Heres What You Need To Know About Alcohol And Intermittent Fasting
Because no calories are consumed during the fasting period, alcohol will obviously break the fast. You have the option of drinking alcohol during your meal times. Just keep in mind that there are some precautions to take. Alcohol will have an impact on your new healthy lifestyles success.
Although drinking alcohol in moderation isnt always harmful, it does have consequences.
Even if you arent required to eliminate entire food groups, making healthy choices will undoubtedly aid in the success of intermittent fasting. This includes the choices you make regarding alcohol.
What Happens When Breaking A Fast With Alcohol
As I said in my introduction if you still have doubts about it: drinking alcohol breaks a fast for sure. Alcohol contains seven calories and induces a strong metabolic response to process it. So, it breaks a fast.
Now, when youre fasting, youre not getting any foods and any nutrients. In this state, the pyloric valve, which is a valve between your stomach and intestine, is wide open.
This valve allows food in the intestine when youre ready to eat and absorb nutrients. If youre full, the valve closes and new food wont go into the small intestines.
Whats important to understand here, is that your stomach as a few square feet of surface to absorb nutrients. While your small intestine has a surface of thousands of square feet.
So, the small intestine will absorb nutrients much, much faster and efficiently than the stomach. Alcohol, like fat, protein or carbs, could be considered as another macronutrient.
When you drink alcohol after a fast, with the pyloric valve wide open, your body will absorb alcohol really fast, rising up your blood alcohol, making your drunk more quickly. Which might be cool for you, but not for your body.
The enzymes that normally are at work to break down alcohol wont be able to keep up since youll be absorbing it so quickly. So, the liver is going to prioritize metabolism and alcohol over everything else. Meaning any food youll consume with alcohol, or after drinking, will be put back and not properly processed.
Healthy Drink Options For After Your Fast
Weve discussed drinks that you can have while fasting, now lets discuss what you can drink during your feasting period.
You can drink anything you want, as long as you maintain a calorie deficit to stick to your weight loss routine. However, there are some drinks that you can go to when youre unable to make a meal or when youre in the mood for something light and refreshing instead of a heavy meal.
Here are some noteworthy drinks that are healthy alternatives to snacks and calorie-dense foods.
Read Also: How Many Calories Should You Eat When Doing Intermittent Fasting
If I Choose To Drink Alcohol Which Alcoholic Beverages Have The Least Calories
What if you want to enjoy an occasional drink and still practice intermittent fasting to lose weight? Which alcoholic beverages should you avoid and which ones to choose instead?
Lets take a look at how much calories some of the most commonly used alcoholic beverages have:
- 1 glass of red wine 122 cal
- 1 glass of red wine 121 cal
- 1 glass of red dessert wine 165 cal
- 1 pint of beer 208 cal
- 1 shot of whiskey, vodka, rum or gin 97 cal
- Cosmopolitan 146 cal
- Rum and Coke 185 cal
- Vodka and tonic 189 cal
As you can see, wine, particularly dry white and red wine, would be a better choice than beer or mixed drinks. While spirits contain fewer calories when mixed with soda, juices and other ingredients, these drinks end up being calorie bombs.
Thus, If youre concerned about calories while drinking, avoid beer, dessert wines and mixed drinks. Just make sure to keep health risks from alcohol to a low level and stick to the Center of Disease Control guidelines. This would mean up to 1 drink per day for women and up to 2 drinks per day for men. But when it comes to alcohol the less the better.
How Much Alcohol Can You Drink
The amount of alcohol you can drink varies quite a bit from person to person.
According to the NIH, heavy drinking for men is defined as more than 4 drinks in a day. In women, the number is slightly lower. Heavy drinking for women is defined as more than 3 drinks in any one day.
Even if you only drink on occasion, you should try to stay at or under these limits while intermittent fasting.
Regular drinking also has slightly different limits. Heavy drinking over time is measured as 14 or more drinks per week for men, and 7 or more drinks per week for women.
While those NIH guidelines are helpful, you should also know that alcohol affects individuals very differently. You may experience the symptoms and health consequences of heavy drinking even if you dont meet those qualifications.
Because there is no safe level of alcohol consumption, per WHO guidelines, any level of alcohol consumption comes with some risk and health consequences.
Limiting how much you drink does two things. It limits the calories you receive from the alcohol, and it allows your body to return to normal function sooner. The sooner youre functioning normally, the sooner youre likely to receive the benefits from intermittent fasting.
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Alcohol Can Impede Cellular Repair
While fasting, the body triggers cellular repair processes such as autophagy. During autophagy, old, damaged proteins are removed from cells and new, healthy cells are formed.
This process may lower the risk of cancer, contribute to anti-aging effects and explain at least some of the reasons why the caloric restriction is shown to prolong human life.
Recent animal studies have shown that chronic alcohol consumption can suppress autophagy in the liver and fat tissue. Remember, human studies are needed.
