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What can you drink during intermittent fasting?
Hello Health Champions.
The number one question everyone is having about intermittent fasting is which drinks are good to have during intermittent fasting.
Which ones are acceptable for you to drink and which ones will sabotage your progress?
In this article, we will go over 16 different drinks and I want to also talk about how they affect you depending on what your goal is.
There are four primary goals that people have when they are doing intermittent fasting
- Weight loss,
- Insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes,
- To remain in Ketosis,
- To optimize health with AUTOPHAGY
Let’ look at:
What can you drink during intermittent fasting?
Water is the obvious choice because water is what the body is made of, it’s the neutral fluid medium of the body and because it’s neutral, it is perfectly okay, No matter what your goal is,
The only thing you want to be sure of is that-
- It’s clean,
- You don’t want to drink tap water,
- You don’t want to drink things with artificial additives,
You just need to get a good home filter or good quality bottled water.
Here you need to keep in mind that,
A lot of the bottled water is made by reverse osmosis and that’s okay for temporary use.
But in the long run, it’s a little too clean; it has a tendency to rob your body of mineral.
So if you use reverse osmosis water like a lot of the most popular bottled waters are, then you want to add a few minerals or a salt sprinkle to it when you drink it.
2. Herb Tea
Herb tea is totally okay to drink during intermittent fasting, just make sure that you get something that doesn’t have anything artificial.
The vast majority of herbal teas are going to be totally fine but just make sure that they don’t put anything funky in there.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar has no nutrients, no stimulatory effect, and no energy value.
Therefore it doesn’t affect your body and is perfect to drink during intermittent fasting.
4. Green Tea
Green tea is the one that has the least caffeine, but it does have some.
It has about 25 mg of caffeine per 8 oz . it’s not a whole lot,
But if you had 10 or 15 or 20 cups throughout the day, that’s still a lot of caffeine.
So I would give it a green checkmark ✅
but, for some people it may make a difference and because caffeine is a stimulant,
It can stimulate your adrenals to make adrenaline and cortisol; it could affect blood sugar and Insulin in some people.
And for the most part, you don’t have to worry about this,
But if you feel like your body is super sensitive or you have some adrenal fatigue or if you’re just really stubborn weight then this might be something that you want to watch for.
So if you are drinking green tea less than 4-6 cups, I’d say you’re totally fine.
5. Black Tea
Black tea might have about twice as much caffeine, on average there’s a bigger range on that.
So you want to have maybe half as much.
Don’t drink 6 to 8 cups, you can limit it to 2-3.
With coffee again, we’re getting a doubling of the caffeine, on average there’s a huge variety,
So I would say one or two cups is probably okay,
But don’t be drinking coffee throughout the day if you’re sensitive.
There are some people on which it will make absolutely no difference for these goals but it’s something to be aware of.
7. Bulletproof Coffee
What would fasting be without Bulletproof Coffee right?
Well this is also something that we give a green checkmark ✅
but we have a little question mark next to it
Because even though it has virtually no impact on insulin and it has no protein or sugar if you do it right, so it’s also safe for autophagy in moderation.
We need to understand that, Bulletproof Coffee can still provide a lot of energy.
It fuels the body to some degree,
So you can put two tablespoons of fat in there and you make about 300 calories,
Or if you put 3 or 4 tablespoons of fat in there now you’re taking 500 or 600 calories,
If you had one of those, that’s probably okay,
But if you’re one of those people having two or maybe three, now you could get almost a full calorie intake for a day just from having a few bulletproof coffees.
So just understand that it’s alright from an insulin perspective, you don’t want to turn it into a meal,
Because, if you put that much fuel in the body, the body has no reason to burn the fat on your body.
Here, you might be thinking, is cream okay to drink during intermittent fasting?
The answer is YES,✅
Because the vast majority of calories in cream come from fat,
It’s over 90% of calories from fat,
So it has a very slight insulin response and as long as you keep it to a couple of tablespoons then it is not going to mess up your goals.
So if the cream is okay, what about other forms of a dairy?
