Intermittent fasting is a popular way to kickstart a healthy lifestyle. It has a number of wonderful benefits that help many people shake off stubborn weight and get health back on track.
As such, most people choose to do the 16:8 fast where they fast for 16 hours and have an 8-hour window in which to eat. Depending on your schedule, that might mean that you won’t eat until 11am the next day. It begs the question, does coffee break a fast?
The answer of course is it depends. Coffee and tea can be consumed during your fasting hours, though there are some rules that go along with it.
How to Drink Coffee or Tea While Fasting
If you want to do intermittent fasting but you can’t cope with mornings without the help of coffee or tea, you can still have them. But that’s if and only if you stick to a couple key rules.
– Go Basic
What is your morning coffee like? If it’s plain black without cream or sugar, you’re in the clear. You can safely consume coffee without anything added to it without ruining your fasting. The same is true for teas.
But if you add in sugar by the spoonful and pour in tons of cream or swing by the coffee shop for one of those giant macchiatos with extra syrup, you’ll have to make adjustments. Coffee and tea brewed as-is and consumed as-is have no calories. Just like water, you can drink them without repercussions.
So, that’s a hard-pass on sugar or any type of sweetener, honey, milk, cream, or even non-dairy creamers. The general rule is to not add anything to calories to your morning coffee or tea. If those plain flavors sound unappetizing to your palate, you can consider brewing up flavored coffees and teas that have extra flavor without added calories.
– Get to Know Your Rhythm
Ever heard of your circadian rhythm? Getting in tune with that is the best way to thrive during intermittent fasting. As such, caffeine, which is present in both coffee and tea, can impact that.
That’s not necessarily a negative. True that for some, consuming caffeine too late in the day can impede proper sleep, with intermittent fasting, knowing when to insert your caffeine-pick-me-up can greatly benefit you.
That being said, for intermittent fasters on the ketogenic diet, you can increase your fat burning while consuming coffee. In the morning, if you have plain coffee during your fasting hours, you can amplify your body’s fat burning efforts.
What to Avoid While Fasting
Does coffee break a fast? In short, it does not if you don’t add anything to it. The same goes for teas. But if you want the best results for your weight loss, it’s time to start leaving behind those overly sugary, calorie-laden coffee options.
When it comes to coffee and tea, these beverages have astounding health benefits that can lower blood pressure and help tame inflammation. These, along with water, are the best options while getting your health back on track.
You don’t have to avoid coffee or tea but altering how you drink them may be in order. They’re certainly preferred over sodas, diet sodas, and sport drinks. These, particularly the latter two, often boast a lower calorie count but give your body no healthful benefits. They’re quite harmful with chemical agents that can work adversely for your weight loss efforts and can lead to certain types of cancer and tumors.
Fruit juices are often demonized along with sodas and sport drinks, however, not all juices are bad. The key is in reading the labels to make sure they contain 100% juice and don’t have artificial sweeteners. Even when you find a real juice without any additives though, it still has calories and you should not consume it during your fasting hours.
In short, avoid consuming anything that has calories while you’re in the middle of your fast. It can be made much easier by choosing a flavored coffee or tea blend that has no added calories because it will taste more extravagant. You’ll get used to drinking your coffee or tea without added agents in no time.
Does Coffee Break a Fast?
Our ultimate ruling is that no, coffee doesn’t break a fast when you abide by certain rules. Coffee itself in its purest form is a great way to get more energy, burn fat, improve brain function, and keep your risk for developing type 2 diabetes down. With a little coffee to kick off your fast, you can burn more fat and feel more energetic until it is time to eat.
For your best weight loss efforts, it’s ideal to say goodbye to those dessert-like coffee drinks with all the whipped cream and syrups. They still add calories even when you’re consuming them during your eating hours. Your goal should be to eat the calories your body needs. This prevents you from over-eating, something you should be careful to avoid when you’re looking to get in shape.
That doesn’t mean you can’t ever enjoy a treat though. But treats should be the rare exception, not the daily norm. Perhaps make it your Friday treat instead of a daily one and you’ll see the results you’re hoping for.