What Is Intermittent Fasting | Intermittent Fasting Benefits | Does Tea Break an Intermittent Fasting | Does Black Tea Break an Intermittent Fast | Does Herbal Tea Break an Intermittent Fast | How Tea Improves Intermittent Fasting Results
If you have adopted intermittent fasting to achieve a slender body, overall well-being, or better cognition, you might have seen how challenging it can be to navigate fasting. Pushing your eating window to a specified time in the day may be cumbersome to crowd out your favorite dishes, especially the morning tea. This is usually true if you have a habit of sipping the morning tea while reading a newspaper or after the meditation session.
As you know, it is inevitable to have an adequate amount of fluids during the fasting period to keep you hydrated and invigorated all through the day, you must understand what beverages are suitable to consume during fasting.
While most drinks are beyond consideration when you are fasting, there are certain exceptions too. Tea is one of them. But does herbal tea or black tea break an intermittent fast? Drinking tea during intermittent fasting helps you keep hydrated and free from starvation. But the question is how to consume tea so that it can keep you up throughout the day, without breaking your fast.
You might get tempted to add a splash of milk or a cube of sugar, but these added ingredients can break your fast as they contain calories! However, sipping a cup of unsweetened black tea or any herbal tea during your fasting does not break your fast and additionally supplements you with a lot of health benefits.
Through this article let’s find out how herbal tea and black tea are effective in intermittent fasting. But first, let’s find out what is intermittent fasting and whether these teas can really break a fast.
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a dietary approach that alternates between eating and fasting windows. It is an eating pattern that refrains you from consuming calories for a long duration of time. Once the fasting window is over you can consume anything of your choice during the eating period as it does not focus on what to it but when to eat.
There are various fasting plans that include:
- 16/8 method: This entails consuming your required amount of calories within an 8-hour window and then fasting for the rest 16 hours of the day. This method is most doable as most of the fasting time gets covered up during the sleeping hours. Furthermore, this plan is less restrictive and more flexible.
- 5:2 diet: This plan allows you to eat normally 5 days a week and fast for two non-consecutive days, wherein you can ingest a maximum of 500-600 calories daily.
- Eat-stop-eat method: It involves fasting for 24 hours once or twice a week and eating normally for the rest of the days.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
An intermittent fasting plan is a highly effective plan because it manages unwarranted snacking, regulates calorie ingestion, and enhances the body’s metabolism. The primary benefits of fasting include:
- It can help you lose weight and visceral fat.
- It helps reduce insulin levels and insulin resistance. Hence, lowering the risk of developing type II diabetes.
- It increases human growth hormone levels which induces fat-burning and gaining muscle mass.
- It increases insulin sensitivity, thereby lowering blood sugar levels.
- It reduces oxidative stress and fights free radicals, thus lowering inflammation in your body.
- It can improve heart health by reducing cholesterol, blood pressure, and triglyceride levels.
- It induces autophagy, a cellular repair process, in which the body automatically gets rid of the damaged cells and waste products.
- It may improve cognitive function and protect against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
- It may help prevent certain types of cancers.
- It improves body metabolism and the immune system.
- It helps improve longevity.
Does Herbal Tea or Black Tea Break an Intermittent Fast?
When you do intermittent fasting, you refrain from eating within your fasting window. However, you are allowed to have water and other calorie-free beverages such as herbal tea and black coffee as much as you want, and they do not break your fast because they contain very less calories.
In fact, drinking herbal tea and coffee can help you curb your hunger and maintain your hydration level. Drinking these beverages can keep your gut health active which is essential even though you are fasting.
However, there are some rules to follow while sipping these beverages. You need to keep in mind that the same should not contain any additives such as sugar, milk, cream, or anything else of your choice because adding any of these ingredients can increase your caloric intake and break your fast.
Further, some types of tea contain caffeine. Consuming this tea during your fasting period may impact your quality of sleep and cause jittery or anxiety. If you encounter such unpleasant side effects, then switch to herbal tea instead.
During intermittent fasting, you are allowed to have only unsweetened teas like green, black, or herbal teas. In a study conducted by Francoise Wilhelmi de Toledo et al., it was observed that having tea during fasting rather benefits people by improving their overall health and helping them overcome problems associated with heart health such as being overweight, abdominal circumference, and blood pressure.
Does Black Tea Break an Intermittent Fast?
In no way does black tea break your fast since it has a low caloric value. Hence substituting black tea with high-caloric beverages helps lower your calorie intake and also aids in the benefits of intermittent fasting.
Black tea contains a group of polyphenols such as theaflavins, thearubigins, and epigallocatechin gallate, including amino acids like L-theanine, and other flavonoids which help protect against various chronic diseases. It has a plethora of health benefits which include:
- It aids in the weight loss process by boosting metabolism and the caffeine level in black tea facilitates the lipolysis process.
