Intermittent fasting has been on the rise over the past few years. Yet, there is still some confusion on acceptable drinks while intermittent fasting. One of the most common questions I get from those interested in intermittent fasting is “Can I still drink my morning coffee”? I can’t blame them, everyone needs their daily dose of coffee! Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages around the world. It is a crucial part of most people’s morning ritual and keeps us energized throughout our busy lifestyles.
However, many people often avoid intermittent fasting because they don’t want to give up their Starbucks latte. I understand it can be hard to give up your cream and sugar, but the benefits of intermittent fasting will be worth it! Before beginning intermittent fasting it is important to figure out what to drink throughout your fasting window. You do not want to be accidentally ruining your fast with certain beverages. This article will discuss if coffee breaks your fast, nutritional facts of coffee, and the benefits of drinking coffee. Listed below are some of my favorite acceptable coffees I drink while fasting.
Does Coffee Break My Fast?
No, plain black coffee does not break your fast, and actually is a great choice while intermittent fasting. Coffee is a powerful appetite suppressant due to the caffeine and antioxidants found in coffee beans. Also, besides providing an energy boost, the caffeine found in coffee has been shown to increase the fat burning effects of fasting while suppressing your appetite as well! Black coffee is an excellent choice while intermittent fasting.
However, it has to be plain black coffee. Plain espresso or cold brew is acceptable as well. However, there should be no cream, sugar, or artificial sweeteners. I have seen numerous people put cream, butter, Splenda, etc. in their coffee while intermittent fasting. Technically, all those will break your fast. Cream, sugar, and butter all contain macronutrients such as fat and carbohydrates so your body will be converted to a fed state. Splenda and other artificial sweeteners “technically” break your fast as well. Although, this is still up for debate.
Starbucks Black Coffee Nutrition Label
First let’s take a look at the nutrition label of a plain black coffee. I recommend reading nutrition labels for all beverages you want to consume while intermittent fasting. There may be some drinks that contain 0 calories, but they may have artificial sweeteners in them. Make sure to read my article on sugar free energy drinks to see what effects artificial sweeteners may have on fasting.
So, this nutrition label from Starbucks black coffee shows 5 calories in 12 fl oz. It contains 0g fat, 1g carb, and 0g protein. The 5 calories and 1g carbohydrates is negligible, and will not break your fast. They have to provide that information on the nutrition label because the coffee beans can absorb through, and provide that 1g of carbs. However, this will not effect your fast. Be sure to check the ingredient lists of products as well. The ingredients here are coffee and water, so no artificial sweeteners. It is important to check the ingredient lists of the beverages you want to consume as well. Even if the product is 0 calories, you may find artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols in the ingredient list. Artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols may potentially break your fast, so it is best to avoid these.
Benefits of Coffee While Fasting
- Antioxidants: Coffee is quite high in powerful antioxidants. In fact, unprocessed coffee beans may contain up to 1,000 different antioxidants! Roasting coffee may actually enhance the antioxidants found in coffee. Antioxidants help fight inflammation in the body and neutralize dangerous free radicals.
- Appetite Suppressant: One of the main reasons coffee is so popular for intermittent fasting is because it can help blunt your appetite. This is extremely helpful when going extended periods without food! Coffee contains phytochemical compounds and caffeine which have been shown to control hunger and suppress appetite.
- Improve Energy Levels: We probably all know that coffee can boost energy levels. It contains a powerful stimulant known as caffeine. Caffeine is one of the most widely consumed substance around the world. Caffeine provides a stimulatory effect due to its abilities to block a neurotransmitter called Adenosine in the brain.
- Essential Nutrients: Coffee contains essential B vitamins such as Pantothenic acid, Riboflavin, and Niacin. Also, an 8oz cup will provide some magnesium and potassium. So, not only will you be getting a good dose of energy, but you will be consuming a few essential nutrients in your daily cup of joe.
- Accelerate Fat Burning: Another reason why coffee and intermittent fasting pairs so well together. One of the main benefits of intermittent fasting is fat loss and increased metabolism. Well, coffee does this too. So, if you pair intermittent fasting and coffee together, you will be a fat burning machine! Studies show the caffeine in coffee can boost metabolic rate and increase fat burning.
Coffee is an excellent choice to drink while intermittent fasting. Personally, I start my day with ice water then an hour or two later will start sipping on plain iced coffee. You will get used to the taste of black coffee. Before starting intermittent fasting I would drink coffee with cream and sugar or grab a latte from Starbucks. So, when I first started intermittent fasting I was disappointed that I couldn’t consume my regular coffee. Although, I got used to the taste of black coffee, and just after a few months I would actually look forward to drinking my plain iced coffee!
Just remember to check the nutrition label and ingredient list! Sometimes coffees can contain a hint of artificial sweeteners or cream. I recommend purchasing a big jug of black coffee or individual cold brews to pop in the fridge. Unless you prefer hot coffee, then a K cup would do the trick. Take advantage of the fat burning effects and appetite suppression that coffee provides. It will make intermittent fasting a lot more manageable and enjoyable. You may look like Will Ferrell when you first try black coffee, but you will get used to the taste. Give it a go!