Hydration For Your Fasting Window
If youre new to intermittent fasting with Fastic, you might be wondering what type of schedule works for you, what health benefits can be gained, and what side-effects to expect. Still, a topic thats on a lot of peoples lips is drinks during the fasting phase:
What kind of beverages can I consume during my fasting period?
To answer your question, weve compiled a short guide on what you need to know about the most popular drinks for your fasting phase. Since you might want to sip on them while fasting, it could be useful to find out whether or not theyll have an impact on your fasted state.
What Breaks A Fast And What Doesn’t
From the desk of Robb Wolf
Im frequently asked what breaks a fast. People want to know if coffee breaks a fast, if MCT oil breaks a fast, and if toothpaste breaks a fast.
I wrote this article to enshrine my thoughts online. That way, I can refer all future queries to one place.
To be honest, I think questions of this nature get too much airplay. When I saw does Diet Coke break a fast? on a recent podcast headline, I was unable to suppress an eye roll.
Does Diet Coke have calories? Does it have amino acids? Does it contain anything to significantly raise insulin levels and interfere with fat-burning? No. I do understand that artificial sweeteners can enhance insulin secretion or alter appetite regulation in unfavorable ways, but fasting is not the context in which you should be worried about all this.
Allow me to give some context here: Folks are shifting from consuming 2,000-3,000 calories per day to damn near nothing. This is a stunning change, yet some worry that just smelling food will kick them out of ketosis, halt autophagy, or ramp up mTOR While I appreciate the desire to get the best results out of your investment, folks are likely making all this far harder than it needs to be.
Im not endorsing Diet Coke. What Im saying is: when someone asks if x, y, or z breaks a fast, theyre really asking if it interferes with the potential benefits of fasting.
And the benefits are why folks fast in the first place, right? People fast to
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.
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Best Drinks For Your If Hunger Pangs
Water is something which I would sip on all the time even if I am not on intermittent fasting. Whats so new about that?
Yeah, we got it. But also, you are fasting so probably you would think to omit water as the first thing in your diet. Heres the strike.
You CAN and you SHOULD stay well hydrated when you are fasting. Water is central to the health of basically every major organ in your body. Youd be foolish to avoid this as part of your fast.
If you are skeptical of breaking your fast by drinking water and inducing an enzymatic effect, you can get hold of plain water or sparkling water.
To add flavor or taste, you can infuse it with slices of lemon, berries, cucumber, or a cold tea infusion.
The amount of water each person should drink varies based on sex, height, weight, activity level, and climate.
But if you cut down on your optimum water intake, you are likely to suffer from major dehydration symptoms and may also risk hampering other body functions.
Heres some good news for tea-lovers! Fasting calls for a binge sipping on your favorite tea .
Feeling colder than usual is common during IF. Tea provides great comfort and is a warm feel to your body while you are fasting.
You can consume from myriads of different teas which might prove beneficial in terms of your health even when you are fasting. Some of the popular ones are-
- Herbal Tea
- Green Tea
- White Tea, without anything, added.
What Drinks Should I Avoid While Fasting
During your eating window, there are few limits on what you can or cant drink. Of course, its always best to avoid drinks with sugar or artificial sweeteners. If your intermittent fasting goal is to lose weight, theres no rule that says you cant enjoy the occasional soda, juice, or even a milkshake during your eating window. During your fasting hours, however, its another story.
Steer clear of any drink with more than nine calories. But, dont be fooled by diet soda, despite their no-cal or low-cal sales pitch, they can spike your insulin levels and wreak havoc on your fasting plans. Below are some beverages which might sound fasting friendly, but its best if you dont drink them.
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Drinking Salt & Other Minerals Makes Fasting Easier
In addition to the smallish benefits you can get from vinegar, tea, or other drinks listed above, there are also some drinks that make fasting A LOT easier.
The biggest one?
Anything with lots of SALT .
This is especially relevant for prolonged, multi-day fasting. But getting enough salt can also be helpful during short-term fasting, or even when you eat a ketogenic diet.
To understand why, keep reading.
