Can you drink: Mineral water | coffee | Tea | Apple Cider Vinegar | Stevia | Fruit Infused Water | Milk and Milk Alternatives | Bone Broth | Coconut water | Lemon Juice | Artificial Sweeteners | Diet Soda | Coconut Oil | Butter
So, what can you drink during intermittent Fasting? Depending on your goal with Intermittent Fasting, the following drinks are allowed:
- Only water with strict fasting
- Any non-caloric beverages with moderate fasting (most common and preferred!)
- Up to 20 kcal beverages with open fasting.
Given roughly 20% of our daily water intake comes from food, it is essential to stay hydrated during intermittent fasting, when your food intake is reduced. Therefore, it is important to drink more when you are fasting.
Also, by staying hydrated you reduce hunger and avoid many of possible intermittent fasting side effects like headache, constipation and dizziness. See our article on Constipation while fasting and cures.
But the question is…what can I drink during intermittent fasting in order to not break the fast? What are the best intermittent fasting drinks? And how to do it right?
The answer is – it depends on the type of fast you do. Technically anything you put in your mouth while fasting breaks the fast. But if fasting is a tool for you to restrict calories and help you to lose weight, it is okay to consume a small amount of calories if that helps you stick to your fasting schedule and fast longer.
To answer your questions, we’ve categorized fasts in three different categories based on the intensity and goals. Scroll down and you’ll find a list of beverages you can have while fasting.
In particular, you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions such as:
- Intermittent fasting safe drinks: water, coffee, tea
- Does apple cider vinegar (ACV) break a fast?
- Does almond, oat, soy milk break a fast?
- Can you drink regular milk during intermittent fasting?
- Does coconut water, diet soda, bone broth break a fast?
- What can I drink in the morning while intermittent fasting?
- …and more.
Fasting Categories And Intermittent Fasting Drinks
Allowing only pure water
Strict fasting refers to the purest way of fasting when you do not consume any food or its traces in any form. Simply speaking, you restrict everything except pure water. Strict fasting is usually done for medical reasons (before a test or operation), spiritual or religious reasons.
- For medical reasons
- For spiritual reasons
- For religious reasons
Allowing any non-caloric beverages
To get all the health benefits of intermittent fasting such as fat loss, increased metabolic rate, lower blood sugar levels, boost in the immune system and others, you have to restrict yourself from consuming any caloric food.
But…good thing, you can still consume non-caloric beverages because they do not break the fast and allow you to get all the benefits of fasting. This is because non-caloric drinks do not cause the release of insulin and as a consequence, do not interfere with fat burning and autophagy (cellular cleanup).
- For all the health reasons, such as increased metabolic rate, lower blood sugar levels, a boost in the immune system
- For fat burning
- For autophagy (cellular cleanup)
Allowing up to 20 kcal beverages
Technically speaking, anything that has calories, even if it is a tiny amount break your fast. However, if your main goal is to lose weight, being in an overall caloric deficit is the main reason why you lose weight with intermittent fasting. Hence, if a tiny splash of cream in your coffee helps you to resist from food for a more extended period, or get into fasting (in particular in the beginning), then do it. Many experts, including M. Berkhan from Leangains, allow to consume up to 20 kcal during your entire fasting period.
It is important to mention that not all macronutrients affect fasting equally. Pure fat does not raise your insulin levels or interfere with fat burning, hence is a preferred version compared to protein and carbs.
Good if you are:
- Starting with the fasting and need to “work up” your hunger tolerance
- Doing fasting for weight loss reasons.
What Can You Drink During Intermittent Fasting?
What can you drink while intermittent fasting? The products are listed in the order from the most preferred to the least preferred during your fasting period if your main intermittent fasting goal is weight loss.
E.g., Mineral water, coffee and tea is the most preferred option for Intermittent Fasting drinks, while oils and butter are the least recommended.
Can you drink water while intermittent fasting?
Big YES. Mineral water and water, in general, are free of calories and are allowed during fasting.
It is actually a must to stay hydrated to substitute for the loss of water from food and avoid intermittent fasting side effects. Mineral water is full of minerals to help restore electrolyte and mineral imbalance that happens while fasting. For this reason, water and mineral water is the most advisable intermittent fasting drink.
