- Both a water fast and a bone broth fast will allow you to go into ketosis and promote detoxification.
- A water fast is the best way to detox, however, you can experience more side effects such as headaches, malaise, fatigue, etc. You can consume only water with this fast.
- Bone broth fasting is gentler on the body with fewer side effects. Liquids to consume on bone broth fasting include any noncaloric beverages or bone broth. Artificial sweeteners can be used, however, they are discouraged due because they may defeat the “spirit of fasting.”
- Toxins are released when you fast from the stored fat. It is essential to employ detox methods in an effort to help expedite the removal of waste.
- Prior to fasting, it is essential to get medical clearance to be able to fast. Depending on your healthcare provider, you may even need supervision while taking on a fast. [/callout]
Are you trying to decide between a water or bone broth fast?
Okay, so you want to fast, but you are tinkering with the thoughts of “water fast vs. bone broth fast.” I get it; I’ve been there too. I’ve thought, “Should I do a complete water fast or drink broth?” I believe most of us feel that we can’t truly fast without doing a complete water fast. This can’t be furthest from the truth! You can still fast and get into ketosis without doing a total water fast. However, that being said, a water fast is probably the best way to promote detoxification of your body and get into ketosis. In this article, I will go through the ins and outs of both water fasting and taking on a bone broth fast. After reading this article, you will be able to decide which one would be best for you!
First, let’s talk about water fasting.
I will first start by talking about water fasting and will address questions related to it. Like I mentioned before, water fasting is excellent for detoxifying your body. However, it does not come without risks and should always be done very carefully!
Can I drink bone broth while water fasting?
The quick answer to this question is “no.” If you drink bone broth during a complete water fast, then you will technically “break your fast.” Why is this? The reason is that bone broth contains calories, which will cause you to break the fast 1.Does the answer to this question discourage you? It shouldn’t because you can still get into ketosis, even if you don’t do a complete water fast. We go through more about how you can still get into ketosis with a bone broth fast later.
What exactly is entailed in water fasting?
When doing a water fast, you do just what the name says. Water fast! Yup, that’s right, you drink nothing but water. Does that sound difficult or even boring? If it does, then you may not be ready to do a water fast. I have never taken on a water fast in my life. Why is this? Well, because I haven’t been ready for it. I feel like I can still fast and go into ketosis without going to the water fast extreme. However, that being said, I do think one day I will do it when I am ready.
What are the benefits of a water fast?
As I mentioned before, water fasts come with great benefits, and you can achieve the highest ketosis. A water fast will provide great mental clarity and detoxification. Water fasting offers the quickest detox and strongest therapeutic effect 2. If you are someone who has conquered water fasting, then good for you! You are allowing your cells to repair themselves nicely and your gut/liver to heal well! You will also notice that your skin could clear up, have more energy, and feel very motivated. People also like to take on a water fast for spiritual enlightenment. I think that water fasting excellent, especially for balancing your chakras.
What about the side effects of water fasting?
So we don’t get anything in this life for free, especially when it comes to water fasting. If you wonder whether you want to do a water fast versus bone broth fast, you need to know the side effects. Since water fasting promotes the most detoxification, you should know that you will experience the most side effects as you eliminate toxins faster due to ketosis. For this reason, you should always do a water fast under the supervision of a healthcare professional.
Toxins are released when we burn fat.
Since you’re achieving the highest ketosis with water fasting, you will burn a lot more fat. The more fat you burn, the higher amount of toxins will be released into your body. Did you know that we hold toxins in our fat tissue? There’s scientific evidence that certain chemicals, called persistent organic pollutants, accumulate in fat cells and get released into the bloodstream and other organs when a person loses large amounts of fat 3.
Side effects of water fast
So, since you’re not consuming any calories or carbs during a water fast, you’re putting your body in profound ketosis! The ketosis will then release those persistent organic pollutants into the bloodstream and cause different side effects such as headaches, malaise, fatigue, palpitations, and more. Not everyone gets these side effects; it just all depends on how clean your body is from toxins. The more toxic your body is, the more intense your discomfort will be in those early days if you haven’t properly prepared 4.
Now, should these side effects prevent you from wanting to do a water fast? No, they shouldn’t! A water fast is very therapeutic and can heal a lot of conditions. But as I said, you must first get clearance from your healthcare provider and be adequately monitored by them. Water fasting comes with its side effects, but a lot of times, people do well. Again, it all depends on you and your body.
Detoxification during a water fast
There are several ways to detox and help your body eliminate during both water and bone broth fasting. I will mention these methods toward the end of this article after I cover bone broth fasting.
What about hunger during a water fast?
