How Long Can You Live Without Water?


water droplet

Water (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Water is the fundamental building block of all known life forms.

There are organisms that can survive indefinitely without oxygen, in boiling temperatures, in near absolute zero freezing environments, even in the radioactive vacuum of space – but absolutely nothing can live without water.

With our bodies being 65% water, humans are especially vulnerable to dehydration.  We constantly lose water through sweat, urine, feces, and even in our breath.

So just how long can humans survive without water? That depends on a several factors:

  • What’s the temperature?
  • How hydrated were you to begin with?
  • Are you resting or working?
  • Are you exposed to the sun?
  • Do you have food?  What kind of food?
  • How much fat does your body have?
  • Do you have a high metabolism?

In ideal conditions at room temperature (70 farenheit/21 degrees celsius) with no food, a person could potentially last as long as 12 days.  This would be on the extreme end of human survival though; a more likely estimate would be approximately 3-5 days without water.

If the temperature was cranked up to say,  120 F (48 C), you would survive 2.5 days at the upper limit – and that’s only if you were resting in the shade.  In hot conditions with the sun beating down on you, dehydration can set in within an hour – that’s why its so dangerous to leave a baby locked in a car during the summer.  A baby locked in a hot car could potentially die of dehydration within several hours.

In major heat, an adult human can lose up to 1.5 liters of water per hour through sweat – potentially more if he/she is working hard.  When it comes to dehydration in high heat, there’s a good chance you would die of heat stroke before you die of dehydration, since drinking water is essential for keeping your core body cool in exceptional heat.

What Happens To Your Body If You Go Without Water?

Nurses Rehydrate a Dehydrated Patient

Nurses Rehydrate a Dehydrated Patient (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The first thing you’d experience is mild dehydration.  We’ve all experienced mild dehydration before, though if you’re living somewhere with an internet connection, you’ve likely never experienced the symptoms of moderate or severe dehydration.

Mild dehydration

  • Decreased saliva
  • Lower frequency of urine
  • Less urine
  • Urine color will darken
  • Urine develops a stronger odor

Moderate dehydration

  • Dry mouth
  • Even less urine
  • Extremely dry eyes
  • Rapid heartbeat

Severe dehydration

  • No urine
  • Vomiting and diarrhea (which further accelerates dehydration)
  • Lethargy
  • Skin becomes blue-gray and cold to the touch

The last stage of dehydration is shock.  At this stage, the skin feels cool as the blood pressure drops, and the skin will take on a bluish-grayish tinge.  Death follows soon after.


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  • lara

    you said about how long a person can live without food not water….

  • Death is Peace

    I haven’t eaten or drunken anything for 2 days and feel only mildly dehydrated if that. For those that want to know how long it takes a fatty to die of dehydration with no food in 21-30°C weather (night-day), I’m happy to post until I either die or they try and for an IV into me which they are already threatening. Death by this means is my only option now as I didn’t bleed enough when I slit my wrists, there is nowhere to hang yourself from, nowhere to drown yourself, they take away bedding when you try to suffocate yourself, the hot water isn’t enough to burn you, they won’t let you out of their sight with metal to attempt to electricute yourseld and the power points are protected. Unless anyone has any other options, this is the way I am going regardless of how long it takes.

    • Death is Peace

      5 days now. I meant to reply daily but obviously I haven’t. I’m not feeling ok at all. My HR is 120 resting. My saliva is almost nonexistent. I’ve peed once yesterday, not at all today. TMI but my bowels emptied I think completely over the past few days. I feel very tired and shakey. I also have nausea and a low grade temp. Being threatened with NG tube and IV still which I have refused so they are threatening 4 point restraints also

      • Death is Peace

        Resting HR over 160. Shakey, dizzy, ya’ll forgot to add headaches to your list of symptoms. Not sure if I will be making another post, hence this second one today.

        • DW

          Thinking of you and hoping you feel better by now. Hard to be you just now. It WILL get better. It will. Let it get better.

