If you keep up with modern fitness or follow health influencers on social media, you have likely heard of intermittent fasting. As this diet becomes more popular, people are begging the question: Will black coffee break my fast?
Intermittent fasting includes cycling periods of eating and periods of fasting.
While there are no specific times these periods must fall into, a popular cycle followed by fitness influencers is a 16-hour fasting period between the hours of 9 pm to 1 pm the following day. This allows for an 8-hour eating period from 1 pm to 9 pm.
With no strict time period for your fast to take place, the diet is easily adjustable to suit your unique schedule.
The Pull Factor
Intermittent fasting has pulled a wide audience in the past few years for its list of alleged health benefits. While there still needs to be more research done, the diet improves blood pressure and brain function, reduces liver fat, lowers cholesterol, and helps with weight loss.
While fasting, your normal insulin and blood sugar levels go through a dramatic change. On average, blood sugar will drop from 3-6% and insulin levels from 20-31%. Both actions help to prevent type 2 diabetes.
One may also experience a reduction of LDL cholesterol, which is a risk factor for heart disease. The diet is also said to increase a hormone in the brain called BDNF. This factor can aid in the development of new cells that will help brain function.
Will Black Coffee Break the Fast?
The main idea of intermittent fasting is to eliminate calorie and nutrient intake during a period of time in order for the body to slow down the metabolic system. Once the metabolism has been slowed, the body turns to pre-existing fat cells to retrieve the proper energy and nutrients.
During this process is when weight loss may take place.
A single cup of black coffee contains around 3 calories. Coffee consumed at this amount also holds exceptionally low to zero protein and fat nutrients. Both factors make the drink compatible with intermittent fasting when consumed in small amounts.
Research shows that the average person will likely see little to no significant metabolic change after consuming one to two cups of plain black coffee.
Coffee May Enhance the Benefits of Fasting
While more research is required to back the evidence of beneficial enhancements, some do suggest that coffee does just that.
Black coffee has the potential to allegedly aid your body in fasting. It can help with benefits such as:
- Improving brain function
- Reducing inflammation
- Lowering blood sugar
- Reducing the potential risk of heart disease
Coffee May Help You Get Through Your Fast
Many adults include coffee in their daily regimes. So, if you need coffee to help get through your day, go for it. Some claim that the taste of coffee helps them stick to their fast.
If you are not a fan of plain coffee, you are not alone. While adding cream and sugar will break your fast here are a few ingredients you can add to boost flavor:
- A pinch of salt
- Low or no-calorie sweetener - Splenda is a good option
- A pinch of Nutmeg
- Sprinkle of unsweetened cocoa powder
- A pinch of cinnamon
If you are a coffee lover and are skeptical about having to give it up while fasting, don’t give up too quickly. A cup of coffee will not break your fast, but you might need to change up your coffee routine.
Compromise by switching out your normal coffee order for a plain black one or two, and you will likely see no significant change in your metabolism. Happy fasting!