Why Water Is So Important When Fasting

By Kellyann Petrucci, Patrick Flynn

Fasting is a critical time to get water in your body, but even when you’re not fasting, water is essential. In fact, your body consists of about 60 percent water. Just as your body needs macronutrients (such as healthy protein, carbohydrates, and fats) to function, it also needs water.

Pure, clean water is the most essential of all nutrients. You can live for weeks without consuming food, but you can’t go for more than a couple of days without water.

Proper intake of water is so vital to your well-being that deficiency of even 1 percent can present signs of dysfunctions in your body. Slightly more dehydration, and you have exponentially more health risks. You also need water to maintain the chemical balances in your body, such as these important functions:

  • Balancing acid-base levels

  • Eliminating waste from the lungs, skin, and colon (particularly during a fast)

  • Regulating hormones

  • Transporting nutrients to the cells

The minimum intake of water should be half of your body weight in ounces. However, when fasting, even more water is beneficial — just be mindful to keep drinking throughout the day and pay attention to thirst signals. So, for instance, if you weigh 150 pounds, then you should drink at least 75 ounces. If you’re fasting, increase intake to around double that number, or 150 ounces.

An easy way to gauge how well hydrated you are is to simply look at your urine. It should be fairly clear. If it’s very dark yellow, that’s a sign you may need to drink more water.

Your body responds with different signals when it’s dehydrated or hungry. Many times, people read the signs wrong and intervene with food, medicines, or procedures that aren’t necessary. Sometimes, all your body really needs is some water — another one of those simple health weapons that’s often overlooked because it seems so simple.