        • MickeyD

          I hope you made it. Just reading this and I feel just like that sometimes. Thought of checking out tonight but I took some deep breaths put on some tunes and started searching for some info. So hear I am I hope everything good with you and I hope your still with us. It takes a lot of guts to take your life but if I can turn it around and use it to help someone’s life. Maybe that will keep me going hold your head up , your beautiful no matter what you do.

  • Brian sourde

    No food or drink now for 30 days! Wow I think I have a record except now I don’t have the the strength to move.just shit what have I proven. why is everyone else blabbing about it. Take it from me.just let yourself get fat and die with food and drink. It’s easier that way.

  • Diane

    I am so sorry to comment on this however reading the begining comments only bothered me enough to answer. I came on the post just to see how long i can go with water and it freaked me out im in the middle to the end not because of no fasting only because i physically cant swallow water. When i do it feels as though im swallowing glass. However i saw how many of of you brought religion into this. I do understand the belief and so many “non believers” that many christians refer to may want to or not believe its real. However how can one believe christians are good and kind and wonderful if you are always talking crap to so many non believers. A christian does not judge but loves and gives mercy. But all i see this day the 2nd coming praise the lord , people are going to hell and etc… Honestly i am a christian how ever ive seen and witnessed so many christians hiding behind your religion and that the one thing many of you for got to do is to LOVE. If someone doesnt believe your job isnt to judge or ridicule them, your job is to still be there with kind words. Religion is whats ruining our world. Not because you have faith but people keep attacking each other.

    • sam

      I basically understand what you are saying. But you shouldn’t judge a belief based on it’s abuse. Gandhi said “I love your Christ but I don’t like Christians” I don’t know maybe I got that Right. What I’m saying in essence is. Without a solid understanding there is no world view that’s free from abuse, be it Hinduism, Islam, Christian even atheism. I’m a Christian by the way. Thank you for reading.

    • Jeannine

      What does this have to do with water? The body going without water and how long. Will life continue. Nothing.

  • Michael

    Fuck you all worship the devil

    • Christina


    • Charles bills

      Get the fuck off the net fukkiing basterd I’m a cristain an a child

      • Rita Roush

        You aren’t proving to be a Christian using that kind of language

  • Michael

    God doesn’t exist you idiots, religion exists only so people can have power over others. We die and rot that is it we are organic. Why are their rapists murderers etc, gods plan? Get a grip you fucking imbisiles

    • Char

      Try using proper grammar and spelling and avoid the name calling; your view points will be taken more seriously .. Regardless of your sad message

    • Christina


    • Moms

      Wow, you have confirmed my believe because the Bible says, “A fool says in his heart there is no God.”

    • Charles Avent

      You may be right. If you are, I’ve wasted one day a week and a few more holidays, worshipping a God that doesn’t exist.

      However, if I am right, you have wasted a lot more, than that. I am not trying to tell you what to believe. That is for every man and woman to decide for themselves. However, as another human being, I sincerely want to help you, with what I believe. I wish you lived near me, because I would invite you to my church, and beg you to go, if only for one day. Spend just one hour, out of your life, and meet people who want you in their family. The key is, you have to take the first step.

      I am not saying that all who go to church are good people. Some are hypocrites. Some would rather talk down to people, than with them, in their “holier than thou” attitude. I’ve been to those churches.

      Now, however, for the past ten years, I found a small, catholic church, that has accepted me as family. I truly believe that I could call any one of these people, and ask them to pick me up, from anywhere in the area, at anytime of the day, or night, and they would drop what they were doing and be there for me. I also believe that if I was about to lose my home, because of loss of income, that these same people would help me, because that is what family does.

      Our church, right now, is buying and renovating a house, for a deserving family of five, who lost their jobs and lost their home. The church, the congregation, is donating the money, buying the house, and members are doing the renovations. What do we get out of it? That great feeling you get, when you see someone’s face whom you’ve helped, when they needed it.

