Can You Drink Alcohol While Intermittent Fasting
In short, since alcoholic beverages all have calories, drinking alcohol during your intermittent fast will break it and reduce the overall benefits.
Most experts say that anything between 35 and 100 calories consumed at any point during your intermittent fast will likely disrupt autophagy, the key mechanism behind intermittent fasting, providing the same benefits of if you had only fasted for 3 or 4 hours .
As for drinking alcohol during your eating windows, most experts also say that having a few drinks in moderation likely wont disrupt your fast.
However, the effects of drinking alcohol on intermittent fasting have not yet been fully studied, so if youre considering combining intermittent fasting with drinking alcohol, we recommend taking an overall look at your strategy.
The goals of intermittent fasting can range from better controlling your blood sugar to losing weight to improved immunity and cellular repair, all of which are adversely affected by alcohol consumption.
This isnt to say that the two cannot coexist, but it may be likely that drinking alcohol during your intermittent fasting strategy is counterproductive.
What Should I Drink During My Fasting Window
First, keep in mind that generally speaking, during your fasting window you want to consume as close to zero calories as possible.
Depending on who you ask, some people say keeping it under fifty calories or so is harmless.
Others are staunchly against this and will try to fight you online if you drink anything other than water during a fast.
Youll have to decide for yourself how you feel and what youd like to include in your intermittent fasting diet plan.
If you choose to consume beverages that have more than zero calories, this is known as dirty fasting.
If, on the other hand, you stick to zero calories with no additives at all, this is known as clean fasting.
Ive had success going the dirty route and found no problem with losing weight while consuming a variety of beverages, which Ill share with you below.
But some people have reported that their bodies hold on to excess weight and fat if they dont go 100% clean.
My advice to you is to block out all the noise and experiment!
We are all different, and nobody can tell you what to do with your body.
Your body, your rules. Period.
Okay, now, with no further ado, here are the seven best liquids to drink while fasting for weight loss!
The Takeaway: Alcohol Will Break Your Fast
Alcohol contains calories, which means it will break your fast if you drink it during your fasting period.
In addition, drinking heavily counteracts a lot of the benefits of intermittent fasting.
However, moderate drinking may actually be good for you, especially if you avoid sugary cocktails. Instead, choose high-quality dry wines and spirits.
Want to learn more about the rules of fasting? Heres a list of foods and drinks that break your fast, as well as what you can have during your fast.
Also Check: What Is The Definition Of Intermittent Fasting
If Youre Going To Drink Follow These Guidelines
If youre planning to have a few drinks while intermittent fasting, we recommend a few strategies.
First, make sure that your drinking window aligns with the center of your expected eating window. This gives your body a chance to process not only the calories from food but also those from alcohol, which are absorbed more slowly since they have to be broken down first.
Second, avoid heavy drinking. Just like overeating, heavy drinking can result in a buildup of excess stored fats that your body will have to then work on breaking down during your intermittent fast. Needless to say, this is counterproductive.
Third, make sure that you know the approximate calories of what youre drinking so you can plan your meals effectively.
This is especially true if youre seeking to lose weight for example, red wine has more calories than tequila. And your glass of wine might vary if its a dry wine versus a hearty sweet wine.
And finally, we recommend avoiding drinking on an empty stomach, eating foods like starchy vegetables or grains, and drinking plenty of water.
Many people turn to food or drinks the morning after drinking to avoid a hangover, and this wont be possible if youre sticking to an intermittent fast. Enjoy responsibly!
Tips For Mindful Alcohol And Drinking In Moderation
Often, people think of mindfulness as meditating, which isnt for everyone, but the great news is that you can practice mindfulness by creating simple activities and rituals no meditation necessary. Try some of these ideas:
Avoid alcohol on all fasting days and whilst you are doing The Very Fast 800.
Upgrade your alcoholic beverage. For its health benefits, we recommend red wine as your drink of choice. Why not start by researching the different types of red wines and asking friends for their favourite recommendations? Building your knowledge and red wine experience will help to savour the experience of each drink you try.
Slow down when social drinking. Always alternate your alcoholic drink with a water and make it sparkling water to keep things interesting.
Set yourself up with alternatives for the triggers that usually lead to drinking alcohol. For example, if you have a long, hard day at work, instead of reaching for alcohol, try a relaxing bath, going out for a walk, or calling a friend.
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The Final Word On Intermittent Fasting And Drinking
Alcohol is unlikely to break your fast if you drink it during the eating portion of your fast. However, its important to remember that alcohol has calories, and depending on the type of alcohol, they can be excessive. Alcohol can also trigger inflammation and increase your risks for some diseases, but in moderation, consumption can be OK. Remember, if you do drink, stick to dry, lower-alcohol wine and hard spirits and add some sparkling water to limit the intake of sugar and extra calories.
Next, find out whether you can drink lemon water while fasting.
