Can You Drink Coffee While Intermittent Fasting?

Learn how you can enjoy your coffee without breaking your fast during intermittent fasting.

Coffee drinking is one of the most often asked questions about intermittent fasting. Can I drink coffee while intermittent fasting? Will coffee break my fast? – If you’re new to intermittent fasting, you’re probably wondering the same things.

In this article, we’ll try to answer some of your doubts about coffee and intermittent fasting. We’ve also looked at some research, and you can learn about the effects of coffee while fasting, as well as what you can and can’t add to your coffee when practicing intermittent fasting.

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Can I have black coffee while intermittent fasting?

The simple answer is YES. You can drink black coffee during your fasting window. As long as there are no sweeteners or other high-calorie, high-carb additives, black coffee will not break your fast.

According to the USDA, one cup (240 ml) of black coffee includes about 3 calories and extremely little amounts of protein, fat, and trace minerals. The nutrients in 1-2 cups of black coffee (240-480 ml) are insufficient for most people to trigger a significant metabolic change that would break a fast.

Some people believe that coffee suppresses your appetite. This will help you keep to your fast in the long term. This claim, however, remains unproven scientifically.

Lots of coffee, on the other hand, can undeniably have an impact on intermittent fasting. Since coffee stimulates the hormone adrenaline, it can trigger energy release, such as while experiencing acute stress. As a result, glucose can enter the bloodstream indirectly even if no food is consumed.

Coffee has no effect on intermittent fasting as long as you don’t drink more than 1-2 cups in a short period of time.

With 16/8 intermittent fasting, you can safely drink 2-3 cups of black coffee before your eating window begins. And they should be spread out throughout the day. That way, you’ll be safe.

Coffee may enhance the benefits of fasting

  • Autophagy

Fasting triggers autophagy, a natural cleansing mechanism that replaces damaged cells with new ones. One of the key reasons you want to fast could be an increase in autophagy.

Fasting is one of the most effective ways to activate autophagy, and coffee also encourages autophagy. According to the findings of a study, polyphenols found in coffee promote health via inducing autophagy. (study 2014).

  • Weight loss

Fasting for weight loss may be your primary motivation. Your fasting regimen will help balance your energy spent with the energy you consume, but so will your caffeinated coffee. Caffeine, according to recent research, boosts energy expenditure while decreasing energy intake, which will help you manage your weight.

As a result, combining coffee and intermittent fasting can help you fast for longer periods of time and lose weight faster.

  • Ketosis

Fasting is yet another way for the body to enter ketosis. If you don’t eat, your body depletes its carbohydrate resources and begins to burn body fat for energy. Because your body sends fat energy to all parts of your body as ketones, this condition of fat burning is known as ketosis.

Drinking coffee while intermittent fasting can increase fat burning even more. According to one research, coffee helps to increase ketosis while fasting (study 2016).

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When it comes to promoting ketosis, your morning cup of joe will have no negative impact on your fasting regimen.

  • Insulin sensitivity

Caffeine consumption, like intermittent fasting, may improve glucose intolerance and insulin sensitivity over time. The underlying mechanisms that explain this impact are still being studied by scientists, but regular coffee consumption appears to cut your risk of type 2 diabetes by up to 42 % (S van Dieren 2009).

Potential risks of drinking coffee while intermittent fasting

The drawbacks of drinking coffee when fasting are mainly associated with excessive caffeine consumption. It is recommended that you limit your daily coffee consumption to 4 cups.

Caffeine consumption in excess may have a negative impact on your sleep quality. Poor sleep can affect your metabolic health over time, perhaps negating the benefits of intermittent fasting.

Avoid coffee in the afternoon and evening if you are caffeine sensitive. It is best to leave a six-hour gap between your last caffeine dose and when you go to bed.

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Holding a cup of black coffee

What can you put in your coffee that won’t break your fast?

  • Cinnamon

Cinnamon works well as a flavoring agent. It is also a proven appetite suppressant and a hunger suppressant. As a result, it’s welcome in our coffee during intermittent fasting. Cinnamon will not break your fast if you limit yourself to less than 1 teaspoon of cinnamon each day.

  • Nutmeg

A pinch of nutmeg, like cinnamon, might aid with a ravenous appetite. Grating some fresh over a cup of black coffee is an excellent idea. However, avoid excessive amounts as they can cause side effects.

  • Coconut oil

Coconut oil is high in medium-chain triglycerides (aka MCT). Because MCT has been shown to increase satiety (the sensation of fullness after eating), it can be an excellent tool to use with Intermittent Fasting, particularly as a beginner (study 2003).

Technically speaking, any fat breaks a fast. However, when you initially begin using Intermittent Fasting, you may feel hungry during the fast as you adjust to I.F. This is where incorporating a small amount of coconut oil (or MCT oil) into your morning coffee might assist ease your transition into Intermittent Fasting by lessening hunger.

Coffee additions that break your fast

  • Cream

Adding cream to your coffee will break your fast. Some experts say there’s a 40-calorie limit before your fast is broken, but if you’re working hard at intermittent fasting, why jeopardize it?

  • Milk

A 100ml glass of milk includes nearly 5g of lactose as well as roughly the same amount of milk proteins. Even a slight amount of milk reduces the benefits of fasting. Coffee with milk breaks the fast. Skimmed milk is out too.

  • Coffee with half and half

Half and half can break a fast in the same way that cream and plain milk can. Half and half decrease fasting benefits due to the high protein/carbohydrate ratio.

  • Any sugar-based sweetener

White sugar, brown sugar, honey, and agave syrup will all break your fast.

  • Collagen or whey protein

While both collagen and whey are beneficial to your health, they will both break your fast.

Coffee and intermittent fasting: The takeaway

It is up to personal preference whether or not to drink coffee when fasting. If a cup of coffee helps you feel better throughout your fast, go ahead and have one. Just remember to drink in moderation and to drink your coffee black with no extra additives during your fasting window.

There’s no reason to start drinking coffee if you don’t enjoy it or don’t drink it now. You can also drink tea, and here’s an interesting read to learn what else you can drink when intermittent fasting.

Finally, before making any changes to your diet, you should always speak with your doctor or a nutritionist. Intermittent fasting is not for everyone, and your doctor will know what is best for you.

How to drink coffee without breaking your fast


Disclaimer: All the information on this website is for educational purposes only. Nothing on this website should be considered as health or medical advice. Always consult with a doctor or trusted health professional before following any dietary, nutritional, or herbal recommendations.