In this article, I will discuss liquids and intermittent fasting — what you can drink while fasting.
Intermittent fasting is a pattern of eating that involves alternating feeding periods with fasting periods or eating a very few calories. Intermittent fasting focuses on when you eat rather than the food you eat.
Intermittent fasting isn’t new. Humans have practiced fasting throughout history for various reasons, including survival, health, and spiritual reasons (1).
The goal of intermittent fasting is not necessarily to minimize calorie intake but to maintain your health and help your body recover.
Most fasting techniques incorporate fast periods of 12–16 hours into each day. On the other hand, other patterns may include 24–48 — hour fasting periods once or twice every week.
Whenever you fast, your body undergoes several metabolic changes. For example, after an extended period of fasting, your body enters ketosis. Ketosis is a state in which your body burns fat for fuel. This happens when there are no carbohydrates (2, 3, 4).
It is also important to note that fasting causes a drastic decrease in insulin levels. It also enhances autophagy. Autophagy is the process by which your body gets rid of damaged, unneeded, or harmful cells (5, 6, 7, 8).
Studies have shown that intermittent fasting plays a vital and highly beneficial role in weight loss, reducing blood sugar level, reducing inflammation, improving heart health, and reducing the risk of chronic health conditions (9, 10, 11, 12).
In this article, I will cover what liquids are good to drink during intermittent fasting and those that are not good.
Tea is good for your fast as well as for your health. Herbal teas, lapsang, oolong, green, black, even souchong — they’re great. Tea makes your fasting more effective by giving your gut health a boost. Also, studies have shown that green tea promotes satiety and helps with weight loss (13).
Ensure that you do not add artificial sweeteners, cream, or sugar to your tea. Adding these will break your fast.
Coffee is best drunk black. Black coffee is free of calories, so you are better off enjoying it during fasting. Avoid adding milk, cream, or sugar to the coffee. Doing so will add calories to it, thus putting an end to the fasted state.
If you want to flavor your coffee during the fast, add a calorie-free flavoring such as cinnamon.
Almond milk contains lower calories than cow’s milk.
This is somewhat confusing to some people because almonds are known to be high in fat and calories. But it is also worth mentioning that due to how almond milk is processed, just a little portion of it is left in the finished product.
This is most helpful for those who want to lose weight and cut calories.
Diet soda doesn’t contain any sugar, carbs, or calories, but studies suggest that ingredients like acesulfame-K and sucralose may shoot up your insulin levels. The rise in insulin levels can negate the benefits of fasting and trigger cravings for sugar. Results from several studies indicate that diet soda contributes to weight gain, whether you increase your calorie intake or not. Diet soda also affects your gut bacteria. It increases the population of harmful bacteria while decreasing the population of beneficial gut flora.
Never take alcohol during fasting. You should avoid it completely. Alcohol is loaded with calories meaning that it will break your fast. Alcohol dehydrates the body system and causes a spike in your blood sugar level. There’s no reason why you should drink it during your fast.
There are two important things to consider when liquid and intermittent fasting: first, you must drink enough liquids. Secondly, do not drink liquids that are loaded with calories.
Recommended drinks include herbal infusions, unsweetened tea, plain coffee, and of course, water. Do not drink flavored waters because they contain sweeteners. If you’re not ok with plain tea and coffee, you can add a bit of cinnamon, and you’re good to go.
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