What Can You Drink While Fasting?
Can You Drink Lemon Water While Fasting?
- Autumn Bates, a certified clinical nutritionist in Manhattan Beach, California
- Katherine Brooking, MS, RD, co-founder of the nutrition news company Appetite for Health in San Francisco
- Alyssa Pike, RD, a manager for nutrition communications at the International Food Information Council in Washington, D.C.
- : “Year in Search 2019”
When Is The Best Time To Drink Alcohol While On An Intermittent Fasting Diet
During your eating window, of course. Drinking alcohol during your fasting window A) would be unhealthy and unsafe with no food in your system and B) would break your fasting state. Make sure to drink during you’re eating window, and stay hydrated.
In terms of when you should eat food and when you should imbibe? “You should eat first and then wait an hour or so for your body to digest the food, and then start drinking alcohol,” Rissetto recommends. This way, what you eat doesn’t get stored as fat when the body has to break down the alcohol to be filtered away from the bloodstream.
Another pro tip: Rissetto recommends drinking with at least three or fours hours before bed. Why? Because when you drink, your body doesn’t go into REM, a deep stage of sleep, Rissetto says. Without it, you won’t get the restful and restorative sleep you need. And again, your body won’t be able to do its jobs properly. By allowing yourself time between drinking and sleeping hours, your body will have more time to metabolize the alcohol, and you’ll still get in your beauty rest .
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Can You Drink Milk During Intermittent Fasting
Since 100 ml of milk contains not only 5 g of lactose but also approximately as much protein, it makes the difference .
Even a milk shot impairs intermittent fasting since it spikes blood sugar and insulin levels mostly if its skimmed and low-fat.
Both milk powder and vegetable milk drinks are industrially produced and are not suitable for fasting due to their composition.
Only unsweetened almond milk moves in a grey zone. After the nut milk is remarkably thin, a splash in the tea will not necessarily break the fast.
The same applies to cinnamon, which also yields exciting health benefits.
Coffee During Intermittent Fasting
While black coffee is permitted during IF, a popular way to break the fast is with Bulletproof Coffee. Its made with high-quality coffee, grass-fed butter, and MCT oil for a brain-boosting beverage that gives you energy and an excellent source of healthy fats.
You may be thinking- hold up! Whats MCT oil?? Butter in coffee?? Yes, its not your typical first cup, so lets discuss the benefits of Bullet Proof Coffee:
First, MCT oil, better known as brain octane oil, is a caprylic fatty acid-containing antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. You can find it in coconut oil, but Brain Octane oil is 18 times stronger!
When it comes to butter, grass-fed is the best choice. Its higher in Omega-3s, beta carotene, vitamins, and it tastes better. It also gives the coffee a creamy, golden texture and taste after my first sip, I was sold.
In it, youll get a full 1-week meal plan so you know exactly what foods to enjoy during your eating windows, every day of the week. Learn more here and purchase the book here.
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Choosing The Right Alcohol
If youre going to drink while doing the 16/8 intermittent fasting, you should choose the right alcohol. Avoid high-calorie drinks that are full of added sugar. Go for dry wine or distilled spirits that are low in calories. Below is the calorie content of different alcohols according to the National Institutes of Health :
- Beer 153 calories per 12 fl oz. serving
- Gin, rum, vodka, whiskey, tequila 97 calories per 1.5 fl oz. serving
- Brandy, cognac 98 calories per 1.5 fl oz. serving
- Liqueurs 165 calories per 1.5 fl oz. serving
- Red wine 125 calories per 5 fl oz. serving
- White wine 121 calories per 5 fl oz. serving
- Champagne 84 calories per 4 fl oz. serving
- Cosmopolitan 146 calories per 2.75 fl. oz serving
- Whiskey sour 160 calories per 3.5 fl oz. serving
How To Do Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is time-restricted eating and emphasizes when to eat, instead of preaching what to eat. The 16:8 method involves fasting window of 16 hours and an eating window of 8 hours. This is one of the most popular methods.
Any food or drink with macronutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates, and fats would promote the body out of a fasting state. As these nutrients contain calories, they trigger an insulin response and raise insulin levels which signal the body to put you out of fasting mode. The fundamental rule of intermittent fasting is putting your body through certain periods where it wont be getting any calories in any form of food and beverages.
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Can I Drink Bone Broth During Intermittent Fasting
Homemade bone broth from beef, pork, or chicken bones, not only tastes excellent but also has properties that help during fasting:
- It Supplies electrolytes
- Is easily digestible
- Contains natural fat that helps to absorb nutrients
But here is the crux of the matter: broth contains enough fat to activate AMPK and break a fast.
Therefore, bone broth is instead the first-class food for breaking a fast.
Since bone broth is packed with magnesium, potassium, calcium, and sodium, it can replenish the rinsed electrolytes.