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9. Skim Milk
There’s a big difference between cream and Skim milk,
The cream has virtually all the calories from fat, while skim milk has virtually all the calories from sugar and protein, both of which are going to stimulate insulin significantly,
The cream is so rich, that just a little bit is going to turn your coffee white, whereas, skim milk is so lean that you have to put a lawn in there before it looks like you added anything.
So if you use it as a creamer, the tendency will be to use a whole lot more of the skim milk and because it triggers insulin, it is a really bad idea.
It has about three and a half percent protein and a little over 5% sugar and almost zero fats, so almost all the calories come from protein and sugar, and it’s going to stimulate insulin.
Some people wonder about having milk alternatives during intermittent fasting like Cashew milk, Oat milk, Almond milk, etc.
Let’s directly get into the milk alternatives.
10. Almond Milk
The alternatives of milk are okay as long as they don’t have sugar added,
So the two best ones that I’ve seen are almond milk and cashew milk, because a whole cup of that stuff has 20-30 calories and it has virtually zero protein and zero carbohydrates.
So, most of those calories are coming from fat and you have to drink a whole cup to get like 20-30 calories worth,
That means, if you put in 3-4 tablespoons into your coffee, it’s going to have a zero effect.
The thing to make sure though is don’t get the stuff with sugar or anything artificial added.
I would also keep it to less than two cups a day, but don’t drink it all at once because now you’re kind of giving the body a sense that you’re getting a meal.
I probably keep it under a cup, so if you are having two cups of coffee or two cups of tea and you put a quarter cup or 1/3 of a cup in each then I think you’re still okay.
Two cups would be really on the high-end and definitely don’t have them all at once.
11. Bone Broth
Bone Broth is almost synonymous with fasting; it has virtually zero sugar, zero carbohydrates, and has a lot of fat.
It’s also full of healing nutrients like collagen (a gut-healing nutrient) and a ton of good minerals, so it’s fantastic food.
If you’re looking primarily to reduce insulin, then it’s going to have a very slight insulin response,
However, this is the one that’s going to be a little different for autophagy, because autophagy is mostly sensitive to protein.
It’s the lack of protein and calories that drive autophagy.
Autophagy is when your body has fewer nutrients; it regulates its cleaning, its immune system, and recycling,
It recycles viruses and bacteria in dead cells and garbage or debris in the body and if you add a bunch of proteins, then it’s not so eager to recycle anymore,
So you want to keep your proteins below 20 or 18g in order to be in autophagy.
That’s the protocol recommended by the fasting-mimicking diet,
And bone broth has as much as 10 grams of protein per cup,
So if you had two cups, then that bone broth alone would probably push you over the edge where you start affecting Autophagy.
Here, you will think about whether alcohol is a good idea?
Well, I’m going to say NO.
Even if it doesn’t stimulate insulin a whole lot and even if it doesn’t necessarily kick you out of ketosis, it is just not good for your liver.
All of these goals depend on your liver,
There is non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and there is alcoholic fatty liver disease,
So if you have insulin resistance, then the liver is struggling as it is, and if you are trying to engage autophagy, which is a clean-up process, it’s the liver that does most of that cleaning.
So whether you have one or more of these goals, you have to take care of your liver and alcohol is not the friend of a liver,
So if you are trying to get through weight loss, insulin resistance, keto, or autophagy, I would say to stay away from alcohol.
13. Green Juice
Juice, in general, is not great, but green juice is something you get from fresh leafy greens,
It can have a lot of good health benefits, but we’re going to put a question mark on that because it’s going to depend on your goal.
It’s going to stimulate insulin, so it’s going to depend on how much you have and when you have it is also going to be important.
If you have an intermittent fasting patter, let’s say you’re doing 18:6 or 16:8 or something like that,
If you have green juice during your fasting period, it will break your fast,
Because it’s going to create a bit of a sugar Spike,
But if you’re in ketosis for low-carb and you have a carb budget of maybe 30 grams and you have that Green Juice close to a meal like say you have it 20 minutes before a meal or if you have it somewhere between your two meals,
Now it’s not going to create a tremendous amount of damage,
It is going to create a little bit of an insulin Spike right before your meal.
