Schennikov’s Dry Fasting Protocol

Schennikov’s Dry Fasting Protocol


On the one hand, it is an opportunity to cleanse the body, get rid of a number of serious diseases, strengthen the immune system and make the body more perfect. On the other hand, this event is associated with certain, sometimes considerable, risks.

Table of contents

For quite some time there have been disputes regarding the harm and benefits of therapeutic fasting. On the one hand, it is an opportunity to cleanse the body, get rid of a number of serious diseases, strengthen the immune system and make the body more perfect. On the other hand, this event is associated with certain, sometimes considerable, risks. One thing is certain - medical fasting has a devastating (in a bad and a good sense) effect on the body.

If you're like me, you love having multiple opinions and making your own decisions after dissecting them. It's for this purpose I believe this information to be of value to you, Reader. Enjoy.

Preparation for dry fasting

Schennikov’s preparation is good and to the point. He avoids a lot of fluff. Very Russian of him.

“Preparation is an important part of the method and greatly affects the final result. It takes two days, during which only raw vegetable food is allowed. In addition, at this time you need to carry out a complete cleansing of the body, for which you can use laxatives or enemas. It is also important during these two days to avoid shocks and refrain from watching TV. Next comes the fasting phase, during which the practitioner must refrain from eating food and water, as well as from any water procedures. The duration of fasting can be up to 11 days, but it is recommended to start from 5-7 days, regularly monitoring your condition. If there are concerns about health, fasting should be stopped. After three days of abstinence, water activities are allowed, for example, a short swim in cold water. At this time, you also need to stop taking any medications. Thus, if tablets are the basis of maintenance therapy, dry fasting is not suitable, since they should never be combined.”


  • Preparation of two days: I resonate with this approach because I too believe that you don’t need to prepare for weeks for a dry fast. It’s important to lower the digestive load to prepare, but it can be done in a much shorter time frame. Two days in advance gives you around 48 hours to perform a water enema to clear out any lingering debris from the pre-48-hour diet. If going for short fasts, the enema may not even be required, just recommended. An alternative to the enema can be a laxative solution. Something like high-dose magnesium citrate, mimicking the preparation one would do before a colonoscopy. You may be asking, what about liver flushes? The concept of a liver flush is to increase bile flow and excrete old, stagnating bile so that after a fast, you can rebuild fresh bile. This practice is interesting and may require an extra day or two added to the preparation. Vegetarian dieters have more gallbladder and bile acid issues due to diets that are not catered to bile flow, hence more stagnation and concentration leading to potential gallstones. Keep that in mind. As high-fat dieters have more active bile flow, gallstones are almost never an issue, but it’s still better to be safe than sorry and prepare with malic acid and lemon water.
  • Raw fruits and veggies: We see this a lot in the Russian dry fasting literature and protocols. An important thing to remember is that a lot of the Russian fasting culture heavily focuses on vegetarian diets. The propagators of fasting were often vegans and vegetarians. This plays a heavy bias in terms of protocols and recommendations. However, it was probably not uncommon to have omnivores come to the retreats or attempt dry fasting with worse results. If you want to play it safe, you should stick to tried and true recommendations like focusing on plant diets as preparation and refeed. However, a lot of this is probably centered around bile management and ease of digestion. Fiber moves through the body quickly. Meat (by itself and without fiber) moves slower. This is a discussion in and of itself, but it also explains why you’d want to eliminate meat which may slow down digestion a tad (continue bile acid secretion for longer) since we want digestion to ultimately stop as soon as possible so that healing can occur. This is also a point of interest when it comes to continued bile secretion while on a fast, and why short fasts are so much more different than long ones, and why these recommendations make more sense on extended fasts.
  • Cleansing of the body - Laxatives vs Enemas: Laxatives are preferred by many people because they are less invasive. However, enemas are very efficient, and simple, and other than an enema kit, require nothing else. It’s clear that a lot of recommendations for long fasts (and even short ones) talk about an enema before starting. This allows you to clear the colon much more thoroughly, and with that, residue that may stagnate during a fast. It is highly recommended for long ones and I highly recommend that you at least attempt to do one, strictly from a research perspective. You’ll notice that it is easy and gives a lot of peace of mind.
  • Refrain from watching TV: Leonid throws this into the mix, giving us a glimpse into initiating a sort of dopamine fast. The idea is to keep away from dopamine-inducing activities, so that you can more enjoy relaxing and resting. You could argue that staying away from games and TV before the fast will make them more enjoyable during a fast. It’s quite common to see people complain that they don’t have the will to watch TV or play games the deeper they get into a dry fast (5 days and up). Most likely this is recommended simply so that you have more motivation to meditate and go on walks.
  • Building up fasting days: A very important recommendation. One should never jump into really long fasts without preparation. So much can go wrong. The best thing you can do is to accustom your body to fasting, gradually. You learn so much about yourself, and it’s the cornerstone of my advice, especially in the end credits on Youtube: “Everyone is different, so every fasting experience is unique”. You must learn how your body reacts during different stages of fasting, and you just can’t understand it all if you jump into super long ones right off the bat. You also increase the chances of doing reckless and dangerous things, and continuing past safe thresholds.
  • Water bathing allowed after 3 days: This is where the advice differs from Filonov’s. Personally, I’m more with Schennikov on this. We know that we want the first 3 days of the dry fast to speed run us into the acidotic crisis phase. After that phase is achieved you start to enter more and more dangerous dehydration phases. If someone wants to balance the efficiency of a dry fast along with the most safety they can muster, the balance lands on something like 3 days dry, and the rest wet, speed everything up, and bypass the muscle loss. However, if you’re planning on going for a really long fast, taking the advice of bathing after 3 days makes the fast slightly more bearable, even if it blunts the dehydration slightly. Leonid mentions that there is a form of detoxification along with hydration through the skin that can occur and he believes it's better for you. I think it makes sense, as long as you remember not to let any into your mouth. Just remember it is recommended to do so in colder water which both lowers porosity and gives you a spike in ‘feel good’ hormones which may be just what you need to continue fasting.
  • No Medication: Important, because your digestive system is shutting down. Your normal detox system is also drastically slowed down. Medication requires your kidneys and liver to excrete, and they will need to compete with all the toxins and by-products of the fast. Think of it like a backed-up highway. No bueno.

