What Can You Drink While Fasting?
When utilized in a healthy manner, fasting can be a useful tool to boost your health and even help you lose weight. But which foods and drinks should you cut out completely? What can you drink while intermittent fasting?
If you're wondering whether Zest Tea is still on the menu, as well as your favorite juices and soft beverages, this article will clear up the topic once and for all. Discover what fasting is all about and 5 beverages you can drink while intermittent fasting below.
Spoiler: many of the delicious energy drinks in our Energy Collection are great for boosting energy levels while you fast!
What is Fasting?
Fasting is the act of refraining from eating and drinking certain foods for a set period of time. When you fast, your body undergoes metabolic changes that may be beneficial... or detrimental to your overall metabolic health.
According to a systematic review, health benefits associated with fasting periods include:
- Weight loss,
- Enhanced focus,
- And may control diabetes and other obesity-related conditions and diseases.
However, fasting isn't always healthy. Scientific references also note that unhealthy fasting, e.g. an eating disorder or fasting due to food poverty, also correlates to substance abuse and mental health symptoms including anxiety and depression.
So, regardless of which type of fast you are planning to do, we recommend talking to a doctor or medical health professional to fast safely.
Typically, there are three different reasons for fasting. The first is weight loss and fat burning, the second is for a medical procedure that requires an empty stomach, and finally, fasting may be part of a religious ritual.
For a list of foods and drinks to avoid for a medical procedure, you should ask your doctor. As for religious fasting, what you can eat and drink depends on the religion.
In this article, we'll be focusing on one of the most popular fasting techniques for dieting: intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting is where you fast for a short period, then eat normally for a short period, and then the cycle repeats. The effects are similar to that of a calorie restrictive diet, like the Atkins diet or Whole30 diet.
How Fasting Impacts Blood Sugar
If you consume fewer calories than you burn, you'll start to lose weight. That's common knowledge. But intermittent fasting uses a different method to help you lose weight, besides reducing your calorie intake during fasting periods.
- Intermittent fasting can facilitate fat burning through your insulin response. When you eat, you raise insulin levels in your body. When you fast, those insulin levels drop dramatically, which can direct your body to burn fat for energy instead.
- When you fast, metabolic changes can release more norepinephrine which breaks down fat cells for your body to burn.
To benefit from an intermittent fasting diet, you need to watch what you consume not just during the fasting window but also during eating hours. Be consistent, stay hydrated, and be sensible when consuming calories. Eating a healthy, balanced diet will support weight loss, while binging on unhealthy foods between fasting periods could lead to further weight gain.
5 Beverages You Can Drink During the Fasting Period
During fasting windows, you need to stick to certain drinks that are almost exclusively zero calories and sugar-free. If there's added or natural sugars, you should avoid it. That means most fruit juices are out! Also, watch out for flavored water that contains added sugar or fruit juice along with sparkling water.
Even if the beverage only contains a few calories, it's not suitable for the fasting window and should be saved for the eating window when you're not trying to control your insulin response.
1 - Zest Tea (Unsweetened Tea)
For intermittent fasting, our naturally calorie-free energy teas are a good choice. Sweetened drinks are best avoided, but tea can be consumed without adding sugar... yet still provide an energy boost.
Tea is a source of caffeine and at Zest Tea, we bump the caffeine in each of our teas so they're more energizing than coffee. For time restricted eating, you may feel sluggish or low on energy when you're fasting - tea can help with that.
Furthermore, you can enjoy Zest energy tea without added sugars or artificial sweeteners. Research suggests that the L-Theanine in tea can improve sleep quality and prevent poor sleep too.
Not sure where to start? We recommend our 0-Cal Variety Pack, including 3 tasty flavors.
2 - Diet Sodas and Zero Calorie Beverages
If you can't go a day without your favorite soda, diet soda is a better choice for when you are fasting. Any sugary drink will technically break your fasting, so make sure that the diet sodas you consume are really sugar and calorie free.
Watch out for artificial sweeteners however. While they won't impact your insulin sensitivity in the short term, there's some evidence that it may cause insulin resistance in the long run.
So, while diet soda is acceptable while you are fasting, there are many other zero calorie beverages that are healthier and naturally flavored. Don't forget, our range of ready-to-drink energy teas are sparkling beverages too!