I wouldn’t encourage great quantities, but if you’re looking to supercharge your body with some nutrients and you feel like green juices are really beneficial for your body,
Then I would say, have a little bit, but count the carbs, make sure you know how much sugar is in there,
Don’t go over 5 grams of sugar in that juice and then have it close to a meal so that you don’t create additional insulin spikes in addition to your regular meals,
And as far as autophagy go, autophagy is super sensitive to both sugar and protein,
So I’m pretty sure that it would break whatever trend of autophagy you have going on if you have any kind of concentrated sugar like juice.
14. Coconut Water
What do you guys think about coconut water as a drink during intermittent fasting?
Do you think Coconut water is full of all these good minerals?
Well, not really because the coconut water portion has no fat and no protein, but it has a lot of sugar,
It’s very easy to drink a lot of that stuff, so it’s basically sort of like the green juice but it doesn’t necessarily have all that much benefit,
It’s sort of like the green juice if you had just a little bit like a cup or half a cup close to a meal because you just love it and you feel those minerals would do some good.
Other than that I would really stay away from coconut water during intermittent fasting.
It has a lot of sugar, and most of the time people are probably going to drink at least a pint or half a liter so now you’re taking 12 to 15 grams of sugar.
15. Store-Bought Juice
We can make an argument for some benefits of fresh-squeezed homemade juice from fruit or vegetables,
I don’t see any reason to ever buy store-bought juice, because it has to be pasteurized in order to be sold in a store and now you’re destroying most of the benefits,
So from my side, it’s a big NO for store-bought juice because all you’re really getting is sugar water,
Yeah, it’s a little bit better than Coca-Cola but not a whole lot.
Orange juice is about 8% sugar; apple juices about 10% sugar,
So if you have a cup, you’re already getting about 25 grams of sugar in there,
It is absolutely not a good idea for any of these protocols, no matter what your goal is, for weight loss or reducing insulin resistance,
Stay away from store-bought juice.
A lot of people love soda,
Regular soda has a lot of sugar and high fructose corn syrup and that’s the reason most people get in trouble in the first place.
But then there is this diet soda,
So now we will start understanding a little bit because most people think, will that be totally fine because it has no calories, no sugar and if I take caffeine-free version, now it has no stimulants.
So it’s sort of like an herb tea right?
NO, because the sweet taste can trigger something called the cephalic effect,
What does that mean?
Cephalic effect means that any time you put something in your mouth and you taste it, the intelligence of your body starts preparing your digestion for the food that is about to come.
And if you taste something sweet, then your body thinks, it’s about to receive nutrients and in some cases start producing and releasing some insulin.
There are some studies on this and they haven’t been totally conclusive, some study says that certain artificial sweeteners will trigger it but the stevia won’t.
I personally wouldn’t put too much faith necessarily in those studies,
The fact is, if you taste something sweet there is a possibility that your body starts anticipating and starts preparing a digestive response and releasing some insulin.
So how do you know if this is going to affect you?
Here’s how you check it, and this is the opposite of what most people think.
They think that they drink something sweet, the blood sugar should go up, but it’s the other way around,
If you drink something sweet but there is no sugar, there are no actual nutrients and your body produces insulin, your blood sugar will go down.
So you check your blood sugar before you have a drink, you check your blood sugar after, if it drops a point or two I wouldn’t worry about it,
But if you see that you’re dropping 5 or 10 points, now you know that your body is responding to this,
It is producing more insulin and that is driving your insulin resistance,
So we put a question mark on this because it’s going to be okay for most people.
I would again not recommend the artificial sweeteners but I have checked this on myself on Stevia drinks and it has no impact for me.
So most people are going to be totally fine, but again everyone is different so you want to figure it out, you want to understand the principal and the mechanism and then figure out and test how it works for you.
If you found this helpful make sure you also check out other articles related to intermittent fasting and weight loss on my blog.
By now, I hope, you have a great understanding of what can you drink during intermittent fasting and what not.
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