Skip to main content

What Happens To Your Body During Starvation

Human Body During Starvation

Most people can survive for weeks, but eventually going without food will kill you.

Six Hours After Eating - Your body digests food into glucose and stores extra energy as glycogen. You burn glucose immediately and draw on glycogen reserves as needed. Energy reserves can last up to two days but most are depleted after about 6 hours.

About A Day After Eating - Once the glucose reserves get low, your body enters Ketosis. A metabolic state in which your body burns fat for energy. This produces ketones, which can be used as an alternative energy source. For people with diabetes, this can be dangerous. But many people can live off those energy reserves for some time.

Days After Eating - Eventually, your body starts to burn muscle protein along with fat for enegy. This state is a state known as autophagy. This will degenerate cell function. Your muscles will atrophy and your immune system will weaken. After six or seven weeks, most people's hearts start to function erratically. Organ and heart are common after this point and can lead to death.