Intermittent Fasting Vs Fad Liquid Diets
Intermittent fasting has been touted as a way to keep your mind sharp, regulate your weight and even extend your lifespan. The basic premise of this fast is to either eliminate solid food and drop your normal calorie count for two days per week, or eat within one eight-hour period per every 24 hours. For example, explains Texas Medical Center, you would eat only between the hours of noon and 8 pm. This regimen is one that can be maintained indefinitely.
If you decide to choose the option of two consecutive days to fast, understand that it is not the fast itself that is beneficial it is the change from regular eating to fasting and back again that seems to provide the benefits, which include increased mental focus and possible increased longevity. Simply limiting your caloric intake drastically will not work as a long-term weight-loss strategy, because your metabolism will adjust and start hoarding every calorie.
Fad liquid diets should be avoided, because they do not offer complete nutrition. The lemon juice, cayenne pepper and maple syrup craze may help you drop water weight, but after that your body will start to burn lean muscle mass. This diet is also very low in essential nutrients, and any weight you lose while on it will come right back once you resume your normal pattern of eating.
Read more:Can You Live on a Liquid Diet?
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Questions About How To Start Intermittent Fasting
Let’s get started with some questions about what intermittent fasting is, common mistakes that people make, and how to get started properly
I’ve been following the Paleo diet for the last 2 months and I am getting interested in trying an intermittent fasting protocol. Should I wait longer before starting a protocol? Or is it advisable to jump into one, being that it’s been a relatively short period of time with the new diet?Chris P.
This is a good question to start with.
As Chris said, there are different styles of intermittent fasting. So, the first step is deciding which one to do. To make it easy for you, I broke down the major types of intermittent fasting and how to do them in the beginner’s guide to intermittent fasting.
Personally, I do a daily fast where I eat all of my meals in an 8hour window and then spend the rest of the day and night fasting.
That said, it’s important to note that intermittent fasting isn’t a diet. It’s simply a schedule for eating. Or to put it another way, intermittent fasting is about when you eat, not what you eat. Of course, you’ll probably see better results if you’re eating a diet of real, unprocessed foods in addition to intermittent fasting.
This brings me to the second part of Chris’ question. If you feel comfortable with your diet , then I see no reason to wait to start intermittent fasting.
Have you had any experience with skipping breakfast, but still having coffee in the morning?Darius B.
Can I have tea during my fast?My Mom
What Should I Drink While Fasting
You should always drink water during your fasting and eating windows. The best way to stay hydrated and suppress your appetite is to drink lots of water. The common rule you need to follow is, drink liquids with no calorie content while fasting. If you like caffeine, having unsweetened coffee or tea can be beneficial to your fast. Limit your caffeine intake to prevent yourself from being jittery. You should only ever add lemon or light spices to your drinks for flavor to keep them truly calorie and sugar-free. If you follow these guidelines, you can drink safely without worrying about breaking your fast.
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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.
Answers To The Most Common Intermittent Fasting Questions
Welcome to the first Reader Mailbag!
Im taking a page from the playbook of one of my favorite sportswriters, Bill Simmons, and answering a boatload of your questions today.
Questions are rolling in all the time mostly through the free newsletter or and I love hearing from you. Keep them coming! I’m happy to help however I can.
My hope is that this mailbag will bring useful answers together in one place and make it easier for you to find the information you need to make the changes you want. My goal is always to make it easier for you to lose fat, gain muscle, and live healthy.
Boom. Lets get this party rolling.
As always, these are real emails from real readers.
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How Can I Suppress Hunger During Intermittent Fasting
Eat high-fiber foods, such as nuts, beans, fruits and vegetables, and high protein foods, including meat, fish, tofu, or nuts, during your eating window, Varady advised. Chewing high-fiber gummies can also help.
Drink lots of water. People tend to think they’re hungry, when they are really just thirsty, she said.
Go for black coffee or tea, or cinnamon or licorice herbal teas. These beverages may have appetite-suppressing effects, Varady noted.
