Caffeine While Fasting: What The Experts Say
According to Dr. Akil Palanisamy, physician and author of The Paleovedic Diet:
“Autophagy is the self-cleaning process by which the body’s cells break down and recycle damaged proteins and components. This is activated by intermittent fasting, but anything other than water disrupts it to some extent.
Dr. Rhonda Patrick, a Ph.D in biomedical science and expert on nutritional health, seems to agree in this interview with Joe Rogan. She says that drinking black coffee, green tea and vitamin supplements break the fast.
On the other hand, some experts agree in saying that caffeine is okay while fasting, but only to a certain extent:
- Steve Kamb, fitness instructor, publisher, and writer best known for promoting health and wellness at NerdFitness.com, says its OK to drink any zero-calorie beverages during an intermittent fasting routine.
Zero-calorie beverages are okay. As previously stated, I drink green tea in the morning for my caffeine kick while writing. If you want to drink water, black coffee, or tea during your fasting period, thats okay. Remember, dont overthink it keep things simple! Track your results, listen to your body.
- Dr. Josh Axe, D.N.M., C.N.S., D.C., of DrAxe.com and best-selling author of Eat Dirt thinks that tea and coffee are fine to consume as long as you don’t add any milk or sweeteners. He explains on his blog:
Beckys Glucose Results: Sweetnlow
Your blood glucose started at 70 mg/dL, went up to 81 mg/dL at 30 minutes, went down to 74 mg/dL at 60 minutes, and then at 120 minutes it was 73 mg/dL.
From start to finish, you had only a little bit of a rise in your ketones, and blood glucose stayed about the same.
Right, but with black coffee, my ketones went up 0.9 mmol/L. Here I went up to 0.5 mmol/L. It is not a huge amount.
If that was me, these numbers would be huge, but these are my numbers:
/8what Other Drinks Can You Have
Do remember that coffee is not the only low-calorie beverage that can be had during Intermittent Fasting.
There are multiple options you can choose from, as long as you don’t break the calorie consumption rule and stick by other rules of fasting.
Some of the best low-calorie drinks you can have include water, iced tea, black tea, green tea/ coffee/ lemon water.
As long as you follow the rule of moderation, keep calories under check and refrain from unnecessary additives, Intermittent Fasting will actually make a great load of difference to your lifestyle.
Recommended Reading: How Quick Is Weight Loss With Intermittent Fasting
Why Should I Be Fasting
Intermittent fasting is a surprisingly simple and sustainable diet, and it has something for everyone whether youre looking to get healthier, find more energy or help with keeping blood sugar levels stable or help with healthy weight management. The benefits of fasting are far-reaching and well-documented.
Ready to get on board? All you need to know to start is that intermittent fasting is simply a schedule that divides your day into two parts: an eating window and a fasting window. While most diet plans are fundamentally concerned with WHAT you eat, this plan is all about WHEN you eat, and thats it! You can check out our guide to intermittent fasting schedules here.
The structure of intermittent fasting is meant to make the most of your bodys natural metabolic processes every day, so that you can be on your way to long-term optimal health via the help of ketosis . Weve also created a helpful beginners guide to intermittent fasting that will get you started.
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Consider The Intermittent Fasting Plan Right For You:
Some of the popular regimens include:
The 16:8 diet, or time-restricted feeding, where you fast for 16 hours a day, but are free to eat whatever you want in the other eight hours. Experts advise picking an eating window that lets you finish your meals fairly early, such as 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. or earlier, because your body is less efficient at putting sugar away as the day goes by.
Alternate day fasting, which means limiting yourself to 500 calories one day, then eating whatever you want the next, and then repeating that process.
The 5:2 plan, which means incorporating two non-consecutive fast days into your week, then eating normally during the other days.
Here are four tips to keep your plan on track:
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So Should You Drink Coffee While Fasting
Coffee in moderation is certainly ok to have even within the fasting windows. And its ultimately up to you whether you want to drink coffee or not on a keto fast.
You can certainly go without with no effects on the results.
If you love coffee and if it helps you stick to your new eating pattern easier, there is no reason to stop.
Just remember, you do decide to have a morning cup of joe, let it be black coffee. Dont reach for zero-calorie sweetener or sugar substitutes. Cream, milk, and even butter are off-limits as well.
Sweeteners In Coffee & Intermittent Fasting We Ran The Tests
Sweeteners in coffee and their effect on intermittent fasting. Is it good or bad?
In this post, we test our blood glucose and ketone levels to find out if adding non-caloric sweeteners, like stevia, SweetNLow, Equal, and Splenda to your morning coffee will break an intermittent fast?
Spoiler Alert: If you are a fan of artificial sweeteners, you may not be happy with some of our results.
