Medically Reviewed by Babar Shahzad DR, on January 27, 2020.
It doesn’t matter if you’re into fasting already or just thinking about starting it – not having any food for 16 (or more) hours sounds like a challenge.
Drinks are here to save you. But you have to understand that liquids often have a lot of sugar and calories hidden. You want to avoid that, as it would break your fast.
Keeping this in mind, we have compiled a list of seven drinks that will not break your fast. In addition, this article also explores drinks that you should avoid while fasting.
It goes without saying that intermittent fasting offers a myriad of health benefits, especially those related to healthy weight loss and its maintenance.
First things first, intermittent fasting does not advocate the intake of any specific diet or drink.
Rather, it is an eating pattern in which people eat/drink only during a certain period of the day. Simply put, there are cycles of “fasting” and “feeding” periods. Some common ways to do intermittent fasting include the 5:2 diet, 12-hours fasts, 16-hour fasts, 20-hours fasts, and 24-hour fasts.
Nonetheless, you should be aware of certain drinks that break a fast and probably reduce or even negate the benefits of fasting.
For example, you have been fasting for 14 hours and suddenly, you are tempted to drink soda. We all know sodas are loaded with sugars, which can cause insulin surges and sabotage your weight loss efforts.
Thus, sodas are a big NO. What about diet sodas? Continue reading to discover more.
Intermittent Fasting: 7 Things to Drink that Do Not Break A Fast
Water is essential for preventing dehydration and curbing hunger pangs during the fasting period. Because water is a zero-calorie drink, it does not break your fast. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
You may also try mineral water to counter the effects of mineral imbalance such as weakness, headaches, nausea, and irregular heartbeat.
Interestingly, drinking plenty of water can also help you lose pounds. We explore how.
According to a review published in Frontiers in Nutrition, increased hydration can aid weight loss by:
- Increasing fat burning.
- Boosting metabolism.
- Increasing the production of heat in the body in a process known as thermogenesis.
Another common question people often ask is “Can I drink lemon water during intermittent fasting?” Of course, you can.
Lemon is a rich source of vitamin C. A glass of lemon water contains nearly 6 calories. Drinking lemon water also increases feelings of fullness, which can help to curb hunger during fasting.
Coffee does not break a fast.
It contains caffeine, which increases alertness and helps curb appetite. Besides, caffeine also boosts metabolism and aids weight loss.
Therefore, drinking coffee is a great idea to control hunger and burn more fat while you are fasting.
However, there’s a catch. You are not allowed to add cream, milk, or sugar to it. Also, make sure not to drink more than the recommended “fewer than six cups per day”.
Tea is also a great option while you’re fasting. You may want to try green tea, as green tea compounds “catechins” have powerful antioxidant properties and can help burn calories.
But, same as with coffee, you should avoid putting in cream, milk, or sugar into it.
Drinking tea without sugar is not everyone’s cup of tea (pun intended), but we promise, it gets better with time.
As limiting sugar is advised for the general benefit of your health, avoiding sugar in tea can become a great new habit of yours.
If you’re, let’s say, a 3-spoon per cup person, try minimizing the usage of sugar with one spoon a cup/per week.
As you’ll start noticing the real flavor of the tea instead of sugar, you’ll see how easy it is to avoid it.
Also, make your tea interesting. Try a loose leaf tea instead of tea bags, as it often has a better nutritional value and more flavor.
Make yourself a sugarless iced tea, infuse it with mint and lemon and you’ll see what good of a drink it can be.
4. Bone Broth
Everyone has gone crazy about the bone broth. Its popularity is growing every day, as it is really good for your health.
Combining broth drinking with intermittent fasting reduces inflammation and slows down the aging process. It also leaves you with glowing skin, better hair and nails, as it is full of collagen.
Amazingly, it does not break a fast, but it does leave you feeling fuller.
It doesn’t matter if your goal is to lose weight or to generally improve your health – bone broth is a must in your diet.