      Sometime, when you have a few extra hours, just walk in a heavily populated area and hand out food, to people who need it. Something I do, is go to Burger King, and get a few of their specials, and I always have bottled water in my trunk. Burger King has chicken nuggets for $1.49, in my area, so I’ll go down and buy 5 – 10 of those, and hand them out, with a bottle of water, each. The expressions on their faces, makes it worth it.

      I’m sorry, I’m rambling, now, but you get the idea. I hope you have a great day, and the joy you deserve, in life.

      • Esha

        Religion doesnt exist to have power over others. Going to church is a choice. Believing is a choice. Just like you are choosing not to. How do you know that the people who dont believe arent trying to control you. A person who believes in nothing will fall for anything.

    • Bill

      God gave everyone free will. It is humans that fail not God .God just started the game of life its up to the people to determine the quality of life. What will you do with your free will?

    • Fred

      Religion is for weak pathetic stupid people.

    • Esha

      Religion doesnt exhist to have power over others. Going to church is a choice. Believing is a choice. Just like you are choosing not to. How do you know that the people who dont believe arent trying to control you. A person who believes in nothing will fall for anything.

    • Rita Roush

      God didn’t plan for those people to be that way. He created people to do the right thing and those people will go to hell if they don’t find their way to jesus

  • Susan

    Whatever you want to believe is your business. Maybe just kindness and tolerance could make yourself and others feel worthwhile.

  • love

    Lol.. MY GOD’S NOT DEAD!

  • lol

    lol… GOD’S NOT DEAD!

  • lol

    lol… GODS NOT DEAD!

  • jackie

    My mother in law was in her bed at home dying of liver cancer. My husband (her only son) and I came up from Florida around the 5th day and I found she was being given no food or water. I didn’t understand. She was heavily dosed on opiates, of course, and she was sleep 98% of the time. But I was horrified at the thought that THEY (her friends, family and doctors) were actually starving and dehydrating her to hasten her death. In fact, I became her main caregiver. I started sponge bathing her, and I talked to her, whether she responded or not. Around the 10th day I just couldn’t stand it anymore and I woke her up and I asked her if she wanted something to drink. She opened her jaundiced eyes and softly said YES! So I propped her up and I got an Ensure and she managed to sip a few sips through a straw. It was clear to me that she wanted that drink. She did cough a little and I took the Ensure away. When her lady friends found out I gave her that drink they were actually angry with me. Why would I prolong her life like that??? And didn’t I know she could have CHOKED on the Ensure?!! Right. I could have killed the poor woman with kindness, as opposed to the cruel death she was already enduring. All I knew is I didn’t think it was humane to allow an elderly woman to lie helplessly in a bed suffering the pain of cancer, and then to have that misery compounded by the torment of unquenchable thirst. Maybe I was wrong to do it, but I remember her relief at that last sip. She died four days later, without any more food or water.

    • ChaunyRN

      I have to reply to your comment-because you hold some guilt over what happened with your MIL. You were very misinformed & the hospice nurse or social worker should have explained end of life care. Food & water are not held to be cruel or to hasten death unless that person chooses. The body simply does not need food/water at the end of life. It actually helps with pain. Endorphins are released with lack of food/water. It’s very beneficial for the patient to not have nourishment at the end of life. The ability to swallow is also compromised at the end of life which makes taking in water very dangerous as aspiration will occur & that is not a pleasant death. Your MIL’s mouth was prob dry & that is why she responded “yes” to wanting a drink. She should have been getting mouth swabs for that hourly. She also may have responded “yes” to you because she was in delerium-which is very common in your last days. Hope this helps!

      • Dawn

        As I approach the age where I could die any day, I would like to know what happens at the end in regards to eating and drinking. Can anyone with real knowledge tell me..

    • Slavens

      You are a sweet lady . Ensure was probably the best thing you could have done. Probably so much joy out of just that Ensure.

  • Well

    I feel bad for people who don’t know the truth.

  • Ugh

    I think the closest I’ve been is moderately dehydrated. Hopefully I can get to the severely dehydrated stage this time. It’s not the most painless way to go, but I don’t think I deserve that

  • Msrtyn

    This article is nonsence.

