man with muscle doing pullups on a pull up bar
Water fasting is a weight loss, religious or spiritual way people engage in by drinking water only without any kind of food. Before going on a complete water fast, prepare in a proper way and ensure that you are doing it safely, preferably, choose a time when the body does not need a lot of energy. This way, your body will be able to utilize the fat it has stored and maintain the muscles you have built.

Water fasting has its own health benefits as it helps reduce the risks of diseases like high blood pressure, and diabetes, increase the sensitivity of leptin and insulin, high cholesterol, heart diseases, and being overweight.

Before going on a water fast whether, for a short-term or long-term, one should make sure they consult a doctor especially if they have a health condition. Water fasting is not for everyone especially when it comes to certain age groups like those below 18 years and older people.

Some of the dangers of water fasting include; losing the wrong type of weight, becoming dehydrated and it may worsen some health conditions like eating disorders and may affect gout by raising the production of uric acid which might bring attacks on gout.

Someone who has been building muscles will be compelled to exercise while on water fast to avoid losing muscles. This can be unrealistic because when one works out during a water fast, they are at great risk of losing more muscles as compared to when they just fast without exercising at all.

This is brought about by the many metabolic processes and changes that happen when one is in water fast.

When water fasting, your body is usually in a catabolic state, your body changes its priorities since there is no food intake. Instead of building muscles, it will utilize the available proteins in the body which are the building blocks of muscles to aid in healing and cleansing of muscles since there is no protein coming in.

Therefore, you will end up with fewer muscles than they were before. Our bodies have the potential to adapt to starvation well over time as one is on water fasting, especially for long time periods. So as to keep you alive for a period as possible, your body will decrease the destruction of your significant body mass in a great way. In the end, you will still lose more muscles since your muscle tissue is composed of 20% proteins and 80% water.


It is advised that, if you do not want to lose muscles at all, then don’t engage in water fasting. If you want to lose weight alone, then there are some other weight loss plans that will not affect your muscles but you will still lose weight in a much better way. If you still need to do the water fasting, do it in short-terms alternating it with other weight loss plans like intermittent fasting.

It is very important to do enough research about a certain weight loss plan before engaging in it because not all weight-loss diets will be able to protect your body muscles.

When on water fast, you should consider doing it for short time periods, like 3-5 days, this will have little muscle loss as compared to when you are on a long-term water fast period. Consider including other drinks in your water fast period like coffee, tea, and juice. They will give you some energy to push you through and also, the body will utilize the sugars and fats in some of the drinks for fuel and not the muscles.


Water fasting leads to the burning of fats and muscles. As much as water fasting is good, it should be done correctly and well-regulated to avoid burning the muscles you have gained working hard.

Fasting has many health benefits but it comes with many risks and dangers especially being on long periods of water fasting.

Water fasting will expose you to the risk of low blood pressure, dehydration, and muscle loss. When one is on water fast, they are able to approximately burn fats after 12 hours of fasting, and this increases between 16-24 hours of water fasting.

Water fasting leads to muscle loss. When you are on water fast, you cut on carbs and this leads to an increase in the drop of the whole-body glycogen stores. When glycogen levels drop, then you will experience loss in body weight and muscle loss.

A gram of glycogen is stored with 3 grams of water and an average person can store 15 grams of glycogen in a kilogram of body weight, exercising regularly also raises the glycogen storage capacity of muscles and this leads to rapid weight loss.

During water fasting whereby you don’t consume any type of food, you will burn fats even faster. Water fasting can make you burn about 10 pounds of general body weight within a few days.

As much as this type of fasting will make you burn fats, it is short-term weight loss since it won’t allow you to lose the weight you want and give you that body you dream of.

On the other hand, in the process of water fasting, you will, unfortunately, burn muscles that you have tirelessly built. With water fasting, you will definitely burn fats but this will come back again when you resume eating normally.

Therefore, water fasting will help you lose weight increasingly, fats will be burnt in little amounts, water will be lost the most, and muscles will be lost in plenty. You will gain all this back quickly if you go back to your normal eating habits. If this process is repeated frequently, then you will develop an amorphous skinny fat looking body over time.


It is not recommended to lift weights while on water fasting. This applies mostly to people who take long weight lifting sessions with the goal to build muscles. While water fasting, you can lift weights only if you will be fasting for a short time period. The muscles you will gain will be very little, if any, since you are not taking any proteins.

It is very important for you to listen to your body on how it is responding to weight lifting as you fast. This is because, once the body has used up all its glycogen reserves, it will begin to utilize the muscle tissues.

Therefore, when you are fasting, engage in moderate cardio and weight lifting so that your body will go for the adipose tissues. Ensure that you have electrolytes when undertaking long water fasts as your body needs to preserve its muscle tissues.

Related post: Can I lift weights on OMAD


Water fasting will help you lose weight of about 5 to 10 pounds quickly and most of this weight will be water weight, some will be fat weight in small amounts and majorly you will lose muscles. This will be because you are not taking in any proteins which are the building blocks of muscles.

Water fasting has its own health benefits but it can pose dangers to your health like losing the wrong type of weight like the body muscles, being dehydrated and it may worsen some health conditions like eating disorders and may affect gout by raising the production of uric acid which affects gout.

It is of great importance for you to plan well, and research more about water fasting before engaging in it. This can be done effectively on a short-term basis whereby you will not experience more muscle loss as compared to when you are doing it on a long-term basis.

Regardless of the efforts and sacrifice, you will put in, after ending the water fasting period and starting eating normally, then you will regain back all the weight you have lost.

When it comes to weight lifting, it is not recommended when you are doing long periods of water fasting as this will greatly affect you. It is of great importance you listen to your body on how it responds to weight lifting and water fasting at the same time.

Engage in mild cardio exercises and weight lifts for short time periods since you need energy and yet you are not taking proteins to build muscles effectively.

Therefore, the good thing with water fasting and especially for people who just want to burn fats, they can still achieve their goal in a quicker way and safely.

Just ensure that after the water fasting, you regulate your food intake so as not to add more weight after that. Begin eating in small portions and gradually to avoid getting sick and having stomach aches. It is very vital to drink enough water during this period of water fasting, this will make sure you are very much hydrated.