How long can a person live without food and water?

Water has long been characterized as the basis of all life on Earth. Let's find out how long a person can live without water , because without timely drinking, any “living” cannot live for more than a week. Prevailing in every organism, water plays an important role in maintaining health.

Answer: the average daily fluid intake is 1.5 liters . And it is not advisable for a person to be without water for more than 10 days !

How long can a person live without water? World records

Regular drinking is the main condition for a full and healthy life. Water directly or indirectly performs a number of functions:

  • supports the functioning of body systems;
  • normalizes body temperature;
  • makes the breathing process possible;
  • removes waste products.

How long can a person live without water? World records

The truly lucky ones managed to last longer than the allotted time without water. The world record belongs to Australian Andreas Mihavec. The young man was imprisoned in a prison cell and forgotten about him. Andreas spent 18 days .

As a result, the guy ended up in the hospital and in the Guinness Book of Records. Severe disruptions in the functioning of the body resulted in a number of diseases. Unfortunately, the record holder had to recover in a hospital bed.

A certain David Blaine was in a similar situation with a lack of food, but with plenty of drink. In 2003, David, an illusionist by vocation, spent 44 days . For the entire time, the man drank only water. The result is minus 16 kg and long-term rehabilitation.

October 2006 gave the world a new achievement. A Japanese man was able to live 24 days without food or liquid. But for most of this period the man was unconscious.

Rescuers, while providing assistance, recorded a body temperature of 22 degrees and a weak pulse. According to scientists, the guy plunged into a kind of hibernation, thanks to which he survived.

The role of water for the human body

The adult body consists of 70% water; in children, the water content in body tissues is up to 85%. Together with the water released by the body, toxins are removed and breakdown products formed as a result of metabolic processes are utilized. Circulating throughout the body, it ensures the supply of vitamins and microelements to all internal organs. So, during the day, one and a half thousand liters of water pass through the brain, and about two thousand liters through the kidneys. But fluid not only constantly circulates in the body and its internal organs, it is also constantly excreted from it along with sweat, urine and feces. About 2.5 liters of fluid are excreted per day, which also contains some microelements. Therefore, the supply of water necessary to support life must be constantly replenished. In normal conditions, a person needs about 2-2.5 liters of water to replenish their water supply, but the body's needs may increase if you engage in physical labor and sweat a lot or sweating is stimulated by hot weather.

One of the participants in the Irish hunger strike in 1981 lived 77 days without food, drinking only a small amount of water daily.

H2O is the source of life

Seas and oceans, snow and blocks of ice, clouds and steam over a cup of coffee - water surrounds a person everywhere. Our planet is surrounded along its entire perimeter by vessels and capillaries in the form of rivers and seas. 71% of all the Earth's shells are occupied only by the hydrosphere.

To the main question that worries many: “How long can a person live without water?”, the answer may depend on a number of factors. The main ones:

  • absence of disease;
  • active or passive spending of time;
  • air temperature.

Prolonged lack of water leads to a decrease in blood pressure and an increase in blood viscosity.

It becomes more and more difficult for the heart to saturate the body and, as a result, an increase in heart rate is observed, which can lead to cardiac arrest...

What factors influence life expectancy without water?

The two main criteria that you should focus on are related to temperature and physical activity.

It has been proven that fluid consumption in the body during hot weather is much higher than during the cold season.

This is explained by the need to remove fluid to the surface of the skin in the form of sweat; it does not allow the body to overheat. Much the same thing happens during intense physical activity, when sweat is released to cool the surface of the skin in order to balance the temperatures inside and outside. In addition, you need to consider:

  • general condition of a person;
  • his age and presence of chronic diseases;
  • the percentage of adipose tissue in the body, which is a kind of container with moisture.

History knows examples when small children, left by their parents in cars in the sun for literally a couple of hours, died because their bodies became dehydrated. There are also cases in world practice of deaths of athletes during intense training in the heat, both in the open air and in stuffy rooms. The verdicts of the doctors in all cases were the same - the internal organs refused to work due to dehydration. At the same time, unique cases of rescue of people who were thirsty for weeks and were able to survive were recorded. As a rule, they led a sedentary lifestyle under favorable temperature conditions.

What are the dangers of dehydration?

A signal of a critical situation is the process of dehydration. How to recognize the symptoms of this dangerous condition?

  1. Dry mouth , tingling eyes. It becomes difficult to swallow and blink.
  2. Difficulty urinating.
  3. Symptoms of poisoning are clearly expressed (nausea, vomiting).
  4. In the absence of timely assistance, the skin becomes bluish, shock and death occur.

