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Can You Drink Wine While Intermittent Fasting?

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About Intermittent Fasting | Alcohol Metabolism | Effects of Alcohol While Intermittent Fasting | How Alcohol Hampers Fasting Benefits | Can You Drink Wine While Intermittent Fasting

It is no secret that intermittent fasting is a much-revered fasting strategy that has been prevailing for centuries. Consider it for whatever reasons like religious belief, its health benefits, or for the betterment of lifestyle, it is highly acknowledged by the human race worldwide. 

Intermittent fasting is taken as an immaculate resource to achieve a myriad of benefits like weight loss and improved metabolism, lowered insulin resistance, improved insulin sensitivity, and so on. While it is already on the mainstream, instead of you making yourself fit into its schedule, you should make it adaptable according to your regimen.

Conferred by research, there have been claims that the consumption of wine has several health benefits. Studies suggest that intake of red wine is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. 

But when you embark on an intermittent fasting regimen, substituting a glass of wine with non-calorific beverages like a glass of sparkling water or a cup of black coffee can be really depressing. Right? But is it safe to consume wine while fasting?

Well, let’s find out the answers to all those questions to make you aware of whether you can combine wine with an intermittent fasting routine.

Can You Drink Wine While Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent Fasting and its Benefits

Intermittent fasting is a dietary pattern that focuses on restricting calories for a definite period of time, say for 12 hours to 40 hours. This restrictive time period is called the fasting window. After the fasting period is over you can eat anything of your choice within the eating window as intermittent fasting has a clear-cut viewpoint of emphasizing when to eat not what to eat. However, during the fasting window, it does not allow you any sort of calorie intake.

Based on time duration, frequency, and calorie restriction level, intermittent fasting has been categorized into various types namely 16/8 method, 5:2 diet, alternate day fasting method, eat-stop-eat method, prolonged fasting method, and warrior diet method. Intermittent fasting possesses several health benefits. 

Some common benefits of intermittent fasting include:

  • It improves metabolism which helps in fat-burning and weight Loss
  • Improves insulin sensitivity and reduces insulin levels thereby causing fat loss
  • Improves growth hormone levels
  • It enhances cognitive function
  • Reduces the risk of type II diabetes by lowering insulin resistance
  • Improves heart health by keeping a check on cholesterol and triglyceride levels, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure levels which are the precursors of heart disease.
  • Promotes better sleep
  • Induces autophagy, the body’s cellular repair process which helps improve chronic inflammation, infection, and neuro-degeneration. It also helps protect against certain types of cancers and Alzheimer’s
  • Lowers inflammation by increasing the body’s resistance to oxidative stress and fights free radicals. It also improves gut and liver function.

The Science Behind Alcohol Metabolism

The liver metabolizes alcohol through two enzymes named alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH). When you consume alcohol, the liver changes it to acetaldehyde by using ADH. Being a toxic substance, acetaldehyde is again processed into acetate with the help of ALDH. Finally, acetate is eliminated from the body by getting converted into carbon dioxide and water.

Since alcohol is toxic in nature the body cannot retain it for a long period of time. Hence, when you consume alcohol during intermittent fasting, your liver starts metabolizing it immediately putting a hold on the metabolism of all other beneficial nutrients such as protein and carbohydrates. 

As a result, this can interfere with fat burning and cellular repair process and may cause weight gain. Further, alcohol breaks your fast as it contains calories and impedes all other benefits of fasting.

Can You Drink Wine While Intermittent Fasting?

Effects of Alcohol On the Body While Intermittent Fasting

While doing intermittent fasting, you should be well aware of what kind of alcoholic beverages you are consuming. 

Cocktails or alcohol mixed with sweetened beverages contain a large amount of sugar and are high in calories, which you should avoid taking during your fasting window. Instead opting for dry wine and hard spirits would be a better option as they contain less sugar and are low in calories. This may keep your body in an optimal state throughout your fasting.

Alcohol affects each individual differently depending on their physical condition. While moderate alcohol consumption may not affect the weight loss process significantly as it contains fewer calories, excessive drinking may lead to weight gain. Further, excessive alcohol consumption can make you dehydrated and could have a negative impact on your body during intermittent fasting.

Breaking a fast with alcoholic drinks could be detrimental and may have potential health risks. When you fast, your body is under shortage of essential nutrients and energy. If you consume alcohol during your fasting on an empty stomach, it can have an additional strain on your body as it will start processing the chemical contents and additional calories of the alcoholic beverages. As a result, you may experience nausea, dehydration, dizziness, and other related problems.

