He defined water fasting as consuming only water – minerals or supplements are not allowed, as well as other beverages such as juices, tea and coffee. Only three types of water – distilled water, spring water or water that has undergone reverse osmosis treatment – can be consumed during the fasting period. (Related: What you need to know before you begin a water-only fast.)
"One thing that is really important to know is that your body has an abundance of nutrients already within it. You have enough sodium, you have enough potassium, you have enough vitamin C, B vitamins, etcetera to last you for quite a while. I mean the average person, it's probably about 70 days without any of those nutrients," Dart told Rivera.
The natural healing consultant and holistic health educator added that one of the benefits of water fasting is that it enables the body to become very efficient with utilizing the nutrients it already has.
In response to a question by the host about the need for more sleep when doing a water fast, Dart replied that it depends on how long a person is fasting. The longer they fast, the more rest they need.
"The reason why is because of conservation of energy. Our bodies only have a certain amount of energy to perform certain functions. And so, the more energy that goes towards walking around, working, getting on your tablet or your phone and even just opening your eyes, your brain becomes a little bit more active just from seeing and hearing things. So, the more you can be still and quiet, the better the results that you are going to have."
According to Dart, people have been fasting for millions of years as it is part of the biology of every animal. However, society is not used to fasting for any length of time, especially longer than 24 hours.
He also warned that water fasting without supervision could be potentially dangerous to a person, especially if they are taking pharmaceutical drugs. Moreover, the holistic physician also advised those who plan to do a water fast to take their vital signs every day.
Dart also recommended against dry fasting, as dehydration can damage the body. Beginners in water fasting should drink around four liters or a gallon of water per day.
He also emphasized that the way a person drinks water is also important.
"I help people to understand that you don't want to drink too much too fast. There is a technique of getting the water in a slow manner and not enough to where you get what's known as a kidney flush where your kidneys sense the change in blood volume, and you end up just peeing that water off. So, hydration numbers will actually get worse if you drink too much too quickly. So, it's kind of a fine balance between drinking enough water and drinking it in the right way."
The common mistakes people make during water fasting are failing to hydrate properly, drinking water too fast, drinking water too soon and drinking too much water.
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