- When practicing intermittent fasting, you need to avoid drinks that contain calories but make sure you stay hydrated. Water is not the only beverage you can have during the fast, and you can also enjoy healthy sparkling drinks, tea, and lemon water. You can also drink coffee without sugar or milk during the fast, limiting yourself to no more than one cup.
- Avoid drinking sugary drinks such as juices or fizzy drinks during the fasting window. Diet soft drinks or flavoured waters are not recommended, too, as they provoke an insulin response in the body. You should avoid drinking coconut water as well, as it contains carbohydrates and can break the fast.
- Bone broth and milk are debated beverages. You can sip on bone broth if you go into longer fasting phases, such as 24-hour fasting. While you can add a splash of milk to your coffee, don’t consume more than ¼ cup of this fatty beverage because it’ll break the fast.
Intermittent fasting is not a new trend, but it has gained a lot of attention in recent years. Despite its name, intermittent fasting focuses on when you eat rather than restricting you from consuming certain foods. It offers a different experience from traditional diets where you need to count calories. There are different patterns of intermittent fasting, and you can choose whatever works best for you. But while there’s lots of information on what and when you should or should not eat, the resources on what you should drink during a fast are very limited. Intermittent fasting is not only about food; what you drink is also important if you want to avoid breaking the fast but stay hydrated and energetic at the same time.
During intermittent fasting, the general rule is to drink anything that doesn’t have calories. However, the beverages with a low-calorie value that also deliver health benefits are excepted from this rule. In this article, we give a full list of the drinks you can and cannot consume during intermittent fasting and explain what leverages make the fast more beneficial or, on the contrary, break it.
Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting
A review written by Roger Collier for the Canadian Medical Association Journal explains that a proper intermittent fasting regimen can help with weight loss as well as reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the body. Intermittent fasting also lowers blood pressure levels and promotes cardiovascular health. Plus, researchers have found that intermittent fasting increases the levels of fat-burning hormones and stabilises insulin sensitivity and insulin levels.
What You Drink During A Fast Is Crucial
Consumption of extra calories, carbs, fats, or proteins during the fasting window can interfere with the benefits and weight-loss results of a fast. Intermittent fasting practices are also often used to lower insulin resistance and maintain healthy blood sugar levels. But by consuming high-calorie drinks and even some calorie-free beverages such as diet fizzy drinks, you can elicit a quick insulin response in the body and cancel out all these benefits.
Another important point is hydration. You may be surprised, but 20% of your fluid intake comes from the food you eat. During the fasting window, it’s easy to confuse thirst for hunger, and it’s easy to become mildly dehydrated when you fast. That’s why it’s important to monitor the amount and types of liquids you consume while intermittent fasting to ensure that you stay hydrated.
What To Drink During Intermittent Fasting
Drinking water is essential, regardless of whether you follow an intermittent fasting routine or not. Adequate hydration helps to promote metabolism and aids in weight loss. However, you need to pay attention to the water you drink.
Some bottled water is processed and demineralised. If you consume demineralised or distilled bottled water, you risk developing a mineral deficiency, especially in magnesium. This can result in headaches. Also, try to avoid distilled water and choose brands that don’t process their water with reverse osmosis.
Mineral water doesn’t undergo processing, unlike plain bottled water. It contains natural minerals such as magnesium and calcium. When it comes to long-term and short-term health benefits, mineral water wins over bottled.
FUL® Sparkling Spirulina Drinks
Spirulina is one of the essential superfoods that nutritionists recommend to include in every diet. While you cannot eat it as a dietary supplement during the fasting windows, you can consume it via FUL® sparkling spirulina drinks. These bottled and ready-to-drink beverages are low in calories, so they don’t cause blood sugar spikes. On the contrary, according to a paper written by P. D. Karkos, S. C. Leong, C. D. Karkos, N. Sivaji, and D. A. Assimakopoulos, spirulina helps to control healthy blood sugar and blood pressure levels. Studies also show that spirulina is also perfect for body detox, as it’s high in antioxidants and helps to maintain pH balance.
FUL® sparkling spirulina drinks also come in handy when you crave sugary soft drinks, as you can replace them with a healthy and flavourful beverage that delivers all the health benefits of spirulina without any of its unpleasant taste. Plus, spirulina also helps you feel full for a longer time and suppresses the appetite.
If you don’t like drinking plain water, try adding some flavouring, such as lemon or lime. These citrus fruits are low in carbohydrates and contain few calories. Lemon water will promote your metabolism just like plain water, but it’s a good alternative to regular tasteless water. Simply add a few fruit wedges or a splash of lemon or lime juice to your water. You can also do it with carbonated water or seltzer as long as the water you use is naturally flavoured and contains no calories.
