What Can You Drink While Fasting?
People are fasting for many reasons, some wanting to lose weight while others for medical and psychological reasons. Fasting involves eating and skipping meals for a scheduled period. The success or failure of your fasting routine depends on whether you’ll follow the specific rules and timelines of the type of fasting you choose.
So, what can you drink while fasting?
Some of the drinks you can take while fasting includes; water, black coffee, tea, and coconut oil, among others. Many drinks contain unnatural sugars and calories, which can boost insulin response and break/end a fast. Such drinks are not recommended.
Before we dive into other drinks you can take while fasting, let’s look at the different intermittent fasting methods.
Types of Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is the most common and entails refraining from eating partly or entirely for a set time. Before you begin fasting, you may wonder, when does the body begin to burn fat while fasting?
When you fast for frequent periods, your body produces a calorie deficit that makes the body release some fat, leading to weight loss.
There are various types of intermittent fasting, and everyone chooses their style. However, to maintain good nutrition and avoid unnecessary health risks, I always choose the type that fits my aim for fasting.
Here are 3 of the most common types of intermittent fasting
- Eat Stop Eat – Eat Stop Eat type of fasting entails eating five days a week and fasting twice weekly. The two days don’t have to be consecutive; you can skip a day, but the fast has to last for a complete 24 hours. It can be lunch to lunch or dinner to dinner. This depends on how you choose your plan
- 5:2 Fasting – This fasting method limits calories to 500 for women and 600 for men twice a week. You can normally eat for the other five days without counting the calorie intake.
- 16/8 Fasting – 16/8 is the most common and best for beginners. In this type, fasting occurs mainly during sleeping hours. Depending on your plan, you can choose to fast once a week or more days. In the 16/8 method, you take 16 hours fast and normally eat for eight hours.
Whichever method or type of fasting you choose to follow, eat a healthy diet during the periods you aren’t fasting. Your healthy diet can include fruits, lean protein, whole grains, and vegetables. Above all, discipline is key if you want to achieve your goal with any of the fasting methods we shared.
Drinks You Can Have While Fast
Staying hydrated is vital while fasting, as it will reduce fatigue and hunger pangs. Here are some drinks you can take while fasting.
Drinking plenty of water while fasting is essential, as it helps you stay hydrated and aids in weight loss. Often, people forget to drink water while fasting, mistake thirst for hunger, and ignore it. Forgetting to drink water can cause dehydration, so it’s vital to prioritize quenching your thirst regularly.
Although water is essential while fasting, avoid distilled water; instead, take mineral or sparkling water.
Mineral water contains trace elements like sodium, calcium, magnesium (absent in distilled water), and other natural minerals. The type of minerals in water depends on the origin or source of the water. Therefore, even the health benefits differ significantly.
Here are some health benefits of mineral water.
- Reduces constipation
- Promotes bone health
- Lowering blood pressure
- Reduces risk of heart disease
Club soda, seltzer water, and soda water are other forms of sparkling water. Sparkling water is plain, artificially carbonated water but contains no calories compared to juice and sugary soda.
Like mineral water, sparkling water also contains sodium, which benefits the body as it decreases blood sugar and cholesterol.
There’s unsweetened and unflavoured sparkling water, which is the best while fasting. Keep off sparkling water products that contain additives and caffeine, as they cause some unpleasant reactions for some people. Let’s see some benefits and side effects of sparkling water.
|Benefits of carbonated sparkling water||Side effects of sparkling water with sugar and other additives|
|Aids in weight management|
It helps you feel full for longer
Keeps you hydrated
Aids in weight loss
Cause tooth decay
Can cause bloating
Black coffee is excellent while intermittent fasting, as it contains no calories. Drinking coffee has a minor impact on your metabolism, and you can’t break a fast. However, don’t add cream or milk, as they can affect your blood sugar. Instead, you can add cinnamon, nutmeg, cocoa, and coconut oil but use them in small amounts.
Although coconut oil contains some calories, the calories come from fat and will have no or little impact on your blood sugar. Coconut oil is natural and has all the benefits you need while fasting.
Like coffee, tea is natural and contains no calories, so you can take it while fasting. Nevertheless, avoid the temptation of adding any sweeteners like sugar, agave, or honey since they contain calories that can break your fast.
Black and green tea contains natural flavors that help you stay hydrated and reduce hunger pangs throughout your fasting period.
According to a recent study, green tea intake decreases cholesterol and LDL plasma levels, significantly triggering weight loss.
Here are the benefits of taking tea while fasting.
