The Facts on Fasting for Your Health

The idea of fasting is one that’s been around since the beginnings of recorded history. Religious rites often call for days or weeks of abstaining from food. Numerous military organizations have called for fasting before a battle. Many men and women have touted the benefits of fasting for generations for spiritual, healing or health benefits.

What Happens to the Body During a Fast?

If you tried to fast before and wondered what was going on with your own body, the facts behind what happens to the functions of the body during a fast might help. First, when you do eat the digestive system breaks down compounds for various tasks. It will break down carbohydrates into sugar glucose. Glucose is the body’s main source of energy, and it is absorbed into the digestive tract, and then into the blood. The glucose then travels throughout the body into the cells. When you don’t eat the body has to find alternatives for energy, and it will burn stored fat. If a fast last for more than a day or more it possible the body will also begin to burn muscle tissue for energy.

Using Your Body's Stored Supplies

The body is unique for being able to store much of what it needs. When you don’t eat the body’s supply of glucose drops. Some people feel lightheaded, or they sometimes pass out if the supply drops too low suddenly. The body will search for glucose when your own natural supplies drop low, and it will start to use stored glucose or glycogen for energy. Should you go for a longer fast of several days your body will kick into ketosis and burn fat for energy. At this point, while you are burning more fat, you also in ketosis. This will mean you are constantly tired, have bad breath, and might have some unpleasant effects both physically and mentally. Too long without food can lead to kidney and liver damage.

The Realities of Fasting
There can be a downside for some individuals who have health issues, and this is the reason that before starting a plan of fasting, it’s best to have a medical checkup by a healthcare professional. One factor of a fast that experts agree on is that taking a break from eating allows those organs dedicated to the tasks of removing toxins from the body a chance to catch up. It also allows the digestive system a better chance of purging the body of all waste. For those who use fasts for health these factors could be among the reasons they feel as they have “rebooted” after a fast. They feel more alert, and fit.