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Can You Have Coffee When Fasting

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Consideration #: What About Autophagy

Intermittent Fasting: Can You Have Coffee?

I see a lot of people concerned that any number of calories consumed during a fast will shut down autophagy. Autophagy is a self-cleaning process that your body has time to perform because resources are not used for the digestion of food.

While intermittent fasting does lend itself to better autophagy, it is challenging to determine how much cream in your coffee impacts the process.

I have a video on my YouTube channel that discusses autophagy and intermittent fasting if youd like to look into that topic further!

Keiths Glucose Results: Equal

My glucose started at 101 mg/dL, went up to 114 mg/dL at 30 minutes, went back to 98 mg/dL at 60 minutes, and back up to 108 mg/dL at 120 minutes.

Again we see that result kind of bobbing around a little bit.

I think my Equal results were similar to the results of regular sugar.

I was in ketosis when we did the sugar test, I dropped out of ketosis and then bounced back in at the two-hour mark.

Coffee Creamer Dos And Donts

Black coffee during intermittent fasting is best. If thats not an option, a tiny splash of cream is OK, and it wont change how much fat youre burning. It might, however, slow the rate of autophagy.

Fat is a better option than cream, and will have a small effect on your blood glucose or insulin sensitivity. Bulletproof coffee and intermittent fasting are thus the perfect pair. Grass-fed butter and coconut oil add flavor and creaminess without causing metabolic changes that would disrupt your fast.

When ordering in a coffee shop, beware that the cream used is often a mix of milk and cream and not full fat. Protein and carbohydrates in milk can cause you to break your fast.

Recommended Reading: Alcohol On Intermittent Fasting

Consideration #: Cream Has Calories

The third thing to consider is that heavy cream has calories and calories are energy. Your body will likely use those easily accessed calories before returning to the less accessible fat calories stored on your body.

Note: If you follow the strictest definition of a fast, which would be water-only or nothing at all, then you are breaking your fast by consuming calories.

No Black Coffee Wont Break Your Fast

Intermittent Fasting: Can You Have Coffee With Coconut Oil?

The key with fasting is calorie count. As long as food or drink doesnt have calories, it wont break your fast.

That means black coffee is fine to pair with intermittent fasting. Technically it has about 4 calories per cup, due to natural oils and amino acids in the coffee beans but 4 calories is not enough to impact your fasted state.

That said, many coffee additions will break your fast. Milk, cream, collagen protein, sugar, creamer anything with calories will take your body out of fasting mode.

But as long as you drink it black , a morning cup of joe wont interfere with your fasting window. In fact, it may enhance some of the benefits of fasting.

Read Also: Can You Drink Alcohol While Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent Fasting For Autophagy

The second primary reason for intermittent fastings burgeoning popularity is myriad health benefits.

Besides weight loss, so-called autophagy is predominantly responsible for the rejuvenating effects of fasting.

As soon as food becomes scarce, this intracellular recycling system kicks in, breaking down broken cellular parts and directing toxins out of the body.

In this way, autophagy prevents precisely those modern diseases that plague us today. For example, these may be cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, polycystic ovary syndrome , Parkinsons disease, or Alzheimers disease.

In this context, the positive effect of autophagy is so groundbreaking that it was rewarded with the Nobel Prize in Medicine .

But how is autophagy turned on and off?

To this end, three primary nutrient sensors exist in our bodies:

  • Insulin: Sensitive to carbohydrates and proteins.
  • mTOR: Sensitive to proteins
  • AMPK: Sensitive to lack of energy in cells

Since AMPK can also be affected by fat, any caloric food breaks a fast.

However, many experts forget that there are also non-caloric substances that can interfere with fasting.

Although they sometimes have only a marginal effect on blood glucose, intense non-caloric sweeteners can significantly increase insulin levels.

They can stop both autophagy and fat burning. For this reason, not only any calories but also sweeteners in drinks are a no-no during the fasting period.

Can You Have Coffee While Intermittent Fasting

In other words, does coffee break a fast? The answer is, you can have coffee while intermittent fasting and you do not need to worry that it will compromise your fast.

Some people believe that any calories consumed at all will break your fast, so its black coffee or nothing. While this may be true in principle, its important to ask yourself: What am I trying to achieve by fasting? While certain additions to your coffee may alter your desired effect, others may have negligible effects on your fasting results, so knowing your goals is key. These goals can help you determine what you can add to your coffee to achieve your desired results.

Recommended Reading: Can You Drink Alcohol While Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent Fasting: Coffee With Oat Milk

Since the food industry jumped on the vegan hype train, oat milk is currently enjoying great popularity.

But have you ever thought about the fact that it might be unnatural to make a milk substitute from grains? Where does the fat content come from, which you need for creaminess?

As I suspected, the fat in popular brands comes from industrially processed vegetable oils, such as canola oil.

To produce oil artificially from a non-oily plant is not only unnatural but also harms your health significantly.

Since chemical processing damages highly sensitive omega-6 fatty acids, they promote free radicals in your body.

