Just How Long Can Your Body Survive Without Food?

The human body can only survive about one month without food, as long as you remain properly hydrated. Of course, without water you could only survive a few days, maybe a week at most.

Modern studies tell us that the average human body—in decent shape, for example—can survive no more than 45 days without food.  For the first couple of weeks you might only experience some fatigue and disorientation but by day 35—or around a month—symptoms of severe starvation will set in.  And by that point, death is typically inevitable.

Now, if you are trying to determine exactly how long you can survive without food—maybe you are planning a long wilderness hike or a backpacking trip—there are lots of Survival Savior factors you have to consider.  For example, if you have abundant water—something that, again, is far more important than food—you can stay alive longer. Yes, with proper hydration you will have more effective rest and will be able to function—both mentally and physically—longer than if you did not have water.

At the same time, experts attest that how long you can survive can greatly depend upon several physiological factors. This can include things like:

  • body weight
  • body fat percentage
  • body mass index
  • overall health
  • genetics

How well you survive—regardless of food and water—can also depend on environmental factors like:

  • season
  • terrain
  • agriculture
  • altitude

If you want to have enough energy to move, build shelter, hunt, prepare food, and protect yourself, you need to eat. Actually, you need to replace the calories, protein, and nutrients you use to perform these daily functions, and typically we make these replacements by eating food. This food can be animal in nature or plant in nature.

In the absence of food, your body will start to take calories from your body fat reserves in order to generate energy. Generally speaking, the more body fat you have, the more stored calories you have.  Thus, many argue that those who have more fat stores should, potentially, live longer than people who have lower fat stores. Of course, this may not be true when you compare health levels.  Those with lower higher muscle mass, for example, could actually live longer than those with higher muscle mass, even though higher muscle mass typically means you are stronger (and more able to hunt and fight).