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 coffeeno cream, no sweetenersthen 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.”
Can You Drink Coffee While Intermittent Fasting
That first cup of coffee upon waking. That mid-morning cup of joe. So good and so needed. But the real question is: can you drink coffee while intermittent fasting?
A simple question, and yet, the internet is full of confusing answers. In this post, I explain how you can enjoy your coffee when youre fasting, so you dont break your fast.
Its important that you plan your fasting periods and eating windows, so you dont feel deprived. This way, you know exactly what to expect.
Need a little help? Check out this post: Intermittent Fasting Schedule for Women to learn about fasting and eating windows.
First, you should consult a licensed medical physician before you jump into intermittent fasting. IF isnt for everyone, and therefore, its something to discuss with a licensed professional.
The purpose of this post is to give share insights on how coffee can break your fast it is not to provide any professional/medical advice.
When Does Coffee Break Your Fast
There are two big things things in general that will break a fast:
- Anything with calories
- Anything with a sweet taste
While not all fasting experts agree on this, the short answer is if youre having either of these things while fasting for weight loss, youre making your fasted time harder on yourself.
This includes adding artificial sweeteners, heavy cream, and even that seemingly harmless splash of milk.
More on what you should add to your cup of coffee in a minute
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My Glucose And Ketone Readings
Whether I had black coffee, nothing at all, or my intermittent fasting coffee recipes, my readings were always the same. My blood glucose levels were around 5.0 mmol/L and my ketones were around 0.5 mmol/L.
Would you like to test your glucose and ketones? I use the Keto Mojo and my affiliate link will give you a 15 percent discount.
Intermittent Fasting: Coffee With Soy Milk
So, is soy milk another supposedly better alternative to milk while fasting?
One glass of soy milk has about 15.5 grams of carbohydrates, of which 10 grams are table sugar .
As with oat milk, industrially produced omega-6 fatty acids predominate in this artificial drink.
Furthermore, the soy itself is one of the three most frequently genetically manipulated crops in the world. Accordingly, over 90% of the canola, corn, and soy harvest comes from genetically manipulated plants.
Why should your soy drink be non-GMO?
On the one hand, this almost impossible to find out, and on the other hand, it is highly unlikely.
Since the soy probably comes mainly from a foreign country, the first processing steps happen somewhere, neither traceable nor regulated.
So whats the solution?
Eat real food! Industrially produced drinks mixed in a lab are harmful to your health no matter what the commercials say.
However, a single shot of soy milk breaks the fast due to the high amount of carbohydrates.
With this in mind, if you need a milk substitute while eating due to an intolerance, go with unsweetened almond milk.
Read Also: What To Have During Intermittent Fasting
How Bulletproof Coffee Affects Fasting
Bulletproof coffee is blended with grass-fed butter, and often contains calorie-dense MCT oil, which the body converts to ketones. Individuals following the ketogenic diet typically use this buttery blend for an added fat boost.
However, coming in at an average of 320 calories per cup, its important to consume bulletproof coffee in moderation while fasting. And if youre fasting for autophagy or longevity, you may want to stick to black coffee consumption instead.
Questions About Exercise And Intermittent Fasting
A lot of people have questions about how to exercise and train while fasting. Here are some good questions that should push you in the right direction with your training.
I wanted to thank you both for writing such a fantastic, motivating blog and for introducing me to intermittent fasting. I am enjoying watching my weight go down by basically doing something that involves no effort skipping breakfast! I was hoping you could elaborate more on your exercise routine. I have waded through the Leangains site and the other links you mentioned in the beginner’s guide, and while very interesting, they are WAY too complex for me at this stage.Paul S.
Readers like Paul are what make our community great. He read about an idea that interested him and even though some of the details were overwhelming, he didn’t let that prevent him from taking action. In other words, he started before he felt ready.
I try to make my writing as easy as possible to use, but it’s always up to you to experiment and see if it makes sense for your circumstances. Keep up the good work, Paul!
Back to the question
Intermittent fasting works great with most strength training programs.
I believe in strength training and compound movements. I think 99% of the population could get in the best shape of their life with only eight exercises: snatch, clean and jerk, squat, bench press, deadlift, pushups, pullups, and sprints. If you did those exercises and did them well, then that’s all you would ever need.
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Insulin Resistance And Type
As research shows, regular intermittent fasting improves insulin sensitivity.