Accordingly, your body should probably not use these broken fats as essential building blocks of your brain cells. Dont you think so?

Hence, for people who are intermittent fasting for health reasons, oat milk is not an option.

So, what about weight loss?

Besides the 7.5 grams of fat from canola oil, a glass of oat milk has a staggering 16.5 grams of carbohydrates, of which 10 grams are table sugar .

Thus, we no longer need to debate. Thats the last nail in the coffin for oat milk during intermittent fasting.

Since even a shot of oat milk triggers a blood sugar and insulin spike, you better put it into the sink.

Drinks That Wont Break Your Fast

Intermittent Fasting 103: Can I Have That While Fasting??


Plain or carbonated water can be consumed during a fast because it provides zero calories and will help to keep you hydrated during a fasted state. This is important as prolonged fasting can increase the risk of dehydration which can lead to electrolyte imbalances and low blood pressure. If plain ol water is a little too boring for your taste, you can try adding some herbs like basil or mint for some flavour, or even opt for some flavored carbonated water that is zero calorie.

Regular tea with no added sugar, cream, or milk can be consumed without breaking a fast. However, some flavored teas are sometimes sweetened with sugar, so be sure to check the label to ensure that it will not provide any calories during a fast.


Drinking black coffee can be consumed during a fasting window and may even help to support some of the benefits of intermittent fasting. For example, some mice studies show that coffee can induce autophagy which is the process where your body rids itself of unneeded, damaged, or harmful cells. Caffeine has also been shown to improve fat breakdown and boost metabolism. If you need to add a bit of a flavour boost to your coffee that wont break your fast, try some cinnamon, nutmeg, or zero calorie sweetener.

Recommended Reading: What Should Your Blood Sugar Be Fasting

Coffee For Each Type Of Fast

People fast for different purposes, and even black coffee can be harmful for fasting in some cases. Heres what you need to know about each type of fast and coffee.

  • Can I drink coffee while fasting for gut rest?We have bad news: Coffee stimulates gastrin and triggers gut activity and gastrin, making it off limits for those fasting for gut health. If you cant live without it, try a delicious low acid coffee for minimal side effects.
  • Can I drink coffee on the 16:8 diet?Yes, you can drink coffee on the 16:8 diet, even outside your eating window. The official protocol also allows for a splash of milk in your cup of joe.
  • Can I drink coffee while fasting for longevity?If youre fasting to reduce inflammation, promote autophagy, and limit the effects of aging, its likely ok to drink black coffee . Just be sure to limit your intake!
  • Can I drink coffee on the 5:2 fasting schedule?The 5:2 fasting method restricts caloric intake on 2 days of the week, rather than eliminating calories during certain hours. As long as you stay within your caloric limits, you can have coffee, even with additives.
  • Can I drink coffee while fasting for metabolic health/weight loss?If youre fasting for metabolic reasons or to reduce body fat, its likely safe for you to drink small amounts of black coffee. Experts are divided on bulletproof coffee and adding cream and sugar, so if you want to play it safe, skip those options.

Keiths Glucose Results: Stevia

My glucose started at 94 mg/dL, it went up a little bit to 99 mg/dL at 30 minutes, it went down a little bit to 89 mg/dL at 60 minutes, and then at the 120 mark I was at 93 mg/dL.

Almost the same glucose as I started with.

Again, I did not seem to have a big glucose change with this, but it did drop me out of ketosis.

Overall, the results of our stevia test were not major numbers. They were kind of major for me, but not major in the long run.

However, if we compare that to my findings with just black coffee, the black coffee did not do anything to my ketones.

So, that is kind of a thing, but it is especially interesting when you look at black coffees effect on my glucose.

My blood glucose dropped 29 points with only black coffee and nothing else over a two-hour period.

So again, if you just look at this data, it does not seem to have done too much, right?


However, when we compare our results from black coffee with stevia to our results from black coffee by itself, I had a better ketone response with black coffee alone.

You had a better glucose response from coffee alone.

Recommended Reading: What Is 14 10 Intermittent Fasting

Can You Drink Coffee While Intermittent Fasting With Cream

As it is a staple of so many lives, coffee during intermittent fasting raises many questions, which are answered here: milk cream sweetener and more!

What You Will Learn

Can you drink coffee while intermittent fasting?

Thats probably one of the most frequently asked questions about intermittent fasting. But if you are just starting with intermittent fasting, dont worry too much about it.

Because by deciding to promote your health through intermittent fasting, you already belong to the caring top 5% of humanity.

Moreover, you will learn some tips in the course of the article, which will make intermittent fasting easier for you.

Drinks To Avoid While Intermittent Fasting

Can you drink coffee while intermittent fasting? Yes and ...

Diet Soda

More research is needed to determine if diet soda can be consumed during a fasting window. However, what we do know is that artificial sweeteners can increase appetite, hunger, and promote long term weight gain. So, it may be best to enjoy diet sodas during your feeding window and choose carbonated water instead.

