The 86 Hour Water Fast: Is It Worth the Hype?

Welcome to the world of water fasting, a practice that has been gaining significant attention in recent years.

Water fasting is a sort of fasting where you consume only water for a set period of time.

The recent surge in its popularity can be attributed to the growing body of research highlighting its potential health benefits, as well as endorsements from celebrities and health influencers.

From weight loss to improved metabolic health, water fasting is being explored as a means to achieve a variety of health goals.

But today, we’re going to delve into a specific type of water fast that has been making waves – the 86-hour water fast. So, grab a glass of water, and let’s dive in!

What is an 86 Hour Water Fast?

An 86-hour water fast, as the name suggests, is a fast where you abstain from consuming any food or beverages (except water) for a continuous period of 86 hours.

That’s approximately three and a half days of just water!

This type of fasting is considered to be one of the more extreme forms of intermittent fasting, and it’s not for everyone.

It requires a significant amount of willpower and preparation, and it’s crucial to listen to your body and consult with a healthcare professional before attempting it.

One notable figure who has publicly shared his experience with the 86 hour water fast is Dana White, the president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

His journey with water fasting has brought a lot of attention to this practice, and we’ll delve into his experience in the next section. Stay tuned!

The Science Behind Water Fasting

Water fasting works by creating a state of extended fasting in the body.

During this period, no food is consumed, and the body relies on water for hydration.

By abstaining from food, water fasting promotes weight loss as the body turns to its stored fat reserves for energy.

The potential benefits of water fasting are numerous. Some of the key benefits include weight loss, detoxification, and rejuvenation.

It’s also been linked with a lower risk of certain chronic diseases. For instance, medically supervised water fasts are effective in lowering blood pressure in patients with borderline hypertension.

One of the most fascinating aspects of water fasting is its ability to stimulate autophagy, a process in which your body breaks down and recycles old, potentially dangerous parts of your cells.

  • Autophagy is essential for cell survival and function.
  • It recycles damaged cell parts into fully functioning cell parts, gets rid of nonfunctional cell parts that take up space and slow performance and destroys pathogens in a cell that can damage it, like viruses and bacteria.

This process is particularly important during a water fast, as it helps optimize your cells’ performance and may play a role in preventing diseases like cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s.

Dana White’s Experience with the 86 Hour Water Fast

Dana White, the president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), is one of the notable figures who has publicly shared his experience with the 86 hour water fast.

He took to his Instagram account and revealed the steps he took to ensure his recent 86 hour water fast was done safely.

White explained that he didn’t eat for 86 hours and shared a dramatic before and after photo as evidence of the benefits of the extreme diet. He stated, “I feel like a superhero. I feel incredible.”

He also mentioned that he was told by experts that water fasting can help significantly reduce the risk of cancer, Alzheimer’s, and a ton of other health issues.

The physical transformation White underwent as a result of the 86 hour fast was quite significant.

He posted before and after photos on his Instagram account, showcasing his impressive physique change.

White claimed that completing a water fast gives you ‘an over 70% chance of not getting cancer, Alzheimer’s, or other nasty diseases.’

It’s important to note that while White’s experience with the 86-hour water fast was positive, individual experiences can vary, and it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional before attempting such a fast.

How to Safely Conduct an 86 Hour Water Fast?

Before embarking on an 86 hour water fast, there are several precautions you should take:

  1. Medical Advice: Always seek medical advice before considering a water fast. It’s important to discuss your intentions with a healthcare professional to ensure that fasting is safe for you.
  2. Preparation: Prepare your body for the fast by eating light, whole food meals (fruits and vegetables) and not consuming any processed foods. This will allow your body to better capitalize on the benefits of the fast.
  3. Hydration: During the fast, it’s essential to drink enough water. Some experts recommend consuming 2-3 liters of water daily, especially mineralized water.
  4. Mental Preparation: The idea of fasting for multiple days can be daunting. It’s important to prepare mentally for the fast. Talk to your doctor, read books on the subject by reputable authors, and converse with others who have fasted.

However, water fasting is not safe for everyone. Certain individuals should avoid water fasting or only do so under the supervision of a healthcare professional.

These include:

  • Older adults.
  • Those under 18.
  • Those who have an eating disorder.
  • Those who are underweight.
  • Those who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Those who have heart problems.
  • Those who have type 1 diabetes.

Lastly, the importance of medical supervision during a water fast cannot be overstated.

Patients are monitored daily during a medically supervised water fast, and if necessary, the health professional may terminate the fast.

Compared to an unsupervised fast, a supervised fast has an increased probability of being successful, specifically emotionally and physically.

Always consult with a healthcare professional before beginning any new health regimen like water fasting.