Therefore, it reduces high insulin levels, improves blood-sugar metabolism, and eliminates excess sugar in the body.
Furthermore, it can even reverse insulin resistance and type-2-diabetes, which most diets alone simply cant .
The cause of these metabolic diseases lies in the liver. Too much sugar and insulin cause insulin resistance in liver cells for years .
The result is a fatty liver. If you want to get at the heart of many metabolic problems, you must burn off the deposited visceral fat in the liver.
The term visceral fat refers to the accumulation of fat in and around organs, which harms health.
But according to current studies, intermittent fasting, in particular, can burn this dangerous visceral fat more effectively than low-carb diets .
However, intermittent fasting can only burn excess sugar and visceral fat as long as it is not interrupted by food.
For example, it is crucial to drink coffee without milk during intermittent fasting since this would cause blood sugar and insulin levels to skyrocket.
Can You Drink Coffee While Intermittent Fasting With Cream
- Post category:Fasting
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.
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Intermittent fasting involves eating all your calories in a shortened eating window say, between the hours of noon and 6 PM and eating nothing for the rest of the day.
There are many health benefits of fasting, ranging from weight loss and lower blood pressure to increased insulin sensitivity.
But do you get those benefits if you drink coffee during your fasting period?
Or will a cup of coffee break your fast and leave you without the many benefits of intermittent fasting?
Heres a look at the benefits of fasting, how coffee affects your fast, and why you may want to combine coffee with fasting.
Can Coffee Boost The Effects Of Intermittent Fasting
The good news is that drinking coffee can actually help you with your fast! One study found that coffee promotes good health by stimulating autophagy, which is the bodys process of clearing damaged cells and regenerating healthy new cells.
If you use intermittent fasting as a method of weight loss, coffee might also help boost the effects of the fasting. A study demonstrated that weight, BMI, and body fat reduction might be promoted by caffeine intake.
Additionally, studies have found a correlation that supports a cause and effect between habitual coffee consumption and a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. So, if intermittent fasting is done with the goal of preventing diabetes, coffee supports that goal.
Now that you know you can drink coffee while fasting and that it supports your fast, you may wonder about how typical coffee add-ins factor into your fast.
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What Can You Put In Your Coffee That Wont Break Your Fast
Although black coffee is perfectly acceptable for an intermittent fast, you may want to know if you can still add any of your usual mix-ins to your cup. In general, many health experts claim a fast isnt broken if you consume less than 50 calories within the timeframe of the fast. With this in mind, lets go over intermittent fasting coffee additions that wont break your fast.
From strictly a calorie perspective, technically, youre not fasting if you add any of these to your coffee because they all contain calories. However, fats themselves wont influence your insulin or blood sugar levels, so theyre the most recommended choice if youre looking to boost your insulin sensitivity .
While you may have heard recommendations for bulletproof coffee made by adding butter and MCT oil to coffee be aware that it contains over 230 calories in a 16-ounce serving . This fatty concoction is great for those on the keto diet, but it pushes the envelope when it comes to fasting. Its worth noting, though, that if youre fasting for weight loss, a little bit of fat may also help curb your craving so you can fast longer.
To maintain your fast, add only a small amount of either MCT oil, butter, or coconut oil to keep it under 50 calories.
If you’re curious about the ketogenic diet for weight loss, check out our keto diet tips to see if the diet is right for you.
In Conclusion: Are Sweeteners In Coffee Okay When Intermittent Fasting
So lets bring it on home!
We do not believe that any of these are good to be adding to your morning coffee, especially not to a keto coffee with added fats.
Also, they are messing with your metabolism.
Yeah, it really seems like either they are lowering our ketones or raising our blood glucose and you dont want either of those to be going on during your intermittent.
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/8how Many Cups Of Coffee Can You Have
Drinking 2-3 cups of coffee is okay for a day. However, overdoing this can invite consequences, push your calorie levels off the charts and may even make your diet unsuccessful.
Having excess cups of coffee is also linked to other drawbacks, including headaches, gastrointestinal problems, elevated heart rate, anxiety and sleep disturbances.
Can I Drink Coffee While Intermittent Fasting
The number one question Ive gotten since I first shared my experience with intermittent fasting is whether I drink coffee while intermittent fasting. The answer is YESbut under certain circumstances.
Bear in mind as you read that I am neither a doctor nor a nutritionist, so take my experience with a grain of salt and consult your physician if you have any questions.
