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Can You Take Vitamins While Fasting

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Mistake #: Forcing It

Should I take prenatal vitamins while breastfeeding, and what foods should I eat?

Intermittent fasting is not necessarily the best solution for weight loss, metabolic health, and longevity for everyone, says Snyder. So if youre trying it and feeling miserable, its okay to re-evaluate whether its the right plan for you. Sure, some argue that our bodies can handle starving somewhat regularly, like our ancestors did thousands of years ago when they didnt always have access to regular mealsbut that doesnt mean its the right thing for you to do now.

Not all bodies are built for intermittent fasting, says Snyder. Some traditional schools of health and medicinelike Ayurveda, a mind-body medicine practice born out of India thousands of years agoidentify different types of people who have different experiences with fasting. For example, Ayurvedas Kapha type, who tends to carry extra fat, have a slow metabolism, and is rarely hungry in the mornings, finds it easiest, explains Snyder. Meanwhile, Vata types, who have varying appetites, can handle fasting sometimes, but may be thrown out of balance if they try to make it a regular thing. And Pitta types, who have strong appetites and digestive fire, find adhering to intermittent fasting very difficultand it could perpetuate major imbalance for them.

If intermittent fasting feels like a constant struggle and mental drain, ask yourself this simple question: Is it worth the reduced quality of life?

What About Electrolytes While Fasting

While the debate on what can break a fast rages on, theres one thing everyone can agree on: consumption of electrolytes during a fast is essential. This is especially true for longer fasts of several days or more.

Electrolytes assist in regulating nerve and muscle functions in the body. They also help maintain the bodys water and acid balance.

Common signs of electrolyte deficiency include the following:

  • Headaches and dizziness
  • Increased blood pressure

During a fast, electrolyte levels in the body begin to gradually decrease, which could lead to serious health consequences if they get too low. One of the best ways to get your electrolytes while fasting is with salt. The RDA for sodium is 1500 to 2000 mg. This equates to approximately 1 tsp per day, but when fasting we could need anywhere from 4000 t0 7000 mgs daily.

Its critical we understand the importance of maintaining our electrolyte levels. Studies indicate approximately 50% of deaths from heart failure are sudden deaths, and electrolyte imbalances may play a role.1

The best way to consume sodium while fasting is to simply mix it with water. Instead of regular table salt, many opt for sea salt, because it does not have the harmful additives found in the traditional table varieties.

Multiple studies have shown that table salt is a major cause of blood pressure, and a slight reduction in consumption can lower blood pressure.2

Safety And Side Effects

Hunger is the main side effect of intermittent fasting.

You may also feel weak and your brain may not perform as well as youre used to.

This may only be temporary, as it can take some time for your body to adapt to the new meal schedule.

If you have a medical condition, you should consult with your doctor before trying intermittent fasting.

This is particularly important if you:

  • Have diabetes.
  • Have a history of eating disorders.
  • Are a woman who is trying to conceive.
  • Are a woman with a history of amenorrhea.
  • Are pregnant or breastfeeding.

All that being said, intermittent fasting has an outstanding safety profile. There is nothing dangerous about not eating for a while if youre healthy and well-nourished overall.


The most common side effect of intermittent fasting is hunger. People with certain medical conditions should not fast without consulting with a doctor first.

Here are answers to the most common questions about intermittent fasting.

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Fasting Supplements And Insulin

Insulin is the hormone responsible for taking sugar or glucose out of the blood stream and into the cells. Insulin is a master hormone and when it hits a certain threshold in our blood stream it will do the following

Increase Glycolysis

Increase Glycogen production

Inhibit Lipolysis

Inhibit Ketogenesis

Stimulate Inflammatory Pathways

Increases Sodium Retention

There are dozens of other things insulin does that I am leaving out including some really good things like converting inactive thyroid hormone into active thyroid hormone . One of the main goals of fasting is to suppress insulin so we can reduce inflammation, stimulate fat burning, ketogenesis and autophagy.