Also, take a mineral supplement if you have filtered water at your house – you need sodium/potassium/magnesium and other minerals to keep you balanced – I personally take this with my water each and every day – Trace Mineral Tablets.
More on water and intermittent fasting: Can You Drink Water While Fasting? Here’s The Answer
Coffee – with some restrictions
Coffee is allowed during fasting hours and, in fact, some studies have shown that it may support the fat burning and reduce insulin sensitivity over time. For many people, it also acts as an appetite suppressant, hence it is a good choice for those fasted hungry mornings.
We Recommend BLACK Coffee to avoid breaking the fast, but you can also use certain creamers if black coffee isn’t your thing, find out more here – but be careful as some creamers may break a fast:
Also click here to find out – What is the Best Coffee Creamer for Intermittent Fasting?
Too much caffeine, however, can have a negative effect on your body, hence do not overdo the recommended daily dose of 400 mg of caffeine (2-2.5 cups of brewed coffee) for healthy adults.
More on coffee and intermittent fasting: Does Coffee Break A Fast? A Guide On Coffee While Fasting
Tea is one of the intermittent fasting safe drinks and you can feel free to drink plain, unsweetened tea during your fasting window.
Choose pure tea (green, black, white, rooibos, peppermint, chamomille etc.) and avoid any packaged teas with fruit, sweeteners or additional ingredients like “artificial flavoring”. More on tea and intermittent fasting: What Is The Best Tea For Intermittent Fasting?
Apple Cider Vinegar
Can you drink apple cider vinegar while fasting?
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is free of calories and allowed while fasting. In fact, apple cider vinegar actually helps to lower blood sugar levels and improve digestion when following Intermittent Fasting.
How to use apple cider vinegar while fasting? Drink 1-2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar diluted in water. Particularly, drinking it before a meal can aid digestion and increase the feeling of fullness.
Or try apple cider vinegar gummies – a healthy snack during your fasting window. Yes, these can be also used during the fasting hours. More on apple cider vinegar and intermittent fasting: Can You Use Apple Cider Vinegar While Intermittent Fasting
Stevia is a natural sweetener and a good choice if you must have something sweet. Studies have shown that it has no negative side effects as compared to artificial sweeteners and might even lower glucose and insulin levels. It might, however, instigate hunger for some and you might want to be careful.
I take this type of stevia – its PURE and organic and lasts a LONG time its called Better Stevia (click here).
More on stevia and intermittent fasting: Does Stevia Break A Fast?
Fruit Infused Water
All fruit juices contain glucose and fructose. Infused water, even diluted, still contains the fruit juice. Therefore, it is not suggested if you are trying to stick to strict fasting.
However, if it helps you drink more water and stick to the fasting schedule better, it is okay to add some fruits to your water. Make sure to choose foods that are lower in sugar (e.g. lime, lemon, cucumber). Also, do not squeeze the juice of the fruit to avoid extra sugar and carbs. More on lemon water while fasting: Does Lemon Water Break A Fast?
Almond Milk & Other Milk Alternatives – with restrictions
Does almond milk break a fast? And does oat milk break a fast?
Does Almond Milk Break a Fast? Technically speaking, YES! However, if you absolutely must have something and are okay with “open fasting” – coffee with a splash of almond milk can be a good alternative.
Out of the most popular milk alternatives like soy, oat, rice and coconut milk, almond milk has the least calories and zero sugar (look for plain and unsweetened almond milk).
Almond milk is low in carbs and calories, hence up to 0.5 cup/120 ml of almond milk could be a good option for “open intermittent fasting”. When choosing almond milk, avoid the ones with added sugar or those fortified with extra protein.
Here’s a little breakdown for 1 cup of various types of milk (plain, unsweetened):
- Whole milk: 150 kcal, 12 g sugar
- Oat milk: 130 kcal, 19 g sugar
- Rice milk: 90 kcal, 0 g sugar
- Soy milk: 80 kcal, 1 g sugar
- Coconut milk: 45 kcal, 0 g sugar
- Almond milk: 30 kcal, 0 g sugar
- Cashew milk 25 kcal, 0 g sugar
Does Oat Milk Break a fast? Yes, As you can see out of all milk alternatives oat milk is the least preferred choice when fasting. If you must add a bit of milk, then intermittent fasting coffee with almond or cashew milk will be the best choice.