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Fasting And Artificial Sweeteners
Sweet taste is a much-discussed topic regarding intermittent fasting and the keto diet. On the one hand, it is difficult to get away from it. On the other hand, it substantially promotes cravings.
Most sugar-free sweeteners have zero protein, carbohydrates, and calories. Therefore, they do not raise the blood sugar level. But is the calculation that simple?
No, since people often forget that both intermittent fasting and keto have one essential goal: Lowering insulin levels to allow your body to tap into stored fat for energy.
Since the storage hormone, insulin, prevents body fat breakdown and ketone production, a significant increase in insulin levels breaks the fast.
Unfortunately, most diet gurus have not done their homework in this context.
As endocrinologist and fasting pioneer Dr. Jason Fung correctly points out, it does not matter whether food increases blood sugar levels as long as it increases insulin levels .
Can I Have Cream In Coffee When Fasting
My husband and I tested our blood glucose and ketones after drinking coffee with cream to see if we could get closer to answering the question: Can I have cream in my coffee while I am fasting?
Weve concluded that yes, it is ok, but there are five important things that you need to keep in mind for optimal health and weight loss benefits.
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What About Adding Artificial Sweeteners To Coffee
This is where opinions start to vary in the fasting community. Many assume since most keto-friendly sweeteners are low calorie, theyre OK to add to coffee while you patiently wait for your first meal.
Consuming zero-calorie beverages, like artificially sweetened coffee, leads to low insulin sensitivity. While you may think this is a good thing, it makes you more insulin resistant. The more insulin resistance you have, the harder it will be to lose weight with a keto diet.
When you consume anything sweet during fasting hours, insulin is triggered. Your body expects a sweet tasting food to follow soon after. This causes insulin to rise. Insulin can remain spiked longer when you dont give your body what it expects.
In the case of added sweeteners, the number of calories is really null and void. Its that sweet taste that tricks your body into believing food is on the way. This includes sweeteners that claim they are natural, as well as sugar alcohols.
Sweeteners can also cause small changes to your gut microbiome overtime, which can interfere with long term gut health.
The bottom line is while I dont believe consuming too many sweetened foods helps anytime of day, Id definitely avoid them while trying to speed up weight loss on an empty stomach.
Coffee Benefits For General Health
Coffee isn’t just for waking up in the morning. It has numerous, well-researched health and wellness benefits,such as:
4. Heightened physical performance
5. Contains many essential nutrients
6. High in antioxidants
7. Lowered risk of cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and cardiovascular issues
8. Live longer
But there can be a downside to coffee, especially if consumed daily in large quantities.
- Women especially are at risk for increased bone fractures .
- Coffee can increase anxiety and disturb sleep .
- Most commercial coffees have toxic additives and fillers.
- Many coffee drinkers report higher levels of gastro-esophageal reflux disease .
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How Much Coffee Can You Drink While Intermittent Fasting
There is no set number of cups of coffee you should have. Consider first some of the unhealthy things that can result from too much coffee.
Look at the coffee you are drinking. The amount of caffeine in most coffee ranges from 50 mg to over 400 mg per cup.
Three to four cups a day are considered healthy for most adults .
Consideration #: What About Autophagy
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!
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Coffee And Fasting The Big Picture
When consumed in moderation, black coffee should not break your fast. In other words, having some coffee wont kick you out of ketosis or a fat burning state. This is usually true as long as you are a healthy individual who hasnt been diagnosed with diabetes and who metabolizes coffee quickly . However, there is some controversy over how coffee impacts the fasted state in other ways.
Coffee, for starters, has many different compounds in it, not just caffeine. Plant compounds in coffee have actually been found to increase autophagy, a cellular recycling stage of intermittent fasting! Learn more here with LIFEApps blogger Zach about coffee and autophagy. Antioxidants in coffee may also help reduce inflammation and insulin resistance when consumed over time.
Caffeine in coffee, however, can temporarily raise levels of stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine. These can in turn raise your blood glucose levels by signaling your liver to create new glucose molecules from proteins and fatty acids. Stress hormones can also temporarily block glucose uptake into your muscles . Dose matters for these effects. Consuming two cups of black coffee in 10 minutes has been found to double levels of plasma epinephrine. However, epinephrine infusions in humans that cause plasma levels to reach 3-5 times normal levels have only been observed to cause small changes in fasting blood glucose levels .