Water fasting is a powerful and intense experience. When done properly, you can have amazing results. It takes a strong-willed individual to be able to successfully do a water fast. The following are some important things to watch out for during your program:
When I tried my very first water fast, I experienced low potassium levels during my first water fast, and luckily knew to immediately stop.
All information in this article is for educational purposes only.
It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
If you start to get extreme muscle cramps, to the point where you have trouble standing and feel like you are going to collapse, you could be suffering from a lack of potassium. You may also feel quite distinctly that something is very wrong. If this happens, listen to your body – it is trying to warn you!
I don’t want to scare anyone about this..don’t be alarmed if you feel minor cramping in your calves or arms while fasting. Minor muscle cramps are normal. In that case, just rest and drink more water.
But if the cramps turn severe, then you should seriously think about breaking the fast and taking some juice or liquid minerals right away.
If you quickly start to feel better, you will know that your body needed potassium.
Signs of potassium deficiency include: muscle cramps, muscle fatigue and weakness, irregular heartbeat, fatigue, mental confusion and irritability.
Taste of heavy metals
If you start to experience the taste of metal in your mouth during your fast and it doesn’t go away, you could be detoxifying heavy metals from your body. It’s not a good idea to continue with water if this occurs. Instead, break the fast and consider doing some natural heavy metal detoxing before you consider trying another water fast.
Physical cleansing reactions
There are many cleansing reactions that one can experience during their fast. The most typical ones would include headaches, fatigue, nausea, minor aches and pains, blurred vision, skin rashes or eruptions and trouble sleeping. For headaches especially, you may want to try an organic coffee enema.
Otherwise, just be gentle and patient with your body – rest as much as you possibly can and be grateful to know that your body is finally strong enough to start eliminating excess toxic waste.
If you start to have extreme reactions, it could mean that you did not prepare your body for the fast properly with good intestinal cleansing and healthy eating. You may want to stop, spend more time on your ‘pre-fast’ and then start again.
Heartburn and Acid Reflux
If you feel any heartburn or intense acid reflux during your fast, you could be too acidic internally. The best thing to do is slow down the fast, add some fresh lime or lemon squeezed into your water, and allow your body to alkalize. After you are feeling good, you can go back to pure water.
Keep in mind that if you have continual heartburn during your water fast, that may be a sign that you have acidity from excess toxins in your body, such as chemicals, food additives and heavy metals. You may want to stop the fast and consider doing a colon cleanse, parasite cleanse and heavy metal detox before trying water fasting again.
Emotional cleansing reactions
On my first long water fast, I experienced a lot of negative emotions including sadness, guilt, depression and anger. Usually these types of negative emotions arise more when the liver is cleansing, so take it as a good sign. Your body is pulling these deep-rooted energies out of the cells and is finally releasing them once and for all.
If you want, you can say mantras to yourself such as ‘I am releasing the anger from x person hurting me’ or ‘I am releasing the guilt of (whatever the situation).’ Allow your mind to work with the body to help actively release and be free of these burdens!
This is probably the thing people worry about the most when they think about whether or not to try a water fast. I can tell you that in my case, the only real hunger I felt was in my mind! If I thought about food or I saw or smelled food, only then did I start to want it. But my physical body really did not experience hunger pains.
If you do feel a lot of grumbling, first try to drink more water. Always drink small amounts of water at a time so you don’t wind up feeling sick. Try to lie down, meditate and take your mind somewhere else. Think about all the good you are doing for your body. Know that this is your chance to heal in amazing ways. Ask for strength from your Source.
If you start to think about food, try as much as possible to NOT think about junk foods, comfort foods, de-vitalized foods, coffee or alcohol. If you do this, you are creating the seed of energy in your mind to seek those foods out later. For sure you will have a much harder time saying no to them once you break your fast.
Many people even think about such foods so much that they wind up breaking their fast on those very foods!
Be careful what you think about. If you start to fantasize about food, imagine yourself eating all the pure, divine foods from Mother Earth. Visualize having the perfect fruit salad for breakfast, then imagine preparing the most delicious raw salad for lunch and watch yourself eating that wonderful dinner of mixed greens and garlic with a fresh basil pesto dressing. Be creative and have fun in your mind, but keep it healthy!
Surround yourself with positive people: No gossip or negative talk
As much as you possibly can, maintain a circle of supportive friends and loved ones around you during your fast. If someone you know disagrees with what you are doing, don’t tell them right away. If anyone is making you feel less than the perfect person you are, politely avoid them during that time.
Realize that you will be much more sensitive to others and to your own feelings as well. If someone really cares about you, they will understand and do everything they can to support you.
Make a rule for yourself not to engage in any gossip or negative talk about anyone during your fast! These energies spread like wildfire and a wildfire is very hard to put out!
Be positive and loving and you will attract more of the same into your life!
Otherwise try spend a lot of time alone, reading books, health dvds, spending time in nature, keeping motivated and inspired and really connecting to your body. I like the way that Daniel Reid talks about ‘saving your breath’ in his book, The Tao of Detox. He explains how much energy is wasted simply from speaking and to consider talking as little as possible during your fast to keep that energy for your own healing. It makes sense!
Rest even when feeling good
Rest is one of the most important factors in a successful fast. Give the body all the time it needs to do it’s internal healing. If you start to feel really good, it can be very tempting to want to head out for a walk, run to the shops or meet some friends for an outing. As much as you can, try to avoid this temptation! Even when you are feeling good during a water fast, you should still rest as much as possible!
You will benefit so much more in terms of how much your body can achieve with the fast if you rest, rest and then rest even more!
- My story and experiences during water fasting
- Preparing for a water fast
- How to maximize your water fast
- How to break a water fast
For more info, go here: 40-Day Water Fast: Comprehensive Guide & Personal Journal
Disclaimer: The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment. You should consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem. You should not stop taking any medication without first consulting your physician. Read full disclaimer here.
More on Water Fasting:
- Vilcabamba, Ecuador: The Raw Food Valley of Longevity… or Just Hype?
- What’s the best detox retreat for raw food, yoga, juice & meditation in Thailand?
- Juice Fasting, Water Fasting or Colon Cleansing? Breaking a Fast on Fruit or Salad?
- Earliest Raw Food and Fasting Book: The Ancient Essene Gospel of the Peace
- Warnings when doing a Water Fast & Managing Hunger