Milk – we suggest variations instead
Can I drink milk during intermittent fasting? Milk should be avoided while fasting due to the milk proteins and natural sugars (lactose), that cause a spike in your blood sugar levels. If adding a bit of milk in your coffee or tea is a must, non-dairy milk alternatives will be the best option.
Bone Broth – in smaller amounts
Bone Broth usually is very low in calories and carbs but does contain protein, which technically breaks the fast, fat burning and autophagy. Some experts do, however, allow bone broth in exceptional cases (up to 20 kcal per fasting period), especially since it helps to replenish the salt lost while not eating.
Coconut water should be avoided while fasting because it is high in sugar. A glass of coconut water already contains around ⅕ of your daily suggested sugar amount. Go for water instead.
You shouldn’t drink lemon juice while fasting due to relatively high sugar levels. We suggest choosing water or adding a slice of lemon to infuse it.
There is a lot of conflicting information and different studies done around artificial sweeteners and their effects on health and insulin response. While some studies show that artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, saccharin, or sucralose do not raise insulin, they might disrupt the balance of gut bacteria in some people.
Given the uncertainty and ongoing debates on the effects of artificial sweeteners, we suggest resisting from artificial sweeteners at all. The most common brand names of artificial sweeteners are Splenda (sucralose), Nutrasweet, Equal or Sugar Twin (aspartame), Sweet’N Low (saccharin). Check out Can I use Sweeteners with Coffee article.
Diet Soda – with caution
You shouldn’t drink diet soda while intermittent fasting as it contains artificial sweeteners.
Some brands have recently started producing soft drinks sweetened with stevia, which are allowed. But, the majority of diet sodas are still made with artificial sweeteners that do no good for you. More on a diet soda while fasting: Does Diet Soda Break A Fast: Here’s The Answer
Coconut oil, MCT oil and other oils contain pure fats. Technically speaking, anything that has calories, even if it is a tiny amount, breaks your fast. However, if you are on a keto diet with the main goal to reach and sustain ketosis (a.k.a fat burning phase), it can be considered as part of fasting as popularized by Bulletproof fasting.
If you prefer “clean” fasting though (something we recommend for our 21 Day Intermittent Fasting Challenge), you should try to sustain from consuming any oils or butter. This means, no Bulletproof coffee during your fasting hours. Also, note that fats are extremely high in calories; therefore you should keep this in mind if you are trying to lose weight.
Butter is pure fat, the same as coconut oil. It also has little to no effect on insulin and could be allowed while fasting (e.g., by drinking bulletproof coffee) if you are on a keto diet and looking to reach or sustain ketosis.
However, the same as coconut oil, it is extremely high in calories. Hence, we do not recommend it for our 21 Day Intermittent Fasting Challenge and if your main intermittent fasting goal is weight loss.
Intermittent fasting (IF) works in various ways to promote weight loss and greater health. To understand more about its benefits, read- 8 Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting: A Complete List.
What Can I Drink In the Morning While Intermittent Fasting?
Try black coffee, Tea, Lemon water, water, anything that doesn’t contain calories, and are beneficial from a nutritional standpoint.
What Are The Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting?
1. Helps In Weight Loss
Obesity is a major health concern, and the focus of most diets is to achieve fat burn. Abstinence of food allows you to use the stored fat for energy. Intermittent fasting is an excellent strategy for weight loss and also has some independent health benefits. Eating for a set period of time makes you eat fewer calories. Intermittent fasting boosts your metabolism and shows promising results on fat loss and insulin sensitivity.
A study published in the International Journal of Obesity indicated that intermittent fasting leads to considerable weight loss in obese men.
When we stop snacking between meals, our insulin levels go down. This facilitates the release of stored sugar from fat cells leading to weight loss. Intermittent fasting influences your hormone function; it lowers insulin level, enhances growth hormones and norepinephrine, which facilitates fat burning. It also increases the metabolic rate, thus helping you lose weight.
2. Improves Your Hormone Functions
During your fasting period, various changes take place in your body. The changes in hormonal function initiate cellular repair and healing of your body.
