So, what can you drink during intermittent fasting? Before answering this question, let’s quickly understand the basic concept of intermittent fasting.
Intermittent Fasting is a calorie restriction method where you divide your day into two periods – the fasting phase and the feasting (eating) phase. The main concept of Intermittent Fasting is to restrict your food intake to a specific, fixed time window in the day; which results in a number of health benefits including weight loss.
For fasting to work, you must keep your body in its fasting state. You cannot eat anything during your fasting stage as even the slightest amount of calories can take your body out of its fasting state.
So if you’ve been looking for what to eat during intermittent fasting, sadly, there’s nothing that you can eat without breaking your fast.
However, although eating is clearly not feasible, can you drink something while fasting? And if so, what can you drink during Intermittent Fasting?
What Can You Eat or Drink While Intermittent Fasting?
As discussed already, the entire idea of fasting is to avoid consuming any calories and force your body to rely on its fat stores for energy production, eliminating any possibilities of eating anything.
Fortunately, there are quite a few drinks that you can have during your fast that hold little to no calories and won’t shift your body out of its fasting state.
So, what can you drink while fasting?
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to drinks during intermittent fasting:
Can You Drink Water While Intermittent Fasting?
Of course! Drinking at least 2.8 liters of water per day is necessary for everyone. And while fasting, you need to have more to keep your body hydrated and retain good energy levels.
For those following Intermittent Fasting, drinking around half a liter of water before sleeping and after waking up is essential, as your body gets dehydrated while you sleep and loses more water during its fasting state.
Your body will also require more water to replenish the minerals you would end up losing during your fasting state. You’ll also want to drink more water while fasting as it’s one of the best ways of keeping your hunger pangs at bay by tricking your stomach to feel full.
Can You Drink Coffee While Intermittent Fasting?
A question asked by many looking to start Intermittent Fasting; coffee will not break your fast unless you add sugar or milk to it. This is a big concern for many people who are following Intermittent Fasting as they don’t wish their morning coffee to break their fast before time. So, as long as you’re having black coffee without any added sugar, it’s all good.
Can you Drink Tea While Fasting?
Tea follows similar rules to coffee, with similar benefits in regards to Intermittent Fasting. And just like Coffee, your cup of tea must have no additions that contain any calories.
Instead, you can opt for tea options like black tea or green tea. Both of these are great antioxidants, will help flush out toxins from your body, boost metabolism while fasting and provide the benefits of caffeine. If you wish to add some sweetness to their beverages, you can opt for Stevia, as it’s non-nutritive and thus gives zero ca
Can you Drink Alcohol While Intermittent Fasting?
Another frequent question asked is “Can you Drink While Intermittent Fasting?”. While there are plenty of other drinks that you can have, alcohol is not one.
Alcohol contains calories and in most cases, a lot of them! Drinks like beer add a ton of sugar in your bloodstream. While drinks like Tequila, although relatively lower in calories, still have enough to shift your body out of its fasting state. So, it’s safe to say that intermittent fasting and alcohol are not a working pair.
Not only that, but alcohol also disrupts your body from burning fat as it's the first to be broken down and takes priority over fat oxidation. So if you do drink during your fasting phase, you’ll end up disrupting your body’s efforts of burning stored fat.
Moreover, it will also lead to a decrease in autophagy - the orderly recycling of old cells, another essential element to a healthy body.
You can, however, have alcohol during your eating/feasting phase. But while you’re fasting, a glass of alcohol will most certainly break your fast. So avoid it during that time. Oh, and if you do consume it during your feasting phase, just make sure you do so in moderation.
Can you Drink Soda While Intermittent Fasting?
Regular Sodas? - No
Regular Sodas are full of sugar and thus its consumption will stop your fasting state. Thus, they’re an obvious exclusion from the ‘good drinks’ list.
What about diet soda? Can You Drink Diet Soda While Intermittent Fasting? - Also no.
Diet Sodas, although containing sugar-free sweeteners, can also break your fast. This is because:
Artificial sweeteners like sucralose and aspartame are of many varieties, with some manufacturers adding other ingredients that add extra calories.
Also, a study showed that artificial sweeteners can trigger sugar cravings and increase blood sugar levels.
Are There Any Alternatives to Sodas and Sugary Alcohol?
If you’re looking for the same bubbly texture as sodas, the best alternative for you is sparkling water. Sparkling water has no calories and thus does not break your fast. You can use this as an addition to any drinks you may otherwise use soda as an addition for.
