Isnt Fasting Just Starvation
Years ago, when fasting was receiving such negative press, the word starvation was thrown around a lot. To starve yourself would be detrimental, not only for your weight loss and energy levels, but also to your health as well.
With fasting, the main difference is that you control the calories that you consume and indeed, the times in which you consume them.
With fasting, rather than depriving yourself of food indefinitely, you instead voluntarily avoid the consumption of calories for a set amount of time.
As opposed to leaving you feeling tired, malnourishing, lacking nutrients, and at risk from a health perspective which would be the case during starvation, fasting provides the exact opposite effects. Studies have found that Intermittent fasting can actually improve your health in numerous ways.
When you think about it, each and every single person performs a form of intermittent fast every single time they go to bed at night and wake up in a morning to eat breakfast. The only difference here is that you extend the amount of time between meals.
The word breakfast, literally means break-fast because when you eat that first meal, that is exactly what you are doing breaking a fast.
What Can You Eat On A Fast
When performing intermittent fasting, the thing to remember is that nutrition is of the upmost importance. This is why its so important to eat healthy produce and it is why were looking at taking vitamins while intermittent fasting today.
Before we look at the question of can you take vitamins while intermittent fasting, we first need to look at what you can and cannot eat on a fast.
If you follow the 16/8 protocol, those 8 hours per day make up your eating window. During that period of time, you can, in theory, eat whatever you like.
Rather than following a caloric restrictive diet consisting of bland, boring, tasteless, low calorie foods which you dont enjoy eating, you can instead enjoy a number of foods which would ordinarily be off limits when dieting.
The key word here is moderation. As long as you dont binge eat, fill up on calorific junk food, and stuff your face during those 8 hours, you can be flexible with your foods.;
Say for example, you eat a sensible sized balanced meal but are craving something sweet for dessert, you could go ahead and enjoy a regular sized slice of cake, or a couple of cookies, and still lose weight at the end of the week.
If, however, you decided to chow down on an XL stuffed crust, 4-cheese pizza and fries, and half a gallon of ice cream for dessert, followed by another calorific meal and dessert just before you went to bed, you would likely find yourself in a caloric surplus and your weight loss would stall.
Fasting And Nutrient Deficiencies
Different people fast for different reasons. Some are trying to lose a few pounds or improve their overall health. Others resort to fasting in an attempt to prevent cancer, diabetes, skin disorders and other ailments. While this practice isn’t a cure-all, it has proven benefits.
Intermittent fasting , for example, may protect against neurological disorders, reduce inflammation and improve cognition, according to a research paper published in the journal Obesity in October 2017. In clinical trials, it has been shown to facilitate weight loss and decrease insulin resistance. Furthermore, it may help reduce visceral fat mass, which is a major risk factor for diabetes and heart disease.
The journal Obesity defines this dietary pattern as fasting for at least 12 hours per day. Several versions exist and each has different requirements. Alternate-day fasting, for example, involves fasting every other day. Time-restricted feeding alternates between periods of feeding and fasting for eight to 12 hours a day.
Compared to traditional fasting, IF is less restrictive. In fact, you can eat anything you want during the feeding window. However, there is still a risk of nutrient deficiencies.
A May 2013 article posted in the Canadian Medical Association Journal states that intermittent fasting may increase lifespan, improve glycemic control and boost cognition, among other benefits.
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How Fasting Improves Health
In a state of fasting, the body becomes low on glucose that triggers the process of gluconeogenesis, i.e. production of glucose.
While fasting, the body meets its glucose demands by burning fats, lactate, and amino acids. It helps lower fat stores in the body.
Another explanation for the medical fitness effect of fasting is that energy consumption and abstinence of new energy leads to improved basal metabolic rate. This improvement leads to a reduction in blood pressure and improved heart rate.
Ketosis is the result of fasting, which is beneficial for weight-loss.
Do Vitamins Break A Fast
Intermittent fasting has become a worldwide trend. But even though the internet is bursting at the seams with all the information about it, people either get buried under it or hit the wall when they attempt to track down a cut-and-dry list of foods, supplements and drinks that can thwart your results and knock you out of a fasted state. It is clear that while fasting you shouldnt consume food altogether, but all becomes more complicated with liquids, and even more so with vitamins. «Do vitamins break a fast?» is not a question with one definite answer.
The differences among various vitamins and supplements are almost unbridgeable, which makes this process that much more tangled. Some supplements wont interfere with your fast, yet taking them on an empty stomach can be deleterious to your health. Read below to sort out all the peculiarities of the impact of vitamins and supplements on fasting.