Exit from dry fasting

It’s important to keep in mind that every single dry fasting expert has different diet recommendations at different times, indicating that the diet doesn’t have to be exactly the same each time. The one consistency is to start slowly with water, bring in some probiotic, and gradually go up the digestibility scale with animal proteins and fats later on.

“You need to get out of fasting very carefully and consistently. This must be done strictly at the same time of day at which you began to starve. You can start the exit with a glass of chilled boiled water, but you must drink it slowly, in small sips. Then you can take a short warm bath or shower. After a couple of hours, you can already drink fatty yogurt or eat cottage cheese. After another 2 hours, it is allowed to eat light chicken or fish vegetable broth without salt. For the next two to three days, it is better to eat only fresh protein food (cheese, chicken, fish, cottage cheese) and drink boiled water. Then you can gradually add boiled vegetables, cereal products, cereals, berries, and fruits to the menu. The portions should not be large.”

Schennikov Refeed v2

The first day:

  • Cabbage, cucumber, carrots salad (grated)

  • Drink small amounts of water slowly. 

No salt, no spices. Eat food every 2-3 hours. Each meal approx 200g in size.
Aim for 1.5L of water for the whole day.

Aim for 1000 calories for the day.

The second day

  • Same as before

  • Add vegetable and fruit juices

Aim for 1200 calories for the day.

Aim for 2L of fluids for the day.

