I have been getting asked frequently about what I drink during intermittent fasting, and what drinks are acceptable during your fasting window. While intermittent fasting it is important to stay strict with the beverages you consume, because some drinks may “break” your fast. Intermittent fasting requires a time period (usually anywhere from 16-24 hours) without consuming food or beverages with calories.
I often get asked about acceptable drinks while fasting, and one of the most popular drinks is sparkling water. I will be discussing whether or not sparkling water will break your fast, benefits of sparkling water, and some of the best sparkling waters for intermittent fasting. In this article I will be discussing one of the MOST POPULAR drinks people consume while intermittent fasting, and that is Sparkling Water.
Sparkling Water Nutrition Label
First let’s take a look at the nutrition label on a sparkling water. I recommend checking nutrition labels for all drinks, especially while intermittent fasting. There are some drinks that seem like they would be acceptable while fasting, but they make contain ingredients or artificial flavors that may break your fast. So check the label!
This is the nutrition label of San Pellegrino, one of my favorite sparkling water’s to drink while fasting. You can see it contains zero calories and zero macronutrients. The only nutrient it contains is a trace amount of sodium and calcium, which is fine to consume while fasted. The only ingredient listed is Carbonated Mineral Water.
So no, sparkling water will not break your fast, and will actually help keep you hydrated and reduce hunger cravings while intermittent fasting. There is 0 calories/macronutrients, and no artificial flavors/colors.
The Benefits of Sparkling Water While Fasting:
Sparkling water makes an excellent choice while intermittent fasting. Not only is it water, which will provide hydration, but it also is a powerful appetite suppressant. Water in general can help with appetite suppression, but the added benefit of sparkling water is the carbonation.
The fizziness from the carbonation can help you fight off food cravings, and actually make you feel full. There was a research study that compared regular tap water vs. carbonated water while fasting. The researchers recorded gastric changes using an electrical activity monitor, and they found that the participants were a lot less hungry when they drank carbonated water compared to regular tap water. They found that the sparkling water had the highest appetite suppressant effects 20 minutes after consuming the carbonated beverage, and then began to decrease after that. This study shows just how beneficial sparkling water can be while intermittent fasting.
Personally, I have found that sparkling water satisfies me much more than any other beverage during intermittent fasting. There is just something satisfying about the crisp carbonation when you haven’t consumed food in over 16 hours. It almost taste like a sprite or 7up when I consume it during my fast. Sparkling water will also provide the the same hydration of regular water while providing a subtle taste. It is super important to stay hydrated during the day, especially while intermittent fasting. While fasting, water can help keep your bowel/bladder functioning normally as well, since you are not consuming any food or caloric beverages.
Which Sparkling Waters are Acceptable?
Like I said before, sparkling water is a good choice while intermittent fasting, but you need to make sure it contains zero calories with no added ingredients/flavors. There are some sparkling waters that contain some sweeteners or artificial flavors which may technically break your fast. So make sure to check the nutrition label like I explained above.
Some of the most popular sparkling waters are San Pellegrino & Perrier. Some other popular sparkling waters are Bubly & LaCroix. Both Bubly & LaCroix contain small amounts of natural flavors such as lemon or lime. However, both of these contain zero calories with no artificial sweeteners, so they can be consumed while fasting. My personal favorite is Topo Chico. Topo Chico taste almost like a sprite or 7up to me while I am fasting. In my opinion, it taste the most crisp with the most carbonation compared to other sparkling waters.
Check out my other article for the 10 Best Sparkling Waters to drink while Intermittent Fasting.
Side Effects from Drinking Sparkling Water?
Due to the increasing consumption of sparkling water, there has been some “claims” on potential side effects from drinking carbonated water. Some of these claims are that carbonated water can cause calcium loss in bones, cause tooth decay, cause irritable bowel syndrome, and make you gain weight.
Let’s take a look at the current research on these claims:
- Calcium loss in bones? The main reason people believe carbonated water will cause calcium loss in bones is because they are basing it off soda/cola beverages. Soda has been proven to show calcium loss in bones due to them containing phosphorus. However, sparkling water does not contain any ingredients similar to soda. A research study comparing soda to other carbonated beverages such as (sparkling water) showed that soda did indeed cause calcium loss in bones, whereas, carbonated water did not show the same effects.
- Tooth Decay? Carbonated water without any added sugar, artificial flavors, or citric acid will not cause tooth decay. The majority of studies linking tooth decay to carbonated beverages have been soda/cola beverages, and this is due to soda containing enormous amounts of sugar.
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome? Intermittent fasting in general can be beneficial for those who suffer from any stomach issues or bowel problems. However, some people experience side effects from carbonated drinks such as bloating/gas, and the carbonation may make them have to go to the bathroom. If you are sensitive to carbonated beverages, then sparkling water may not be the best for you to consume while intermittent fasting.
- Make you gain weight? This claim is just ridiculous to me. No, sparkling water will not make you gain weight. It contains zero calories! However, it may cause you to feel bloated due to the carbonation. This is only temporary, and not actual weight gain from fat.
TheMuscleMaster’s Final Say:
If you currently participate in intermittent fasting/time restricted eating, then I highly recommend you try sparkling water while fasting. Personally, it has made intermittent fasting so much easier and more enjoyable for me. If I find myself extra hungry for some reason or craving something, I will simply crack open a sparkling water! I find that the carbonation can help fight hunger cravings and keep me occupied while fasting.
I recommend trying different sparkling waters to see which is your favorite, and make sure you check the nutrition label! Not all sparkling waters contain zero calories & zero added ingredients, so make sure you are picking the right ones. If you are unsure which ones are acceptable, visit my top 10 list of sparkling waters for fasting.