If you're sipping on ice water during your fast and you start chewing on the ice... will it break your fast? The answer strongly depends on your goals with Intermittent Fasting. Today, I'm sharing exactly what you need to know about chewing ice while Intermittent Fasting.
Does Chewing Ice Break a Fast?
I'm not a dentist, so you're going to have to ask your dentist about whether or not you should be chewing ice in the first place (although my gut tells me they'll likely tell you to stop doing it). But I am a Nutritionist who specializes in Intermittent Fasting, so I'll be answering this question purely from the Nutrition perspective. Now with that disclaimer put to the side, will you break your fast if you chew ice?
The answer depends on your goal with Intermittent Fasting.
If your goal is weight loss, then chewing ice will not break a fast. This is because ice does not contain any carbohydrates or protein (assuming the ice is pure water) that would raise insulin and break a fast. So if your main goal with Intermittent Fasting is to increase fat burning and lose weight, then you're in the clear when it comes to chewing ice during the fast. In fact, there are quite a few things you can still have during your fast other than black coffee, water or tea. Checkout my video below for some examples.
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If your goal is improved gut health, then there could be some theoretical issues. This is because during the fast the body turns on the gut cleaning process called the Migrating Motor Complex (MMC). When the MMC is turned on, it flushes out left behind food and bacteria that can cause bloating, making it an excellent natural gut health tool.
However, the MMC is always turned off by food (regardless of what the food is). But even the act of chewing can also turn off the MMC. This is why chewing gum isn't recommended during the fast if your main goal is gut health. So even though ice doesn't contain any protein, carbs, fat or calories, it could disrupt the MMC. Admittedly, this is theoretical. I'm unaware of a study that has tested the MMC's response on chewing ice. However, if you're looking to maximize for gut health and don't want to take any risks, then you might want to hold off on chewing ice during your fast.
Psssst... curious how long YOUR Intermittent Fast should be? Take my FREE Intermittent Fasting Schedule Quiz by clicking the button below!
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Autumn Elle Nutrition