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Can you drink coffee while intermittent fasting?
A lot of people who are interested in intermittent fasting may also be extremely passionate about coffee. So, can you drink coffee while intermittent fasting? Well, it depends on how your body responds to caffeine, and what you add to your coffee. Some people will feel great when drinking a cup or two before beginning their fast. Other people, not so much. You'll need to experiment with what works for your body while in a fasted state.
Furthermore, you can check out this caffeine calculator to see how much caffeine you should limit your body to based on your weight.
In this article, we'll cover which is the best type of coffee during your intermittent fasting, what other caffeinated beverages you can drink, and why you may need to avoid drinking too many cups of coffee while fasting.
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and non-fasting. This includes skipping breakfast, or not eating anything after dinner until you break your fast the next morning. Intermittent fasting allows your body to tap into its natural fat stores, so it can begin burning out toxins, reduce inflammation in your body, boost cognitive function, improve athletic performance, increase lifespan, and help with weight loss.
Can I drink coffee while fasting?
Yes, you can drink coffee while fasting, as long as it is black coffee! Avoid adding any additional calories or carbohydrates in the form of creamers and sugars. This will keep your body in the fat-burning mode so it can stay in an intermittent fasting state for longer periods of time.
During a fasted state, your insulin levels are lowered, allowing fatty acids to be released into the bloodstream where they are used as energy instead of sugar or glucose that is often found in many drinks like coffee. Caffeine is also released into the system at this time. The caffeinated beverage then enters your brain and causes dopamine to be released which makes you feel great! Intermittent fasting combined with caffeine consumption has been shown to increase mental clarity by improving memory, focus, mood, and cognitive function.
Can I still enjoy other caffeinated beverages like tea or soda?
Yes, you can still drink other caffeinated drinks while fasting. With coffee, it's important to note the fat-burning effects will be lessened if cream or milk is added. The sugar content in soda (both diet and regular) and tea might also prevent your body from entering a fasted state by spiking insulin levels. Additionally, artificial sweeteners like Stevia can cause an increase in hunger and sugar craving, making your intermittent fast more difficult.
Should my coffee consumption be reduced when intermittent fasting?
Drinking up to 400mg per day is okay according to the FDA. However, for some people fasting may help them reset their gut or deal with digestive trouble. Coffee's high acidity can upset stomachs that could be prone to stomach pains. If you have hypertension, talk to your doctor before taking coffee in a fasting state.
Additionally, if you're looking to find answers for how much coffee is too much for your body, then check out our easy-to-use caffeine calculator!
If you drink coffee, adding these will break your fast:
If you love to drink your coffee with any dairy, especially cream, then this is bad news for you. Dairy products such as cream, and milk contain carbohydrate-protein and fat which require digestion. These carbohydrates are also calorie-dense, therefore causing you to break your fast.
Butter and MCT oils contain calories that will break your fast. Coffee such as bulletproof coffee is blended with grass-fed butter and usually contains calorie-dense MCT oil. It weighs 320 calories per single serving, therefore it is important that bulletproof coffee is not consumed while intermittent fasting. Eating fat-based products that have large amounts of protein especially on a calorie deficit diet can reduce beneficial effects caused by fasting on autophagy and cell degradation processes.
Why should you avoid drinking too many cups of coffee while intermittent fasting?
The goal of intermittent fasting is to reduce your caloric intake and restrict the time you eat each day.
Therefore, one thing to consider is the caffeine content of coffee, which can affect your ability to fast. For example, if your body is sensitive to caffeine and lacks tolerance for it, consuming too much caffeine during fasting could be counterproductive.
If you think this may apply to you, consider a more caffeine-tolerant variety of coffee or try switching to decaf for a portion of your fast.
The good and bad of drinking coffee while intermittent fasting
Coffee can be a great source of energy while fasting by burning fat instead of glucose. By prolonging your fast, you increase autophagy and help burn more fat. However, some people abstain from caffeine because it may interfere with their ability to get enough sleep each day. Be careful not to overindulge in caffeine when fasting especially Bulletproof coffee which is high in both calories and fat-based proteins while intermittent fasting.
Caffeine and sleep disturbance
Doctors say you should limit your coffee drink to four servings a day. It is advised for people sensitive to caffeine not to consume coffee in the afternoon and evening. Sleep is important and if you do not get enough sleep you will be miserable. This can affect your fasting routine, causing your body to gain weight fasting for long periods and also infrequently.
The general rule of thumb is to take at least 6 hours between your final coffee dose and the time you go to bed in the evening. Consume caffeine only within 24 hours following a fasting ritual.
The benefits of fasting are well documented. However, many people want to drink coffee while they fast. You can! Just remember not to add cream or sugar and don’t overdo it on the caffeine. Drinking too much caffeine can interfere with sleep so try drinking decaf if that's an issue for you. If you do go overboard with your caffeinated drinks, make sure you get plenty of sleep so that your body can recover from any potential side effects before starting another round of fasting. We recommend drinking black coffee only when fasting as adding milk will break your fast for those following more strict types of intermittent fasting.