours. Anything over that and you kinda start getting diminishing returns.
Now what makes dry fasting so beneficial again is the lack of water helps accelerate some of the protective effects you get on a regular water fast, like reduced inflammation and metabolic health. And the crazy part is water-based intermittent fasting already has impressive health benefits, like potential cancer prevention as mentioned earlier, neuroprotection against Alzheimers disease, improved insulin sensitivity, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels, fat loss obviously, and we’ll talk about that in a second, cellular repair through autophagy, and sustained ketosis. Again, that’s a good thing.
Now I wanna talk quickly about inflammation because inflammation and oxidative stress is kinda the heart of a lot of disease out there especially cardiovascular disease. And inflammation and oxidative stress is caused by eating too much refined carbs and sugar. When you fast, you allow your body to regenerate, heal, and get rid of harmful agents more easily. Because again, every time you eat, your body goes into fat storage mode which also turns off autophagy. Again, autophagy is when your body cleanses itself on a cellular level.
A dry fast can further intensify this cleansing process because bacteria, fungi, disease and pathogens need water to survive. And if you take that away, they can’t exist. That’s why dry fasting is so effective when it comes to healing your body. And the other big thing is inflammation. Inflammation needs water to work. If you’re trying to reduce inflammation, doing a dry fast is one of the best and simplest ways to do it. When I first read about this stuff, it completely blew me out of the water. Pun intended. See what I did there? But it gets even better.
Get this. When you do a dry fast and take water out of the equation, it actually pushes your body to burn even more fat because fat can be used to produce metabolic water. And I mentioned this a couple of times already so let’s talk about it. Metabolic water is water that your body makes internally. That’s right, your body has the ability to make it’s own water. How freaking cool is that??
So if you’re worried about dehydration when you do a dry fast, don’t be. Your body is super smart because it wants to survive so it starts making it’s own water to prevent dehydration. Now you’re probably wondering, how?? Here’s where it gets more interesting.
Your body makes it’s own water by breaking down body fat. And this is one of the best benefits of dry fasting is you get into accelerated fat loss. That’s why people lose so much weight when they do this. Let me explain.
So when your body starts burning fat, it releases hydrogen into the blood stream. And the chemistry here it pretty simple. Don’t worry, I’m not talking rocket science here. Here’s a fat molecule for example.
When fat is broken down, those little hydrogen atoms gets released into your bloodstream. Now, water is made up of two hydrogen atoms that’s bonded to oxygen. Or H2O.
Now when you breathe oxygen and it enters your blood stream, it binds with hydrogen atoms that’s in your blood stream from the breakdown of fat and voila. You have metabolic water! I’m gonna give you a couple of seconds to digest that information for a second. Okay on my next act, I’m gonna show you how to turn water into wine. Just kidding.
The History Of Dry Fasting
Okay, there’s a famous Russian scientist named Sergei Filonov who pioneered a lot of science when it comes to dry fasting so all the credit to him. The longest recorded dry fast that he supervised is a mind blowing 18 days.
According to Dr Filanov, the body can produce up to one liter of metabolic water every day which is just wild. Like, isn’t that the coolest thing? And I noticed this when I did my dry fast, I’m like why am I still peeing? I haven’t had anything to drink in 24 hours. What’s even cooler is that metabolic water is the purest form of water you could find because it doesn’t have any toxins from outside sources. Again, crazy stuff!
When you drink water from a river for example, even though the water is crystal clear, your body still has to process that water because it’s not just purely hydrogen and oxygen. There’s other elements that come into play. If you want an idea, here’s a microscopic picture of ocean water. It’s not a good idea to drink ocean water anyway but this really illustrates the point. Nasty. Again, this is why you lose a lot of weight when you do a dry fast because your body has no choice but to burn body fat to convert it to water. How cool is that???
And this next point that I’m about to make here should be obvious but it’s still worth mentioning. If you’re worried about energy, don’t be. You have at least 20,000 calories worth of stored energy in the form of body fat. That’s what it’s there for. It’s not just there for looks. It’s stored energy waiting to be used and fasting, because it regulates your insulin levels, gives you access to your fat stores.