The third day

  • Back to drinking normally (to thirst)

  • 1.5kg of fruits and vegetables

  • 100-200g of bread

The fourth day

  • Same as before

  • Add some legumes and nuts in small amounts

The fifth day

  • Back to normal eating


  • Why are complex carbs so early? Easiest to digest by the body, fastest energy source. Complex carbs are better because of slower release of glucose.
  • Why low glucose first day: It’s important to remember that when you come out of an extended fast, your insulin is suppressed. It’s not as simple as to say that insulin sensitivity is improved. It can be, and it hopefully will be once your refeed is complete, but in the beginning, think of your insulin as being suppressed. What does this mean? Well, the first few days of the refeed are marked by the body not being able to fully utilize high amounts of glucose, because there is not enough insulin. It’s important to allow the body, especially the pancreas and liver, to wake up. That’s why it’s important to eat smaller meals too, because we have a limited amount of digestive enzymes. That’s where my mini-fasting hacks come into play - such as supplementing digestive enzymes. By focusing on protein you have more amino acids for rebuilding muscle that was lost, as well as providing good support to rebuilding insulin levels. Eating too much will also store a lot of calories as fat, and you can rebound very quickly.
  • When can you bring in meat? Hard to say with accuracy. Some people bring it in early. It may depend on how adapted your body is to what food. We all share a similar bile system that needs to be restarted, which logically tells us to limit fat early on. However, heavy meat eaters also have an adapted microbiome and bile system that may play a role in this.
I had a segment mentioning Filonov vs Schennikov carbs vs proteins which was a bit misleading and all over the place - thanks to Kevin for pointing it out. Filinov has recently started recommending certain supplements which is good - But the old ways recommended no supplements as they were "unnatural".

Schennikov: Feelings during the course (11 days each)

  1. It is important to overcome the psychological barrier and tune in to further dry fasting. On the first day, people often feel fear, fear of new things and hunger. Symptoms of malaise appear, which are even more frightening. Dizziness, weakness, nausea are normal body reactions. Symptoms are more severe in men. Weight loss should be 1 or 1.5 kg, depending on the initial one. It is recommended to start.
  2. If the psychological barrier remains from the first day, then most likely the same symptoms will be observed: dizziness, nausea, malaise. On the second day, both hunger and thirst appear, both feelings must be overcome by engaging in an exciting business. You can try to get rid of cravings for food and water with the help of auto-training.
  3. On the third day, the body must get used to the new regime and switch to nutrition from internal reserves. The feeling of hunger and thirst will subside. During this period, blood pressure often drops, black dots appear before the eyes. Try to move smoothly and slowly, with sudden movements your head will spin more.
  4. Your blood pressure is still dropping and you may have a mild fever. Dousing and walking barefoot are recommended, and do not forget to take a cool shower.
  5. Sick organs begin to send signals to the brain, which causes discomfort in the body. You need to be prepared for these painful sensations in advance, they can only be suppressed by rubbing massage or by willpower. The body temperature is elevated due to the fight against disease. Monitor pain sensations closely, write them in a journal, remain impartial, and take a cool shower.
  6. Aggravated sense of smell, smells seem unpleasant. Lower back pain may occur due to lack of physical activity. Move more than you sit, but remember to be slow and smooth. On this day, it is recommended to ventilate the room more often, to walk outside (especially when it is raining or foggy outside). Watch your thoughts, do not indulge hunger and thirst.
  7. The day is characterized by the normalization of the state. The emotional background improves, relief is felt. Urine takes on a dark, brown color, so the body gets rid of poisons.
  8. Often manifested by a coating on the tongue, a bitter taste in the mouth. There is an increase or slowdown in the pulse. Irritability will appear, from which they get rid of self-hypnosis and auto-training. It is recommended to tie up your mouth while sleeping, continue to do so until the end of the course.
  9. Headache, fever, body temperature is elevated, it must be cooled using the usual methods. Vomiting or menstruation may appear, everything happens due to the cleansing of the body. The heart rate increases, the limbs become cold.
  10. Alienation sets in, relief is complete or partial. Time passes slowly, the body has overcome the crisis and continues to purify internally.
  11. You must complete the method at the hour at which you started it 11 days ago. Prepare to leave the post.

Yannick Wolfe

15 Years of Fasting Experience, Ex-ME/CFS, Ex-Long covid. Tech Consultant, Molecular biologist, Father, Researcher, Experimenter.

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