Whether it’s for health, religious or personal reasons, fasting offers so many benefits for your body.
It’s not surprising that intermittent fasting, for example, has become popular among fitness seekers
In this article, we will take a look at how you can stay hydrated while still getting all the benefits of a fast. But first, let’s consider what happens to our bodies when we fast.
What happens when you fast?
In a fed state, our bodies break down the food we eat and store them as glucose. Glucose is the body’s main fuel for energy. The body taps into this store of energy whenever it needs it.
When we fast, especially after hours six to eight, the stores of glucose deplete.
At this point, lacking carbohydrates to fuel energy, our body starts converting its fat into glucose. This is why fasting is often recommended as a way to reduce body fat.
What happens when you eat calories during a fast
In general, when we eat food with carbohydrates, our body’s digestive tract breaks down the ones it can into sugar that gets into the blood.
Turns out that when the sugar levels in our blood rise, our pancreas produces insulin. This, in turn, enables our cells to take in the blood sugar for energy.
This is why eating carbohydrates during a fast is not advised.
That said though, to get the full benefits of fasting, you’ll need to stay hydrated. And you can drink fluids that do not contain carbohydrates.
What can you drink when fasting?
Drinking water generally has so many benefits including:
- Flushing waste
- Circulating nutrients
- Improving immunity
- Regulating body temperature
- Improving healthy skin
After hours of not eating anything, drinking enough water helps to cleanse the colon (also called the large bowel or large intestine).
The colon which is part of our digestive system enables us to eat and to use the food we eat to fuel our bodies.
Drinking water cleanses the colon, and that improves our intestine’s efficiency to absorb nutrients. It enables you to have a free-flowing bowel movement, which may prevent constipation.
Drinking water in the morning helps to flush out toxins from your body. It turns out that the kidneys of a human adult filter about 120-150 quarts of fluid each day.
With the passing of the day around 1-2 quarts of these fluids are flushed out from the body through urination. Drinking water when you wake up is important for a healthy kidney throughout your day.
Without a properly functioning kidney, waste products and excess fluid can build up inside the body leading to chronic kidney diseases. You don’t want that.
Apple cider vinegar (infused in water)
Apple cider vinegar, when used with water, can have miracles. It offers numerous benefits to health instead of caffeine found in coffee.
Take a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and mix it up in a glass of water. It’s great for gut health especially when you drink it before eating in the morning.
Coffee drinking has become a habit for many people across the world. Around 400 million people consume coffee each year. It is a great beverage to drink when fasting.
The caffeine in coffee hinders the functions of a brain hormone, namely adenosine. This, in turn, increases the production of other hormones that make you active, a study proved.
Other studies show that drinking coffee may help with weight loss. When you’re fasting, drink the coffee black – without any sugar, milk, or cream since those add ons contain carbohydrates.
Herbal tea has many benefits. If you want sustained energy, green tea is a great beverage to drink when fasting. It can prevent heart diseases.
By weight, green tea is 30% polyphenols. The most abundant of these polyphenols are catechins, which are natural antioxidants with benefits such as preventing cell damage.
Whatever your goal is for the fast, green tea can help you. Studies have shown that drinking green tea increases the metabolic rate and boosts the fat-burning process.
People who have developed the habit of drinking green tea are less likely to develop bladder, liver, stomach colorectal cancers. Instead of coffee, consider drinking 3-4 cups of green tea per day.