I always say that the science behind fasting is super simple. If you don’t eat, if you take a break from eating, you’re probably, most likely, definitely gonna lose weight. I don’t think it gets any simpler than that.
Tips when doing a dry fast for the first time
Now here are some tips if you wanna get into dry fasting.
1. Prepare yourself. If you have no experience with doing an extended fast or even intermittent fasting. You should not do a dry fast right away. That’s like signing up for a full marathon when you can’t even go up a flight of stairs without needing to call an ambulance. You may or may not be able to do it but it won’t be fun. Build up to it. Start slow. Start by getting your body fat adapted by eating a high fat, low carb, moderate protein diet first.
2. Then start incorporating daily intermittent fasting into your routine. Once you’re used to taking a break from eating, that’s when you slowly take water out of the equation. Again, you only wanna do this intermittently. Fasting is like a muscle, you need to strengthen it. Dry fasting is a super advanced version of intermittent fasting. And if you jump into it, without preparation, you’re probably not gonna have a very pleasurable experience.
How Long Should You Do A Dry Fast?
Next, how long should you dry fast for? I think anywhere between 16 to 24 hours should be doable for a lot of people. Again, you wanna go after the minimum effective dose here.
You might feel weird when you do a dry fast for the first time because you’re literally going against your body’s natural instinct especially when it sends signals that it’s thirsty but know that you’re gonna be okay. You’re doing this for its therapeutic and healing effects and the accelerated fat loss is just icing on the cake.
And again, dry fasting isn’t anything new. Muslims for example have been doing this since the start of their religion. During Ramadan, Muslims do a dry fast during daylight hours which is about 12 hours on average. And they’re fine. Talk to your Muslim friends and ask them about it.
Fasting is also used by nearly all religions as a form of cleansing. And if we take it back even a step further and go back to our Paleolithic times, fasting was a way of life and it wasn’t by choice. Our ancestors went through days or probably even weeks without food and sometimes without water. If our bodies didn’t have the capability to adapt to these harsh conditions, we would not have survived as a species. Yet here you are, watching a video about dry fasting. How cool is that. I hope you’re starting to see that this isn’t as crazy as it seems.
The Best Way To Break A Dry Fast
Now when you’re ready to break your dry fast, just start by drinking a glass of water and trust me, It’ll be the most satisfying glass of water you’ve ever had. And once that settles, just have your regular meal. Do your best not to hit up your local all you can eat joint. It’ll probably make you sick and defeat the purpose of your dry fast. Just eat like a normal human being.
What about exercise? Some people don’t recommend it and some people do. Honestly, just see how your body feels in the process. If you feel good, then go for a workout. If you don’t have the energy, then it’s best to just take it easy and maybe just go for a 10 minute walk. I’m a gym rat and exercise is very therapeutic for me so I decided to work out anyway. My body was literally screaming at me afterwards because I was so thirsty but it eventually went away most likely because again, my body just created it’s own water.
At the end of the day, once you’ve followed the tips I just gave you to prepare yourself, try it and see how you feel. If you don’t feel good, break your dry fast and drink some water. If you still don’t feel good, break your fast and eat some food. It’s as simple as that. I hope you’re starting to see that dry fasting isn’t as crazy as it sounds. Just aim for the minimum effective dose.
In my opinion, 16 to 24 hours once or twice a week is more than good enough. It’s a nice change from regular intermittent fasting. Actually, I don’t know if “nice” is the right word for it. Let’s just call it an interesting change from water fasting. Again, we’re after the healing effects through the short term hormetic response by your body. Listen, a little stress in your body can be beneficial as I explained in this video. It’s kinda like exercise which in itself is a type of stress. It’s good for you in small doses but overdoing it can be harmful. Fasting is the exact same way.
So again, please do your research and due diligence if you’re thinking about doing a dry fast. This is purely for self experimentation and education purposes only. My last tip, just listen to your body. It’s perfectly normal to feel thirsty when you do it, if you start to feel sick, drink some water.
As always, if this was helpful, share it with a friend who could benefit from it as well!
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