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How To Do a 86 Hour Water Fast?

An 86-hour water fast is a significant undertaking and should be approached with caution.

Here are some general guidelines, but please consult with a healthcare professional before starting:


What you eat before the fast can set up the next few days for a greater chance of success.

Ultima Replenisher Electrolyte Hydration Drink Mix

If you are physically active, especially during your fasting window, you will lose more electrolytes through sweat.

Taking electrolytes beforehand can help replenish these losses and maintain optimal performance.

  • The 48 to 36 hours leading up to a fast are crucial for getting your body and mind ready.
  • Start by doing a 16-hour fast on the day or two before to help your body adjust.
  • Focus on eating light, whole foods like fruits and vegetables, and avoid processed foods.

This way, your body can make the most of the fasting benefits.

During the Fast:

Pay attention to hydration and electrolyte supplementation, and modify your routine depending on how you are feeling.

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The small protein and fat content in bone broth can help your body enter and maintain ketosis, a metabolic state where it burns fat for energy.

  • During a 3-day water fast, you could stick to your regular workout routine on the first day, but it’s a good idea to opt for lighter exercises on the following two days.
  • Intense workouts can be harmful during water fasting, but activities like gentle walking, stretching, yoga, and light cardiovascular exercises can actually be beneficial.

These gentler forms of exercise promote detox and contribute to positive effects on your body.

Breaking the Fast:

After the water fast, it’s important to reintroduce food slowly and carefully.

86 Hour Water Fast Schedule?

Day 1: Preparation

  • Morning: Start your day with a light breakfast. Consider having a bowl of fruits or a smoothie.
  • Afternoon: For lunch, have a salad or a light soup.
  • Evening: Have a light dinner. You could have steamed vegetables or a small portion of lean protein.
  • Night: Begin your fast after dinner. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.

Day 2-4: Fasting

  • Morning: Begin your day by drinking a glass of water. If you prefer, you can also enjoy a cup of herbal tea.
  • Afternoon: Continue drinking water throughout the day. If you’re feeling weak or dizzy, consider adding a pinch of salt to your water for electrolytes.
  • Evening: If you’re feeling up to it, consider doing some light exercise like walking or yoga.
  • Night: Before bed, drink another glass of water.

Day 5: Breaking the Fast

  • Morning: Break your fast with a small portion of easily digestible food. This could be a piece of fruit or a small bowl of yogurt.
  • Afternoon: For lunch, have a small salad or some steamed vegetables.
  • Evening: For dinner, you can start to reintroduce larger portions and more complex meals. However, make sure to keep it healthy and balanced.


What are the different types of 86-hour water fasts?

Standard Water Fast: This is the most common type where only water is consumed for the entire duration of the fast.
Modified Water Fast: Some may include very low-calorie drinks like bone broth during the fast. For example, Dana White mentioned consuming a clean broth with 45 calories and 13 grams of protein after the first 24 hours of his 86-hour water fast.
Dry Water Fast: There are two types of dry water fasts: hard and soft. With a soft dry water fast, you’re not drinking any water, but you are allowed to use it for hygiene purposes like washing hands, bathing, and brushing teeth.

Can I exercise during an 86-hour water fast?

Yes, light exercise like walking or yoga is generally safe during an 86-hour water fast. However, it’s important to listen to your body and avoid strenuous activity, which could lead to dehydration or fatigue.

What are some tips for managing cravings during an 86-hour water fast?

Distract yourself: Find activities to take your mind off food, like reading, watching movies, or spending time outdoors.
Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water can help to suppress hunger pangs.
Practice mindfulness: Meditation and deep breathing can help to manage cravings and promote relaxation.

What are the benefits of breaking an 86-hour water fast slowly?

Breaking your fast slowly helps to ease your digestive system back into action and prevent digestive problems like bloating and diarrhea.

Are there any supplements I should take during an 86-hour water fast?

During an 86-hour water fast, it is recommended to supplement with electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium to maintain hydration and mineral balance. Also, a bouillon cube dissolved in hot water can provide salt.


The 86-hour water fast is a fascinating practice that offers potential health benefits.

We looked into the experience of Dana White, the president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), who has publicly shared his journey with the 86 hour water fast.

His physical transformation and the health benefits he observed have brought a lot of attention to this practice.

However, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution, and it’s crucial to approach it with caution and under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

As with any health regimen, it’s essential to listen to your body and make informed decisions about what’s best for your health.


Hi there, I'm Pranay, a fitness enthusiast who loves working out regularly and staying in shape. I'm passionate about health and fitness, and I'm always on the lookout for new and exciting ways to stay active and healthy.

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