Can You Drink Alcohol During Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting is one of the most popular health trends as a result of its many health benefits, including weight loss, fat burning and reducing inflammation.

This diet has alternating periods of fasting and eating. Unlike other traditional fasts and weight loss programs, no food is prohibited during periods of consumption.

However, you may wonder if alcohol decreases the advantages of intermittent fasting.

This article shows how alcohol affects intermittent fasting and examines what drinks are better for intermittent fasting.

Alcohol can hinder fat burning

Intermittent fasting can inhibit fat burning, which reduces your body fat percent.

However, it has been proven that alcohol consumption blocks or reduces the breakdown of fat.

In a study of 19 adults, the consumption of a beverage high in alcohol resulted in a theoretical reduction in the rate of fat degradation 5 hours after intake. compared to a high protein, fat and carbohydrate diet.

Drinking can also trigger overeating, which may cause to weight gain over time (4).

In observational studies, binge drinking is related to increased levels of body fat. But this does not apply to light to moderate drinkers. (56).

More research is needed to understand how alcohol influences body weight.

Alcohol’s effect on weight gain

A lot of people follow intermittent fasting to lose weight.

Alcohol is high in calories, with just 1 gram supplying 7 calories. Just one drink can give 100 calories or more to daily consumption (7).

However, there is no research to determine whether alcohol consumption contributes to weight gain (57).

In fact, many observational studies show that moderate alcohol consumption may decrease your risk of weight gain (9).

However, excessive alcohol consumption – suggested as 4 or more beverages per day for men and Among women, 3 or more a day is associated with a higher risk of weight gain and obesity (10).

Excessive alcohol intake may promote inflammation

It has been shown that intermittent fasting diminishes inflammation in the body.

However, alcohol can also promote inflammation, countering the effects of intermittent fasting (1).

Chronic inflammation can contribute to a variety of diseases, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers. (1).

Research shows that inflammation due to excessive alcohol consumption results in intestinal leakage syndrome, excessive proliferation of bacteria and also an imbalance of intestinal bacteria (14).

High alcohol consumption can also affect your liver by reducing its ability to filter potentially dangerous toxins.

Together, these effects on the intestine and liver can sustain inflammation across the body, which over time can cause damage to organs (15).

Drinking alcohol can break your fast

During fasting, you are expected to avoid all food and beverages for a suggested duration.

Primarily, intermittent fasting is followed to encourage hormonal and chemical changes such as fat burning and cellular repair that can reward your health.

Since alcohol contains many calories, even taking it in small quantities during the fasting period will break your fast.

At the same time, it is completely acceptable to drink moderate amounts of water during your meal periods.

Alcohol may prevent cellular repair

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

This process can reduce your risk of cancer, supports the aging effects, and explain at least partially why it was shown that calorie restriction increases the lifespan.

Recent studies in animals have shown that chronic alcohol consumption can inhibit autophagy in liver and adipose tissues. Please note, human-based studies are required.

Choosing better alcohol options

Because alcohol breaks your fast if it is taken during a period of fasting, it is recommended to drink only during your selected periods of consumption (20).

You should also keep your intake as high as possible. Moderate alcohol consumption is defined as a maximum of 1 drink per day for women and a maximum of 2 drinks per day for men (21).

Although periodic fasting does not have strict rules on the consumption of food and beverages, some alcohol choices are healthier than others and less likely to unbalance your eating plan.

The healthier alternatives are dry wine and hard spirits, because they are less calorie. You can sip them on their own or mixed with carbonated (soda) water.

To cut down on sugar and calories, say no mixed drinks and sweeter wines.

If it is consumed in moderate or low quantities and only during periods of consumption, it is unlikely that alcohol prevents periodic fasting.

Always high in calories and can reduce the burning of fat. Too much alcohol can cause chronic inflammation and other health complications.

To reduce the consumption of calories and sugar, choose dry wine or strong alcohol rather than mixed drinks.

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