What Is Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is not a diet but more of an eating pattern. Your focus is on when to eat your food, not what to eat. Fasting is a survival mechanism, as our ancestors didn’t always have access to food. So, our bodies got used to functioning without food, at least for a while. The second common reason for fasting is religious practices. Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Buddhism all have fasting periods as a part of their ceremonies. Fasting is a simple yet effective way to clean your body of toxins and fat. And coffee goes well with fasting.
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Benefits of Coffee During Intermittent Fasting
Coffee is the perfect drink to consume while you are in intermittent fasting. We are talking about black coffee, of course. A high-calorie homemade mocha will hardly help your body. So, how does exactly coffee help your fasting?
Well, we all know that drinking coffee has proven health benefits, as well as consuming chocolate-covered espresso beans. Coffee is full of antioxidants that will make you live longer, look better, and feel healthier. Also, your daily cup of joe will reduce your risk of gaining Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease in your golden years.
All these coffee effects are well known. However, when you are in intermittent fasting, coffee turns into a super helper. First, the caffeine effects work better on an empty stomach. Secondly, black coffee naturally suppresses your appetite and speeds up your metabolism. So, you will eat less and burn more fat just by drinking coffee. Talk about a win-win situation. Also, let’s not forget that fasting can be a stressful process, and your mood will go down. To protect the people around you from your sudden spikes of rage, have a cup of coffee in the morning. It will certainly improve your attitude.
How Do Coffee and Intermittent Fasting Work
Well, our all-time favorite drink is beans and water, more or less. A cup of black coffee has two to five calories, making it a low-calorie drink. But, milky espresso-based drinks as macchiato and latte are forbidden. As intermittent fasting is nothing more than non-eating, we still need something to drink. Water, unsweetened tea, and black coffee are the best choices. However, coffee is full of benefits that will emphasize the fasting process, making it the perfect drink. Water and tea are also healthy, but they don’t boost the metabolism, improve your mood and burn the fat the way that coffee does. All thanks to caffeine, of course.
Pros and Cons of Coffee During Intermittent Fasting
- Boosts energy.
- Enhances the mood.
- Burns fat.
- Fills you with antioxidants.
- Suppresses appetite.
- Morning coffee can cause diarrhea to people with a sensitive stomach.
- Coffee with any addition is a hidden calorie bomb.
- Too much caffeine can have health side effects.
- Sadly, not every place has Nitro coffee or cold brew.
- If consumed too much, people no longer feel energized after a cup of coffee, but the opposite.
Types of Intermittent Fasting
Several methods of intermittent fasting exist. One thing they all have in common is time management. The sole purpose of intermittent fasting is to divide your time into two periods, eating time and fasting time.
This method is the most popular one, as it is easy to obey. You skip breakfast, and you have an 8-hour window to eat. Let’s say it’s 2 PM to 10 PM. So, you have a 16-hour pause between eating periods. The 16/8 method is also known as the Leangains protocol.
This method can be hard to manage, especially if this is your first intermitting fasting. With the eat-stop-eat method, you will be fasting for 24 hours, once or twice per week.
This is also known as the Fast Diet, and UK journalist Michael Mosley popularised it. With the 5:2 diet, the plan is simple. You eat your normal daily intake five days a week. But, for two days, you will eat only a quarter of the daily recommended calorie count. It’s 500 calories for women and 600 calories for men. The two fasting days shouldn’t be one after another.
Other Types of Intermittent Fasting
- One Meal a Day (OMAD) – also known as the Snake Diet. One large meal per day is allowed.
- Alternate-day fasting – fasting every other day. Not recommended for beginners.
- Warrior diet – 20 hours you eat little or none, then 4 hours of eating as much as you like. You eat at night. At the same time, drinking coffee at night is not recommended. Weird time we live in.
- Meal skipping – you occasionally skip a meal. This is a great start for the more serious fasting types.
Coffee Effects on Intermittent Fasting
Coffee effects on intermittent fasting are often not that black and white and depend on your body health, coffee drinking habits, age, sex, and much more. Generally, black coffee consumption is positive during fasting, as it will give you more energy, and black coffee should not break your fast. However, if you start drinking too much coffee while fasting, it can lead to a very uncomfortable diarrhea case.
Does Consuming the Coffee Break a Fast
To answer this question, we have to look at the different reasons for fasting.
Coffee is forbidden, as well as all the other beverages, including water. Drinking anything before the surgery can mess up the way your body reacts to the anesthesia.
- Christianity allows consuming black coffee even during the Lent (fasting period before Easter).
- Judaism classifies black coffee as kosher, so it’s allowed to consume most of the time. However, two exceptions exist. Decaf coffee is not considered kosher due to the decaffeinating process. Also, coffee consumption is not allowed during the Tzom Kal fast. Actually, you can’t consume any beverage or food for 25 hours.
- Islam forbids coffee during the Ramadan fast. During Ramadan, believers fast from dawn to dusk for a month. No drink or food is allowed during that fasting period.
- Buddhism allows drinking caffeinated beverages such as coffee and tea, as long you are not addicted and enjoy it moderately.
Diagnostic Fasting – Fasting Before the Blood Work
When you are getting ready for the blood tests, your doctor will usually say you should fast 8 to 12 hours. So, you shouldn’t drink anything besides water. However, some people claim you can drink black coffee without any issues. And those people are wrong. Although black coffee is mostly water, it still has other ingredients, like caffeine. Thus, drinking coffee will disbalance your electrolyte levels. Also, it will act as a mild diuretic and generally will speed up your metabolism. That’s all great, but your blood tests will not give you the proper results if you consumed coffee while fasting. Stick to plain H2O.
