Water fasting is a type of fasting in which the practitioner consumes
only water. One may water fast for a variety of reasons, including
medical and religious requirements.
1 Religious requirement
1.2 Roman Catholicism
2 See also
4 Further reading
Fasting in Jainism
Jains maintain a strict water-only fast for 8 to 10 (digambar &
Swetambar) days, during the days of Paryushan.
Fasting and abstinence in the Catholic Church
Roman Catholics must engage in the eucharistic fast,
which is a water fast before receiving the
Eucharist during the Mass.
While no nutritional or caloric sustenance is permitted, practitioners
may take medicine if required, and those whose health problems impede
them from taking part in the fast are dispensed of the obligation.
Up until the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, this fast was
required from the previous midnight, as it is in various Orthodox
Churches. However, under Pope Paul VI, the obligatory fast was reduced
to only one hour before receiving the Eucharist.
The Catholic Church has also promoted a Black Fast, in which in
addition to water, bread is consumed. Typically, this form of fasting
was only used by monks and other religious individuals who practice
mortifications and asceticism, but all Catholics are invited to take
part in it with the advice and consent of their spiritual director.
Leiper JB, Molla AM, Molla AM (2003). "Effects on health of fluid
restriction during fasting in Ramadan". Eur J Clin Nutr (Review). 57
Suppl 2: S30–8. doi:10.1038/sj.ejcn.1601899.