    I am on day 10 without food or drink, i feel fine, i still urinate daily, yes its dark coloured but ive never had clear urine.

    My mouth does get dry ocasionally but i can still summoned siliva.

    Maybe you should research more before publishing crap

    • Jake

      Not buying it,

    • Jo

      I’m on day 3 and I haven’t peed since yesterday morning, I can barely walk, hallucinating and drifting away to sleep every 30mins or so… I’m in a shut down mode. I suffer mental health issues (severe eating disorders) and I just can’t bring myself to eat or drink!! I know I can say… I hope I will soon! I feel rotten but don’t deserve to live!!

    • Slavens

      You nuts what kind of person makes their self go through not having food and water. What are you trying to prove

      • Red

        Slavens a person that is seeking higher spiritual awareness with our Creator for one.

    • mandy hill

      it said in perfect conditions it was possible for a person to live up to 12 days with out water

    • Red

      I went 17 days on a fast from God. For 11 days, no food or drink! On the 11th day I was able to drink a little oj, then another 6 days without food or drink. When God puts you on a fast, you will neither thirst or hunger. I was not thirsty, hungry, weak nor tired. I was on an assignment. The body is an amazing instrument, and we can do ALL things thru Christ who strengthens us!

  • sostenes hermosillo

    you never answered the question

    • Krystal

      A rolling stone is worth two in the bush, thanks to this artlice.

  • mike

    25 years without water

    • 😂😂🔐👌🏽

      U would be dead by now if u went 25 years without water unless you drunk other drinks Bs u guys need to do some more research

      • cifer

        my advice to you would be quite simply stated as , ‘get a job or hit a knob’. why the verbal trouncing you may ask. huh – well in all considered, your hypothesis, is tested with a theory, until it forms or does not. you may speak when you hav3 researched your statements more thoroughly instead of shouting out what you don’t know. Understand this I personally went 21 days without food or water naked in a rubber room Polk County Jail documented unequivocally pretty likely. Well huh have at it big boy

    • Connie

      Let me guess. Only drink beer? 🙂

  • Sean

    I might try it my life not go to well Ann why

  • Rob

    hello my name is ha gayyyyy and i am 75 years old how are you everyone leanrt alot from reading

    • Christina


  • Anonymous

    I’m completely giving up food and water – starting today. Am in a pretty screwed up stage of my life, things are not working out and I just think if God is not going to give me what I want to do in life, which means I am worthless and have no purpose then I’m not going to accept the gift of food/water god has given to us – it’s meaningless, there’s no point of consuming any of earth’s precious resources.
    So now either my life’s going to change or I’ll slowly wither into nothingness.

    • vervas

      Hey, your life is not meaningless…i read this once and it was that though many are the plans of a mans’ heart, it is the Lords’ will that prevails over them all.. so no matter what is going on in your life whether it may be that your dreams went up in smoke in front of you, know that you are not forgotten- that you DO have a purpose… so just let go and let God take control ok 🙂 We do have our dreams and aspirations, but are they best? Only God knows what’s best. He closes and opens doors in our lives all for a reason.We may not see the full picture but He does and He knows that when you’re finished, you’ll be a MASTERPIECE. He is looking out for you because He loves you. You need not worry. Matthew 6:26 says,’Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?’- He is looking out for you. You are in the palm of His hands. Though everything may be falling apart around you, know that it is just for a season and that He is in control. He’ll bring the change. Just lean on Him.

      • Abbee

        OMFG shut up, god, is, not, real, there have I said it slow enough for you, quit putting your trust in a fairy tale created by people.

        • Aaaaa


        • davea0511

          Oaky, read this slowly, since that seems to be how you operate :Life is a test, and like most tests you don’t get a cheat sheet. That means God isn’t going to personally appear to you and say “Hey, here I am, do what I say”. That means bad things happen, horrible unmentionable things … those are the really tough tests. But the test isn’t to at see if you’ll believe in Him but to see what you’re made of (even a lot of supposedly God-fearing people don’t get that). That means things might have to get really tough here. Yeah, so the test seems easy for some, hard for others, but he grades on a curve relative to your burden. So if you have a tough go at it, all it means is that He has faith in you. We all want an easier life but there’s no reward regardless what you do if life is a cakewalk. That, and you don’t learn anything.

