If you’re on the ketogenic diet plan, chances are you’ve heard of intermittent fasting.

Intermittent fasting, also dubbed IF, goes hand in hand with being in ketosis because they both create a scenario where your body is running on fat for fuel.

In fact,

Many people who are doing the ketogenic diet claim it’s much easier to do an intermittent fasting protocol whilst being in ketosis due to the presence of satiety.

But now there’s a new type of fast on the scene: dry fasting.

What is it and how does it differ from your typical fast?

Let’s take a closer look..

What Is Dry Fasting?

Dry fasting, is as the name sounds, fasting without liquid for the entirety of the fasted period (i.e. 16 hours, 18, hours, etc).

Water fasting involves the elimination of anything with calories, allowing for those partaking to continue to consume water, and only water.

Everything else stays the same.

Now, you are probably wondering instantly, what about dehydration?

We’ve all been told we need to drink more water throughout the day, so this may seem like a bunch of mumbo-jumbo…

First note that you will not become noticeably dehydrated in a 16-20 hour period.

If you didn’t drink anything at all for the entire day, you may start to notice issues. However, as long as you drink a sufficient amount of water following the fasted period, there should be no issue with dehydration.

That said, that doesn’t mean you won’t get thirsty.

It’s like the wind before the storm. It’s the warning sign. So at the end of the fast, be sure to act on that warning sign accordingly.

Always consult with a doctor prior to doing your first fast, especially if there is any concern of dehydration or otherwise.

The Benefits of Dry Fasting

So what are the benefits to dry fasting that you won’t get from water fasting?

Reduced Inflammation Levels

One key benefit you can expect is reduced inflammation levels.

Inflammation is one of the leading causes of disease, so it’s something that you must be taking control over. Dry fasting can help you accomplish this.

Any type of fasting will lower inflammation, however, it appears that dry fasting has an added punch.

Science has shown that levels of TNF-A, which is a molecule that induces a fever, sparks inflammation and can lead to cell death. This has been shown to decrease when dry fasting is implemented.

This particular molecule’s presence is also associated with cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, as well as psoriasis. [1]

Improved Overall Cognitive Function

Another benefit to note is that dry fasting may also help to improve your overall cognitive function and provide protective effects for your brain health.

It appears to be especially beneficial for improving neuron protection against dysfunction and degeneration of the brain while also increasing the overall degree of brain plasticity.

If you are hoping to manage diabetes and control blood glucose levels, dry fasting is of great benefit to you.

When you dry fast, there is a 50% reduction in glucose as well as insulin-like growth factor, which is important to control in order to better manage insulin sensitivity. [2]

Studies have also shown that among population groups that regularly implement dry fasts, lower prevalence rates of diabetes occur. Among these groups, 20% of those not participating in fasting suffered from diabetes while only 10% of those that were fasting did. [3]

Improved Bone Health

Improved bone health is another benefit you can expect when you implement dry fasting in your life.

This is thanks to the fact that a molecule called parathyroid hormone (PTH), which assists with bone formation and maintaining optimal bone integrity is elevated when you are fasting [4].

This can lead to an increase in bone resorption, formation, as well as improved calcium levels in the body.

Taking care of your bones is an ongoing process and something that should never end, so this can really point you in the right direction.

So, as you can see, there are many great benefits of incorporating a dry fasting regimen in your life.

Do you absolutely need to in order to get results?

Of course not.

However, regular fasting comes with many great benefits. If you dry fast, the benefits are simply pronounced.

Notables Before Beginning A Dry Fast

Before you start fasting, there are a few important points that you should know…

First,

if you are planning on doing any sort of rigorous exercise whilst fasting, you may want to avoid the dry fast.

  • Exercising during this time can lead to accelerated dehydration due to an increased sweat rate.

Next,

Remember to consume as much water as you would normally consume over the course of the day, during the eating window that you schedule for yourself.

Simply do the dry fast as scheduled, drink two cups of water in the evening following the completion of the fasted window, and call it a day!

Just like you need to squeeze those calories in during the evening when you are eating, you need to squeeze the fluid into your body as well.

Note:

That this can potentially lead to some unwanted downfalls such as:

  • frequent bathroom visits
  • bloating
  • interrupted sleep due to bathroom visits

You’ll need to decide for yourself how much this impacts you and whether it’s something that you’ll be ok with.

Finally,

remember that dry fasting, while beneficial, is not for everyone.

If you think it’d work great for you – then give it a try. You may reap excellent benefits because of it.

But if you try and it makes the fasting period an unattainable window on your first try, you may be better off beginning with a wet fast.

So keep this in mind as you go about your dietary choices. Dry fasting can be beneficial if you choose to do it, however, it’s not for everyone.

Related Articles:

Fat Fasting on the Keto Diet

Intermittent Fasting and Keto for Weight Loss

Four Types Of Fasting: Choose A Schedule That’s Best For You

The Potential Dangers Of Fasting On Keto

 

References:

[1] Cherif, Anissa, et al. “Effects of intermittent fasting, caloric restriction, and Ramadan intermittent fasting on cognitive performance at rest and during exercise in adults.” Sports Medicine 46.1 (2016): 35-47.

[2] Rouhani, Mohammad Hossein, and Leila Azadbakht. “Is Ramadan fasting related to health outcomes? A review on the related evidence.” Journal of research in medical sciences: the official journal of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences 19.10 (2014): 987.

[3] Horne, Benjamin D., et al. “Relation of routine, periodic fasting to risk of diabetes mellitus, and coronary artery disease in patients undergoing coronary angiography.” The American journal of cardiology 109.11 (2012): 1558-1562.

[4] Bahijri, Suhard M., et al. “Effect of Ramadan fasting in Saudi Arabia on serum bone profile and immunoglobulins.” Therapeutic advances in endocrinology and metabolism 6.5 (2015): 223-232

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Shannon Clark holds a degree in Exercise Science from the University of Alberta, where she specialized in Sports Performance and Psychology. In addition to her degree, she is an AFLCA certified personal trainer and has been working in the field for over 12 years now, helping others lose weight, build muscle, and improve their athletic performance. She’s worked with people of all ages and helped them find the right fitness path for themselves. She is a regular contributor to Bodybuilding.com and has also contributed well over 400 articles to a variety of different websites dedicated towards muscle building and athletic performance. For more about her, find her at ShannonClarkFitness.com.

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