- It also prevents weight from regaining.
- It may prevent atherosclerosis and other heart diseases by inhibiting the oxidation of lipoproteins.
- It also helps reduce the risk of developing cancer.
- Drinking black tea may help fight age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
- Black tea has powerful antioxidant properties which help combat inflammation.
- It prevents the degeneration of dopamine neurons which is important for cognitive functions, motivation, reward associations, and habit learning.
Does Herbal Tea Break an Intermittent Fast?
Consuming plain herbal tea without any additives does not break your fast. Herbal tea is a unique blend of roots, leaves, flowers, bark, seeds, grasses, fruits, and nuts of various plants.
It is considered a fasting-friendly tea because neither it contains any caffeine, nor any nutrient that triggers a spike in the storing hormone insulin. This implies you can sip this tea at any time of the day during your fasting window.
Drinking herbal tea during intermittent fasting does not stop the fat oxidation process and therefore, it continues to make you reap the advantages of fat fat-burning process even during your fasting period. However, if you drink it with additives like cream or sugar, then this can break your fast easily.
Usually, herbal tea is free from calories, but if your herbal tea is made from fruit, the sugar content in the fruit can break your fast. Hence, if you want to have a sweet or fruity herbal tea, opt for it for your eating window only. However, there are some single–ingredient herbal teas that do not break a fast and have numerous benefits as well. The benefits of these teas may include:
1. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea aids in better quality of sleep and has a calming effect. It is generally considered as a mild sedative because of a flavonoid called apigenin present in it which helps bind to benzodiazepine receptors in the brain and hence, induces better sleep. Getting adequate sleep while on intermittent fasting helps greatly in losing weight.
2. Peppermint Tea
Peppermint tea is another herbal tea that can be taken during intermittent fasting. This tea is caffeine-free and thus can be sipped at all hours.
As per studies, peppermint tea helps in losing weight as it aids better digestion and reduces food cravings. Apart from that it has antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-cancerous properties. The aroma of peppermint helps increase a sense of relaxation, reduce anxiety and pain, and improve sleep quality.
3. Hibiscus Tea
Made with hibiscus flowers, it is a great option for people who do intermittent fasting. Hibiscus contains anthocyanins and flavonoids that support the burning of fats.
It also helps lower the absorption of sugar and carbohydrates from foods due to its enzyme-inhibiting properties. Hence consuming hibiscus tea can significantly contribute to weight loss. Additionally, hibiscus tea helps make your metabolism stronger.
4. Ginger Tea
Ginger tea is made from dried roots of ginger and is caffeine-free as well as low in calories. It means drinking ginger tea does not break your fast.
Ginger helps promote metabolism. As per a study, ginger tea with hot water helps induce thermogenesis that regulates satiety and promotes weight loss. Another study indicates that ginger regulates pancreatic activity and improves digestion. It also acts as an appetite-curbing agent.
5. Oolong Tea
Oolong tea is another calorie-free wonderful herbal tea option that does not break your fast.
According to research oolong tea increases metabolism and decreases body fat. It also helps reduce the risk of gaining weight by stimulating fat oxidation.
How Tea Improves Intermittent Fasting Results?
Following are some benefits of having tea that improve the results of intermittent fasting.
It Curbs Hunger
Drinking tea can help you deal with hunger pangs during the first few days of intermittent fasting. A study indicated that the catechins present in tea help block the hunger hormone by inhibiting the ghrelin levels.
Aids in Weight Loss
Being a calorie-free beverage tea can be a great replacement to diet sodas and juices and can keep a check on your calorie intake. Apart from that, the catechins present in tea help in weight loss. Further, the caffeine content in tea promotes fat oxidation.
Aids in Detox
Tea with intermittent fasting helps induce autophagy, the body’s natural cellular repair process. This process encourages getting rid of damaged cells out of the body and regenerating newer cells. When you drink plain tea without any additives during your intermittent fasting, the components present in tea known as catechins activate autophagy and help in eliminating free radicals which cause oxidative stress.
Detoxing your body by drinking tea helps fight against degenerative diseases including premature aging.
Relaxes Your Mind
Drinking tea while on intermittent fasting can make you stress-free.
The soothing properties of tea can help you unwind from stress and nurture brain health. Tea can decrease the stress level by preventing the secretion of the stress hormone cortisol.
So, does herbal tea or black tea break an intermittent fast?
To sum up, herbal teas and black tea are very low in calories and that makes them an ideal and effective drink during intermittent fasting. Like other teas, black tea and herbal teas do not break an intermittent fast.
Instead, it can help you keep relaxed, and hydrated, increase your metabolism, curb hunger, and help you keep up with your weight loss journey. However, the most important thing to keep in mind is that you must stay away from additives such as sugar, cream, and milk no matter what tea you are having until completing your fasting window.