Can You Drink Water While Intermittent Fasting? Does Water Break a Fast?

Can You Drink Water While Intermittent Fasting? Does Water Break a Fast?
Dr. Mario Ost

Dr. Mario Ost | Author

Dr. Mario Ost is a renowned nutrition scientist, researcher and lecturer, deeply invested in enhancing our basic understanding on mitochondrial fitness, muscle health, and endocrine organ crosstalk in sports, aging and metabolic diseases. He's a founder of a young athlete health academy and serves as a scientific advisor at Fastic, focusing on personalized nutrition concepts, fasting-mimicking food-components (autophagy-inducers) and benefits of exercise for metabolic homeostasis and healthy aging. As a devoted father and pioneer, Dr. Ost is shaping a future where elite athletes achieve peak performance and obese patients regain their metabolic and muscle health through an evidence-based approach on personalized training and nutrient timing.

You can drink water during intermittent fasting, as only food and high-calorie drinks should be avoided. Water can only break a dry fast, a type of fast. Drinking plenty of water is highly recommended during fasting periods in an intermittent fasting diet for weight loss. 

Water Is Important for Intermittent Fasting

Unlike sugary drinks like soda or fruit juice, water has no calories, so it doesn’t activate your insulin response. As such, you can enjoy water during the feeding period and the fast, regardless of the kind of intermittent fasting you’re practicing. 

Drinking ample water during the fasting state is necessary to ensure hydration. Everything we eat and drink contains water to some extent. So when your body enters a fasted state, it’s not getting any water through solid foods. That’s why drinking water consistently and keeping yourself hydrated is all the more important during intermittent fasting. 

Besides clenching your thirst, water also helps with the resting energy expenditure (REE). A study with young obese participants demonstrated that drinking water increased REE, which, in turn, can enhance weight loss. 

How Much Water Should You Drink During Intermittent Fasting? 

You don’t have to drink more than the usual water during intermittent fasting. You should get 8 to 10 glasses of water throughout the day. 

That said, you may feel more thirsty during your fast. So pay attention to your body and drink water when thirsty or lethargic. 

It can be difficult to keep track of your fluid intake when practicing intermittent fasting, which is where the Fastic app comes in. With an app that helps you track your fasted and fed states, you can easily ensure you drink enough water to keep yourself hydrated. 

Intermittent Fasting and Dry Fasting

You can drink water whether following the 16/8 or the 5:2 intermittent fasting. The only kind of fast where water needs to be avoided is a dry fast. 

Dry fasting doesn’t just prohibit solid foods but also liquids, including water, during the fasting period. It’s associated with religious fasting. For instance, Muslims practice dry fasting from dawn to dusk during the month of Ramadan. 

Intermittent fasting can also be dry, i.e., you avoid consuming water and other liquids during the fasting period. However, caution is advised, as going without water for extended periods can be difficult and even have side effects. These include dehydration, fatigue, nausea, and even low blood pressure

While there’s some evidence that dry fasting can aid with weight loss, there aren’t many studies comparing traditional intermittent fasting with dry fasting. 

If you plan to take up intermittent fasting for weight loss, it’s best to stick with the traditional way and drink water and other permissible liquids. 

Can You Drink Water While Intermittent Fasting

Water Will Make Your Fast Easier

If you think going hours without eating anything is tough, try doing the same without water. You will feel hungry and thirsty, which can be difficult. 

Drinking water can help make your fast easier by reducing your appetite. Even though it has no calories, water passes through the stomach and stretches it. Of course, it may not make you feel full like a meal would, but it can help satiate your hunger slightly. 

For those new to intermittent fasting and finding it difficult to control their hunger, drinking water may help.

Water Is Also Great for Exercise

Intermittent fasting is great for weight loss, but its effect can be compounded by incorporating exercise. Research shows that combining intermittent fasting with physical activity is not harmful. And if you’re exercising, you need to stay hydrated. 

You must drink adequate water before, during, and after exercise, whether cardio or weightlifting. Not drinking enough water can impact your performance in physical activities, leading to fatigue. Plus, water is essential for muscle recovery. 

You can exercise during fasting or eating window, however the intensity of your workout is relevant. Low and moderate intensity is fine, even better at the end of your fasting window. It’s up to you and your goals. But it’s super important to stay hydrated during exercise, so carry water with you. 

Hydrate Yourself

So, to answer the main question, yes, you can drink water while intermittent fasting. It’s not only acceptable but highly recommended. Ensure you get enough water throughout your fast and during the feeding period. Tea or infused water with fresh herbs (mint, rosemary) or fruits/veggies (lemon, cucumber, nectarine, blueberries) for some variety and a nicer taste.

You probably have more questions like this about intermittent fasting. The Fastic app has a built-in AI-based chatbot to answer your fasting and nutrition questions instantly. You can get the information you need to turn your diet healthy and make the best of your fasts. 

Disclaimer: It is advised to speak with a health professional before beginning intermittent fasting or a diet program. There may be side effects for people with certain medical conditions.

With Fastic, millions of people have achieved their desired weight, overcome disease and regained their quality of life.

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