One Exception To The Rule
There is an exception to the no-cal rule while intermittent fasting. If you prefer your coffee with cream and sugar, that’s still on the menu with the 5:2 intermittent fasting method. The reason has to do with how you restrict your caloric intake.
The 5:2 method differs from the 16:8 method, where you’re only supposed to consume calories during a certain period of time each day. The 5:2 method, however, doesn’t restrict you to a certain time period. Rather, it restricts how many calories you consume for certain days of the week.
The 5:2 intermittent fasting method means that five days out of the week you consume a recommended amount of calories for your height, weight, age, and sex. But for two, nonconsecutive days of the week you cut your caloric intake down to about 20% to 25% of your recommended amount.
Therefore, you can consume whatever you like on the 5:2 method including a cappuccino at 8 am, if so choose. You just have to be aware of how that will count toward your total caloric intake on those two restrictive days.
What About Red Wine
Some studies have shown that there are benefits in drinking a glass of red wine, but after a glass or two a day, the benefits drop off pretty dramatically and disadvantages start to emerge, particularly the risk of liver and breast cancer, says Dr Mosley. The sensible reaction to all of this is to not give up drinking wine full stop but rather to enjoy your wine, to savour it and have one or two glasses a night. That is, create mindful alcohol habits.
How Many Calories Breaks A Fast
Hate to break it to you, but “technically, consuming any calories breaks a fast,” says Benjamin Horne, Ph.D., a genetic epidemiologist who has published research on the effects of intermittent fasting. Even a few calories’ worth of food can inactivate some of fasting’s perks. According to Horne, some mechanisms behind fasting’s benefits, like ketosis , remain active with the consumption of certain macronutrients but others, like autophagy, may or may not remain active. “In humans, it appears that autophagy does not remain as active when any food is consumed,” he says.
But what if we’re talking about a measly 2 to 5 calories in a cup of tea or coffee? This ultra-low-calorie territory is where things get a little tricky. According to Horne, it likely needs to be a water-only fast to maintain the maximum benefit from autophagy.
Others aren’t so sure we need to be quite this nitpicky, though. “I’ve heard good debates about whether coffee can break a fast. We don’t have any good evidence to show either way,” says Vincent Pedre, M.D., an integrative physician and gut health expert who frequently recommends intermittent fasting diets to his patients. “I would say if you’re drinking organic black coffeeâno cream, no sweetenersâthen you should be fine. That said, I would say stick to as close to zero calories as you can during your fasting hours with plenty of clean filtered water herbal teas are also good.”
Best Drinks For While Fasting
When someone tells you that you cannot eat, whats the first thing you want to do?
Yep, you guessed itcue the hunger pangs, right?
Thats why its important to keep yourself hydrated during the fasting window.
Otherwise, when its time to eat, youll overeat. One way to stave off hunger is by tricking your starvation mentality with liquid consumption.
And for this purpose, there are certain drinks that are superior to others.
With that said, here are 5 best drinks you can enjoy during your fasting windows:
What You Can Drink During Fasting Periods
Merotto gives a thumbs up to the following:
Lemon water If you crave some flavor with your hydration, lemon juice has relatively no carbs compared to other fruit juices, so it can be used as a way to flavor water without breaking a fast, says Merotto.
Apple cider vinegar Some experts dont allow apple cider vinegar because it has calories . Merotto gives it a green light, but recommends mixing it with water or unsweetened tea, as the high amount of acidity can damage the enamel on your teeth.
Unsweetened tea or coffee Herbal or decaf teas are okay if you brew them in water and add no other mixers. If you choose caffeinated varieties, dont overdo it, Merotto warns. Too much caffeine can cause poor sleep and irritability, she says.This is especially true if consumed on an empty stomach, which is what youll have when fasting.
Bone broth This one is actually a maybe.Bone broth does contain small amounts of fat and calories which could break a fast, says Merotto. But on longer fastslike the 24-hour fastsome fat may be okay as it can keep the body in a ketosis state. Limit yourself to very small amounts.
Also Check: What To Eat When Intermitten Fasting
Different Strokes For Different Folks
Some people thrive on dirty fasting, while others cant lose a pound.
Some people feel like black coffee is tolerable and find it easy breezy, while others really hate it and would fall off altogether if they were forced into it.
So what if its not right?
So what if it breaks your fast.
If youre losing the weight you desire, and you feel good about yourself and your progress, thats all that really matters.
You are your own best teacher. The sooner you realize that, the better off youll be!
Drinks That Wont Break A Fast:
For this article, we are only going to focus on intermittent fasting specifically answering the question what can I drink while intermittent fasting.
Strict fasters believe that water is the only beverage that should be consumed during the fasting window. In contrast, slightly more lenient fasters may opt to consume a small amount of calories and artificial sweeteners.
While I am not as extreme as the only water bunch, I do agree that a successful fasting period should be completely free of calories and most artificial sweeteners .
Recommended Reading: Can Intermittent Fasting Cause Weight Loss
Conditionally Allowed Intermittent Fasting Drinks
You can drink the conditionally-allowed drinks only if you really have trouble continuing the fast and dont want to break it entirely. These drinks will also help you get through a longer fast.
They do have calories and cause a metabolic response but their impact on blood sugar is minimal so you can still consume them and reap most of the intermittent fasting benefits.
Here is the list of intermittent fasting drinks that you can consume conditionally.
Can You Drink Diet Soda While Intermittent Fasting
The sweet taste is a particular topic in the context of intermittent fasting. On the one hand, it is already challenging to get rid of it. On the other hand, it additionally promotes cravings.
Most sugar-free sweeteners have zero proteins, carbohydrates, fat, or calories.
But what many diet gurus forget is that insulin release is not only stimulated by blood sugar.