What About Drinks Like Coffee Tea And Bone Broth


Black coffee and unsweetened tea both technically have calories, but the amount is minimal and unlikely to break your fast. If youre a fasting purist, stick to water. If you want caffeine, coffee and tea are totally fine.

Bone broth is a popular keto fasting supplement because its a satisfying way to replenish nutrients and minerals during a fast. It has minimal calories and protein, and no carbohydrates, so a small amount wont dramatically impact the ketogenic or fat-burning benefits of fasting. But if you want to maximize autophagy, just save the bone broth for your eating window.

The bottom line: Yes, you can use some supplements while youre in a fasted state. If your vitamins and medication upset your stomach or need to be taken with food, take them during your eating window. Experiment to find what works for you and helps you thrive.

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Gentle Foods To Break A Fast

When youre ready to break your fast, its best to ease out of it. Toward the end of your fast, you might want to introduce small portions of foods that are more easily digested, so you dont overwhelm your digestive system.

Breaking your fast with foods that are especially high in fat, sugar, or even fiber can be difficult for your body to digest, leading to bloating and discomfort.

Foods and drinks that can be even more shocking to your system after a fast include those like a greasy cheeseburger, slice of cake, or soda. Even high-fiber raw produce, nuts, and seeds may be difficult to digest.

On the other hand, nutrient-dense foods that easy to digest and contain a bit of protein and some healthy fats can break your fast more gently.

Below are a few examples of what to eat to break your fast.

Breaking your fast with healthy foods that may be better tolerated can help replenish important nutrients and electrolytes while easing food back into your diet.

Once youre tolerating gentler foods, add in other healthy foods like whole grains, beans, vegetables, nuts, seeds, meat, poultry, and fish and return to eating normally.

Dealing With Microbiome Related Stress

Your gut microbiome is the collection of trillions of various microorganisms in your digestive system. This includes different forms of bacteria, yeast, amoeba, viruses, etc. When the microbiome has good balance, it helps to reduce toxins in the body and produce B vitamins and other nutrients necessary for the formation of cellular energy.

However, when the biome is out of balance, certain organisms when they are overgrown will steal valuable nutrients from our diet and release toxic metabolites that damage the body. Unfortunately, most people in society have very poor balance in their microbiome and it is a key player in the symptoms and disease processes they are experiencing.

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You May Overdose On Certain Vitamins

“When you take a multivitamin, you are giving your body an unnatural cocktail of vitamins that you wouldn’t normally have present in such high concentrations,” says Dr. Djordjevic. “An overdose of certain vitamins including vitamins A, D, K, or E can have serious and life-threatening effects. The side effects of using excessive vitamin A include vision disturbances, poor appetite, hair loss, headache, and sunlight sensitivity. Similarly, Vitamin D overdose can cause weakness, fatigue, nausea, sleepiness, and loss of appetite. Taking vitamin E daily without any reported deficiency can result in blood thinning that can lead to problems with blood clotting and hemorrhaging.”

Abbey Sharp, RD, registered dietitian and blogger at Abbey’s Kitchen notes that fat-soluble vitamins aren’t the only ones you should worry about: “Most water-soluble vitamins are excreted in excess but can still cause digestive issues and also can interfere with medication and blood work results. It’s always important to have blood work done to determine which vitamins and supplements you could benefit from, and which you’re already getting enough of through diet.”

Fasting Supplements: What Helps And What Hurts A Fast

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Intermittent and extended fasting are healing strategies that have been used throughout history and have become popular in many health circles today. Many individuals struggle with various symptoms as they begin fasting and certain supplements can help negate these issues.

While our ancestors practiced therapeutic fasting without any fasting supplements with great success, it doesnt mean we cannot take advantage of these technological advancements.

I dont believe or advocate the use of fasting supplements in all cases. However, I have found they are especially helpful for individuals who are either new to fasting or are struggling with serious metabolic dysfunction and chronic disease. This is because the purpose of fasting supplements is to provide a more comfortable and effective fasting experience.

