What Even Is Breatharianism, And What You Should Know About The Dangerous Trend

There have been plenty of diets and nutritional guidelines out there over the years, some much more bizarre (and potentially dangerous) than others.

To name a few examples, there's the watermelon diet, the baby food diet, the lemonade master cleanse diet.

Apparently, at one point, there was even a diet suggesting you eat a cotton ball every so often to stave off hunger (super healthy, and delicious, amirite??!?).

As strange as some of those diets may be, breatharianism might be the strangest, most like-a-damn-science-fiction-novel of all.

It's a lifestyle centered around the idea that you don't need food or water.

Although not the originators of this strange and difficult-to-spell diet, breatharian lovers Akahi Ricardo and Camila Castello have been grabbing attention with their claims that all they need to survive are air and the good vibes of the universe.

Wait, Sorry, Did You Say These People Eat Air?


The two of them slowly weaned off of food together, starting with a vegetarian diet, and slowly working their way to, like, nothing.

The plans for weaning yourself off sustenance of any kind have guidelines that begin with eight- to 21-day plans, in an attempt to rid people of the dependency on food.

Castello even says she went through an entire pregnancy without consuming virtually anything, except the universal vibes.

If she eats nowadays, it's with her children to "experience the joy" of taste (jeez, at least the kids get to eat).

It's All About Energy, Man

Practitioners of breatharianism say you can train yourself to subsist off of prana (which is what they call all the cosmic energy in the world, or the vital life force in Hinduism).

The main source of prana is the sun, so that's where they claim you can get everything you need to lead a balanced lifestyle -- just deep breaths and a little natural vitamin D.

Weirdly Enough, This Isn't A New Fad

There have been practices based on the same eat-only-air claims dating back to Hindu religious texts and the Renaissance.

In America, breatharianism has been attributed to Wiley Brooks back in the '80s.

Brooks told Vice he is from another planet, and that eating food traps you in the 3-D world.

OK, whatever you say, bro.

But The Main Takeaway Is You Probably (Definitely) Shouldn't Try Breatharianism

While some people work periodic fasting into their lives, it's definitely not something to do without professional guidelines.

And, let me be clear, breatharianism is not a nutrition plan. In fact, some people have actually died from trying it.

Doctors are pretty unanimous in calling the idea a "lethal pseudoscience" and not a good idea at all. They say it's still a pretty universal truth that humans need food and water to survive and thrive.

And while I may be a bit of a hippie myself at the end of the day, I'm not convinced on this one by a long shot.

I say, if you're interested in trying new dietary or nutritional guidelines, do lots of research and ask for help.

For now, I'm going to stick to eating and drinking.

And yeah, I guess I'll welcome some universal sunlight energy vibes, too.