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Can You Drink Water While Intermittent Fasting?

Drinking water while intermittent fasting is vital for general health and well-being and for intermittent fasting success.
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Summary

Enjoy water all day long while intermittent fasting. It will help keep those hunger thoughts and feelings away longer, help with digestion when trying new healthy foods and keep hydration levels optimized.

Written by
Jill Lebofsky
15+yr Women's Wellness Expert, Holistic Menopause Support, Intermittent Fasting, Midlife, Essential Oil, Author, Speaker

Women have been taught the importance of drinking water, especially when dieting, and wonder whether water is allowed when fasting.

“YES MA’AM!” 

Water is on the “allowed” beverages list and plays a pivotal role in your intermittent fasting success.

 

How water supports the body

It is crucial when fasting, especially when doing prolonged fasting, to always stay hydrated. Our body needs water for survival, but it is also essential for carrying nutrients and oxygen to the body’s cells, preventing constipation, and helping with digestion (1). 

A recommended diet focused on high fiber foods, fats and protein may contribute to digestive discomfort when starting your new intermittent fasting eating schedule. Proper hydration supports the digestive system. 

It also normalizes blood pressure, regulates body temperature, and maintains electrolyte balance (1).

 

Factors that influence water needs

A glass of water with ice, lemon and fresh mint.

If you don’t drink enough water daily, you risk becoming dehydrated. Gauging how much water you need each day needs to factor in the following:

 

1. Frequency and level of physical activity

Increased amounts and intensity of exercise performed require greater hydration, especially when exercising on a fasted stomach.

2. Environmental factors

Living in dry or humid areas drinking water all the time is suggested.

3. Overall health

Illness, diarrhea, medications contribute to dehydration and can lead to constipation. Drink plenty of water.

4. Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

Because the body is losing fluids quickly when pregnant or breastfeeding, it is vital to keep fluid intake high.

 

How much water should you drink daily?

There are different recommendations for how much water you should consume every day. You can use these suggestions as a starting point for determining how much water or other liquids you should drink while considering the above factors (2).

Note: Twenty percent of water intake can come from high water content fruits and vegetables such as celery and watermelon (2).

Some recommendations are:

  • Drink half your weight in ounces. If you weigh 150 pounds, you need to drink 75 ounces of liquid.
  • Drink 6-8 cups of water per day.
  • Drink a milliliter of liquid for every calorie consumed. For women on a 2000 calorie diet, that would be drinking 2 liters of liquid (2).
  • Drink 2.7 milliliters of liquids per day for women (2).

 

The best plan to figure out how much water you need is to pay attention to your body and stay hydrated.

 

Warning signs of dehydration

  • Be on the lookout for any of the following problems that your water intake is low:
  • Weakness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Dizziness
  • Confusions
  • Dark-colored urine

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Is it possible to drink too much water while intermittent fasting?

Five glasses of water with lemon slices.

Drinking too much water is rarely a problem for healthy adults. On occasion, athletes over hydrate to avoid dehydration after a long, intense workout.

 

What are the acceptable types of water you can drink while intermittent fasting?

As a rule of thumb, any beverage containing more than a handful of calories per cup will likely break your fast. Plain water has zero calories but when you start adding sweeteners, and flavoring the water with real fruit or natural flavorings to the water, calories accrue.

Can you drink sparkling water while on intermittent fasting?

Sparkling water won’t break your fast because it has zero calories and no artificial flavors or colors. Sparkling water may keep you hydrated and reduce hunger cravings while intermittent fasting. 

Can you drink water with lemon juice while intermittent fasting? 

Squeeze a fresh lemon into your water or add a few drops of lemon essential oil deemed safe for ingestion. The type and number of calories of lemon water you drink determine its effect on your fast. To determine whether a lemon beverage is acceptable to drink while fasting, it’s key to read the nutrition facts panel to figure out its calorie and sugar contents.

 

Can you drink coconut water while intermittent fasting?

Don’t be fooled by the “water” part in coconut water. Coconut water is all carbohydrates and will break your fast.

 

Can you drink flavored seltzer water while intermittent fasting? 

Seltzer water is also known as club soda or carbonated water and often contains a small amount of salt to neutralize the acidity. It is a good choice of beverage while intermittent fasting.

 

The bottom line

Staying hydrated is crucial for your intermittent fasting success. Drink plenty of water during the day to help curb hunger cravings, help with digestion and look and feel your best. Join the online intermittent fasting community of women learning from each other about different ways to sneak in more water, eat healthier, and how to maintain an intermittent fasting lifestyle.

You may also be interested in this other article talking about water fasting.

References:

  1. How much water should you drink? Harvard Health Publishing. 2020. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-much-water-should-you-drink
  2. Water: How much should you drink every day?  Mayo Clinic 2020. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/water/art-20044256

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