The author of the scientific work “Your body is asking for water”, Dr. Fereydoun Batmanghelidj, has been studying the phenomenon of water balance in the body for more than 20 years.

H2O is the source of life

Medical experiments have proven that regular, noticeable thirst leads to depression, nervous breakdowns, anxiety and uncertainty. And sufficient saturation of the body with water cures headaches and other ailments.

Recommendations for action: “If after waking up you don’t have the strength to start a new day, it means your body and brain are dehydrated after sleep. An effective tonic is a glass of clean water on an empty stomach. As a result, the brain will come out of the state of apathy in a few minutes, and the body will feel a surge of energy.”

Stages of a hunger strike

In the first two days after refusing to eat, the body begins to use up energy reserves: glycogen is used first, then adipose tissue provides the required amount of energy. Already on the second day of the hunger strike, the skin changes color and a smell appears from the mouth. In the first days there is no significant threat to the body, although the fasting person feels a loss of strength and a general deterioration in physical well-being.

3−4 days

During this period, a person ceases to feel an urgent need for food, the feeling of hunger fades away. At the same time, the body's glucose reserve runs out and the body stops protesting against the lack of food - it begins to use those reserves of fats , proteins and carbohydrates that are stored in reserve.

The weight comes off sharply. Ketones are produced - large amounts of this substance are harmful to the body. Writer Sharman Russell, who wrote the book "Famine: An Unnatural History", argues that the greatest threat to a person is low blood pressure, at which the starving person can lose consciousness and hit his head, resulting in a skull injury that can be fatal.

Second week

At this stage, the body is already so exhausted that it begins to waste energy from vital organs - the heart and liver. In the second week, death may already occur, especially if the fast is dry (refusal to take not only food, but also liquid). However, the period without food is also determined by physical health before the hunger strike - if there were problems in the body, refusing to eat will only aggravate them and accelerate death.

3−5 week

After the second week, health begins to rapidly deteriorate, muscles weaken and atrophy, which causes problems in the musculoskeletal system. Bradycardia occurs (slow heart rate), and constant cold is felt. As a result of a lack of vitamin B1 (thiamine), vision deteriorates, problems with consciousness arise: a fasting person experiences double vision, the eyes begin to move involuntarily, and the person feels constant dizziness.

More than 6 weeks

During this period, there is a direct threat to the life of the starving person. Problems arise in brain activity , the main percentage of the time starving is unconscious, does not react to the environment.

The body has exhausted all minerals and vitamins from its reserve, which leads to:

  • diseases of jaundice and scurvy;
  • loss of vision and hearing;
  • the appearance of acute heart failure;
  • excess of toxins.

As a result, after six weeks of fasting and the above problems appear, people die. Without proper intake of micronutrients and energy, the body slowly becomes depleted and refuses to function—to sustain life. Vital activity decreases, biological functions cannot cope with tasks.

Thus, the average person in good health and normal weight, height and age can survive without food for about 40 days.

Instead of an epilogue

Due to global warming, a sharp decrease in fresh water reserves is expected by 2025. Therefore, today we should appreciate and take care of every drop of, I’m not afraid of this word - magical moisture...

"Water! You have neither color nor smell. You defy description, but you evoke heavenly pleasure. I cannot say that you are needed for life, because you are life. Feelings come back with you. By your will, the dry deserts in the heart begin to boil.” — A. S. Exupery

PS If you want to find out how long sunstroke lasts and what measures you need to take, then read this article:.

Well, if you want to become an honorary donor and receive annual bonuses from the state, then this article will tell you how to do it:

The essence of fasting

The essence of fasting is complete abstinence from food or abstinence from certain foods. At the same time, a person consumes clean water. An exception is the so-called dry fasting , in which drinking is not provided. But this technique is quite unsafe for health, so it should not be practiced for a long time without medical supervision under any circumstances.

Regular, “wet” fasting is practiced for varying amounts of time. At the same time, a person must consume water, which is vital for all processes in the body, in particular for its active cleansing of harmful substances. The most suitable in this case is distilled water.

It is very important that a person has a correct idea of ​​​​what is ahead of him. If you fast without clear goals for success, breakdowns and the wrong approach to this process are inevitable. Therefore, it is important not only to follow all the rules, but also to psychologically prepare yourself for refusing food.

Hunger is important not only for cleansing the body, but also for restructuring metabolic processes. The essence of hunger is a certain reboot of the body, which allows a person to subsequently feel much better.