- Reduces fatigue
- Reduces hunger pangs
- Contains polyphenols that aid digestion and sustain energy. (Polyphenols are antioxidant-packed compounds that neutralize free radicals found in our bodies that can damage body cells).
Apple Cider Vinegar
Like other unsweetened beverages, taking apple cider vinegar while fasting is safe. Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, a byproduct of the fermentation process. A tablespoon of ACV contains 0.01g of carbs which is very low and can’t break a fast.
However, you shouldn’t take too much ACV as it can lead to acidosis due to too much acidity in the body. Take one or two tablespoons diluted in the water while fasting.
Below are the benefits of consuming apple cider vinegar.
- Reduces cravings
- Boosts fat-burning
- Helps in weight loss
- Reduces hunger pangs
- Decreases blood sugar
- Boosts energy while fasting
Bone broth contains amino acids, minerals, and electrolytes which work perfectly in extending your fasting. Since you aren’t taking any food which gives your body electrolytes, bone broth is an excellent alternative, as it contains natural electrolytes to reduce cravings.
Bone broth fasting allows your immune system and gut to recover and takes a rest in digestion. Apart from resting the gut, bone broth contains glutamine, gelatin, and collagen, which support tissue repair and strengthens the absorption of nutrients when you aren’t fasting.
If you want to include more drinks in your fasting, you can also add wheatgrass and Spirulina, as they contain a scant amount of calories but are rich in essential minerals and vitamins. Spirulina breaks a fast, but it contains nutrients that reduce cravings, and you, therefore, can stick and adhere to your fasting plan.
Drinks To Avoid While Fasting
While there are drinks you can consume while intermittent fasting, there are also drinks that you should completely avoid. Most of these drinks contain sweeteners with calories and sugar.
Consuming drinks containing artificial sweeteners interferes with fast results.
So here’s a list of the drinks you should avoid while fasting.
If you’re adhering to a keto-friendly diet, coconut water isn’t an ideal drink. Coconut water contains carbohydrates and sugar, which can spike your sugar levels.
A cup of milk contains protein, carbohydrates, calories, and fats that can break a fast. We should avoid milk and milk products while fasting.
Fizzy drinks like grape soda, coca cola, and others shouldn’t be consumed while fasting. The drinks contain many unnatural sweeteners, which can trigger an insulin response.
Because of their high sugar and glucose content, juices can break a fast. They boost hunger spikes and increase sugar levels, which can cause weight gain. They aren’t ideal when fasting.
Alcohol contains calories and unnatural sugars, stimulating energy and blocking fat breakdown. If your aim for fasting is to lose weight, consuming alcohol can add more weight, especially for women. Avoid it while fasting, as it can also cause dehydration.
FAQs: Key Questions on What to Drink While Fasting
Can I Have Coffee With Cream While Fasting?
No. While fasting, adding cream to your coffee can activate your insulin, delaying entry into autophagy. The delay in autophagy usually interferes with the release of junk proteins in the body.
Can I Drink Supplements While Fasting?
Yes. You can take supplements like wheatgrass juice that won’t break your fast. Others, like fresh and raw spirulina, are likely to break a fast. Therefore, you must check what the supplement contains before drinking them while fasting.
Is It Okay for Me To Drink Lemon Water While Fasting?
Yes. Drinking lemon water while fasting is okay since it contains no calories or sugar.
Can You Drink Diet Coke While Fasting?
No. Any sugary drink can break a fast. So drinking a diet soda while fasting isn’t recommended.
What Benefits Can Intermittent Fasting Provide?
Here are the benefits of intermittent fasting:
- Lowers cholesterol
- Aids in weight loss
- Reduces blood sugar
- Boosts brain function
- Reduces inflammation
- Protects the growth of cancer cells
The critical thing to remember when fasting is always to stay hydrated. 20-30% of water in our bodies comes from our food, specifically vegetables, and fruits. And in this case, you aren’t taking any food or fruits while fasting.
For this reason, ensure you take enough liquids to avoid dehydration. Take unsweetened tea and coffee and drink lots of water. Avoid all drinks that have sweeteners and calories, as they can interfere with your blood sugar.
During fasting, our bodies flush out and excrete a lot of water. Dehydration can cause headaches, fatigue, and dryness in the mouth. However, if you keep yourself well-hydrated, you won’t experience such symptoms.
Apart from water, you can also take fresh and raw spirulina. And although spirulina breaks a fast, it contains nutrients that keep you energized and full throughout the fasting period.
If you have difficulty figuring out what you can drink while fasting, try everything we have recommended above as you avoid the drinks that are likely to break a fast.