Electrolytes for Fasting | Must Read This Before Fasting

Should you increase electrolyte intake during intermittent fasting?

Better read this article if you are in an intermittent fasting



Nowadays a lot people knows about how healthy is do an intermittent fasting, since in 2016 Yoshinori Ohsumi won the Nobel Prize in 2016 for his research on autophagy, fasting has become a fashionable diet, pitifully  not all the people knows  how do it very well, there’s a lot of important doubts arise that should be given importance as electrolytes for fasting, why? Because Dry fasts are very dangerous, we are not hesitating. A fast with a total restriction, not drinking food or water, can lead to death in a few days due to dehydration and a failure in the functioning of the kidneys (renal failure).

"It’s quite dramatic. The philosophy of purification, or detoxification, means that you are going to gain energy and have a clearer mind, but that’s not happen with a lack of electrolytes because the brain, the neuronal cells, are dehydrated and the brain is worse off" , warns the nutrition specialist. “N. Romero (2019)” So it’s very important to keep reading if you are already fasting.

Should you increase electrolyte intake during intermittent fasting?

Yes, I hope you have inferred the answer before starting fasting. When we are fasting the initial rapid weight loss is greater than can be expected on the basis of caloric expenditure and is largely water, potassium excretion is rapid during the early part of fasting and then tapers off to a constant level of about 10 to 15 mEq/day, Sodium excretion is also enhanced early in fasting, declining progressively to between 1 and 15 mEq/day, losses that persist even through prolonged caloric deprivation (“The American Journal of Medicine, 2004”) making the situation worse if you are fasting you are not consuming electrolytes through the food. For that reason it looks like a good idea to keep sure you are hydrated, you could do it with an electrolyte-infused water to reduce your chances of having a major electrolyte imbalance.

Do I need electrolyte supplementation while fasting?

If you do longer extended fasts (over 48 hours) you need electrolyte supplementation. Doctors, nutritionists, and experts all tend to agree on this point. If you only do Intermittent Fasting you would have benefits from supplementation, but are not strictly necessary. 

Will electrolytes break my fast?

No, Electrolytes should not break your fast because they are essentially mineral salts so it has no calories, unfortunately there's a lot of Electrolytes supplements that contain sugar, so you have to pay attention to buy electrolytes for fasting.



How do i know if i need electrolytes in an intermittent fasting:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Brain fog
  • Nausea
  • Muscle cramps or weakness
  • Irregular or fast heartbeat

Even when we know the body would respond in a different way if we are fasting, we have to pay attention if you have these symptoms because it could be dangerous. If you experience any of these in a severe way, break your fast, stop supplementation and consult your doctor. So, knowing this...

What Are Electrolytes, and Why Are They Essential While Fasting?

Electrolytes are minerals that can be acids, bases or salts, and are found flowing in the bloodstream and other body fluids and have an electrical charge, the most common electrolytes are:

  • Calcium
  • Chloride
  • Magnesium
  • Match
  • Potassium
  • Sodium

electrolytes fasting
 Electolytes are very important both in an intermittent fasting and in a regular diet because electrolytes help us regulate:

  • The amount of water in the body
  • The acidity of the blood (pH)
  • muscle activity
  • Other important processes

There is common myth about electrolytes that maybe you also believe it, but is better to know the true:  Water does not contain electrolytes.

so, what supplements are the best for fasting?

How can I get electrolytes in an intermittent fasting?

While fasting the best option to obtain electrolytes without a surely are supplements, however the most natural way to consume electrolytes is during the meal periods, these are some of the foods richest in electrolytes:

  • - Nuts and most of the seeds are a great source of electrolytes.
  • - Apples, corn, carrots, green beans, beets... are a great source of electrolytes.
  • - All vegetables are rich in electrolytes. Spinach also has many minerals.


Bibliographic references:

  • (c) 2023 Europa Press. The redistribution and retransmission of this content without your prior and express consent is expressly prohibited. 
  • Al-Rubeaan, K., Siddiqui, K., Abu Risheh, K. et al. Correlation between Serum Electrolytes and Fasting Glucose and Hb1Ac in Saudi Diabetic Patients. Biol Trace Elem Res 144, 463–468 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12011-011-9144-4
  • Hamm LL, DuBose TD. Disorders of acid-base balance. In: Yu ASL, Chertow GM,  Luyckx VA, Marsden PA, Skorecki K, Taal MW, eds. Brenner and Rector's The Kidney. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 16.
    •  Fasting electrolytes guide, nutrialign (2022)

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