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When To Take Supplements During A Fast
Some supplements can cause nausea and discomfort when taken on an empty stomach so its a good idea to structure them properly in your fasting cycle. If youre sticking to strict fasting periods with zero caloric intake, then scheduling your supplements during your eating windows can help you ensure you get the proper nutrients without breaking your fast before youre ready.
On the other hand, taking supplements early in the day with something like coffee or tea can help you recover better from workouts and avoid symptoms of the keto flu. Depending on the method of intermittent fasting you use, you may need to experiment with your supplements schedule to see what works best for you.
Regulates Blood Glucose Levels
With the number of type-2 diabetes cases in the world now higher than ever, the importance of keeping your blood sugar levels stable has never been greater.
Experts have found that fasting can help to improve blood glucose regulation, helping both diabetics, and those at risk of becoming diabetic.
Intermittent fasting has been found to reduce blood glucose levels and reduce insulin resistance, rendering insulin more effective at controlling blood sugar levels in the first place.
Benefits Of Electrolytes While Fasting
Any fast over 12 hours increases the likelihood of electrolyte deficiency. There are two main reasons for this:
Taking electrolytes during a fast can prevent deficiency. This has the following benefits.
While Fasting Can I Maintain Use Of The Supplements I Take In The Ordinary Course Of Life
As a rule, when fasting according to Hildegard only maintain those supplements uniquely required by the individual.; For example, those that a person cannot do without, based on their health circumstances. These include supplements, such as Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Magnesium, Zinc.
As a rule, and consistent with the spirit of fasting according to a Medieval nun, vitamins and supplements are not necessary.;
But, of course, there are exceptions to the general rule.
Dont Do This While Fasting With Supplements
You definitely dont have to worry about micronutrient deficiencies while fasting for just 16-24 hours. Honestly, anything less than 24 hours isnt fasting because youre not triggering almost any of the metabolic adaptations.
Its still important to keep in mind how youre absorbing the nutrients youre consuming.
Iron and electrolyte deficiencies happen usually because of dehydration and excessive excretion of your bodys salts. The most common reason is coffee and tea consumption.;
How do coffee and tea affect the absorption of supplements?
You can drink coffee while fasting but hot liquids and beverages may make you absorb less of the micronutrients. The tannins and caffeine in coffee and teas can lower the absorption rate of your supplements. They can also make you excrete more of the other electrolytes and minerals through urine, so you have to be careful with not taking your supplements together with these drinks. Otherwise, youre simply pissing them out and wasting your money.
In most cases, youre fasting for only 16-24 hours, and youll absorb your vitamins and supplements if you combine them with real food.
Recommended Supplements On Fasting And Keto
Even though I think its really important to take into account when doing fasting, I personally take a few supplements on a daily basis.
Im a huge consumer of bulletproof coffee, which is done by putting MCT oil and ghee in my morning coffee. I also take magnesium every day to avoid muscle ache when exercising. But more precisely to prevent muscle cramps, which I get quite frequently.
If you simply do intermittent fasting, I would say that vitamins, nutrients, and supplements are not necessary in most cases. Its more of a mindset and it depends on your condition, like magnesium for me, and personal taste, like coconut oil.
But on a longer fast there are some very important vitamins and supplements you can take. Its even advised, when doing more than a 5 day fast, to supplement it with some nutrients.
With ketosis, there are of course two important factors: what nutrients can be taken on an empty stomach, whatll keep you in ketosis, whatll upset your stomach, etc.
Here are my two cents and nutrients I would personally recommend.
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Flaxseeds Chia Seeds And Psyllium Husk Powder Activate The Intestines And Bowels During A Fast
Particularly if intestinal activity slows during a fast, these remedies help stimulate intestinal activity. Ideally, digestion and bowel movements should remain regular while fasting.
When taken with lots of water, digestive substances including soluble fibers like linseed or psyllium husk powder, swell in the intestines and thus stimulate peristalsis. Flax seeds should not be ground or mortared, as one benefits from the digestive effect, and not necessarily their high energy content.
Can You Take Vitamins While Intermittent Fasting
If you were just paying attention, youll know that you can indeed take vitamins when fasting, but should you?
Well, ideally not, at least, not certain vitamins anyways. You see, some vitamins are fat-soluble, which means that they can only be digested, broken down, and absorbed in the presence of fat. When fasting, there shouldnt be any fats or food in your stomach, so the vitamins just wont be absorbed adequately.
Not only that, but other vitamins are best taken with a meal, for digestive purposes and for absorption purposes, so again, taking them on an empty stomach is not always the best approach.
Most experts agree that it is best to take vitamins with a whole food source, so perhaps consider waiting until your first meal of the day and taking your vitamin supplements then instead?