Tea is another drink you can enjoy during intermittent fasting. Tea may also boost the results of intermittent fasting, as it supports gut health, as evidenced by the 2019 study published by researchers Timothy Bond and Emma Derbyshire. Tea is a natural, calorie-free drink that contains less caffeine than coffee, which is why you may want to replace your caffeinated beverages with it. Make sure to drink plain tea brewed with tea bags, leaves, or tea flakes. Don’t add any sweeteners like sugar, cream, honey, or artificial sweeteners because they will break your fast. The same goes for bottled iced tea - it usually contains tons of sugar, so it’s best to opt for an unsweetened beverage.
The good news is that if you need an energy boost while on a fast, you can drink black coffee. It’s calorie-free, but you should make sure to avoid adding sugar, cream, or milk because these will break your fast. If you want to add some flavour to the beverage, try adding calorie-free spices like cinnamon or cardamom and save the other add-ons for the eating window. However, keep in mind that it’s also recommended to avoid excessive sugar consumption during eating hours.
Also, try not to have more than one cup of coffee during your fast or opt for decaf beverages because excessive caffeine consumption may increase food cravings. Plus, caffeine raises cortisol levels (the body’s stress hormone), which leads to hormonal responses and increased blood glucose levels.
Apple Cider Vinegar
A shot of apple cider vinegar is something worth trying if you get food cravings during fasting hours. But you should always dilute ACV with water because it’s very acidic and can damage the tooth enamel if you consume it undiluted. Apple cider vinegar is good for hydration and dealing with hunger, especially if you’re just getting started with intermittent fasting.
Whether consuming bone broth will break your fast or not really depends on the intermittent fasting pattern you follow. If you have a fasting window for 4, 8, 12, or 16 hours, it’s best to skip it. However, if you fast for 24 hours, bone broth is a good drink to sip on in moderation.
It’s a nutritious and stomach-calming beverage, but it’s also a source of protein that causes blood glucose spikes, which then raises insulin levels. While protein doesn’t increase insulin as much as carbohydrates, it can still break your fast. But if you go for 24-hour fasts, consuming small amounts of fat will keep your body in ketosis, which only helps to burn fat and improve the results of your fast. Plus, bone broth helps to replenish your body’s levels of electrolytes and other vital nutrients.
Drinks To Avoid During Intermittent Fasting
You should stay away from both diet and regular fizzy drinks when practising intermittent fasting. But keep in mind that nutrition specialists recommend avoiding drinking unhealthy sugary fizzy drinks even if you’re not following any diet. They are loaded with sugar and sweeteners and have no nutritional value. In fact, research shows that fizzy drinks can increase food cravings as well as increase the body’s ability to store fat.
While diet soda contains no calories or carbohydrates, it’s often made with ingredients like sucralose and acesulfame-K that can spike your insulin levels. It also negatively impacts gut health, as it increases the amount of harmful bacteria in the body. If you need to satisfy your soda cravings, go with seltzer, mineral water, or FUL® sparkling spirulina drinks.
Juices contain natural sugars and have a relatively high caloric value, which is why they will affect your blood sugar just like other sweet foods.
While coconut water is beneficial during eating windows, it’s not the best drink to have when you fast. Coconut water contains simple carbohydrates, which is why its consumption will break your fast.
Milk falls into the category of debated beverages, but it really depends on how much you drink. If you add 1-2 tbsp of milk to your coffee or tea, it won’t really impact your fast. In fact, a splash of milk may even help you with hunger sensations if you just started practising fasting. But keep in mind that any more than ¼ cup of milk will take you out of the fasting phase. Dairy products contain calories, natural sugars, and carbohydrates. And while protein and fat in the milk can slow down the rise of blood sugar levels, you will still trigger an insulin response by consuming milk.
Most dietitians recommend avoiding alcohol completely, but if you occasionally drink it, try to do it during the eating window. Alcoholic beverages are high in calories, which means they will break your fast. They also dehydrate you and spike your blood sugar levels. The effects of alcohol will also be intensified when it’s consumed on an empty stomach. Alcohol consumption will also stimulate your appetite and increase hunger and cravings.
Does diet soda affect fasting?
Yes, even though diet soda contains no or very few calories, it still breaks the fasting process because it triggers insulin responses. Plus, it contains many artificial sweeteners. That’s why you should avoid drinking diet soda during a fast. If you’re looking for an alternative, try FUL® sparkling spirulina drinks, which are healthy, delicious, and low in calories.
What can I drink while intermittent fasting?
When intermittent fasting, it’s recommended to avoid beverages that contain calories as well as sugar-free drinks like diet soda. But you can consume water with lemon, black coffee without sweeteners or milk, and tea. You can also enjoy FUL® sparkling spirulina drinks. Plus, some dieticians recommend drinking diluted apple cider vinegar or bone broth during longer fasts.
Can you drink anything while fasting?
Yes, while you’re limited in what you can drink during fasting, there are certain beverages you can enjoy besides water. These include FUL® sparkling spirulina drinks, lemon water, apple cider vinegar, and unsweetened tea and coffee.
Does lemon water break a fast?
Water naturally infused with lemon doesn’t break a fast. Drinking lemon water will actually help you with hunger cravings without giving your body any calories. However, you should not consume lemons while on a fast.