3 - Black Coffee
Like tea, black coffee can be a zero calorie beverage that provides energy when you are fasting. The key is to consume it black - no sugar or dairy products added. Coffee contains more caffeine than standard tea, but not as much as Zest energy tea. Furthermore, coffee is an acidic beverage that may upset an empty stomach while you are fasting, as well as inflame health conditions including IBS and acid reflux.
You may have heard of bulletproof coffee, which combines black coffee with butter, coconut oil, and/or MCT oil for a source of healthy fats.
Bulletproof coffee is not suitable for the fasting periods in your diet. The recipe is more suitable for the keto diet, that requires low carbohydrate and high fat foods. The combination of high caffeine with plenty of fat may not be beneficial for your blood pressure, however.
We've created a similar recipe using MCT oil and Zest energy tea. You can find the recipe here.
4 - Flavored and Carbonated Water
When you're fasting and your stomach is empty, consuming high caffeine beverages might cause an upset stomach. At the same time, for some people, the idea of drinking plain water is comparable to a diet of raw vegetables - healthy, but not appetizing.
Regardless, you need to maintain optimal hydration even when you're in the fasting period of your eating pattern. So, consider calorie-free flavored water or carbonated water instead.
With flavored water, make sure that it truly is sugar free and isn't made with fruit juices that will spike your insulin levels.
Drinking plenty of water is considered a key to weight loss by many, but that doesn't mean you need to drink the water plain. Trying carbonated water, zero-calorie flavored water, or a water-based beverage (tea/coffee) to shake things up.
5 - Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is popular during intermittent fasting as it can lower your blood sugar and help you reach that metabolic state that burns fat. You could also use it to potentially reduce an insulin spike.
However, apple cider vinegar is not a zero calorie beverage. And of course, it would be very unpleasant to drink apple cider vinegar straight! Instead, you can try diluting a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in water so it is more palatable. You could even add it to your Zest tea.
Try to reserve apple cider vinegar for the eating window, when you can pour it over salad or incorporate it into meals. If you want to try diluted apple cider vinegar during the fasting period, only use a small amount. Some people claim that apple cider vinegar is good for the digestive system, but there's not enough scientific evidence to support this.
You can achieve the metabolic effects you're aiming for simply by fasting, so you don't strictly need to use apple cider vinegar to supplement a fasting diet.
Can you drink anything besides water while fasting?
If you are fasting for a medical procedure, ask your doctor. If you are fasting for a diet, it depends on which diet you are following. Most intermittent fasting diets allow you to consume zero calorie drinks but encourage you to drink plenty of water to fight those hunger pangs! One good way to increase your water intake while enjoying delicious flavors is to try our Hydration Beverages - they're perfect for a post-fast treat.
What drinks do not break a fast?
For intermittent fasting, most calorie-free beverages are suitable and won't spike your blood glucose or ruin the metabolic effects you're aiming for. Diet soda, zero-calorie Zest Tea, and water are good to drink while intermittent fasting.
What can you not eat or drink while fasting?
Sugary beverages are a big no. Most fasting diets recommend you stick to water or zero-calorie beverages. Some diets will enable you to drink healthy fats (e.g., bulletproof coffee) during eating windows and simple beverages (e.g., bone broth and apple cider vinegar) during fasting windows.
Can you drink Diet Coke while intermittent fasting?
Technically, you can consume a diet coke while intermittent fasting as it's a zero calorie beverage. However, many dieters recommend avoiding overly sweet-tasting drinks to help you cut your addiction to sugary foods. Furthermore, many diet sodas contain artificial sweeteners which you may want to avoid too for your health.
Can you consume apple cider vinegar while fasting?
For a fasting diet, consuming a small amount of apple cider vinegar diluted in water is fine for the fasting period. Although it may not taste great, this vinegar can lower your blood glucose and help you reach those metabolic health goals faster. 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar contains approximately 3 calories.
What are the health benefits of intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is used to shed weight, which could help to reduce the risk of numerous obesity-related diseases including diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Evidence shows that intermittent fasting also reduces insulin resistance and improves insulin sensitivity.