If you like coffee as much as I do, but don’t wanna mess up your intermittent fasting, then this blog post is for you.
That’s better. Today, I’m going to be answering one of the questions I get asked the most about intermittent fasting.
Can I drink black coffee when fasting?
Is adding milk or cream going to break my fast, and it is true that as long as you don’t exceed 50 calories, you’re not going to break a fast?
Now, let’s take it back to basics. Let’s start with what we want to be happening when we’re fasting.
In this article, I’m going to be focusing on fasting for weight loss, not fasting for longevity.
When we’re fasting, we want our blood glucose levels to be normalized rather than raised, We want our insulin levels to below, and we want our glucagon, which is insulin’s opposite number, if you like, levels to be high.
That’s going to promote things like fat burning and ketone production.
So, is drinking coffee going to disrupt that process?
Let’s talk about black coffee, but this also applies to black tea, green tea, anything without milk. Black coffee is probably not going to disrupt that process at all.
It’s zero carbs, zero protein, and zero fat, and only about one or two calories. It’s basically just caffeinated hot brown water with some other stuff that makes it taste really nice. (ethereal harp music) Sorry about that.
So, what about cream or milk?
One of the most common pieces of advice you’ll find on the Internet is that it’s okay to drink something as long as it’s less than 50 calories. Now, I don’t think this is very useful.
I think it’s just plain wrong, and I’m going to explain why. Fifty calories of cream are about one tablespoon, and that is pretty much pure fat.
There’s very little carbohydrate in there, in fact, only about half a gram of carbohydrate. Fifty calories of milk are about eight tablespoons, and don’t forget that lactose is a sugar in milk, and that is the equivalent of about six grams of carbohydrate. “But who has eight tablespoons of milk in their coffee,” I hear you ask. Well, don’t forget that a latte is espresso and almost entirely milk.
Interestingly, full-fat milk has less carbohydrates for the same volume as lower-fat or diet versions of milk. And if you’re allowed 50 calories, then surely that 50 calories could come from sugar.
How much sugar is in 50 calories?
Well, that’s three teaspoons of sugar. So let’s just go back to what we didn’t want to happen. We didn’t want to raise our blood glucose levels.
We didn’t want to affect our insulin levels, and we didn’t want to interrupt high levels of glucagon.
Well, black coffee’s not going to do any of that. Having a small amount of cream in coffee is probably not going to have much of an effect on that. Having a small amount of milk, even, isn’t going to have much of an effect on that. Having a large amount of milk or even sugar is going to have an effect on that.
That’s why I don’t think looking at it in terms of calories is particularly useful.
It’s clear to me that 50 calories of sugar are very different from 50 calories of milk, is very different from 50 calories of cream in terms of the metabolic effect it’s going to have on the body.
Next, I want to talk about some of the other benefits of drinking coffee when fasting.
One of the foods you have to try to add in your diet is corn, corn has many benefits to your health.
If you want to discover more about corn benefits or about is corn a vegetable or fruit.
But before I do that, I want to ask you a quick question.
How do you prefer to take your coffee?
Let me know in the comments down below the article.
Let’s look at some of the other benefits of coffee for people who are practicing intermittent fasting. Coffee is an appetite suppressant.
If this were true, it would be the perfect thing for people who are practicing intermittent fasting to keep hunger at bay. But unfortunately, this is one of those commonly-held beliefs that probably isn’t true.
But if it works for you, great! Hydration.
Another old wives’ tale is that coffee is a diuretic and will dehydrate you. While it is slightly true, coffee is only a very weak diuretic, so the overall effect of drinking a cup of coffee is that you will become more hydrated. Now for the good stuff.
Coffee stimulates ketone production. One study showed that coffee given at breakfast time could stimulate ketone production in a dose-dependent manner.
That is, the more you drink, the more ketones are going to be produced. This does come with a word of warning, however. Excessive coffee is going to make you feel pretty unwell. Still, excessive coffee has also been shown to increase fasting blood glucose and decrease insulin sensitivity, exactly the opposite of what we’re trying to do.
So, in summary, ideally, drink black coffee when you’re fasting. The same goes for black tea, green tea, or other similar things without milk in.
And learning to drink black coffee is very similar to learning to drink coffee or tea without sugar. It might seem a little bit weird at first, but you quickly get used to it.
And if you really don’t like black coffee, then, by all means, have a small amount of cream or milk. It’s unlikely to disrupt your fast. Just remember that things like lattes or cappuccinos or flat whites are made almost entirely with milk, and definitely will disrupt your fast. Coffee!
Thank you for reading, sir or madam!