          If you can’t detect something that doesn’t necessarily mean it isn’t there. It often means your detection instrument is too dull. Or you just stopped looking. Or are using the wrong instrument (like a microscope instead of a humble heart and bowed head). Or you looked in the wrong place. Look into they eyes of a baby, or a child filled with hope. Ask where did that kid come from, and ask yourself that looking into their eyes. What is hope , the hope that’s in those eyes … a chemical reaction that means nothing? If there is no God, then yes that is exactly what it is and nothing more: a meaningless chemical reaction that you can remove with hurtful words, and you should feel nothing having done so. But there is a God, and your whole paradigm against God is based on the self-deception that if you can’t detect him on your own terms then you’re justifiably unburdened by the question of eternity: What will you do with your life?

          But it is exactly just that: self-deception, and it bugs you when you hear someone say something that flies in the face of it so you insult them. Dude, why? Just live and let live … even if you’re right … then it doesn’t matter, nothing matters, and your insistence that others stop believing a “fairy tale” is an absurd insistence … because your thoughts and feelings are nothing if there is no God. Then there is no real good, no real evil, pain, hope, misery, suffering, joy, sacrifice … but I’m guessing somewhere you know at least some of those things are real, and come from a place other than a chemical reaction, and that there is a thing such as karma … and it’s why you insist on others bending to your will. Your argument is full of holes and destroys itself. There is nothing there … by definition of your own paradigm … nothing. Sad.

          • Susan

            Very beautiful respone. Tearfully thank you.

        • Muahahaha

          Either you are a troll or you are ignorant. If you have actually studied any of the complex life forms or any quantum physics along with cosmic objects. You would have no doubt that there is a creator. Period. I don’t, understand. How people. Can be so. Dumb. Say that clear enough for you?

        • Christina

          God is real.

      • susyn

        Religion is man, God is spiritual and as I am valuable to create, I search for my purpose which will be from God.

        • Chris

          I can survive seven days without water.

          • J-SHOCKS

            i can survive without water in my life

          • Greh

            My grandma survived 2weeks no food or water

    • Teegan

      First of all, things aren’t going to work out all the time.
      Everyone will have to go through ‘screwed up’ stages in their life.
      Secondly, you say God is not giving you what ‘you’ want in life?
      I’m sorry, but that’s not how it works either. His purpose for your life is not for what you want, but for what he wants to do through you. And it will not be easy to come to that realisation that your purpose may not fall under what you ‘want’ initially, but it is no doubt rewarding when you realise that.
      You are loved by the creator of the Universe, God. And we’re just humans, there is no way we could be expected to understand why a being with so much power would be so merciful on us, that he would love us, and care for us, even through the grief that people give him. That is incomprehensible grace.
      You are valued above any animal on this earth in God’s eyes, and the earths resources were put here for all to use, the humans and animals, so why would someone of such value, not be worthy of using what was made specifically for the use of him/her.
      Have faith he will provide.
      You have a amazing purpose for your life, perhaps not what you may think it to be, but instead, what God sees that it is. And I assure you, it will be more fulfilling than you would have planned for your own life alone.

      • Jack

        God’s not real lol stop being so immature

      • Katie

        Wow. What you said really inspired me. Things aren’t working out for me and I felt like giving up and I thought God also gave up on me but what I read just now really changed me cause it reminded me that he does have a plan for me and yes it’s probably more fulfilling then the way I plan it to be and I can’t wait to see what’s next to come. And I wanna say to everyone that posted a comment that God is not real to think again because he does exist. just Take a look around you and everywhere you go cause the answer to god existing is there. If you have Netflix I recommend you watch the movie gods not dead. its a really good movie.

