Vitality

How Long Can You Live Without Food, According To Science?

Do we need food to survive? Recently, the team at Brit Lab tackled this question, and the real answer is far more complicated than you might realize.

In short, yes, we do need some type of nourishment to survive. Unlike plants, humans cannot convert sunlight into energy, and those who have tried to live off nothing but air and water have either given up or sadly passed away. According to Brit Lab host Greg Foot, the average 154 pound man burns about 1,690 kilocalories a day, and that’s even if he does nothing other than sit on the couch. However, one does not exactly need solid food in order to get the necessary nutrients. For example, individuals with rare conditions, such as achalasia, which makes it hard to swallow and chew food, can survive completely off of liquid diets.

food We all love food, but how long can you go without it? Photo Courtesy of Pixabay

Of course, this is because food and nutrition are not exactly the same thing, and one can be completely full while still being malnourished, and vice versa. In fact, many obese people are often found to have extreme vitamin and mineral deficits despite their size and lack of hunger.

In addition, humans can actually survive crazy amounts of time without any type of food, liquid or otherwise, as long as they still have adequate water. Depending on health and body size, it's estimated that a healthy person can last between 30 and 40 days without eating a single bite.

In one extreme case, a 456-pound man lasted an astonishing 382 days without eating any food, solid or liquid, ABC Science reported. Over the course of his year of starvation, the man dropped down to 180 pounds and was able to keep the weight off for five years. Although he did not eat food, he was monitored by doctors and received multivitamins and potassium and sodium supplements when his storages became too low.

There you have it; The human body is capable of amazing and fascinating things. However, it's neither fun nor necessary to starve yourself, so you may as well finish that sandwich and leave these nutrition experiments up to the experts.

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