Consuming too much alcohol over an extended period of time can have harmful effects on the liver or could possibly lead to liver damage. Additionally, it can develop addiction issues in people. It is therefore essential to monitor alcohol intake because eventually, it could build a tolerance towards heavy drinking.

When doing an intermittent fast, it is crucial to exercise caution and abide by certain rules. For example, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol during a fast can be risky because it can shoot up your blood sugar levels and cause dehydration. 

A high alcohol intake can also have a negative impact on your liver and kidney health as well. Further, it can raise the risk of heart disease and stroke. It is therefore indispensable to stick to moderate drinking. It is highly recommended to drink plenty of water between alcoholic drinks to neutralize the occurrence of dehydration and dizziness.

Consuming alcohol can increase your hunger and craving for unhealthy foods which can make it more challenging to remain in the intermittent fasting diet restrictions. Drinking too much alcohol could impair your mental clarity as well.

How Alcohol Hampers Fasting Benefits?

As you know intermittent fasting has various health benefits such as fat burning, weight loss, improved insulin sensitivity, better metabolism, increased autophagy, fighting inflammation and infection, and so on. 

Consuming alcohol during intermittent fasting can damage these benefits.

  • It may interrupt insulin sensitivity: Consuming alcohol in excessive amounts can increase blood sugar levels and impair insulin sensitivity. A high blood sugar level can increase the risk of type II diabetes.
  • It hampers fat oxidation: Since excess consumption of alcohol increases appetite and results in binge eating, it may eventually cause weight gain. Further as per research when you consume alcohol, your body compels itself for alcohol metabolism with precedence while inhibiting the fat-burning process, leading to weight gain.
  • It affects the cellular repair process: Your body repairs itself at a cellular level and eliminates waste materials through the process of autophagy. Excess alcohol consumption can obstruct the autophagy process and can contribute to alcohol-induced liver injury.  
  • It may hamper your immunity: Research says that consumption of excessive alcohol can impair the immune system. When you consume alcohol, the toxins in alcohol enter your bloodstream and your body struggles to get rid of these impurities to function normally and the overall functioning of the body is compromised.
  • It may cause damage to the liver: Daily consumption of alcohol may damage the liver by causing inflammation and may lead to cirrhosis of the liver. This can ruin the function of the liver such as digestion, protein synthesis, metabolism, detoxification, filtration, and capacity to store vitamins and minerals.

Can You Drink Wine While Intermittent Fasting?

Can You Drink Wine While Intermittent Fasting?

If you want to have wine while intermittent fasting, you should keep a few points in mind.

1. Drink Moderately

In order to have less impact on intermittent fasting and its benefits, you can have wine in moderation or in small amounts and avoid binge drinking. 

You can have one standard drink which is around 5 ounces or approximately 148 ml (118 calories). Further, occasional drinking will have less impact on your fasting regimen.

2. Aim to Drink During the Eating Window

If you want to have a glass of wine, intending to have it during the eating window is always a good idea. But ensure having adequate macronutrients such as protein, carbs, and fats prior to having the drink. 

This will help absorb the alcohol more slowly. Drinking wine during the eating window will have less effect on your fasting schedule.

3. Avoid Energy Drinks with Wine

Consuming wine with energy drinks will end up having a lot of extra calories. This may hinder your weight loss goal and may have adverse effects like nausea, dizziness, and confusion. Hence opt for plain wine instead.

4. Stay Hydrated

It is absolutely necessary to stay hydrated while drinking wine as it will help you to encounter the diuretic effects of alcohol and maintain your hydration level. Additionally, it will help maintain your body balance during the fasting period.

The Takeaway

If you wish to include wine with your dining, moderation is the key. An excessive amount of wine can break your fasting schedule as it contains a substantial amount of calories. 

Further, it can have a detrimental effect on your fasting benefits such as fat burning, autophagy, and insulin levels which is an important regulator of glucose, lipid, and protein metabolism. If you have any other underlying health condition, it is recommended to consult your healthcare practitioner before considering any type of alcohol in your regimen. 

However, if you wish, you can choose other calorie-free beverages over a glass of white wine to support your fasting goals and its benefits.  Check out What can you drink during intermittent fasting?

Most importantly, listen to your body first because your body can only indicate what could be a better option for you. Always understand your body’s ability and modify your routine accordingly to get optimal health. To learn more about fasting, check out the 10 type of Intermittent Fasting to choose what works for you.

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