It’s cheap and simple to make, yet it can be as good for you as expensive supplements and cosmetics.
Check out these bone broth recipes, to get ready for your fast.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
Apple cider vinegar contains mostly water and acids such as acetic acid and malic acid. 15 ml (one tablespoon) of apple cider vinegar contains approximately 3 calories.
Thus, taking it does not break a fast and can actually help with weight loss.
For best results, add 1-2 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar to water and drink it before you hit the sack.
Stevia is a zero-calorie sweetener. It is great for those who love the sweet taste but do not want to break their fast.
That said, some brands of stevia contain glucose and sugar alcohols. Thus, make sure to read the label before you opt for it.
Besides, the sweet taste of stevia may trigger hunger in some people. You may want to avoid it if you are one of those people.
A study shows stevia lowers the blood levels of certain fats including cholesterol and helps increase the levels of the “good” cholesterol.
7. Almond milk
Almond milk contains low amounts of carbs and few calories.
According to the National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Legacy Release, a cup of almond milk contains only 39 calories. It is a rich source of vitamin E and minerals.
Thus, you may drink up to 100 ml of almond milk during fasting to increase the feelings of fullness. However, you should avoid almond milk products that contain added sugar.
Drinks to Avoid During Intermittent Fasting
1. (Diet) Sodas
“Can I drink diet soda while intermittent fasting?” – one of the most common questions people ask on different forums.
Diet soda may seem like a perfect alternative to soda during fasting. This is because it does not contain sugars, carbs, and calories.
However, artificial sweeteners in diet soda can trigger sugar cravings. Intense cravings can make you break a fast and devour the potentially “bad” foods that you missed while fasting.
Besides, some studies have linked the consumption of artificial sweeteners to increased blood sugar levels.
All things considered, it is wise to avoid diet sodas while you are fasting. For those with intense sugar cravings, moderate consumption of diet drinks may be the best way to go.
It’s a no brainer that you should avoid regular sodas as well, as they’re full of sugar.
You should not drink alcohol while you are fasting.
During a fast, your stomach is virtually empty, as you have not eaten for many hours. Drinking during such times means alcohol reaches the bloodstream very rapidly. This can lead to more severe hangovers, increased intoxication, and severe dehydration.
Likewise, some alcoholic beverages may contain enough calories to negate the effects of fasting. If you add sweetened beverages, the negative effects just amplify. Thus, it’s best to avoid alcoholic beverages while fasting.
If you need to drink, make sure to drink in moderation during the “feeding” period with plenty of water to prevent dehydration. Eat a full balanced meal before drinking to slow down the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream.
According to Mayo Clinic, moderate alcohol use for healthy adults means up to one drink a day for women of all ages and men older than age 65, and up to two drinks a day for men age 65 and younger.
One drink is equivalent to:
- Beer: 12 fluid ounces (355 milliliters)
- Wine: 5 fluid ounces (148 milliliters)
- Distilled spirits (80 proof): 1.5 fluid ounces (44 milliliters)
There’s a lot of misconception around juice.
On one hand, it’s a drink full of vitamins and minerals.
On the other hand, it’s full of sugar.
Even if it’s often seen as a very healthy drink option, most juices have around 100-150 kcal per glass. Having a few glasses of juice can equal a meal! That means they’ll definitely break your fast.
Therefore, you should drink juice only on your eating window.
The Bottom Line
Intermittent fasting is one of the best methods to lose weight effectively provided you follow the protocols.
Though intermittent fasting is more of an eating pattern than a specific diet, it is critically important to watch what you eat and drink, especially during the fasting period.
Failure to feed your body with the right foods or taking wrong foods will not help you meet your weight loss goals.
Use Do Fasting App, your personal intermittent fasting assistant, to get customized meal recommendations and easy-to-make recipes. Available for both Android and iOS. You can get the App in Google Play and AppStore.
Not an app fan? Find your personalized intermittent fasting plan here.