If you are worried about hunger during a water fast, then that is completely legit! I have a good article called, How To Reduce Hunger Pangs While Fasting[ 8 Strategies], which you can read and learn how to deal with your hunger. This article was tailored toward people who can still consume broth, tea, or liquids during fasting. However, I do have some other helpful strategies in this article that you can refer to help you with water fasting. An important thing to remember is that hunger pangs usually dissipate after two days. So if you water fast for at least that amount of time, your hunger will start to disappear. You see, hunger does build up; it usually levels off and goes away. When you read my article on hunger pangs during fasting, you will understand the process a little bit more.
How long can you do a water fast?
I have seen people who do a water fast for a month or longer! It is especially very therapeutic for people who have cancer. But, again, you must get clearance from a healthcare professional and get monitored.
Now, let’s talk about bone broth fasting
Now that I covered water fasting, I want to talk about bone broth fasting. Bone broth fasting is my favorite type of fasting because you can use broth, herbal teas, or coffee, which help a lot with those hunger pangs. Broth fasting is safer than water fasting; however, you can still experience detox. So, like water fasting, it should also be monitored carefully and cleared by a medical provider.
What type of liquids are allowed on bone broth fasting?
Bone broth fasting can primarily consists of broth. However, consuming other liquids is also allowed, as long as the carbs or calories don’t exceed what is in the bone broth. For example, bone broth fasting usually consists of bone broth from chicken, pork or beef, and coffee, herbal teas, and water. Your drinks should all be noncaloric. Sure, water, tea, and black coffee are allowed during fasting; however, any sugar, honey, fructose, agave nectar, and other sugars are prohibited5.
Noncaloric sweeteners are controversial.
There has been some disagreement about artificial sweeteners like stevia, aspartame, and sucralose. Since there are no calories in these, technically, they could be allowed. However, the use of chemicals in these artificial sweeteners defeats the spirit of fasting, which is to cleanse or purify the body, not only from unwanted sugars and fats but also from chemicals and other artificial agents6. If it helps you to be compliant with a broth fast, then use stevia or another artificial sweetener in your drinks. However, know that you may not get the complete cleansing that you would want.
When I do broth fasting, I typically like to sweeten my tea or coffee with stevia. Using stevia helps me; however, sometimes, I will skip it to purify my body further. The cool thing is that you will still achieve ketosis whether you sweeten with an artificial sweetener or not. However, some people may still have somewhat of an insulin response with artificial sweeteners, so it’s best to try to go without it.
What can I add to my bone broth during this fast?
When you prepare your bone broth, you can add the below ingredients:
- Leafy greens
- animal meat or bones
- fish meat or bones
- Himalayan salt
- Any herb or spices
It is essential to make sure to strain your broth after you prepare it. Remember, you are resting your gut and body, so you want to consume only the broth. You can save the vegetables or meat that you added to it for when you are eating later after the fast. I like to prepare my broth, and then I will keep the vegetables or meat for when I am eating or freeze them.
Can you detox effectively on a bone broth fast?
Yes, you can! Even though it is not as effective as a water fast, you still will detox your body and reap the benefits of healing. The cool thing is that the bone broth fast will provide gentle detoxification, and you won’t have as many side effects.
What are the side effects of bone broth fast?
The side effects of this fast are the same as with water fast. Like the water fast, you may experience headaches, malaise, fatigue, etc. However, they won’t be as intense as a water fast. When I do a bone broth fast, sometimes I will get a headache after the first day. However, after that, I usually feel energized and happy. Again, it all depends on your body physique and how much toxic load you carry. Like a water fast, it is always a good idea to be monitored and cleared by a healthcare provider.
How about hunger on a bone broth fast?
Hunger is much more manageable on a bone broth fast versus a water fast. It is so alleviating to be able to consume nourishing bone broth in addition to noncaloric beverages. The article that I mentioned above, How To Reduce Hunger Pangs While Fasting[ 8 Strategies], was tailored for the avid bone broth faster ( or intermittent faster). I would recommend that you do all of those interventions that I mention to help with any fast.
How long can you do a bone broth fast?
A bone broth fast can go on for a long time. Dr. Jason Fung, who is the author of The Complete Guide to Fasting: Heal your body through intermittent, alternate-day,and extended fasting, heals Type 2 Diabetics by putting them on this type of fast for weeks. That being said, you should always get permission from your healthcare provider to fast for that long or even fast in general. But, at least now you know that it can be done. When I do a broth fast, I usually will do about 3-4 days. So far, I haven’t made it past that! Even though one day, I would like to go a week on a bone broth fast!
Detoxification while fasting
Okay, so now that I covered the differences between water and bone broth fasting, let me talk about detoxification. When you fast, you want to take measures to help eliminate toxins that are released from your fat tissue! I will go through several which I recommend; you can either do one of them or all! It’s up to you!
