Since our childhood, we all are aware that food, water and oxygen are the basic necessities of life and we cannot survive without them. At the same time, we come across people surviving strict fasts (no food fasts or even no water fasts) for many days. So, what is the extent to which we can withhold these basic necessities??
1. Food: When one abstains from food, the body starts using stored nutrients (glycogen & fats) to get energy. As these nutrients get depleted, the capacity to support vital functions of the body goes down. An average person can live without food for 3-4 weeks. But water needs to be consumed liberally during this period.
2. Water: The human body is designed to run primarily on water and by weight, our body is about 65% water! water is required for digestion, temperature control, lubrication, excretion and many other essential life processes. 15% drop in body water levels can cause death! Thus, we cannot survive without water for more than 3-5 days.
3. Oxygen: Oxygen is crucial to sustaining life. Though it varies from person to person, on an average, 3 minutes is the maximum time where the person can stay alive without oxygen. Yoga and meditation experts may hold breath for longer than this, but these are very rare examples. In an absence of oxygen, brain cells begin to die and this effect is irreversible!
In summary, we must know the importance of these 3 lifelines and respect nature for providing us such a nice place to live in. At the same time, we should avoid pollution of air, water and soil to safeguard these basic necessities for generations to come!