Intermittent fasting mainly affects these hormones;
One of the most significant benefit of intermittent fasting is lowering insulin levels. When you consume food, it increases your calorie levels resulting in the release of insulin. The most effective way of lowering insulin is to avoid food, exactly what intermittent fasting does during the fasting window. Lowered insulin means more fat is burned.
- Growth Hormone
Growth hormone enhances the breakdown and utilization of fat by reducing both lipoprotein lipase activity and insulin’s inhibitory action on hormone-sensitive lipase. It also preserves muscle protein, muscle mass, and bone density.
According to studies, fasting enhances growth hormone secretion, which helps to preserve the muscles as well as burn fat.
- Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF)
Dietary restriction in intermittent fasting decreases energy consumption without compromising any nutritional value. It brings some powerful changes in the metabolic processes of the brain by increasing stress resistance, breaking down fats and ketogenic amino acids. With neuroprotective effect, BDNF helps in the generation of new nerve cells, enhances cognitive functions and learning.
Intermittent fasting increases the production of BDNF, leading to the prevention of dysfunction and dysregulation of neurons.
3. Reduces The Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes
Many health professionals recommend dietary interventions for managing diabetes.
A diet regimen that lowers insulin resistance and blood sugar levels can be beneficial in type 2 diabetes. Intermittent fasting improves morning fasting glucose levels and reduces postprandial variability.
Intermittent fasting is a simple and accessible nutrition intervention. It results in significant improvements in diabetic glucose control. According to experts, it is a safe and tolerable diet for diabetic patients that results in zero incidences of hypoglycemia. It often leads to weight loss by reducing caloric consumption, which is beneficial for many people with type 2 diabetes.
4. Improves Heart Health
Intermittent fasting is a calorie restriction diet that reduces body weight and improves various cardiovascular risk factors. It is believed to lower blood pressure, insulin resistance and increase heart rate variability. Studies have indicated that when the frequency of eating is reduced, it results in better cardiovascular stress adaptation. This lowers cardiovascular risk factors.
Alternate day fasting reduces age-related inflammation and fibrosis. Intermittent fasting guards your heart against ischemic injury and helps in recovering post-myocardial infarction (MI) via anti-inflammatory mechanisms.
5. Delays Aging Process
Oxidative stress is the primary cause of certain chronic diseases and aging. Intermittent fasting improves your body’s resistance to oxidative stress and helps fight inflammation.
Calorie restriction reduces the release of growth factors like growth hormone and insulin. This reduces the accelerating aging process and mortality in many. Intermittent fasting allows your body to repair cells and DNA, thereby improving health and longevity. Also, reducing chronic inflammation, intermittent fasting helps people live with a better quality of life.
6. Triggers Autophagy
Diet interventions promote metabolic and cellular changes resulting in adaptation to periods of limited nutrient availability. This nutrient starvation activates autophagy. The term “autophagy” means “self-eating,” where damaged and unwanted cells are eaten up by the body.
Autophagy plays a vital role in tumor suppression; hence it is associated with the prevention of cancer. It optimizes your body’s functioning by creating new cells and removing disintegrated ones.
7. May Prevent Cancer
Periodic fasting has a powerful anti-cancer effect. Cancer cells are vulnerable to nutrient deprivation and are significantly dependent on certain metabolites. Fasting brings alteration in growth factors and metabolite levels. Fasting creates an environment where cancer cells lose their ability to adapt and survive. According to research studies, fasting also improves the effects of cancer therapy and reduces the side effects of the treatment.
Glucose is the fuel for most cells, including cancer cells. Fasting leads to a glucose-depleted state that stops or alters this growth. Intermittent fasting also enhances your immune cells making them more effective against cancer cells.
8. Helps You Sleep Deeper
If you are struggling with sleep issues, eating close to bedtime can be one of the reasons. When you follow a regular eating pattern, your body gets adapted to a consistent sleep schedule. By building a strong circadian rhythm, intermittent fasting helps you sleep better and deeper.
A pilot study has revealed that periods of fasting promote sleep quality and reduce nighttime awakening. The study also indicated that fasting increased daytime performance.
Conclusion – What can you drink during intermittent fasting?
I hope you’ve learned everything you need to know about What you can drink during intermittent fasting, and the benefits of fasting to your overall well-being. Continue below to learn more about the best coffee creamers, fasting guides and more!
Also need help fasting? Check out these Top 6 Fasting Mobile Apps
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