Does Coffee Break Your Fast?
Fasting is a practice undertaken by millions of people around the world. Whether it is for religious or health-based reasons, fasting is a common practice that so many people choose to adhere to.
Some people will fast completely throughout the day and others will go down the intermittent fasting route, which denotes a specific calorie consumption window.
Drinking black coffee on its own will not break your fast, as the average cup contains less than 1 calorie. A fasted state occurs when you consume zero or at least very minimal calories. However, coffee with higher calorie ingredients like milk, sugar, cream, or sweeteners will indeed break your fast, as they will cause a spike in insulin.
So, if you are craving that hot cup of coffee in the morning during your fasting period, make sure to keep it plain!
5 Benefits of Drinking Coffee Whilst Fasting
Whilst you are advised to keep calories to an absolute minimum whilst fasting, this does not mean you just have to survive on water and air!
Not only can you freely drink coffee, tea, or other low to no-calorie beverages whilst fasting, coffee has a number of health-enhancing benefits that make it the ideal companion to your daily fast.
1. Appetite Suppressant:
The caffeine found in coffee is a natural appetite suppressant, so you can enjoy your cup of coffee through the morning and you likely won’t be quite so hungry when it gets to lunchtime. However, bear in mind that you shouldn’t have too much coffee as this can lead to trouble sleeping, raised blood pressure and
2. Boost Metabolism:
Coffee also helps to boost your metabolism, which in turn enables you to burn more calories. This tends to be even more effective in lean adults than overweight adults, so there is a snowball effect from drinking coffee when it comes to fat loss!
3. Decreased risk of Metabolic Syndrome and Inflammation:
Research shows that the combined impact of fasting and consuming caffeinated coffee can reduce your risk of chronic inflammation throughout the body. Consuming coffee also reduces your risk of metabolic syndrome, a condition that causes various parts of the body to become seriously inflamed.
4. Improves Brain Function:
Drinking coffee whilst you fast can really ramp up the benefits of the ancient practice, as it promotes the secretion of ketones in the blood. Increased ketone levels reduce the risk of developing Parkinsons’ and Alzheimer’s diseases. Fasting and drinking coffee can also improve your brain’s ability to replace aging or damaged cells through the process of autophagy.
5. Improves Mood and Distracts from Hunger Pangs:
One of the more anecdotal benefits of drinking coffee whilst you are fasting is the improvement it can make to your mood. Whilst this may sound trivial, any diet or weight management process comes down to your mental resilience and making your daily rituals easier for yourself can only help your cause. Drinking coffee can not only reduce your hunger levels but it is also proven to reduce the risk of depression and boost overall mood. This is not to be overlooked when you are nearing your feeding window and the temptations and self-doubt may start to creep in.
How Coffee Could Break Your Fast
Drinking coffee black is a great compliment to your fast. However, many people become accustomed to drinking coffee with accompaniments like cream, milk, sugar, or sweeteners, which can reduce the effectiveness of your fast.
You can really sabotage your fasting routine by adding these ingredients, which can cause a spike in your insulin levels.
Whilst drinking straight-up black coffee, like an americano, won’t be an issue for hardcore coffee purists, for those that are a bit newer to the world of coffee, black coffee could take a bit of getting used to. With this in mind, try to gradually reduce your milk intake so you get used to stronger and stronger coffee until you can take on full black coffee with no issues.
Using lower percentage fat content milk, i.e. going from full fat to semi-skimmed to skimmed, can also help this process. Even having a small amount of skimmed milk in your coffee whilst fasting won’t do too much to upset your fast.
If you need your daily fix of frappuccino, heavily creamed coffee, or sweetened latte, save it for your feeding window!
Fasting has a number of benefits and is a practice undertaken by millions the world over. But, avid fasters don’t have to give up the great taste of coffee! In fact, drinking coffee whilst you are fasting can have a wide range of benefits including enhanced fat loss, better cognitive function, and reduced risk of mental illnesses.
The key is to drink your coffee black, with no additional milk, sugar or sweeteners, as these can negate the benefits gained from fasting in the first place! If black coffee is not necessarily to your taste, see if you can reduce your milk intake gradually until you become accustomed to it.