Watch less TV: I know this sounds strange, but while you are watching TV, you are bombarded with dozens of ads for food. This can make you feel hungry, when in actuality, you are not hungry at all, she said.
Remember, being “a little hungry” is the best thing that can happen to you, wrote Madelyn Fernstrom, health and nutrition editor at NBC News, calling it a “true mind-body connection” that helps you recognize fullness.
Avoid The Rookie Mistakes
If youre doing intermittent fasting, then you need to avoid all caloric intake for a certain period of time. You cant eat food, drink juices, have desserts or snacks DOH! we must staaarveee
Its not that bad actually
Once your body enters a fasted state, your physiology shifts into mild ketosis, which increases fat burning and reduces appetite.
So, the longer you fast, the deeper into ketosis you get and the easier it gets. Theres not much difference in terms of your hunger levels between fasting for 48 hours VS fasting for 5 days because your body adapts very quickly to the abstinence of calories.
Nevertheless, there are still some additional beverages you can drink during your fast that wont break the fast.
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Carbs On 16/8 Intermittent Fasting
Carbs are the major source of energy for your body. There are three different types of carbohydrates: starches, fiber, and sugars.
For instance, fiber is a carbohydrate that aids in digestion, helps you feel full, and keeps blood cholesterol levels in check.
Carbs often get a bad reputation for causing weight gain. Not all carbs are created equal and they are not inherently fattening. You should choose foods that are high in fiber and starch but low in sugars.
Healthy carbohydrate-rich foods include:
- Herbal tea
Electrolyte Drinks And Powders
My answer here depends on the product. Electrolytes alone wont break a fast.
In fact, taking electrolytes can help prevent the muscle cramps, energy dips, and headaches that often plague folks while fasting. These are symptoms of electrolyte deficiencies that manifest because fasting regimens cause enhanced electrolyte loss through urine.
Verdict? A zero-sugar electrolyte product wont break your fast. I humbly recommend Drink LMNT. For years, we supported our fasts with homemade electrolyte drinks because we couldnt recommend anything on the market. Thats why we created Drink LMNT.
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Why Do Intermittent Fasting Then
So if fasting per se isnt what results in weight loss and health improvements, why then do intermittent fasting in the first place?
Well, although fasting doesnt seem to have any magical properties in and of itself, there are a number of good reasons why you should consider doing intermittent fasting! This is, after all, why we often use this approach with many of our online fitness coaching clients!
So here are a few reasons why you should consider doing intermittent fasting :
1. More structured eating
How often have you found yourself mindlessly snacking between meals? A couple of cookies with your coffee, a small piece of cake that Suzy brought for her birthday at work, a few nuts and dried fruits before dinner, some popcorn with a movie at night. When you think about it, little snacks here and there can add up to quite a few calories. Well, the more structured eating that is a result of intermittent fasting can eliminate this problem and can help people better control their diet.
2. Bigger, more satisfying meals
Eating every 2-3 hours sucks. For one, its impractical and makes you think of food all day. It also means that you never really get to eat big meals, especially if you are a smaller, physically inactive person. On the other hand, more infrequent meals that are larger in volume and provide more calories are usually much more satisfying and may help you feel fuller for longer.
3. Sustainability and adherence
4. Social Flexibility
5. Improved hunger awareness
How Supplements Affect Fasting
Becoming deficient in nutrients while fasting is unlikely, but it depends on how restrictive your fast is and how long it lasts.
Some people choose to take supplements while fasting to ensure adequate vitamin and mineral intake. Fasting too frequently could lead to nutrient deficiencies if your diet is already low in vitamins and minerals .
If you supplement while fasting, its important to know which supplements could break your fast. This will help you decide if you should take them with a meal or during your fasting period.
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Why Is Water So Important
Staying hydrated helps curb hunger, which makes it easier to stick to your fasting diet, but there are also other numerous health benefits. Drinking water helps lubricate your joints, regulates your body temperature and keeps your digestive system regular.
Water also carries oxygen and other nutrients to your cells, flushes waste out of the body and helps maintain a healthy blood pressure.