Okay, I am going to mention sauna therapy first. The reason why is because I feel like it is one of the best ways to detoxify your body! I have a sauna at home, and I can’t live without mine! When you use an infrared sauna, you are detoxing your body in several different ways! The following are some of the beneficial uses of a sauna:
- It can cleanse and detoxify the body of difficult-to-remove toxins, such as pesticides, PCBs, drug residues, acidic wastes, and heavy metals.
- Improves circulation
- It brings oxygen to the tissues
- Improve nutrient delivery to the cells
- improves cardiovascular and pulmonary function
- stimulate your immune system 7
- stimulates mitochondria
- Helps with inflammation
- reduces fatigue
- helps acne
These benefits that I listed are just some of the excellent healing benefits of a sauna. If you are interested in reading more about a sauna, you can check out my Sauna Therapy Health Benefits [7 healing perks].
Sauna I recommend
When it comes to saunas, I am going to recommend Saunaspace. I like their saunas because of their portability, and they are very convenient if you have a small space. I also like the fact that this company offers a finance option for those who do not want to pay for a sauna upfront. Their saunas are all near-infrared light, which is also great for mitochondrial therapy. When deciding to purchase a sauna, choosing one with a near-infrared light for good mitochondrial healing is always essential. You want to get the most bang for your buck and don’t want a sauna with far-infrared light only!
Epsom salt baths
If you enjoy baths, then I would recommend trying out an Epsom salt bath. An Epsom salt bath is great for pulling out toxins through the skin and great to use with any fasting. It is also very relaxing for the muscles and can improve blood flow 8. When I am fasting, I typically take an Epsom salt bath to help when I am hungry or feel “chilly” from the ketosis. You can visit my Resource Page to find out which Epsom salt I recommend.
Coconut oil pulling
Coconut oil pulling is another excellent detoxification method and is also very good for your oral health! Oil pulling is an ancient practice with roots in Ayurvedic healing and is a simple, inexpensive technique that you can do at home. 9 All you do is take 0.5 to 1 tbsp of coconut oil and swish it in your mouth for at least 5 minutes or 20 minutes for the best results. After you are done, make sure to spit out the oil outside or in a trash can, as it can clog up your sink! Also, do not swallow the oil, as you will be ingesting toxins and chemicals bound up in this oil. I like to use unrefined coconut oil that is organic for the best possible results. You can also find what I use on my Resource Page.
Castor Oil Pack Therapy
If you would like a gentle way of removing toxins from your liver and to help detox with a fast, then choose to do a castor oil pack. This is another healing modality that has been used for centuries; the heat combines with castor oil to help increase blood circulation to your liver and pull toxins out of it through your skin 10. If you would like to read more on using this, click here for a good article. I also have a castor oil recommendation on my Resource Page.
Dry skin brushing
Dry skin brushing is another great way to detox at home and is easy! All you do is purchase a long-handled, soft, natural-fiber brush. You can find the one I recommend on my Resource Page. Dry skin brushing is easy and only takes about 5-10 minutes for you to do every day! What you want to do is brush your skin in long, broad strokes toward the direction of your heart(this coalescence with your lymphatic system). You will want to brush both sides of your body, including your arms, legs, abdomen, chest, back, hands, and feet. When you use this brushing movement, you stimulate the lymphatic flow and break up blockages in the lymphatic system 11.
Supplements for detoxification
There are several different supplements that I would recommend for helping with detoxification during fasting. You can view them as well on my Resource Page. The one in particular that I like for fasting is called Liver Cleanse Program by Global Healing Center. I really like Global Healing Center’s products and have noticed that they are especially thorough with their ingredients.
So, if you are trying to decide between “water fast vs. bone broth fast,” I hope this article helped make up your mind. In conclusion, both types of fasting are very therapeutic for your body. A water fast is the most cleansing for your body; however, it does not come without challenges. If you aren’t ready to do a water fast and feel like a bone broth fast is more doable, don’t do the water fast. When you do a bone broth fast, you are still getting into good ketosis and repairing your body. Plus, it is helpful to consume the electrolytes with the bone broth, so you don’t experience as many detox symptoms.
Now that being said, if you have some major health concerns or dealing with cancer, then a water fast may be the way to go! Just remember that water fast is the most cleansing, so that means more side effects. Regardless of any fast you choose, always make sure to get clearance and/or monitoring( if they deem necessary)from a health care provider when taking on a fast.
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[toggle title = “References”]
Fung, J., & Moore, J. (2016). The complete guide to fasting: heal your body through intermittent, alternate-day, and extended fasting. Las Vegas, NV: Victory Belt Publishing5,6
Connealy, Leigh E.(2017). The Cancer Revolution.Boston, MA: First Da Capo Press Edition7,8,9,10,11.