Pre-Workout Supplements

Pre-workout is usually made up of the following 5 ingredients:

While the majority of the ingredients contained in a pre-workout supplement are zero calorie, one gram of BCAAs contains 5 calories at a typical 2:1:1 ratio of leucine, isoleucine and valine. With that said, the leading ingredient found in pre-workout will most certainly break you from a fast.

Coconut Water

Coconut water is loaded with nutrients like fiber, vitamin C and a variety of minerals. However, one cup contains around 45 calories. Even though this would be considered a fairly low-calorie beverage, coconut water would be better suited to enjoy during a feeding window.



Regardless if the broth is homemade or low in sodium, drinking broth during a fast will provide calories approximately one cup provides around 10 calories. However, consuming broth, especially bone broth, can be a great way to replenish electrolytes lost during a prolonged fasting period.



Also Check: Can You Drink Alcohol While Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent Fasting: Coffee With Almond Milk

Small amounts of unsweetened almond milk are in a grey zone during intermittent fasting. However, steer clear of soy- and rice-based almond drinks

As long as you avoid the sweetened or protein-enriched versions, and only add a shot, the effects of almond milk in coffee are negligible.

Nevertheless, almond milk technically breaks the fast. Therefore pure nut milk is not suitable as a drink during fasting.

Who Shouldand Shouldntintermittent Fast

As mentioned, the intermittent fasting benefits may include slower aging or fewer aging-related diseases and weight loss. To possibly score any or all of those, you have to be able to stick with it for the long haul. That isnt exactly easy if you enjoy sharing dinner with loved ones and can only eat for four hours each day.

Like most things in nutrition, whether or not intermittent fasting is healthy really depends on the person, says Reaver. It can be a useful tool for individuals trying to lose weight that struggle with late-night eating because it restricts the time period of calorie intake. Individuals recovering from an eating disorder or disordered eating should not engage in intermittent fasting as it is another restrictive behavior. Athletes or individuals that require a high caloric intake should also not engage in intermittent fasting.

Those who are pregnant or breastfeeding, people with a history of seizure disorders, and those with diabetes or any blood sugar-related condition should also steer clear.

As with any eating plan, check with a registered dietitian or your doctor before starting an intermittent fasting plan.

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Why Tea Does Not Break A Fast

  • To break a fast, you wish to devour a certain number of calories. 50 is generally considered the limit where you’ve got broken your fast.
  • A single cup of tea can contain anyplace between one and three calories, so you’d have to be drink an crazy sum to really break your fast.
  • Of course, the number of calories radically increments once you start including sweet-tasting added substances like sugar or honey.
  • While a plain glass of brewed might as it were contain a single calorie, a glass of sweet tea has almost eighty calories or more.
  • When you consider that the caloric cut-off for fasting is about fifty calories, it rapidly gets to be clear why a few people believe drinking tea breaks a fast.
  • As long as you adhere to plain tea, or to calorie-free sweeteners, you’ll be able drink a few glasses of tea all through your quick. You may not break it and you’ll keep vitality levels high.

Five Types Of Intermittent Fasting

Can I have Flavored Coffee While Intermittent Fasting?
  • Time-Restricted Eating: This typically takes the form of the 16:8 plan or the 14:10 plan . Its also known as the time-restricted fasting diet.

  • Eat Stop Eat: Fast for 24 hours once or twice a week. On the other days, eat normally.

  • Alternate-Day Fasting: Consume about 500 calories every other day, then eat normally on the alternate days.

  • 5:2 Fasting: Eat normally for five days of the week and fast for two non-consecutive days .

  • The Warrior Diet: Consume all of your calories within a four-hour window each day.

Intermittent fasting is more about the when than the what. During regular eating windows or days, there are usually no calorie or food restrictions. During fasting times, however, the calorie range is typically between zero and about 500 calories. You call the shots on how to allocate those calories .

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What To Eat When Intermittent Fasting

Of course, we know that an all-or-nothing approach isn’t always warranted or sustainableand that there are still plenty of benefits to be had in the territory that lies between a strict water-only fast and eating a full-blown meal.

Some foods maintain many of fasting’s benefitswhile keeping you sane. So, many experts say it’s OK to consume certain caloric foods in small quantities to help you stick to an intermittent fasting plan.

Case in point: To help patients stay happy and compliant with their fast, integrative physician Amy Shah, M.D., allows the consumption of 30 to 40 calories from sources that won’t spike blood sugar, like coffee or tea with a splash of unsweetened almond milk. “I call this ‘dirty fasting,'” says Shah. “For me, I like to fast as long as possible with just waterthat might be 13 or 14 hours of a water fastthen I’ll have my tea with almond milk and end at around 16 hours.”

Even Horne agrees that some perks of fasting remain with minimal food intake: “One mechanism that is known to remain active when a small amount of food is consumed is ketosisas long as you consume less than 50 grams of carbohydrates ,” he says. “Some effects, such as the impact of fasting on the gut microbiome, may be different depending on whether it’s a water-only fast or a very-low-calorie diet with a small amount of food consumed, but both may provide some level of benefit when compared to eating a standard amount of food.”

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