Precautions to be taken for water only fast for 14 days.

Q. What precaution should I take for 14 days water only fasting?

Answered by
Dr. Pritam Mohapatra
and medically reviewed by Dr. Sneha Kannan
This is a premium question & answer published on Jan 16, 2016 and last reviewed on: Jun 14, 2023

Hi doctor,

I am going to undertake water only and fast for 14 days. Which vitamins and electrolyte should I take and in what dose? Just heard of refeeding syndrome. Any other precautions?



Welcome to It is not clear why you are undertaking water (only) and fast for so long as 14 days. In case, you have decided to, I would advise you to do it under the expert supervision of an ayurveda or naturopathy physician who can monitor you closely. While fasting has obvious health benefits, prolonged fasting exceeding a week can have serious ramifications on one's health unless carried out under expert supervision. It is always safer and advisable to have shorter fasts of two to three days maximum, in regular intervals, than resorting to a long duration fast in a single go. Refeeding syndrome obviously is a potential threat with clinical complications because of impaired metabolism owing to severe vitamins and electrolyte imbalance. This can be fatal too. Precautions, that one must take in addition to the ones highlighted above, are as follows: 1. Clear your bowels completely before undertaking fasting. You may resort to enema if you are habitually constipated. 2. A juice fast is always better than water only or a complete fast. 3. Diluted juices, especially of grapes, oranges and watermelon are beneficial. Fresh vegetable juices are helpful too. 4. Do not undertake any strenuous physical or mental activity while fasting. 5. Stay relaxed and take plenty of rest. 5. Stay hydrated. You may at most have a short walk, at a slow pace. 6. Shortly before breaking fast, a good multivitamin supplement should be taken once daily as advised by your consulting doctor. High potency vitamin B to be supplemented along with, either orally or parenterally as appropriate. 7. While breaking fast, it is best to avoid a heavy or high-calorie diet to start with. The diet should be very light to start with (maximum 0.42 mg/lb/day), eat slowly and chew thoroughly. Overeating must be avoided at all costs. 8. Feeding or food intake should be slowly increased over a period of one week. It is important that the doctor monitors your sugar, phosphate, potassium, calcium and magnesium levels and takes appropriate steps to correct electrolyte imbalance, if any, simultaneously.

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