Can you drink coffee while doing intermittent fasting?
Most people don’t seem to have an issue with the idea of not eating or drinking while doing intermittent fasting.
It’s a popular eating method where you eat only during certain time-restricted windows.
Your intermittent fasting schedule can vary depending on which fasting methods you’re following.
The most popular ones include:
- 16:8 fast – eat all your meals in an 8-hour time period and fast for 16 hours.
- 5:2 fast – fast for 2 days a week and eat normally the other days.
Sounds simple enough, and that’s part of the appeal.
But the question is, what technically constitutes a fast? Can I drink water? Can I snack?
And all the coffee lovers may ask, can I drink coffee while fasting?
This article will explain whether you can have coffee in the fasting windows. And for non-coffee drinkers, if any other drinks are allowed on a fast.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting, also known as the IF diet is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating.
It’s an effective way to induce ketosis and lose weight faster.
If you are on a keto diet, combining keto and fasting can help you reach ketosis faster and increase fat burn than doing the diet alone.
And luckily, how to do intermittent fasting or even keto intermittent fasting is simple and quite effortless.
You basically plan your meals, keto or not, around your fasting schedule.
During your fasting period, you fast and eat all your meals during the eating window.
By fasting for the majority of your day, you get to fully empty your stomach and deprive your body of glucose. And the success lies in the full length of your fast.
It’s also the reason why you want to be careful with drinks like coffee you have in the fasting period. Depending on what you drink, it can end up breaking your fast, completely unintended.
So let’s get to your burning question, is coffee allowed during fasting.
Can You Drink Coffee While Doing Intermittent Fasting?
Drinking black coffee in moderation is allowed while you fast, and it’s unlikely to break your fast in any major way.
The same also goes for other zero-calorie, no-sugar drinks like unsweetened tea.
One cup or 8oz of black coffee contains 1 calorie with slight traces of sodium and potassium (1).
More likely than not, 1-2 cups of it alone is not enough to cause a metabolic change in your body. Thus, it’s said to be a safe drink to have during your fast.
Some may even find coffee an effective appetite suppressant. They include it in their morning ritual to help them stick to the fasting schedule.
Though, the recent study on coffee’s effect on appetite control is still inconclusive (2).
All in all, drinking coffee in moderation is allowed. And just as long as you keep it black, it will not likely interrupt your fasting.
Can You Drink Coffee with Added Ingredients While Fasting?
So, what if you like your coffee with added ingredients like cream?
While coffee with high-fat add-ons like cream and butter is keto-friendly, it’s not allowed during the fast.
That’s because those add-ons could disrupt your fasting.
Though it’s not scientifically proven, the general rule of fasting has it that it takes about 50 calories to break a fast. And many popular added ingredients easily run over the calorie limit.
For example, 1 cup (8oz) of coffee with 1 tbsp of cream runs about 52 calories. Fancier drinks like latte and cappuccino can contain upwards of 100 calories per cup. And that’s without sugar.
With added ingredients, it’s far likely that your morning cup of joe will get in the way of your fasting.
Instead, if you are to have a cup of coffee while fasting, go for black with no sugar. It helps you stay minimal with your calorie intake and keep yourself in the fast state.
What can you drink while fasting other than coffee?
Calorie-free drinks can be a great way to stick to your fasting and fight off hunger and cravings. And if coffee is not your thing, here are several other drinks you can enjoy during your fasting period.
Water is always the best option as a drink to have during your fasting windows.
You can enjoy it still or sparkle, just as long as it’s free of artificial sweeteners or additives.
2. Lemon Water
Lemon water is a refreshing way to hydrate and drink plenty of water, and it’s allowed while fasting.
Lemon water is said to aid digestion. It also does not affect your blood sugar levels or insulin, making it a preferred drink in the fasted state.
To make lemon water, simply squeeze a fresh lemon over a glass of water. Stir several times and drink. It’s a refreshing drink you can enjoy all day long.
3. Unsweetened Tea
Tea like coffee contains almost no calories, making it a great drink option for intermittent fasting.
Not to mention, you can enjoy different tea leaves to add more variety to your daily routine.
If your goal is to lose weight, green tea is particularly known to enhance the weight loss benefits. It’s also known for its’ numerous health-boosting properties.
Enjoy it iced or hot!
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
If you’ve been a health nut, you may be already adding apple cider vinegar drink to your morning ritual. And just because you are starting intermittent fasting, you don’t need to give that up.
Drinking apple cider vinegar or ACV is linked to many health benefits. One is appetite control and another is blood sugar level management. It’s also said to improve your gut health and digestion.
What Drinks to Avoid During Intermittent Fasting
There are many drinks you should avoid in the fasted state when you are doing keto fasting.
The obvious ones are high-calorie drinks like sodas, fruit juices, and sweetened drinks. You also need to avoid cream and milk-heavy coffee drinks like a frappuccino and lattes.
But also be wary of the low-calorie or zero-calorie drinks like diet sodas. Additives in those drinks can easily disrupt your metabolic state.
Skip drinks with any artificial sweeteners or additives in your fasted state. The same also goes for sweetened water and energy drinks.
So, Should you drink coffee while fasting?
Coffee in moderation is certainly ok to have even within the fasting windows. And it’s ultimately up to you whether you want to drink coffee or not on a keto fast.
You can certainly go without with no effects on the results.
If you love coffee and if it helps you stick to your new eating pattern easier, there is no reason to stop.
Just remember, if you do decide to have a morning cup of joe, let it be black coffee. Don’t reach for zero-calorie sweetener or sugar substitutes. Cream, milk, and even butter are off-limits as well.
The bottom line
Drinks that don’t disturb your metabolic state are generally allowed on an IF diet. And that includes black coffee, unsweetened tea, water, and even ACV.
If you decide to drink coffee within the fasting windows, be sure to moderate your intake.
The key is to keep everything very low-carb and free of additives that can spike your blood sugar. Regardless of your chosen drinks, be sure to steer away from high-calorie add-ons like milk.
The rule of thumb is to keep your coffee black and limit it to 1-2 cups per fasting period.
- (1) “FoodData Central Search Results.” FoodData Central, fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171890/nutrients.
- (2) Schubert, Matthew M, et al. “Caffeine, Coffee, and Appetite Control: a Review.” International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Dec. 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28446037.