Can a person survive without fruit

Worrying Instagram trend: a life without water

Sophie Prana lives an ostensibly enviable life. The Austrian travels a lot and is always in the fresh air. She keeps her body fit with yoga and has an extremely healthy diet. At least that's what her Instagram channel, which is followed by around 19,000 subscribers, propagates.

Again and again she tells in her posts that she has not consumed any water for more than a year. Instead, she uses tons of fruit and vegetables as the main source of liquid, for example in the form of watermelons or coconuts.

In a 16-minute YouTube video, Prana explains why she lives this way and how much better she is said to have been since then. She also says that there is "living" and "dead" water and that only the former should be consumed. Kidney function should also improve if you do without water. In the opinion of the wellness influencer, water is completely uninteresting for the body because it contains hardly any usable nutrients.

Instead, you would only excrete the liquid faster and ultimately consume even more, which of course also benefits the water industry. This branch of the economy is generally behind the usual daily recommended quantities. Last but not least, her skin is better since she did without it, and overall more vital. She speaks all this into the camera with wide eyes.

Influencer Alise Miksta, a Latvian who lives in Dubai, has a similar opinion. Water is not at all necessary for a balanced way of life, as is always claimed. She doesn't want to tell anyone not to drink water, and she would take liquids from time to time, but "certainly not these two liters a day". To this end, she also lists scientific studies on her profile that are intended to support her opinion.

Both influencers only eat raw vegan foods. Often the waiver of water is also in connection with so-called "dry-fasting". Fasting people sometimes eat no food at all for up to 36 hours. According to the practitioners, this should be healthy, but the focus is of course on weight loss.

Questionable form of nutrition

Dr. Peter Stehle, Professor of Nutritional Physiology at the University of Bonn, is anything but convinced of the statements made by the Austrian Prana: "I find the statement that there is living and dead water cruel. When we drink or eat fruit juices, they are digested and This releases the ingredients. An exchange occurs. The body cannot distinguish at all from where the water it needs comes from. "

More on this: Intermittent fasting - hype or healthy alternative?

In general, with a balanced diet, which requires around 2500 kilocalories a day, people can hardly consume more than 0.9 liters of liquid through solid food. In addition, the body produces a small amount of water itself every day. All in all, you get about one to one and a half liters of water.

Since the daily water turnover in the body is on average just under 2.5 liters, the rest has to be replenished: by drinking. This requirement is calculated primarily from the function of the kidneys, which the fluid needs to be able to flush pollutants out of the body. We also lose water through our skin and lungs. Ultimately, this results in the recommendation of at least 1.5 liters of liquid that you should consume in addition to food during the day.

Trying to fill this gap by increasing the intake of fruit and vegetables is also questionable for Stehle from a nutritional point of view: "If you try 80 percent or more of the 2500 kilocalories that an average person burns a day in the form of fruit and eating vegetables, you automatically run into other problems too. "

Then there is a lack of nutrients such as proteins, minerals and certain vitamins. A balanced diet cannot be guaranteed in this way. In addition, the contained fruit sugar, fructose, is relatively difficult to absorb compared to glucose. In the event of an excessive intake, this could lead to impaired utilization and intestinal problems. "Then people get diarrhea, which leads to even more water loss."

What Happens When You Get Dehydrated?

If the body receives too little water, this can have serious health consequences. In medicine there is a level regulation, the water loss is calculated in relation to the weight. "Dehydration begins with a loss of around 4 to 5 percent of body weight in fluid. From there, clinical symptoms appear," says nutritionist Stehle.

More on this: Which foods protect us?

If the body makes its need for water clear beforehand through harmless signs such as thirst or a dry mouth, from this point onwards the first restrictions in mobility and other symptoms of failure can occur. If you approach a loss of 20 percent of your body weight, your life is in acute danger.

Anyone who tries to cover their fluid needs exclusively through fruit and vegetables quickly reaches a critical point, and Stehle points out: "If I calculate that a person who only consumes fluids through solid foods will receive around one liter of fluid a day at all, then it takes a maximum of five to ten days before serious physical limitations arise. "

Preferably water or tea

The Bonn-based nutritionist recommends drinking the amount of liquid you need each day mainly through water or tea. These drinks are low in calories. The nutritional content is particularly relevant in nutrition. Fruit juices as well as lemonades are problematic as permanent liquid suppliers: "Liquids do not satiate. The calories contained in the drinks that are ingested in addition to food can increase the risk of obesity."

Recreational athletes in particular should pay particular attention to their hydration, as they lose a lot of water because they sweat more than competitive athletes. Last but not least, it is particularly important for older people to ensure that they consume the recommended minimum amount.

Nevertheless, these recommendations apply to everyone. Young people should also drink enough fluids, especially in the form of water - even if some influencer may claim otherwise on Instagram.

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