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Does Putting Coconut Oil In Your Coffee Help You Lose Weight
The inventor of Bulletproof Coffee has lost 45kg of body weight since he developed this concoction.
According to Aspey, this coffee drink can provide a burst of energy and a feeling of satiety for several hours which can help you more easily skip breakfast while you extend your fasting period.
Not surprisingly, many fans of the paleo diet and people who prefer a ketogenic diet rely on the bulletproof coffee.
What Is Bulletproof Coffee
For many keto followers, Bulletproof Coffee is a healthy, invigorating way to start each day. It is a coffee drink fortified with good fats and is often used as a keto-friendly liquid meal that will tide you over until lunchtime.
The recipe, originally by Dave Asprey, founder and CEO of Bulletproof and author of The Bulletproof Diet, is pretty simple: combine 1 cup of coffee with 2 tablespoons of grass-fed butter and 2 tablespoons of medium chain triglyceride oil . And voila!
Theyre bulletproof and theyre consuming 53 grams of fat and 435 calories. However, you may start slowly with the MCT oil as this can be difficult on your stomach. Begin with half a tablespoon and add more as you adjust.
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Will Stevia Break A Fast
Will stevia raise our blood glucose?
Will stevia knock us out of ketosis?
for me no, but for you yes.
So this one is going to depend on metabolisms.
We have two very different metabolisms right here.
Another inconclusive result, but compared to black coffee, I would not want to put it in my coffee.
I did not like the taste either.
Yeah, it was yucky.
So can you use Stevia during intermittent fasting?This is inconclusive. It is going to probably depend on your metabolism, and there is a possibility it could be screwing with your metabolism.
If you are taking in fat at the same time that you have some liver metabolism going on, it may be messing with your insulin response or glucose production and you could be backfiring a bit.
How About Green Tea
Now were getting into a bit of a gray area when it comes to what you can drink while intermittent fasting. Most people are 100% OK to drink plain black coffee and plain water while fasting for weight loss. While the majority of people can also get away with plain green tea during a fast, this is something youll have to test for yourself.
For the majority of people, green tea actually works like an appetite suppressant and can help extend your fasting time. However, some people may feel hunger soon after drinking green tea, which is a sign that having green tea during your fasting window isnt a great idea.
While I personally drink green tea most days for the health benefits that come along with this beverage, I dont really love the flavor. To make do, I mix my green tea with another herbal tea like peppermint. In this instance, I wouldnt drink green tea while fasting since flavored herbal teas can break a fasted state.
Theres one more thing I wanted to mention about green tea before we finally talk about the intermittent fasting FAQ on deck: does coffee creamer break your fast?
When I mention green tea, Im talking about the loose leaf version you brew yourself at home. Most green teas sold in convenience stores in the refrigerated section have sugar or other high-carb additives, which means these versions are never a good option fasted or not.
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What Actually Breaks A Fast
Physiologically, your fast ends when your body starts to produce insulin. Insulin is produced when your body breaks down carbohydrates and protein.
So, as we just shared, foods that contain any protein or carbohydrates, can break your fast.
That means that pretty much any food aside from fats will break your fast.
Guide To Intermittent Fasting
Last January I jumped on the FASTer Way to Fat Loss program with my friend and coach, Deanna Pizitz . Im so happy to have found a manageable lifestyle program that incorporates intermittent fasting, whole nutrition, carb cycling, and fitness. In just 6 weeks, I was able to learn so much about how the body digests food, stores fat and HOW to turn your body into a fat-burning machine. One of the major components of the FASTer Way Program is implementing an eating schedule called Intermittent Fasting.
In this post, youll learn about intermittent fasting and how to not break your fast in the mornings with drinks and more specifically coffee additives.
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Why Is What You Drink So Crucial
Hydration is vital. Its easy and common to become mildly dehydrated when you fast. Its surprisingly simple to forget to drink while youre in the fasting part of your cycle, or to mistake thirst for hunger and ignore it. You may not realize it, but a significant part of your fluid intake comes from your food.
During your fasting window, you dont get water from your food. So, youll need to monitor your thirst and make a conscious effort to drink. Its essential for you to remain hydrated. However, hydration isnt the only thing to keep in mind when you choose what to drink when you fast. Drinks with sugar or carbs provoke an insulin response, which causes your body to secrete the hormone insulin. And insulin can cause you to miss out on the benefits of intermittent fasting.
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Boosts Metabolism And Reduces Appetite
Intermittent fasting helps some people consume fewer calories and can even boost metabolism. One study even found that fasting promotes fat loss while preserving muscle more effectively than simple calorie restriction.
Coffee is also known to temporarily boost metabolism and suppress appetite, which may add to your calorie deficit and boost weight loss.
