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September 12, 2023

How Long Can a Human Go Without Eating?

If you were to ask a typical person how long they can go without eating, they would probably say that they can survive for eight to 21 days depending on the individual and their environment. The reason for this is that the body has fat reserves, which can be burned for energy in times of emergency hunger.

When a person goes for an extended period of time without eating, their body begins to run out of glucose or sugary carbohydrates. As a result, the body starts to break down its own fatty tissue and muscle for energy. This process is called gluconeogenesis and can result in fatigue, cramps, and diarrhea. It also can lead to the breakdown of important protein molecules which can weaken the immune system.

It is generally believed that women can survive longer than men without food because they have more fat in their bodies. However, the exact amount of time that a person can go without eating depends on many factors including their sex, body composition, and what they ate and drank the last time they ate.

There are many documented cases of people going for extended periods of time without eating. Most notably, the American illusionist David Blaine spent 44 days suspended in a glass box and survived on nothing but water. In addition, a man named Mitsutaka Uchikoshi survived 24 days in the wild on nothing but water when he was lost during a climbing expedition in Japan.