    • Teegan

      I agree, religion is controlling, and if that’s how some people want to live out their lives, being ‘controlled’ by someone ‘above’ them then you have to let them live that way.
      Belief and relationship with God is not a religion, but instead a relationship, and just as I’m sure you respect other peoples relationships with others, it’s important that you respect other people’s relationship with God, whether you choose to believe in it or not. Not saying you can’t voice your opinion (hopefully granted that it is grounded in some actual study into the subject) but mutual respect is key to living in a society that can maintain peace, something we seem to be losing a grip of lately.

      • Susan


    • Josh

      Did you get romance scammed like i did, why i’m doing it…

    • sherrie

      i feel the same as you just want to go to sleep & never wake up there is nothing in life for me any more

      • Sirena

        God or no god your suicide would have never ending reprocusions on those who love and care about you. If your response is that no one loves or cares about you you are wrong. From first hand experience you are wrong. If your having a hard time loving yourself right now, then start by caring for and helping others. Through their eyes you may be able to glimpse the true value of your life. I wish you the best and hope you find what you are looking for.

  • Martin

    I have just completed my 4th day without food or water, apart from feeling a little week and lightheaded I seem ok, I’m 82kg so I can only assume my fat reserves have sufficient water & sustainance to keep me going – how very disappointing!

    • Linda

      If you stop eating and just sip on a little water can’t you survive. I have heard of people living 2weeks without water but then i have heard people die after 5days with no water depending if you are in the sun or the shade.

  • Abstrax

    lets join hands togather all of hiudns to save Dharma and conversations from YSR Congress as cristianity.Lakhs of People has been converted by Anil Kumar Hindus as cristianity Chala papam chesaru working as under ground mafia. maximum villages are reached 30% Cristianity plz save the state and the nation from this blade Y.S.Family now sharmila started Pada yatra with carrying of Bible atomatically people attrack with there hipnosis words and cristianity will rised to 40% to 50% cristianity in villages. Chudandi Y.S.Vijayamma garu meru kattukunna saree hindu tradition meeru pattukunna bottu hindu Tradition yendukuamma meru hinduvulani mosamchestharu lakshaladimandi hindu vulani cristianity ga marchina meru me alludu Anil kumar chala papam chesthunaru.Plz Note : Y.S.Family has not visiting our temples with heartly (manasulo varu saithan dhaghariki vacham anukuntunaru and saying Sorry to jesus on his prayers for visiting hindu Temples)plz stop to visit our temples other wise we have to make suddhi after visit of Adharma People Temples are using as a political Drama and acting.Mokka ga thunchanidhi manu ga thunchalemu.

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  • mj

    I hav for spiritual & religious reasons gone 40 days w/o food deinking water every few days, also 13 days w/0 food or water. It just takes logic and willingness and good care during and after. Peace

    • Kons

      Amen my friend.

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  • mario

    My mother in law has 12 day with out food or water she had a heart attack. No response she was under dynalees toke her oof the life machine how long does she has to suffer.

    • Carl fogg

      My dad has gone 8 days with out water longer no food he broke his leg they said his heart wasn’t strong enough for the operation they cat skaned him said he was full of cancer we never saw any exrays only of his leg he’s in hospice care over a week he’s on heavy doses of morphen and other pain drugs he’s mostly sleeping or during with all those meds they don’t know why he’s still alive we didn’t know he had cancer neither did he they uped the dose of meds today like I said the doctors thought 3 days ago I think they have been living to us and uped the dose of meds to cover there butt he is 91 years old someone that sick could they last that long feedbacks

      • MLS

        In Thanatology there are many documented cases of people holding on beyond any reasonable expectation. It is usually due to
        1) an unresolved issue they wish to resolve, such as seeing an estranged sibling for example
        2) waiting for an extremely personally significant date

        All hospices should have social workers that could share this information directly. I hope this helps in your time of difficulty. If you are curious about death and dying, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross was the first to undertake academic and scientific inquiry in the field. She wrote many books available everywhere, which would make a good starting place in your reading.