Intermittent fasting, a dietary practice that involves eating between specific time windows, has continued to grow in popularity over the past couple of years.
This flexible eating plan usually involves fasting for 16 or more hours and has been shown to achieve a range of benefits, including weight loss, enhanced exercise recovery, and improved cognitive function.
If you’re new to intermittent fasting or considering starting a fasting plan, you might wonder if you’ll have to give up your morning coffee. The short answer is no.
However, there’s a lot to consider when drinking coffee during a fast. Below, we’ll answer your questions about consuming coffee while intermittent fasting.
No Calories During A Fast
Traditional intermittent fasting involves consuming no foods or beverages with calories during your fasting window.
Coffee itself contains very few calories at only about 3 calories per cup.
Therefore, black coffee can safely be consumed during your fasting window, as the negligible amount of calories is not enough to disrupt your fast (this includes black hot drip coffee, black espresso, and black iced coffee).
But if you are accustomed to adding cream and sugar to your morning coffee, then you may need need to rethink your coffee habits during your fasting periods, as the calories from coffee add-ins are enough to break your fast.
This means that when fasting you should avoid any type of creamy coffee drink that contains milk, sugar, cream, or flavored syrups — and this includes cappuccinos and lattes, along with instant coffee mixes and blended coffee drinks from coffee shops.
Although it may take some time to adjust your coffee preferences to enjoy black coffee during your fast, you can still consume your coffee as normal while you’re in your eating window.
What You Can Add to Coffee During the Fast
If the idea of drinking black coffee repulses you, there’s still hope.
Fortunately, there are a few options you can add to your coffee to add a touch of sweetness or flavor to your coffee while you’re fasting.
Zero Calorie Sweeteners
Some zero-calorie sweeteners are safe to add to your coffee while fasting.
Traditional artificial sweeteners such as Splenda or Equal may not contain calories, but they may still produce an insulin response, meaning they should be avoided during your fast.
Better options include natural sweeteners such as monk fruit or stevia.
These products come in sweetener packets and liquid droppers, making them easy to add to coffee.
Liquid stevia drops also come in fun, fast-safe flavors, such as pumpkin, cinnamon, peppermint, vanilla, and more.
Cinnamon or Nutmeg
If you need a bit of flavor in your coffee, add a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg. These spices contain minimal calories, so they will not affect your fast.
Coffee During Fat Fasting
Fat fasting is a variation of intermittent fasting that involves eating a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet to mimic the biological effects of fasting.
Fat fasting involves consuming 80 to 90% of your daily calories from fat, helping to push your body into a state of fat-burning.
During a fat fast, there are lots of ways to get your daily fats in by adding them to your coffee. Many people add coconut oil or MCT oil to their coffee, giving it a smooth, creamy, and slightly coconutty taste.
You can also add grass-fed butter for a creamy and slightly coffee.
Why Black Coffee Pairs Well with Intermittent Fasting
Not only can you still enjoy your coffee while practicing intermittent fasting, but it can also help your fast!
Several studies suggest that consuming caffeine helps enhance ketone production, which couples with the ketones produced via intermittent fasting.
In addition, when you first start an intermittent fasting plan, it can take some time for your body to adjust and manage hunger cues. Consuming black coffee can help decrease your appetite, making it easier to get through your fast.
Changing Your Coffee Drinking Habits
Adjusting to a new way of enjoying your coffee on your fast can take some time. If you’ve been a “cream and sugar junkie” your whole life, these habits can be hard to break.
Experiment with zero-calorie sweeteners or spices in your coffee to find newly enjoyable ways to enjoy your coffee while taking advantage of the great health benefits of intermittent fasting.