As for alcohol, there is no alternative. Just as we said before, alcohol and intermittent fasting don’t go together. While hard spirits like vodka and tequila are lower in calories, your body will still be sensitive to the calorie intake and shift from its fasting phase.
If you wish to make a drink to have during your eating period, you can mix hard spirits with sparkling water to minimize your calorie intake.
Are there any other drinks that one can have while Intermittent Fasting? Here are some other options for you to choose from.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider is yet another drink you must include in your diet to boost weight loss. You can have a glass of Apple Cider Vinegar (1-2 tablespoons) mixed with water early in the morning, before you sleep, or anytime during your fast without having to worry about calories.
Apple Cider Vinegar improves your digestive system, blood sugar and helps in burning fat during your fasting state. Not only that, it has even shown to suppress fat deposition in the body.
When you fast, your body ends up losing important minerals like sodium and magnesium, essential for several bodily processes. In order to restore those levels, you need to have a good intake of foods and drinks rich in these minerals.
While magnesium can be consumed through foods like nuts, sodium can simply be consumed by mixing salt in water.
You can opt for healthy salts like Pink Himalayan Salt. Add some in a glass of water, and drink it once a day. This will restore your sodium levels, hydrate your body, and even make you feel more energetic. This is because salt-water is a great electrolyte.
Another question frequently asked is: “Can I drink lemon water during Intermittent Fasting?” and the answer is...yes!
Lemons are high in Vitamin C and a few slices of lemon added to water can really make for a great beverage and make you feel full. Moreover, lemons diffused in water make a great electrolyte while adding some flavor to water, making it a little more interesting to sip on every now and then.
However, avoid squeezing lemon juice in water as it contains fructose and a high amount can lead to a break in your fast. Also, avoid drinking lemon water too often as it can lead to a loss of fluoride from your teeth.
Healthy Drink Options for After Your Fast
You can drink anything you want, as long as you maintain a calorie deficit to stick to your weight loss routine. However, there are some drinks that you can go to when you’re unable to make a meal or when you’re in the mood for something light and refreshing instead of a heavy meal.
Here are some noteworthy drinks that are healthy alternatives to snacks and calorie-dense foods.
Smoothies are a great option to make a healthy meal in under 5 mins. You can toss your favorite vegetables and fruits in a blender and make some great smoothies. The reason smoothies are so popular is because they can be made quickly without compromising on nutrition. If you’re ever in a hurry or don’t wish to cook a meal, you can quickly make a nutritious smoothie for yourself.
You can make some great smoothies with a few ingredients. But smoothies can be both healthy and unhealthy. If you add lots of fruits and sugary items to your smoothie, you’ll end up making a calorie-dense sugar shake that provides very few of the main nutrients that your body needs. Opt for fresh green fibrous vegetables and low-carb fruits for your smoothies.
Juices are another great option to pack in a ton of nutrients and minerals in a glass. While they are too high in calories to be had during the fasting phase, they can be a great addition to your daily calorie consumption during the feasting phase.
Similar to smoothies, juices can be great for times when you wish to make a quick healthy meal. Making juices with green vegetables and other foods like carrots, ginger, and lemon, you can pack flavor and nutrition in a glass. Juices shouldn’t be a replacement for meals but can be consumed whenever you wish to snack.
Avoid having store-bought juices as they have a lot of preservatives and additives that can add unnecessary calories to your diet. Thus, homemade juices are the way to go. Stick to low GI vegetables and keep away from fruits high in sugar.
You can find some great homemade juice options here.
Bone broth is a great option for those who want to reduce their calorie intake without dealing with constant hunger pangs. It shouldn’t replace your main meals but can be used as snacks to keep your daily calorie intake well below its limit.
Bone Broth has gotten extremely popular in recent years due to its numerous benefits for those looking to lose weight. It’s mostly used by those on Keto as the healthy fats in the broth keep the body in ketosis. It can’t be consumed during your fasting period as it has enough calories to break your fast. But it’s a great addition to your diet during the feasting period.
Just watch out for canned broths and broth cubes. They include a lot of artificial flavor and preservatives that add calories and will break your fast. Homemade broths are the way to go, and there are some great recipes online.
Unsweetened Vegan Milk
Cow milk has a significant amount of natural sugar in it and might not be the best option for you if you’re looking to keep a tight check on your calorie intake. However, unsweetened almond or oat milk is a great alternative.
You could either buy it from the store or just use a blender to make it at home. During your feasting period, you can add this to your coffee or use it in your smoothie for a better texture.
Even though these kinds of milk don’t have any sugar, they still have enough calories to break your fast, so avoid drinking them during your fasting hours.