SUMMARYBecause alcohol contains calories, drinking any amount of it during a fasting regimen can disrupt the fast and interfere with cellular repair.
Breaking A Fast With Alcohol
Instead of wondering whether alcohol breaks a fast, what if youre intentionally breaking your fast with alcohol? Is it okay to break a fast with some alcohol?
The short answer is yes, as long as you dont overdo it.
Its probably better to stick with the lower sugar / low carb varieties, so you dont overwhelm your system right after a fast.;;
Again, youll probably be more sensitive to the alcohol after a fast, so take it slow!
Unsweetened Tea Or Coffee
Coffee and tea should be consumed without any mixtures like milk, flavored syrup, artificial sweeteners, sugar, or cream. Its best to avoid sugars even during eating hours. However, some feel that adding some milk or fat can curb hunger, so try it this way, only in the eating window as they will break your fast. Herbal teas and decafs should be brewed only in water to make them calorie-free. Do not overdo caffeinated varieties, since they can cause irritability and poor sleep. This applies particularly if consumed on an empty stomach, which is usually the case when you are fasting.
Can You Drink Water During Intermittent Fasting
Fasting means not eating. Nevertheless, drinking water in its purest form is allowed during intermittent fasting.
Consequently, some humans can get along over a year without food, not, however, without liquid .
Furthermore, Intermittent fasting aims at depleting carbohydrate stores, enabling the body to burn stored fat for energy production.
Since the body needs water to store carbohydrates as glycogen in the liver, kidneys, and muscles, you lose a lot of water during intermittent fasting.
Therefore, who does not drink accordingly will experience keto flu symptoms during intermittent fastings, such as headaches or vertigo.
These small physical ailments are usually due to a lack of minerals primarily sodium your body flushes out with the water.
In addition to the necessary fluid, water can also provide the body with minerals. However, nutrient sensors are not activated in this case. Therefore, water does not break an intermittent fast.
Besides, I recommend consuming more natural Himalayan or Celtic sea salt during the eating periods when intermittent fasting.
If you listen to your body, it will demand more salt anyway.
Since salt reduces the craving for sweets, increases insulin sensitivity, improves metabolism, and helps you lose weight, its a good thing .
Eating Windows Vs Fasting Windows
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that breaks your day into two parts:;;
There are actually a variety of intermittent fasting schedules you can follow to determine what hours of the day these windows actually include. We have a handy guide to fasting schedules for you to check out here.;
The most common schedule is the 16/8 plan, which means you eat for an 8-hour window and fast for 16 hours. You can also choose to do shorter or longer eating windows, or even opt for alternate-day fasting.
If youre new to this way of eating and need help getting started, definitely check out our Beginners Guide to Intermittent Fasting.
During your fasting period, you want to refrain from consuming any food or beverages that contain calories. So.. no food. But you have several beverage options, and these are important because it is critical to keep yourself hydrated while fasting.
Excessive Alcohol Consumption Can Boost Inflammation
Intermittent fasting is said to be effective in reducing inflammation in the body.
However, alcohol can counteract the effects of this diet and contribute to inflammation.
Chronic inflammation can lead to a variety of diseases, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers.
Studies have shown that inflammation from excessive alcohol consumption can lead to the leaky gut syndrome, bacterial overgrowth, and intestinal bacterial imbalance.
Heavy alcohol consumption also strains the liver and reduces its ability to filter out harmful toxins.
Together, these effects on the gut and liver promote systemic inflammation, which can lead to organ damage in the long run.
SUMMARYExcessive alcohol consumption can cause widespread inflammation in the body, counteracting the effects of fasting and potentially causing disease.
How To Master Your Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle
Whether youre an intermittent fasting beginner or already practicing for a while, theres always a room for improvement.
In 21-days you can learn all about intermittent fasting drinks, get proven tips on overcoming hunger and making intermittent fasting a solid habit. A group of motivated intermittent fasting supporters, start the biggest intermittent fasting challenge every Monday.Join us today!
More on Intermittent Fasting
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Information on this document and our website is for educational and informational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute, nor does it replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a dietitian, physician or another health-care professional. Consult your physician before starting intermittent fasting, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, have any medical condition, or are taking any medication. Read more here.
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Best Liquids To Drink While Intermittent Fasting For Weight Loss
If you dont already know, intermittent fasting is one of the hottest weight loss crazes around in recent months and years.
And thats for good reason.
Its fast, easy, and it works!
Ive lost over forty pounds on intermittent fasting and kept it off. Something I struggled with for many, many years before giving intermittent fasting a try.
So I will sing loud and proud from the mountains and the rooftops that it really does work and is worth giving a try, provided you get the clearance from your doctor to do so.
One consideration you may have if you want to try fasting is what you should drink during your fast.
In this article, Ill share seven of the best liquids to drink while intermittent fasting for weight loss.