Read Also: What Is Intermediate Fasting And How Does It Work
What About Artificial Sweeteners
Now you may be thinking plain coffee and water? Thats it? What if I want a little sweetness added to my beverages? Can I at least get away with minor coffee additions like artificial sweeteners?
Nope! Not if you want to remain in a fasted state.
In fact, adding even small amounts of sweeteners during your fasting window is one of the worst things you can do! That little taste of sweetness can result in a negative impact on your blood sugar that could last all morning long. Even seemingly harmless zero-calorie sweeteners can lead to cravings, hunger, and can even stop your weight loss efforts dead in its tracks.
Sugar alcohols are an even worse addition, so dont even ask
/8will Coffee Break Your Diet
To be fair, drinking black coffee is permitted with Intermittent Fasting . But again, how many cups of coffee is too much coffee? Will it break your fast? And, are there better drinks to be had with Intermittent Fasting?
We give you a low-down on the truth about having coffee during fasting, and the best ways to safely enjoy your fast
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Coffee During Intermittent Fasting: Yay Or Nay
Short answer: Yes! Good news, right? Dont go running to your local foam parlor just yet its not that simple.
First, lets define coffee. Any aficionados will know that theres a myriad more on offer than a simple cup of dark roast.
The part you wont like: A double mocha cappuccino with whipped cream and sprinkles does not qualify. Neither does a latte with 8 ounces of milk. While fasting, coffee is coffee with nothing in it.
So, yes, drinking black coffee during most types of intermittent fasting is totally OK. The popular 16:8 Leangains protocol actually goes so far as to say that coffee with a splash of milk is acceptable in the fasted state .
With just 4.8 calories per medium brewed coffee, it makes sense that a cup of coffee wont do much damage to your metabolism or blood sugar.
Coffee may actually help you speed up weight loss, according to recent research. Bakuradze T, et al. . Antioxidant-rich coffee reduces DNA damage, elevates glutathione status and contributes to weight control: results from an intervention study. You may have to get used to the taste of black coffee , but we have faith in you.
Heres a list that gets the green light during the fasting phase, according to some IF experts.
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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Bang Energy And Amino Acid Drinks On Intermittent Fasting
Whats the point of branched-chain amino acids in fitness drinks? Growth!
For this reason, they stimulate the primary growth pathway of the human body mTOR.
Therefore, drinking Bang Energy or other amino acid drinks switches off the fasting mode and turns on growth in the human body.
As we already heard, mTOR is the primary nutrient sensor of our bodies that turns off autophagy. In short, Bang Energy and other amino acid drinks are anti-fasting beverages you want to avoid during intermittent fasting.
How To Start Intermittent Fasting
In the FASTer Way to Fat Loss, we practice a 16/8 intermittent fasting schedule. This involves eating all your meals in an 8-hour window and fasting for the remaining 16 hours.
Starting intermittent is easy. As I said, it is not a diet. It is an eating schedule.
Start by monitoring the time you eat or drink your last thing in the evening and then plan to skip breakfast. I usually stop eating around 8:00 or 9:00pm and dont eat my first meal until 1:00pm the next day.
So what can you have during that 16 hour window to help curb your appetite? Well, water of course!
But what about coffee?
Coffee is a great appetite suppressor, so many of you might already be skipping breakfast if youre an avid coffee drinker like me. HOWEVER, if youre wanting your body to stay in that fasted state, you might have to change your coffee order up a little bit
Intermittent Fasting Infographic via Prevention.com
The biggest question about intermittent fasting revolves around what can break it. And since drinks are typically the first thing we consume in the morning you need to make sure that youre not accidentally consuming anything that could break your fast.
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What Can You Put In Your Coffee That Wont Break Your Fast
Although black coffee is perfectly acceptable for an intermittent fast, you may want to know if you can still add any of your usual mix-ins to your cup. In general, many health experts claim a fast isnt broken if you consume less than 50 calories within the timeframe of the fast. With this in mind, lets go over intermittent fasting coffee additions that wont break your fast.
From strictly a calorie perspective, technically, youre not fasting if you add any of these to your coffee because they all contain calories. However, fats themselves wont influence your insulin or blood sugar levels, so theyre the most recommended choice if youre looking to boost your insulin sensitivity .
While you may have heard recommendations for bulletproof coffee made by adding butter and MCT oil to coffee be aware that it contains over 230 calories in a 16-ounce serving . This fatty concoction is great for those on the keto diet, but it pushes the envelope when it comes to fasting. Its worth noting, though, that if youre fasting for weight loss, a little bit of fat may also help curb your craving so you can fast longer.
To maintain your fast, add only a small amount of either MCT oil, butter, or coconut oil to keep it under 50 calories.
If you’re curious about the ketogenic diet for weight loss, check out our keto diet tips to see if the diet is right for you.