The biggest goal for me is get my clients and the individuals I influence to have a good fasting experience because this will motivate them to adopt a fasting lifestyle. I have found that using fasting supplements can be a big player in providing that experience and empowering people to get tremendous health breakthroughs on a fasting lifestyle.

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Nutrition Supplements Less Likely To Break A Fast

Different supplements have different compositions. For example, some supplements might contain certain animal-derived or shellfish-derived ingredients such as carotene, bone meal, fish oil, gelatin, etc., which are not supposed to be consumed in a diet for fast. In a lot of households, consumption of these food items can lead to breaking your fast. Therefore, it is essential to watch out for these supplements to avoid breaking your fasting diet routine and gain the appropriate nutrients if youre fasting.

Does Sleeping At Night Count As Hours Toward The Fast

Yes, it does. So, for example, if you have a protein shake right before bed, then wake up eight hours later, you’re already eight hours into your fast with only eight more to reach your goal of 16.

If you have a protein shake right before bed, then wake up eight hours later, you’re already eight hours into your fast with only eight more to reach your goal of 16.

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What Should I Eat As My First Meal Following A Fast

That’s a good question. Intermittent fasting allows you to be somewhat loose with your eating compared with other diets, but that doesn’t change the fact that high protein intake is important, along with healthy fats and complex carbs. Coming off of a fast, I recommend a high-protein meal as opposed to one loaded with carbs.

Work from the lab at Yale found that when you fast then refeed with a low-carb meal, the activity of the genes that increase calorie consumption and fat burning is further increased with the meal. However, when you refeed with a high-carb meal, the activity of many of these genes is decreased.

Tips For Taking Supplements While Fasting

Can You Take Supplements While Intermittent Fasting?  UMZU
  • Always check the Supplement Facts label on the product bottle for the number of calories.
  • Look for supplements that are unsweetened or contain calorie-free sweeteners. Non-nutritive sweeteners are commonly used as a replacement for calorie-containing sweeteners in supplements. These include monk fruit extract and stevia or stevia leaf extract.
  • If appropriate, consume your supplements within your feeding window . Note that certain dietary supplements may be recommended on an empty stomach or at a certain time of day.
  • Be cautious with supplement ingredients that may further lower your blood glucose levels. Ingredients that have been shown to reduce blood sugar include chromium picolinate, berberine, and psyllium husk.
  • Prior to making any changes, consult your integrative healthcare provider regarding intermittent fasting and your supplement regime.
  • Taking dietary supplements during the feeding window of intermittent fasting may help to maintain your fast.

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    Fasting Inspired By Hildegard

    We know of fasting as a naturopathic healing tradition, used for millennia to help stimulate powers of self-healing, internal cleansing, spiritual discipline, and mental awareness.

    Hildegard of Bingens fasting guidelines have taken various forms over the centuries. Most recently intermittent fasting, appears en vogue, but Hildegard endorsed that methodology centuries ago. Through millennia of extensive clinical trials , fasting has emerged as a preventative means to combat the conditions that accompany aging, including diabetes, high cholesterol, Alzheimers and Parkinsons.

    Several different modern fasting methodologies draw inspiration from Hildegard of Bingen. Hildegards three healthy fasts offers a basic summary. Hildegards strictest fast limits diet to liquids, including juices and soups for a prescribed period. Less restrictive fasting methods include variations of spelt diet.

    Multivitamins May Interact With Underlying Health Issues

    “Medications and certain disease states can cause issues with multivitamins. If you have certain conditions like kidney disease, then your body may have more trouble eliminating nutrients,” notes registered dietitian Amanda A. Kostro Miller, RD, LDN, who serves on the advisory board for Fitter Living.

    RELATED: Supplements You’re Taking Too Much Of, Say Dietitians

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    What Is Intermittent Fasting

    Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that alternates periods of eating with periods of either not eating or taking in minimal calories. It emphasizes when you eat rather than what you eat.

