Can you add lemon juice to your water while using Intermittent Fasting? The answer to this question depends on what your goal with Intermittent Fasting is and how much lemon juice you're using. Today we're diving into the details of whether or not lemon juice breaks a fast.
Does Lemon Juice Break a Fast?
If you're using Intermittent Fasting from a gut healing perspective, any food or drink outside of water (and possibly black coffee and tea) will break your fast. This is because it can stop the gut cleaning process called the Migrating Motor Complex.
However, if you're using Intermittent Fasting to tap into fat burning mechanisms and achieve a weight loss goal, then you can be a bit more flexible with the liquids consumed during the fasted state. A good rule of thumb is to stick to less than one total grams of protein or carbs during the fasted state. This is because both protein and carbs stimulate the storing hormone insulin. When insulin spikes, this throws the body out of fat burning mode and breaks a fast.
Looking at lemon juice, the devil is in the details. Lemon juice technically contains carbohydrates and therefore can break a fast, but it comes down to the amount of lemon juice that you're using. One full lemon, juiced, contains a little over 3 grams of carbohydrates. This means using one full lemon will break a fast. However, if you drop the amount of lemon juice used to 1/4 of a lemon or less, then this brings the carbohydrates down to less than 1 gram of carbohydrates, making it a good option during the fast.
Does Apple Cider Vinegar and Lemon Juice Break a Fast?
One tablespoon of apple cider vinegar contains around .1 grams of carbohydrates, making it a great option to dilute in water during the fasting period. In fact, apple cider vinegar has been found to aid in improving fasting blood glucose levels.(1) This is why the Complete Intermittent Fasting Bundle utilizes a diluted apple cider vinegar drink to help ease the transition from a fasted to a fed state.
However, what happens when you combine it with lemon juice? Using that one gram of carbohydrates as the cut-off, we're looking at 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar with 1/4 lemon (juiced) as a the limit during the fasting period.
What Juice Can You Drink While Fasting?
Outside of lemon (or lime) juice, juice from various fruits and vegetables will typically be much too high in carbohydrates and sugars to consume during the fasted state. Particularly fruit juices tend to be very high in sugar which will greatly spike the storing hormone insulin. Some vegetable juices will be under the 1 gram total of protein and carbohydrate content at small volumes (1 oz. or less). However as a general good rule of thumb, it's best to stick with any juices (other than lemon and lime) during the eating window, not the fasting period.
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Autumn Elle Nutrition