Can You Drink Coffee While Doing Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting is a popular diet  pattern now a days that cycles between certain periods of eating and fasting(restricting calories).

Research suggests that intermittent fasting may help in weight loss and lowering risk factors for certain chronic conditions, like heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease (1).

If you’re beginner to intermittent fasting, you may wonder whether you’re permitted to drink coffee during  your fast.

This article describes whether intermittent fasting allows coffee during fasting periods.

Black coffee won’t break your fast

Drinking moderate amounts of very low or zero-calorie drinks during a fasting period is unlikely to compromise your fast in any noticeable way.

This includes drinks such as black coffee.

One cup (240 ml) of black coffee contains approx 3 calories and negligeble amount of protein, fat, and trace minerals (2).

For most people, the nutrients in 1–2 cups (240–470 ml) of black coffee are not sufficient to start a significant metabolic change that would break a fast (34).

Some people say that coffee suppresses your appetite, making it easier to follow your fast in the long term. However, this claim is not proven scientifically (5).

Overall, drinking coffee  moderate amount won’t significantly interrupt your intermittent fast. Just make sure to keep it black, without any added ingredients like suger.

Coffee may bolster the benefits of fasting

Unexpectedly, coffee may increase many of the benefits of fasting.

These are improved brain function as well as reduced inflammation, blood sugar, risk of heart disease (1).

Metabolic benefits

Chronic inflammation is a major cause of many diseases. Research suggests that both intermittent fasting and coffee consumption may promote reduce inflammation (16).

Some research suggests that higher coffee consumption is related to a lowered risk of metabolic syndrome, which is an inflammatory condition that is indentified by hypertention, excess body fat, high cholesterol levels, high blood sugar levels(hyperglycemia) and increased risk of cardiac diseases (78).

Studies also relate coffee consumptionto a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes. What’s more, up to 3 cups (710 ml) of coffee in a day is related to a 19% lowered risk of death from cardiac disease (91011).

Brain health

One of the main reasons behind  popularity of intermittent fasting has  it’s probability to support brain health and protect against or prevent age-related neurological diseases.

Amazingly,  black coffee intake promotes many of these health benefits.

Similar to intermittent fasting, regular coffee intake is related to a lowered risk of mental deterioration, as well as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases (12).

In a fasted state, your body takes energy from fat storage in the form of ketones, a process associated with improved brain function. Early research suggests that the caffeine in coffee may likewise support ketone production (1314).

Intermittent fasting may also promote brain health through raised autophagy(14).

Autophagy is your body’s way of cleaning or eating  of dead and damaged cells for the regeneration of new and healthy cells. Research suggests that it may protects from age-related mental deterioration (16).

Additionally, a study in mice tied coffee to remarkably increased autophagy (17).

Thus, it may be particularly beneficial to include moderate amounts of black coffee in your intermittent fasting plan.

Added ingredients could reduce fasting benefits

Although coffee alone is not probably  break your fast,  if not added with other ingredients like milk and sugar.

Loading up your cup with high-calorie additives like milk and sugar can break intermittent fast and reduce the benefits of this dietary pattern.

Many popular health and media outlets declare that you won’t break your fast as long as you limit your calorie intake under 50–75 calories during each fasting phase. However,there is no scientific evidence to prove these claims.

Instead, you should take as low calories as possible while fasting.

For instance, lattés, cappuccinos, and other high-calorie or sweetened coffee drinks should not be included during your fasting periods.

While black coffee is the best choice, if you have to add something, 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of heavy cream or coconut oil can be added, as they probably not make any significant change in your sugar levels or total calorie consumption.

Other considerations

One cup of (240 ml) coffee contains about 100 mg of caffeine (2).

Taking too much caffeine from coffee could cause some side effects, such as heart palpitations and transient increases in blood pressure (18).

One study found that high coffee consumption — up to 13 cups (3.1 liters) in a day — led to raised fasting insulin levels, suggesting a temporary decrease in insulin sensitivity (3).

If you are following intermittent fasting to enhance your fasting insulin levels or increase your insulin sensitivity, you’ll want to moderate your coffee consumption.

Additionally, excessive caffeine intake could disturb your sleep quality. Poor sleep can harm your metabolic health over time, which could negetively affects the benefits of intermittent fasting (1920).

Most research suggests that up to 400 mg of caffeine every day is probably safe for most people which is equal to about 3–4 cups (710–945 ml) of regular coffee each day (18).

Should you drink coffee while fasting?

Finally, consuming coffee during fasting period is up to personal choice.

If you don’t prefer coffee or don’t currently drink it, there’s no reason to start drinking. You can get many of the same health benefits from a healthy diet rich in whole, nutritious foods.

However, if a hot cup of joe seems to make your fast somewhat easier, there’s no reason to stop. Just remember to practice moderation and avoid other added ingredients.

If you find that you’re drinking excessive coffee or having trouble sleeping, you may want to reduce or take in moderate amount and target simply on intermittent fasting.

You can consume small amounts of black coffee during your fasting window, as it contains very few calories and is unable to break your fast.

In fact, coffee may increase the benefits of intermittent fasting, which include decreased inflammation and improved brain function.

Nonetheless, you should avoid high-calorie additives.

It’s also best to watch your consumption, as over intake can harm your health.

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