Therefore, you can use bone broth as an electrolyte supply during fasting, e.g., during prolonged fasts over days or weeks. Consequently, it represents training wheels for intermittent fasting at best.
What Can You Eat
During your fasting window, you can drink as many of the approved beverages as you want, but you can’t eat anything. Eating provides calories and starts digestion, both of which break your fast.
But when your fasting period ends and you enter your feeding window, it’s best to make food choices that keep your blood sugar levels stable. Although there’s no specific dietary recommendation when intermittent fasting, many people choose to combine it with a low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet.
At the same time, it’s best to limit or avoid high-carb or high-sugar foods like:
- Whole grains like whole-wheat bread, oatmeal and brown rice
- Most fruits
- Sugary, processed foods like baked goods or soda
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Can You Drink Alcohol While Fasting
Intermittent fasting uses several natural body processes to help you lose weight. Eating healthy foods will help your IF program be more successful, but you arent forced to eliminate certain food groups. That extends to alcohol.
But alcohol is a calorie-rich drink with a variety of health consequences. While you can drink when following an intermittent fasting diet, it does take some know-how.
One important thing to remember: any alcoholic drink breaks your fast. If youre going to drink, you need to do it during the times you would normally be eating.
So, weve answered the main question: drinking alcohol will not break or ruin your diet. But, doing so does have consequences. Lets take a more in-depth look at what that means.
Protein Shakes And Intermittent Fasting
Until the 1990s, scientists did not know that protein also strongly stimulates insulin .
For this reason, the first low-carb diets, such as the Atkins diet, were doomed to fail. The fact that the keto diet is based on this relatively new knowledge explains its popularity today.
Nevertheless, protein shakes still enjoy the image of a weight loss drink. However, there is hardly a drink that stimulates insulin, and the primary nutrient sensor mTOR like a protein shake with isolated whey protein.
Not only do Protein Shakes break a fast, but they also directly inhibit autophagy, which aims to reduce harmful protein accumulations, such as in the brain .
Thus, autophagy counteracts our modern diseases characterized by too much protein and growth these range from dementia to cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
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What Is Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting can take several forms, which you can learn about in our complete guide on how to start intermittent fasting. The most common include:
The 16:8 or 14:10 Method: Eat within an eight-hour window and fast for 16 hours. Or eat within a 10-hour window and fast for 14.
The 5:2 Method: Eat as you normally would five days per week, and choose two other non-consecutive days of the week to consume 500 to 600 calories.
Eat-Stop-Eat Method: Eat as you normally would five days per week, and choose two other non-consecutive days of the week to consume zero calories.
- Alternate day fasting. Switch off between days of eating as you normally would and days of consuming about 500 calories.
The Warrior Method: A more complicated method that calls for consuming all of your calories within a four-hour window and fasting for 20 hours.
Can You Drink Lemon Water During Intermittent Fasting
In addition to the lemon slices, a small splash of lemon moves in a grey zone during intermittent fasting.
Suppose you want to be on the very safe side. In that case, it is better to leave a slice of organic lemon in the water, as the tiny amounts of calories come from carbohydrates, which technically can activate all three nutrient sensors.
Nonetheless, a splash of lemon will not negate all the benefits of fasting.
Since there is a low basic level of autophagy in the body at all times, it cannot be 100% deactivated immediately, especially not by relatively negligible amounts of macronutrients.
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How Alcohol Is Metabolized In The Body
How alcohol is metabolized is a big factor to understand exactly what happens when you drink alcohol when compared to a basic non-toxic carbohydrate.
Since Ill also talk about fructose later in this article, I think dissecting the different ways glucose, ethanol, and fructose are broken down in the body might be a good way to fully understand the differences and the danger of the later.
So, heres how pasta or a slice of bread will be handled by the liver:
Reading this, you might think twice the next time youre proposed with a slice of bread. But keep in mind that the amount of glucose that will be turned into VLDL is actually really small with a non-toxic carbohydrate. Around 1/50 of it.
Intermittent Fasting Side Effects Beginners May Experience
Most people are used to burning only sugar for energy because of the Western Pattern Diet . Therefore, switching to fat burning for the first time can bring the following symptoms:
- Stomach pain
These physical symptoms are also known as the keto flu because the ketogenic diet requires the body to get used to burning fat for energy in the same way.
The trigger for this is the depletion of carbohydrate stores. Before the body can go into ketosis, it preferentially consumes glucose, which comes from glycogen in the liver and skeletal muscles.
Glycogen is a branched multisugar, with about 2-3 grams of water for every gram of carbohydrate.
Since this causes the body to flush out a considerable amount of water and electrolytes, physical symptoms can occur, most notably headaches and dizziness.
However, these disappear permanently once the body is fat-adapted. If you prepare for it, you can also prevent the keto flu while intermittent fasting, even as a beginner.
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