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She Also Uses Electrolyte Drops
To keep her energy and mood high during her fasts, Raven-Symoné also relies on Keto Chow’s Electrolyte Drops, “which is sodium, magnesium, potassium, and trace minerals from the Great Salt Lake,” she told her Instagram followers while mixing up some water for an upcoming 36-hour fast.
When Raven-Symoné wants a brain boost, she relies on Bright Minds’ Memory Powder.
“I take a scoop of that every morningthis is to help feed my brain,” she told her followers.
For more great additions to your AM routine, check out The #1 Best Supplement to Take in the Morning, Says Dietitian.
Foods You Can Eat While Fasting
Some experts say as long as you keep your carbohydrate intake below 50 grams per day during a fast, you can maintain ketosis .
Below are some foods and beverages you can consume while fasting.
- Water. Plain or carbonated water contains no calories and will keep you hydrated during a fast.
- Coffee and tea. These should mostly be consumed without added sugar, milk, or cream. However, some people find that adding small amounts of milk or fat can curb hunger.
- Diluted apple cider vinegar. Some people find that drinking 12 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar mixed into water can help them stay hydrated and prevent cravings during a fast.
- Healthy fats. Some people drink coffee containing MCT oil, ghee, coconut oil, or butter during their fast. Oil breaks a fast, but it wont break ketosis and can tide you over between meals.
- Bone broth. This rich source of nutrients can help replenish electrolytes lost during long periods of only drinking water.
Remember that foods and drinks containing any calories like bone broth and the healthy fats listed above will technically break your fast.
However, small amounts of these low-carb, high-fat, moderate-protein foods wont throw your body out of ketosis .
Some people choose to consume small amounts of certain foods and beverages while fasting, such as bone broth or healthy fats. Others consume calorie-free beverages.
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Tips For Supplementing And Fasting
Though these three nutrients are important to consider, we all have unique needs . Consult with a doctor before starting to fast and/or taking supplements to make sure youre keeping your individual needs top-of-mind. The only way to be successful with intermittent fasting is by knowing your body and its needs!
Otherwise, its key that you eat a variety of nutritious foods and drink plenty of water when incorporating fasting or time-restricted feeding into your lifestyle.
Should you decide to add supplements for intermittent fasting to your routine, take them during your eating window. First of all, some supplements can cause nausea or discomfort when taken on an empty stomach. Secondly, taking supplements while fasting can both diminish the benefit of the fast and your absorption of their nutrients.
Dr. Amy Shah, M.D., is a double board-certified physician with training from Cornell, Columbia, and Harvard Universities. With extensive training in health and nutrition, she advises on increasing energy levels, fixing gut issues, managing allergies, and boosting the immune system. Dr. Shah was recently named one of MindBodyGreens Top 100 Women in Wellness to Watch and is a member of;Genexas Medical Advisory Board.
Fasting Supplements: What Helps And What Hurts A Fast
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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Key Fasting Supplements For Gut Health
The fasting supplements that can help reduce gut mediated endotoxins include things to help facilitate bowel movements and binders to grab up any sort of endotoxins in the gut and in circulation.
My favorite supplements for this include either an herbal based colon cleanser such as our Intestinal Mover or a non-herbal oxygen-based colon cleanser called Oxy-Powder.; Both will work and I tend to slightly favor the Oxy-Powder during the fast as some individuals may have a sensitivity to one or more of the herbs in the Intestinal Mover.
For binding the endotoxins, several things will work.; You can do traditional binders such as activated charcoal, Diatomaceous Earth or Bentonite clay.; These binders are great at grabbing things in the gut but they wont impact endotoxins that are making their way into circulation.
For individuals who have more problems with endotoxins in circulation, I recommend BioActive Carbon BioTox which is a unique formulation with fulvic and humic compounds that help bind in both the gut, in circulation and even go into cells to grab toxic debris.
Supplements Not To Take On A Fast
When it comes to fasting supplements, it is a debatable topic.; For some of the purists, any sort of herb or nutritional compound you consume would theoretically break the fast.; However, I believe that it is only supplements that increase the hormone insulin that actually have the physiological effects of breaking the fast.
The supplements you wouldnt take while fasting would include anything with glucose or sugar in it.; Especially if it has more than 20 calories.; A very minimal amount would go virtually unnoticed by the body but once you get beyond 3-4 grams you would have some sort of insulinogenic effect.
Additionally, you would want to avoid any supplements that you would normally take with meals.; This would include things like digestive enzymes, stomach acid and bile support, fish oils, zinc, iron and multi-vitamins.
There are also certain herbs that we tend to absorb best when taken with meals.; This would include things like turmeric and ginger.; You could take these herbs while fasting, but you wouldnt absorb them as well.
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