What Can You Drink During Intermittent Fasting
So, you’ve decided to try out intermittent fasting but you’re unsure of how to go about implementing it. There is a lot of conflicting information out there. There are definitely some fasting tips you should incorporate, and of course, some you should definitely avoid! So, what can you drink during intermittent fasting?
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Before we discuss this any further, let’s briefly cover what intermittent fasting actually is. IF is an eating strategy where you allow yourself a set amount of time to feast (eat), and a set amount of time to consume virtually nothing (fasting).
Typically, what most people follow is the 16-8 method. With this method, you allow yourself an 8-hour window to eat and fast for the remaining 16 hours. An example of this would be if you were to consume your first meal after 12 pm and eat your last one before 8 pm.
Understand all that?
Now that we’ve got that covered, let’s get back to our original topic of discussion; what can you drink during intermittent fasting?
Let’s focus on the most obvious one…
Every time someone asks me “what can you drink while fasting,” my first response is usually water.
Water is not only something you need, but it also contains ZERO calories. You can drink as much of this as you want because it’s not going to break your fast! In order for you to break a fast, you have to consume something that will trigger an insulin response.
Water is not sweet, sour, or spicy, so there is no way that your body could even be tricked into causing an insulin response unlike some artificial sweeteners (don’t worry, we’ll get to that).
Another amazing benefit of drinking water is it actually helps you burn calories. Remember, water contains zero calories, but your body still has to ingest, digest, absorb, and expel it from your system. This requires energy. In fact, one study showed that adults who drank just one glass of cold water increased their resting energy expenditure (calories burned at rest) by 24-30% just 10 minutes after.
I’m sure you’ve asked yourself “can I drink coffee while fasting?”
While the word “coffee” refers to a pretty broad spectrum of options, I’ll try to simplify this for you much as possible. Black coffee shouldn’t cause an insulin response because it contains very few calories (it does have a few).
Drinking moderate quantities of black coffee during a fasting period is probably not going jeopardize your fast in any substantial manner. In fact, coffee may enhance your fasting efforts.
Coffee can improve your brain function, lower your blood sugar, and reduce your risk of heart disease. Just remember, we are referring to black coffee. If you are putting creamers and sweeteners into your coffee, this a sure-fire way to break a fast.
In a fasted state, it can sometimes be difficult to fight off those hunger cravings. According to the Mayo Clinic, during the morning hours (not recommended in the evening), coffee has been shown to reduce feelings of hunger and your desire to eat for a short period of time.
If you do not consume coffee or do not have a desire to drink coffee, do not feel like you should start just because you are fasting. There are plenty of other healthy ways to obtain all the health benefits listed above without needing to consume coffee. I personally find it a little easier to get through a fast with the little extra help.
Remember to be careful with your caffeine consumption, and to always drink in moderation!
Apple Cider Vinegar Fasting
ACV provides an abundance of health benefits. Apple cider vinegar fasting (aka drinking ACV while fasting)
is well known for its appetite suppressing capabilities, which is why its use has become so popular during a fast.
In addition to it helping with hunger, it has virtually no calories (3 calories per serving to be exact). One study showed that people who consumed a carbohydrate-rich meal right after dosing with apple cider vinegar had lowered their blood sugar levels as much as 55%.
The way you would consume the ACV is by combining 1 tablespoon with an eight-ounce glass of water. Make sure to drink the concoction through a straw, the apple cider vinegar is very acidic and can wear away the enamel on your teeth.
Another study compared the results of obese individuals who consumed 15 ml, 30ml, and 0 ml of ACV. The findings clearly demonstrated that the group that consumed the most ACV lost the most weight (3.7 pounds in 12 weeks), compared to the group who didn’t consume any actually put on weight.
If one were to combine fasting with ACV (apple cider vinegar fasting), they could yield even better results.
Tea is very similar to coffee in the sense that it has very few calories. Like coffee, tea contains caffeine (depending on what kind you’re drinking), which has been shown to aid in suppressing your appetite.
The only situation in which drinking tea could affect your fast is when you start mixing in sugar, honey, and unnatural sweeteners.
My suggestion would be to avoid putting anything in them if possible and drink them as is. If you feel you absolutely must add something in to give it a little more flavor, stevia is an acceptable option. Avoid all other artificial sweeteners (we’ll cover this soon, I promise…).
Regardless of whether you mix anything into your beverage, tea (green tea specifically) can still help you burn calories regardless. This is because green tea contains high levels of antioxidants known as catechins.
What can you drink during intermittent fasting?
Bone broth is definitely a controversial liquid that leaves some people questioning if it’s acceptable to drink or not.
Let me clear up the confusion for you.
Bone broth is another liquid that has an extremely low-calorie composition (35-50 calories per cup). Even though bone broth does contain calories, it, however, does not contain any carbs or fats and only has 9 grams of protein.
While drinking bone broth technically can break your fast, it could be drank in smaller amounts without breaking your fast. Just remember if you consume micro-doses to hold you over, it can be extremely helpful and beneficial without trigger an insulin response.
Setting aside the fact bone broth can potentially be consumed during a fast, it also provides a plethora of health benefits which include aided digestion, natural anti-inflammatory, improves joint health, and can also help aid in weight loss.
What Breaks A Fast? – What To Avoid
Sweeteners such as Splenda (sucralose), Sweet’N Low (saccharin), and Equal/Nutrasweet (aspartame) all have been shown to trigger insulin responses.
The problem is your body is unable to tell the difference between real sugar and fake sugar.
The end result.
Your body produces insulin believing it is ingesting some form of glucose and your fast is now officially broken.
Bottom line, avoid artificial sweeteners if you want your intermittent fasting to be effective.
Naturally, people assume that drinking fruit juice is healthy. This couldn’t be any further from the truth.
The problem with juice is it contains zero fiber.
The fiber naturally occurring in fruit is what prevents your body from absorbing the fruit sugar too quickly.
Without the fiber present, your body immediately absorbs all the sugar causing an unusual spike on your insulin levels.
This puts a tremendous amount of stress on your liver, similar to the effect sugary sodas have on our body.
Not only will drinking fruit break your fast, but it is extremely unhealthy.
There are quite a few energy drinks that contain copious amounts of sugar in them, so we’ll assume you know not to drink those.
What about the sugar-free ones?
Unfortunately, they’re loaded with those nasty artificial sweeteners we discussed earlier. I myself am guilty of drinking them, but let me reassure you, they are no good for you!
They are extremely unhealthy, and they will break your fast. The next time you feel like you need a little energy boost, make yourself a cup of black coffee or tea.
That wraps up today’s topic “what can you drink during intermittent fasting”.
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