    Even though it has recently gained mainstream attention, intermittent fasting isnt new. People have practiced periods of fasting throughout history, such as for spiritual, health, or survival reasons .

    The intent of intermittent fasting isnt necessarily only to restrict calories, but also to allow your body to focus on maintenance and recovery, rather than digesting.

    Many fasting patterns incorporate regular 12- to 16-hour periods of fasting into each day, while others include fasting for 24 or 48 hours once or twice per week.

    When you fast, your body undergoes a number of metabolic changes. After some time, fasting causes your body to enter ketosis, a state in which fat is used for energy when carbohydrates are unavailable (


    Intermittent fasting rotates periods of fasting and periods of eating. Its often used for health purposes like weight loss and chronic disease prevention, though its been used historically for other reasons.

    Facts On Fasting: Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting

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    While there are many different ways to approach intermittent fasting, impressive health benefits seem to remain relatively consistent. Some of these science-backed benefits include the following:

    In addition to the positive physiological effects of fasting, taking a break from our normal eating pattern can change the way we view food and how we approach our diet. Most of us are fortunate enough to have access to more food than we need at any given moment, which can cause many to develop unhealthy habits like overeating, food addiction, and generally making poor food choices. By abstaining from food for a set period of time, many people experience a shift in perspective and how they approach diet and general lifestyle choices. Many who engage in intermittent fasting tend to eat more mindfully, choosing to consume smaller meals that focus on whole, natural foods.

    With the extensive list of promising health benefits, its no wonder why those who practice intermittent fasting want to ensure that they follow a protocol that allows for the maximum benefits. For this reason, it’s important to take vitamins at the appropriate time to optimize the effects of both the fast and the supplement.

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    Intermittent Fasting And Type 2 Diabetes

    I am a type 2 diabetic off all meds and have been on a LCHF diet for 8 months. When I try fasting for multiple days my blood sugars scores are in the low 60s and have been taught that this range is to low and need to have some food. Is this normal when fasting and short term affect. Is it normal for sugar levels to be low during fasting? Also ketone levels average per day is 2.5.

    If you are taking blood sugar medications, then you must be very careful to avoid low sugars and work with your doctor. Otherwise, your body should be able to manufacture new glucose during fasting, although in rare cases, some people still develop hypoglycemia.

    Sugars should normally be low during fasting and ketones increased. This is the normal situation as ketones are produced as energy for the brain.

    Does the presence of ketones in the urine indicate improved insulin in someone with T2 diabetes when the ketones are the result of ketogenic diet?

    Ketones are produced by the body when insulin levels are low for the brain to use as fuel. Some people measure it to make sure that their diet is sufficiently low in carbohydrates

    What exactly does eGFR of 80ml/min mean in a type 2 Diabetic and what can the patient do to prevent further kidney disease?

    An eGFR of 80 is pretty close to normal. The only way to prevent diabetic kidney disease is to get rid of the diabetes. Anything else is just rearranging chairs on the Titanic

    What is best fasting regime to help diabetic who had high HbA1c above 10 ?

    It’s Also Probably Better To Wait To Consume Any Supplements Or Vitamins Until Your Eating Window Too

    This is slightly tricky. Vitamins and minerals have no calories in themit’s the stuff companies put with the vitamins that have calories, Keatley says. Usually salt, potassium, and various sugars are used to bind with the vitamins and minerals as a delivery system, he says, adding that reviewing the ingredient list on your multivitamin is the only way to know for sure. In general, most vitamins have between seven to 10 calories each, although gummies have more due to their sugar content, Keatley says.

    Theres also this to consider: If youre taking a fat soluble vitamin like vitamin D, youll really want to have it with food, because its absorbed better in your body with fat, Cording points out.

    Overall, Cording says its better to try to take supplements during your non-fasting state, just to be safe.

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