Can I Drink Coffee While Intermittent Fasting?

Can I Drink Coffee While Intermittent Fasting?

Can I Drink Coffee While Intermittent Fasting?


“Can I drink coffee while intermittent fasting?” This is by far one of the most common questions new fasters have. I know I did and I also wondered what other beverages wouldn’t break a fast. Let’s find out what you can and can’t drink on an intermittent fasting plan.

cup of steaming coffee

Ketosis, Insulin Sensitivity, and Autophagy


The point of intermittent fasting is to get into ketosis, and there’s little doubt you will get into this state if you’re fasting. Your body will be forced to burn fat if you aren’t ingesting any calories. The question really is then: “Does coffee interfere with ketosis? The answer seems to be a resounding, “No!” In fact, coffee has been found to Stimulate ketosis, and increase fat burning.

Another benefit of intermittent fasting is to improve insulin sensitivity. This means your body responds better to insulin signaling. Another bit of good news is that, over time, coffee can actually improve insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance.

Autophagy is a huge benefit of intermittent fasting. This metabolic process occurs during fasted states, and is the body’s way of detoxifying and repairing itself. Think of it sort of like a recycling program where faulty cell parts are disassembled and eliminated. It’s an important process in keeping inflammation at bay, preventing cancer and other chronic diseases, and supporting immunity.

[Read More: Keto for Dummies [The Ketogenic Diet Explained]

What Beverages Are Safe During An Intermittent Fast?


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1. Coffee – Stick to one cup per day or drink decaf.

2. Tea – This is fine to drink in small amounts.

3. Diet Soda – Sodas with aspartame are not okay as they will raise insulin. Diet sodas containing xylitol or stevia are fine.

4. Apple Cider Vinegar– ACV is great for blood-sugar regulation and digestion. The acetic acid in it will also help you absorb the minerals in the foods you ate at your previous meals. This is important because minerals are depleted during fasting.

5. Nut milks – Be sure and buy the unsweetened versions, and use only small amounts.

6. Water – Add electrolytes by adding 1/4 teaspoon of Himalayan sea salt to your water. Fasting depletes electrolytes so this is a helpful strategy to replenish them. Adding a bit of cream of tartar to your water will help with potassium depletion.

7. Sparkling water – I like adding a splash of apple cider vinegar to my San Pellegrino. Carbonation does not interfere with fasting or ketosis.

8. Bone broth – This low-calorie powerhouse can be eaten between meals, and is a good source of nutrition and electrolytes. This is controversial. Some proponents of intermittent fasting don’t view this as an acceptable beverage.

Does Caffeine Raise Blood Sugar?


Tea and coffee both have caffeine. Large amounts of caffeine will stimulate insulin so as long as you’re drinking small amounts, your fast will not be negatively affected. Decaffeinated coffee is a good choice, and you won’t have to worry about issues with insulin. Since we all react differently to the caffeine in coffee, determine how it affects you, and drink accordingly.

Coffee can have side effects, causing jitters in some people, indigestion, and mood swings. These symptoms may be worse when caffeine is taken on an empty stomach. It can also cause an energy crash, which can be exacerbated when fasting.

The bottom line: keep coffee consumption to one cup a day. Too much coffee will raise blood sugar by stimulating the adrenal glands. This elevation in cortisol will activate insulin, knocking you out of a fasted state.

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Is Cream In My Coffee Okay?


Yes, small amounts of cream and milk in your coffee are okay. See the pattern here? The amount does matter. Small amounts of coffee, and small amounts of whatever you put in it are just fine. Adding too much fat, as in the case of butter, will stimulate insulin, ending your fast.

If you’re not a black coffee lover, you can sweeten your coffee with xylitol or erythritol will no ill effects, just don’t add sugar. It’s pretty simple – stick to one cup of coffee with small amounts of cream, and a pinch of one of the sugar alcohols to sweeten. Juice, alcohol, or any beverage containing sugar are not appropriate when fasting, and will knock you out of fat burning.

What Can I Eat During Intermittent Fasting?


Here’s a tactic to help you get enough minerals when fasting. This is important since minerals are depleted during calorie restriction. Eat a huge salad between meals. Salads contain much-need fiber and nutrition, but are so low in calories that insulin won’t be stimulated. Sprinkle a concoction of apple cider vinegar and lemon juice on your salad to spice it up.

You can also add a little lemon juice to your apple cider vinegar beverage. Both are acidic so make sure to dilute before drinking. Sipping through a straw will protect the enamel on your teeth. Don’t like lemon? Try adding some cucumber slices to your water to freshen the taste.

The whole idea behind fasting is to lower insulin levels to allow for fat burning. Small amounts of low calorie foods like cucumber and lemon juice that don’t stimulate insulin are safe to consume.