How to Improve the Taste of Black Coffee While Fasting
When fasting, you should drink only black coffee. Anything else adds to the calorie count, and you are not fasting anymore. However, as black coffee is sometimes acquired taste, not everyone is a fan. Americano will often taste stronger than a latte. Sadly, not everyone enjoys the full-bodied, strong taste of pure black coffee. So, here’s what you can add to your black cup of joe to make it tastier:
- defatted cocoa
- low-calorie sweeteners like stevia and monk fruit extract
Drinking some of the world’s best coffee cocktails is strictly forbidden, no matter how tasty they are. Alcohol and diets don’t go well.
What Can You Add to Your Coffee and Not Break Your Fast
Coffee with a spoon of butter, coconut oil, or MCT oil technically breaks the strict fasting rules. Fats have calories, quite a lot of calories. However, adding a bit of fat to your coffee won’t increase your blood sugar or insulin. Also, fats will help you endure fasting. That’s especially the case with the Bulletproof coffee. However, fats can break religious fasting, so beware.
Not all sweeteners are healthy for you, and there’s a number of them you should avoid. However, some of the sweeteners are low calories and will not break your fast. So, if you can’t sip your coffee without a bit of sweet, here are some low-calorie sweeteners for you, both natural and artificial ones.
- Monk fruit extract
- Yacon syrup
Honey can be an easy substitute for the sugar in coffee. But due to its high-calorie count, it’s forbidden to use while fasting.
A splash of nut milk won’t interfere with your fasting process. Just don’t pour an ounce into your coffee. Also, avoid nut kinds of milk with added protein, artificial sweeteners, and a high-calorie count. That said, it’s best to avoid nut milk in coffee shops. Or find a shop that serves homemade nut milk.
Heavy cream is surprisingly a better choice for fasting than other dairy creamers. Although heavy cream is full of fats, it has a low percentage of proteins. So, hot coffee with heavy cream will warm you up for your daily tasks and not break your fasting. Of course, a splash of heavy cream is permitted, not half of the cup. Also, some religions forbid milk products while fasting, so take notice.
How to Order Coffee at a Coffee Shop While Fasting
When fasting, your best choice is to order a black coffee without any additions. That can be a cold brew, Nitro, pour-over, drip, Aeropress, or best decaf espresso, as long it has no additions inside. That said, a little splash of sweetener or creamer won’t kill you. Just make sure it’s under 50 calories. Don’t be too strict with yourself unless you are training for Ironman Triathlon.
Do’s and Don’ts With Coffee When Fasting
- Enjoy the fact that fasting encourages you to drink coffee.
- Add a pinch of cinnamon powder to your coffee, and you will be pleasantly surprised.
- Download some of the apps for intermittent fasting. They can be quite helpful.
- Consider adjusting your caffeine intake if it causes you health issues.
- Thank the heavens you live in a time when Nitro coffee is invented. Yes, Nitro coffee is perfect for consuming while intermittent fasting.
- Don’t overstuff your coffee with creamers and sweeteners—a pinch and a splash, nothing more.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself while fasting. Even the doctor will tell you that.
- Never forget that some religions have strict fasting rules when it comes to coffee.
- You shouldn’t drink too much coffee while fasting. Stick to the recommended daily intake.
FAQ About Coffee and Fasting
Can I drink Bulletproof coffee on an intermittent fast?
Technically, Bulletproof coffee is full of calories and will break your intermittent fast. Fasting should mean no food intake. However, Bulletproof Coffee is a keto-friendly beverage without carbs or proteins. Bulletproof coffee can help your intermittent fast be even more successful, as it doesn’t spike up your sugar levels.
Can I have coffee with stevia while fasting?
A little bit of stevia in your coffee lowers your glucose and insulin levels. So, a cup of joe with a drop of stevia sweetener is perfectly safe to drink while fasting. As stevia is a low-calorie sweetener, you will have no problem.
Can we drink coffee on Thursday fast?
Thursday fast, also called Vrat, is a fasting cycle in the Hindi religion. People fast to worship Lord Brihaspati and planet Jupiter and get their blessings. Those blessings include health, wealth, prosperity, and happy marriage, among other things. As coffee wasn’t that popular in India throughout history, no rules mention coffee. The fasting food and drinks should be low calories, though. So, you can safely drink black coffee during the Thursday fast, and you won’t break any religious rules.
Does coffee break a fast for blood work?
Yes, as coffee consumption triggers quite a few events in our bodies. Sipping your coffee will make your blood sugars go lower, liver hormones higher, dopamine levels much higher, and metabolism faster. So, if you drink the coffee before your blood work, the diagnosis might be wrong. Stick to drinking water, as the doctors already suggested.
Does coffee break ketosis?
Black coffee, Nitro coffee, and Bulletproof coffee don’t break ketosis. Moreover, they enhance it. All these three types of coffee beverages stimulate ketones production and burning fat. However, adding cream or sugar will break the ketosis, so be careful.
Intermittent fasting is a great way to improve your health. It can also be dangerous, so your best bet is to see a doctor before. He will give you professional advice, so you can safely start fasting. And no matter what fasting plan you choose, a morning cup of hot black coffee will help you acquire your goal.
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