Can You Drink Alcohol During Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting is one of the most popular health trends because of it’s many significant health benefits, including weight loss, burning of fats, and decreased inflammation.

This dietary pattern have alternating cycles of fasting and eating. Unlike other traditional fastings or weight loss program, no foods are banned during the eating periods.

Still, you may wonder whether alcohol lowers any benefits of intermittent fasting.

This article shows how alcohol affects intermittent fasting and reviews which drinks are better in intermittent fasting.

Alcohol can hinder fat burning

Intermittent fasting may inhance fat burning, thus lowering your body fat percentage.

Yet, alcohol consumption has been shown to block or reduce fat breakdown.

In one study in 19 adults, consuming an alcohol-rich drink resulted in notieciable reduction in fat breakdown level 5 hours after taking. compared with a meal rich in protein, fat, and carbs.

Alcohol may also triggers overeating, which can lead to weight gain over time (4).

In observational studies, excessive alcohol consumption is linked with increased levels of body fat. However, this is not valid for light to moderate drinkers (56).

More evidence is required to understand how alcohol affects body weight.

Alcohol’s effect on weight gain

Many people follow intermittent fasting to lose weight.

Alcohol is calorie-rich, with just 1 gram providing 7 calories. Only 1 drink can give 100 or more calories to your daily intake (7).

That said, research is unclear on whether alcohol intake promotes weight gain (57).

In fact, lots of observational studies show that moderate drinking could lower your risk of weight gain (9).

However, heavy drinking – suggested as 4 or more drinks in a day for men and 3 or more in a day for women is associated with an increased risk of weight gain and obesity (10).

Excessive alcohol intake may promote inflammation

Intermittent fasting has been shown to decrease inflammation in your body.

Nonetheless, alcohol may promote inflammation, counteracting the effects of the intermittent fasting(1).

Chronic inflammation may promote various illnesses, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers (1).

Research shows that the inflammation from excessive drinking result in leaky gut syndrome, overgrowth of bacteria, and also an imbalance in gut bacteria (14).

High alcohol intake can also affect your liver, lowering its ability to filter out potentially harmful toxins.

Together, these effects on your gut and liver may support inflammation throughout the body, which over time can cause organ damage (15).

Drinking alcohol can break your fast

During a fast, you’re supposed to avoid all foods and drinks for a suggested amount of time.

Mainly, intermittent fasting is followed to promote hormonal and chemical changes like fat burning and cellular repair that may reward your health.

As alcohol contains lots of calories, taking it in even small amount during a fasting period will break your fast.

All the same time, it is totally acceptable to drink in moderate amount during your eating periods.

Alcohol may prevent cellular repair

During fasting periods, your body starts cellular repair processes such as autophagy, in which old and damaged proteins are removed from cells to give rise to newer and healthier cells (16).

This process may decrease your risk of cancer, supports anti-aging effects, and at least partially explain why calorie restriction has been shown to increase lifespan.

Recent animal studies show that chronic alcohol consumption may inhibit autophagy in liver and fat tissue. Please note that human studies are required.

Choosing better alcohol options

As alcohol breaks your fast if taken during a fasting period, it is suggested to only drink during your selected eating periods (20).

You should also keep your intake in limit. Moderate alcohol intake is defined as not more than 1 drink in a day for women and not more than 2 drinks in a day for men (21).

While intermittent fasting doesn’t have strict rules for food and drink intake, some alcohol choices are healthier than others and less probable to imbalance your dietary plan.

Healthier options are dry wine and hard spirits because they are lower in calories. You can sip these alone or mixed with soda water.

To reduce your sugar and calorie consumption, say no mixed drinks and sweeter wines.

If consumed in moderate or in small amount and only during eating periods, alcohol is unlikely to hinder intermittent fasting.

Still, it’s high in calorie and may reduce fat burning. Excessive drinking may promote chronic inflammation and other health complications.

To reduce the calories and sugar intake, prefer dry wine or hard spirits rather than mixed drinks.

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