The World's Most Dangerous Diet: Breatharianism

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As weird as it seems, the diet called breatharianism still exists to this day. The new ambassador of this crazy and dangerous diet is Audra Bear, a girl who says can take nutrients into her body with just breathing and making contact with sunlight. And we are not even joking.

Thanks to her, the media was full of breatharianism lately, and we couldn't resist the temptation to write about it.

As you may know, we advocate body composition change instead of bulking-dieting phases, so you can probably imagine how many times there was a facepalm in our office while reading about Audra and the rise of breatharianism. But before pointing out why this diet is utter bullsh*t, let's take a closer look.

What is breatharianism exactly?

Breatharianism is the belief that it is possible for a person to live without consuming food, and in some cases, water. The reasoning behind this is that humans can be sustained solely by prana, the vital life force in Hinduism. The word itself is stemming from the Latin word inedia, which means fasting.

Breatharianists believe that breathing has a key role in nourishing the body with sunlight because if we learn certain breathing techniques, we can get in nutrients in our bodies from air.

Okay, before my hand is falling off from all this nonsense I just wrote, let's see what science has to say about this.

There were a lot of cases when breatharianism was lethal1 due to starvation or dehydration. The scientists have been warned us about this, but it looks like not everyone got the memo, or they didn't believe it. But this is nothing new, there are a lot of people who believe in religion more than actual science.

The human body can not live without food and water intake, and with the absence of these, it starts to burn its own reserves of glycogen, body fat, and muscle (not necessarily in this order). That's a fact.

Despite these facts, Audra is proud to say that she does not eat anything for 97 days. This wouldn't be a problem because we all know that Intermittent Fasting is a very healthy and scientifically proven diet, but in that case, the word "intermittent" is very important. Normal fast consists of a 16-hour (not 97 days!) fast and an 8-hour eating window.

The problem is that Audra refutes the legitimacy of breatharianism without her knowledge. She says she does eat solid foods from time to time, but only with her friends, out of joy, and she also drinks shakes, fruit juices too. This is like believing you can eat a lot of chocolate in a conventional diet, but only if you melt the chocolate because that is different.

Well, it is not.

And yeah, I could fast for months if I would drink 3 servings of Mass Gainer every day, and yet I wouldn't be a breatharian. And by the way, why does she only fast for 97 days? If breatharianism worked, she could do it for 365 days.

But it clearly doesn't work, and on top of that, it can be lethal – so do NOT try this at home!

1: UK: Scotland Woman 'starved herself to death'". BBC. 21 September 1999. Retrieved 10 March 2008.

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