If you drink your coffee black, will it break your Intermittent Fast? Today, we're diving into all the details you need to know about black coffee and Intermittent Fasting.
Does Black Coffee Break a Fast?
Whether you're following a true fast or a fasting mimicking approach, black coffee without anything else added will not break your fast. Coffee doesn't contain significant nutrients to block the gut healing mechanism of Intermittent Fasting, called the Migrating Motor Complex (MMC). For some people, the caffeine stimulation alone might be enough to inhibit the MMC, but for others it won't. You can check out the perks of a true fast with THIS blog post.
From a fat burning perspective, coffee does not contain any nutrients that will spike the storing hormone insulin. This means that by drinking black coffee during your Intermittent Fast, you will not turn off fat burning and therefore still reap the benefits of fat burning during the fast.
How Much Black Coffee Can You Drink While Fasting?
Is there a limit to how much coffee you can have while fasting? Not necessarily, however there are concerns with drinking too much coffee beyond your personal caffeine tolerance. Drinking too much coffee beyond what your body can quickly metabolize may lead to poor quality sleep. Although this might not seem to have any initial affect on fasting specifically, it does negatively affect weight loss and wellness goals. Poor sleep can lead to increased stress hormone (cortisol) levels and increased hunger hormone (ghrelin) levels the next day.(1) It also can lead to increased insulin resistance, making it harder to burn fat as fuel.(1)
So rather than an IV drip of coffee, try keeping your coffee (and overall caffeine intake, for that matter) to a level that still supports high quality sleep. This can vary from person to person, so you can experiment with what works for you. For myself personally, I stick to one 16 oz. cup of coffee per day.
What Can You Add To Coffee While Fasting?
Once we transition from black coffee to adding in other ingredients, we move away from the gut healing perks of Intermittent Fasting. However, you can still reap the fat burning perks of Intermittent Fasting while adding ingredients into your coffee. The goal is to make sure any ingredients added in will not spike the storing hormone insulin. Otherwise, this will break your fast and shift you out of fat burning.
The ingredients that spike insulin are those that contain protein or carbohydrates. Fat does not significantly spike the storing hormone insulin, so pure fat products (such as grass-fed butter, ghee or coconut oil) can be used in coffee without it breaking this type of fast. You can check out eight coffee recipes that use this approach with THIS blog post.
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Keto Coffee Cheers,
Autumn Elle Nutrition