*This post contains affiliate links
Enhance Cognitive Function In Older Adults
Moderate alcohol consumption may have a protective effect on cognition and even delay decline associated with dementia. Moderate alcohol consumption is linked with a reduced incidence of Alzheimers disease and other forms of memory loss among older individuals. In addition, research suggests that moderate drinkers are more resilient than abstainers in recovering from brain injuries .
Intermittent Fasting And Alcohol
It might feel like everyone you talk to is doing intermittent fasting. Recent online searches bear this out: Intermittent fasting was the most-commonly searched diet term of 2019 online, according to Google’s Year in Search trend report.
Intermittent fasting is essentially time-restricted eating. There’s a window of time you can eat and a window when you cannot,”;explains Alyssa Pike, RD, a manager for nutrition communications at the International Food Information Council in Washington, D.C.
As for drinking, fasters will usually consume water and other non-calorie beverages, like tea. But what about alcohol? Can;drinking alcohol;break your fast? Yes and no. During your fasting period, you can’t consume calories, so, therefore, drinking alcohol will break your fast. But, during the eating portion of your fast, you can choose to drink alcohol as part of your caloric intake.
“Simply put, the different formats of intermittent fasting alter those windows by various lengths of time,” Pike says.
Choosing Better Alcohol Options
Keep in mind that consuming alcohol will cause your fast to be broken. Try to limit your drinking to only when youre eating. Intermittent fasting and the amount of alcohol allowed to be consumed have no specific guidelines or limits. Simply keep in mind the number of calories in each drink. The key to success is moderation.
There are definitely better options than others in terms of calorie and sugar intake. This is true not just for intermittent fasting or dieting in general, but for overall health and wellness. Even low-calorie alcoholic beverages have an effect on short-term metabolism.
Red wine and hard spirits, on average, have fewer calories than beer, sweet wines, beers, and other fruity drinks. The more calories it contains, the sweeter it tastes. A mixed drink made with club soda and lime will be lower in calories than a margarita or rum and coke. You can even make a low-calorie drink by mixing wine with soda water.
Even if you choose low-calorie beverages, that doesnt mean you should drink more. Limiting how much you drink accomplishes several goals. It allows you to get your calories from more nutritious sources and returns your body to a healthy, functional, fat-burning state faster. The sooner your body is functioning normally and healthily, the sooner youll be able to return it to a state where intermittent fasting can continue to benefit it.
Alcohol And Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting means eating all your food within a limited time each day, usually about 8 or 10 hours.;
For example, if you only ate between 10 am and 6 pm, that would be an 8-hour eating window.
Since you wont be eating during the other 16 hours of the day , this gives your body more time to burn fat. It also helps normalize blood sugar and insulin levels in people with diabetes , among other benefits.;;
What Drinks Will Break And Not Break A Fast
So youre right in the heart of your fast but then your stomach suddenly starts growling. You feel overwhelming hunger to the point all you can think about is food. This is the perfect time to take a fasting approved drink instead of throwing in the towel on your intermittent fasting schedule.
When youre hungry all common sense will go out the window. Having a fasting approved drink can help to alleviate some of these hunger pains enough to get through your fast.
Now some Intermittent Fasting purists will tell you anything other than water will break your fast. But this isnt entirely true. If youre looking to maximize all the benefits of fasting then youre going to want to stick to just drinking water.
They claim anything your body has to break down or is metabolized by the liver will break your fast. But there isnt a whole lot of scientific research behind this yet. Its commonly believed amongst fasting experts and purists that youll start to lose benefits of autophagy if you drink anything other than water.
But this doesnt mean you cant still reap the majority of the weight loss benefits by adding in some approved fasting drinks. As a general rule you can add any beverage that contains 0-50 calories and wont spike your insulin.
Can You Drink Soda While Intermittent Fasting
Regular Sodas? – NoRegular Sodas are full of sugar and thus its consumption will stop your fasting state. Thus, theyre an obvious exclusion from the good drinks list.What about diet soda? Can You Drink Diet Soda While Intermittent Fasting? – Also no.Diet Sodas, although containing sugar-free sweeteners, can also break your fast. This is because:
Artificial sweeteners like sucralose and aspartame are of many varieties, with some manufacturers adding other ingredients that add extra calories.
Also, a study showed that artificial sweeteners can trigger sugar cravings and increase blood sugar levels.
Are There Any Alternatives to Sodas and Sugary Alcohol?
If youre looking for the same bubbly texture as sodas, the best alternative for you is sparkling water. Sparkling water has no calories and thus does not break your fast. You can use this as an addition to any drinks you may otherwise use soda as an addition for. As for alcohol, there is no alternative. Just as we said before, alcohol and intermittent fasting dont go together. While hard spirits like vodka and tequila are lower in calories, your body will still be sensitive to the calorie intake and shift from its fasting phase. If you wish to make a drink to have during your eating period, you can mix hard spirits with sparkling water to minimize your calorie intake.
Are there any other drinks that one can have while Intermittent Fasting? Here are some other options for you to choose from.