But if we outline other goals of fasting, it is important to note that people decide to use this technique not only for general health, but also for spiritual improvement.

How long can a person go without food?

The maximum duration of fasting depends on many factors. Scientists and doctors give a person two months under ideal conditions for the body. But even in ideal climatic conditions, if you do not drink water, the body will die from dehydration in 5-7 days. In addition to climatic conditions, the following factors are important for the longest possible period of human existence without food:

  • current state of health;
  • body mass;
  • strength of will.

Naturally, a person in good physical shape can go without food for a long time, but one must remember that without fat reserves, the body will take energy from the muscles. The human body is designed in such a way that when food is digested, carbohydrates, fats and proteins remain in reserve. If necessary, it will take energy, it will break down fat reserves if food is not “at hand”. And if the body has nowhere to draw energy from, it will begin to die.


For those who want to lose weight and improve their body health, we suggest that you familiarize yourself with the material:

  1. Oatmeal jelly for weight loss.
  2. Brewing tea with ginger.
  3. Useful properties of kombucha.

Signs of lack of water and dehydration

  1. A person begins to visit the restroom less often because the kidneys begin to function incorrectly and even save urine.
  2. Reactions and gestures become slower. Lack of energy and lethargy take their toll.
  3. A headache appears, supposedly for no apparent reason.
  4. The joints “speak” about themselves, reminding us of old injuries.
  5. Lack of appetite and, as a result, weight loss.
  6. Changes in blood pressure from very high to low
  7. Hallucinations are a clear sign of critical dehydration.

live without water

Life expectancy without food

If we are talking about a healthy, strong man weighing 70–75 kg, then on average he will be able to survive on water alone for approximately 20–25 days . Surprisingly, women and old people are much more resilient in this regard and can last a little longer on the water.

According to statistics, the first to die are young people aged 15 to 17 years, after them children, then adult men, then old people and, lastly, representatives of the fair sex.

From a medical point of view, death from starvation occurs at the moment when body weight loss reaches 35–40% of the initial value. But there are many exceptions in history. For example, there is a known case when a resident of one of the African countries was able to survive by starving for 102 days. So how long a person can survive in conditions of complete lack of food depends on his personal physical abilities and characteristics, because someone will die in two weeks, and someone will last even two months.

What happens to the human body during a hunger strike

After food stops entering the human body, new processes occur in it. The body switches to “internal resources” and first of all breaks down all subcutaneous fat reserves, using them as a source of energy and nutrients. After all the fat is consumed, the body begins to break down muscle tissue. This process is accompanied by a slowdown in metabolism and all other reactions, the person becomes lethargic and every movement is difficult for him.

The consumption of “internal fuel” increases if the body is affected by additional factors: a stressful situation, a cold climate or an infectious disease. The entire process of hunger strike is accompanied not only by a “brutal appetite” but also by rather painful stomach cramps.

After the body uses adipose tissue and deals with the muscles, the person loses his ability to work, then coma sets in, the heart and liver decrease in size, the internal organs atrophy and cannot cope with their “responsibilities”, which leads to the death of the person.

How long can a person live without food on water alone?

What to do if there is no access to water

If you find yourself in an extreme situation and cannot eat or drink, then try using a fairly simple survival tip - place a round pebble on your tongue. It is better to breathe through your nose.

The pebble will promote salivation and will also supply you with minerals for some time.

We hope you never have to deal with the problem of thirst, dehydration and survival in terrible conditions. In any case, it is possible to survive without water for at least two to three days. Then irreversible consequences may begin.

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How many days can you go without food without harming your health?

Two to three days of fasting

, can cleanse your body of waste and toxins. But you shouldn’t abuse this, and also don’t fast beyond the norm - you won’t get anything except causing harm to your health.


To cleanse your body, you don't have to resort to fasting! Stock up on knowledge about how to properly drink water for weight loss and how long after a meal to drink water, and put it into practice.

What to do to last as long as possible without food

First of all, you need to maintain your heat balance and maintain a low-energy existence for as long as possible because you don't know how long you'll have to go without food.

  1. By all means, maintain the inner calm necessary to make the right decisions to get out of this situation.
  2. Outline several scenarios for getting out of this situation. One of them is a way to find and get food (hunting, fishing, picking berries or mushrooms, etc.)
  3. Avoid stress. A person reacts to any emotional shock with a release of adrenaline, which requires energy expenditure.

A person can last much longer without food if he follows the rules stated above.

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