However, this is what happens with sweeteners many can increase insulin levels even more than the sugar in regular coke.
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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 sustainableâand 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 benefitsâwhile 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 waterâthat might be 13 or 14 hours of a water fastâthen 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 ketosisâas 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.”
Ginger And Chai Tea On Intermittent Fasting
In a broader sense, ginger and chai tea are pretty similar to regular herbal tea. If you can get the straight dried herbs in a tee specialty shop, you can drink the brewed tea during intermittent fasting.
Please keep your hands off instant mixes and chai from coffee shop chains , as they almost always contain additives that will break your fast.
If you are lucky, you can even get straight chai or ginger tea in grocery stores, but always check labels before purchasing.
However, its not that easy to get it straight since most people drink chai as a latte . If the label says chai latte, its going to break your fast anyway.
On the other hand, ginger tea brewed with nothing else than freshly chopped ginger root and hot water should be fine, as long as you dont eat the pieces .
Read Also: Can I Do Intermittent Fasting Everyday
Is It Allowed To Use Zero Calorie Sweeteners During Fasting
There is weird information shared on websites and YouTube that says that you can consume up to 50 calories without breaking the fasting state. But according to science this is totally wrong.
I have plenty of articles on IF, and I always mention all what you can have while fasting is water, sparkling water, green tea, green coffee, black tea, black coffee, etc.
Now the common questions I receive are whether you can add sugar or milk to your tea or coffee. And the answer is NO, but with black tea or coffee, you you can always use stevia as a sweetener If you cannot go sugar-free. but do not use any other sweeteners like aspartame and splenda as they can tend to break your fast. These sweeteners are less than five calories, but still, they are not fasting friendly.
The use of zero calories sweeteners during the fasting period depends also on how they break down in our body. For example, splenda has 3.6 calories per sachet, but it cannot be consumed. In fact, splenda get broken down very differently in our body which can hamper our fasting state.On the other hand, stevia does not get digested or absorbed by our body, it just passes out through our gut without hampering our fasting state. Hence, I only recommend stevia and not other sweeteners during the fasting window.
What You Can Drink During Intermittent Fasting
If you want to skip the details above: Here is the bottom line!
According to science, this is the list of what you can drink while intermittent fasting:
- Herbal tea
- Diluted apple cider vinegar
What you can drink during intermittent fasting always depends on your goals. If your primary goal is weight loss, go with the list above.
If you aim at prolonged fasting for anti-aging and disease prevention, opinions of researchers and experts differ.
Although numerous animal studies suggest that coffee and green tea support autophagy, the truth is that we dont know for sure.
As there is no data on this in humans yet, many people restrict autophagy fasting too pure water fasting, where you may add only salt or mineral water if necessary.
However, green tea has activated autophagy in human cells, but these were previously implanted into mice .
Recommended Reading: How To Workout While Intermittent Fasting
Fasting Fruit And Vegetable Juice
Compared to the consumption of whole foods, juices are way more harmful to health.
Since you remove the protective fiber with the flesh, juice leads to enormous blood sugar and insulin spikes.
Precisely because the dietary fibers protective effect is missing, the fructose in fruit juices also bursts into the liver unchecked, causing insulin resistance and visceral fat in the long run.
For this reason, non-alcoholic fatty liver is much more common than fatty liver disease caused by alcohol .
Fruit juice not only breaks the fast but is not much better than a coke no matter how organic it is. Anyone who seriously wants to lose weight must keep their hands off it even during eating periods.
Other Electrolytes Can Also Make Fasting Easier
Theyre not nearly as important as sodium, but taking some other electrolyte supplements can also be helpful.
Mainly this means magnesium, and potassium.
Basically, by getting some extra potassium and magnesium , you can lower your chances of getting things like muscle cramps or palpitations that occasionally accompany prolonged fasting.
If you have normal kidney function, you dont have to worry too much about the amount you mostly pee out any excess.
I use some powder supplements that I ordered online, and I take a little bit each day when I do a multi-day fast.
One word of caution about magnesium-
In some people, extended fasting can cause loose stools. Taking a lot of magnesium by mouth can also cause diarrhea. So obviously, thats a potential double whammy.
Probably the best forms of magnesium to prevent diarrhea are magnesium glycinate and magnesium bisglycinate. Lately Ive been using both of these in powder form, without any problem.
Yet another way to get magnesium is to take an Epsom salt bath. The magnesium in the Epsom salt gets absorbed through your skin, so it doesnt cause any GI side effects at all.
Are Electrolyte Combos a Good Idea?
They might help, but theres one main problem-
Because theyre trying to combine sodium, magnesium, potassium, and other minerals all into one supplement, theres usually not NEARLY enough sodium.
One thing you could do would be to use a combo supplement, but also get some extra salt from other sources.
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Fasting And Weight Loss
Intermittent fasting isn’t a regimen built around limiting calories , but it can promote weight loss in other ways.
For one, fasting gives your metabolism an overhaul, according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. It works on the same principles as a ketogenic diet. By restricting food , you’ll switch your body from burning glucose for energy to burning stored body fat.
According to an October 2014 study in Translational Research, intermittent fasting can reduce your weight by 3 to 8 percent over three to 24 weeks. A December 2015 review in Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology echoed those results by finding that, on average, participants following a fasting diet lost between 7 and 11 pounds in 10 weeks.
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.
Read Also: Does Fasting Make You Lose Weight
Low Calorie Food And Drink
Certain fasting diets, such as the modified fasting plan, allow people to eat a limited amount of calories on fast days, often up to 25% of their usual daily caloric intake.
For example, a person requiring 2,000 calories per day could consume up to 500 calories daily if they follow this method.
Some examples of lower calorie food and drinks include:
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!