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If you’re hungry before bed, try a cup of chamomile tea for relaxation. Teas are good for hydration, and don’t interrupt the fat-burning process. A hot cup of tea can provide needed comfort when faced with the deprivation of fasting. There are a variety of herbal teas to suit your taste so experiment to find ones you love.

Key Points


Fasting makes you hungry! You can extend your fast by an hour or two by drinking a cup of coffee or another acceptable beverage. I think it’s a useful tool when intermittent fasting.

Are you an intermittent faster? What are some strategies you use to make it easier? Let me know in the comments:)

 

8 thoughts on “Can I Drink Coffee While Intermittent Fasting?”

  1. Wow! I’m so glad to discover that drinking coffee will not negatively impact my intermittent fasting plan. I just got into a diet plan as prescribed by my dietician and it requires me to engage in intermittent fasting. 

    It has been bothering me that I can’t have my morning coffee, since we agreed that I would skip breakfast. However, now that I know I can still have my cup of coffee every morning, as well as throughout the day, fasting doesn’t seem as hard. Thanks so much!

    • Hello,

      Yes, being able to have coffee, especially if you have an addiction to it makes intermittent fasting that much easier. Good luck to you on your eating plan. I’m sure you’ll see a lot of benefits. Enjoy your coffee!

  2. Good post here. I need all the info I can get on intermittent fasting because I hear it’s a more efficient way of reducing fat. For now, I’ve been on the keto diet, which is also really effective, but I think the intermittent fasting is a better option. I

    ‘m glad to see that coffee is okay to drink when fasting because I’m a great lover of coffee with a little bit of milk of course. Thanks for the informative post.

    • Hi, and thanks for your comment. Both intermittent fasting and the Keto diet are great tools to lose weight and boost mental clarity, among numerous other benefits. You can actually use them in conjunction with each other. 

      Yes, it is great to know that you can drink coffee while fasting. It does make a huge difference both physically and psychologically. It’s likely that more people would think about fasting if they knew this!

  3. I have to admit, that I have actually never fasted.  I have often thought about trying it, because I do agree there are some benefits to doing it.  Now that I know that I could still drink coffee while trying a fast, it certainly would make it a bit easier. It is exciting to hear that coffee actually helps burn fat. 

    This is such a great and relevant topic as so many people fast regularly. My sister is one of them and she seems to find it really works. I will now pass on this amazing information about drinking coffee while fasting. Thanks, I really enjoyed your post.

    • Hi Coralie, 

      I’ve been intermittent fasting for a couple years now and really like how it makes me feel. It’s great for weight control and mental clarity. And who doesn’t like their clothes to fit better?! 

      Being able to drink coffee does help a lot.  You can also have tea, carbonated water, and bone broth. I can’t imagine doing a dry fast without water and other beverages. It’s amazing how much it helps. 

      Fasting is a relevant topic and is an incredible tool to help people recover their health. I’m happy to hear your sister is seeing positive. Thanks for sharing my post and for taking the time to comment. 

  4. I am currently doing the 20:4 fasting and I do drink black coffee, black tea and club soda when I am on my fasting window. I do not use cream or oil in my coffee like those bullet proof coffee people do, and I still have energy and do not feel jittery. However, I make sure that I hydrate through out the day because coffee is adiuretic.

    I failed a couple of times when I first start Intermittent Fasting. I found that the majority of my diet is mostly carbs and I found out later from Dr. Jason Fung’s book that it was because I was extra hungry because of my carb withdrawal. 

    After reading those tips, I adjusted my diet to low carb and with time and persistence, I can hang on to my fast longer. The longest fast I did was 2 days and I was proud of myself. This is purely for health purposes as I am suffering from PCOS.

    My tips; I always have seltzers cold and ready in my fridge, I love it with limes. I do not drink more than 6 cups of coffee. I drink iced green tea throughout the day. I always make sure to drink water throughout the day as well. And no artificial sweeteners.

    Last keep busy!

    Cheers to fasting!!

    • Wow, sounds like you’re a pro at intermittent fasting. I do the 16/8 or 18/6 eating plan. Coffee, tea, and club soda or seltzer water can be particularly helpful in the beginning. And yes, having the water cold is a great idea. I’ll have to try it with lime. Bullet proof coffee with oil and butter will unfortunately break a fast and artificial sweeteners will to because of their effect on insulin. 

      Getting enough minerals is also key. That’s where enough vegetables come it, not only do they give you minerals but fiber for satiation, making fasting easier. You’re right, hydration is important too. I add sea salt to my water for added minerals and electrolytes. 

      I’ve learned so much for Dr. Jason Fung, a nephrologist and expert in fasting. Fasting is harder for people who rely on carbs. Eventually, however their metabolisms will adjust to burning fast instead of sugar. Good for you for implementing a fasting program. I’ll bet it’s having a favorable effect on your PCOS. I’m sorry to hear you struggle with that condition. 

      Thanks so much for reading and for the great tips!

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