Does Lemon Water or Ginger Lemon Tea Break a Fast? [Intermittent Fasting Tips]
Updated: Feb 3
Lemon water and ginger lemon tea are two very popular, low-sugar drinks that people have been drinking for years to help reduce inflammation in the body. But if you recently started using Intermittent Fasting, you're probably wondering if these two healthy drinks will break your fast and ruin your results.
Today, I'm breaking down everything you need to know when using lemon water or ginger lemon tea with Intermittent Fasting in order to achieve your wellness goals!
But First, What's In Lemon Water?
Lemon water typically contains either still or unflavored/unsweetened sparkling water with a squeeze of lemon. The amount of lemon you use can vary greatly (and as you'll soon find out, this will have a BIG impact on whether or not it will break your fast). If you use one full lemon, the lemon water will contain around 3-4g net carbohydrates. Instead, if you use 1/8-1/4 slice of lemon, you're looking at less than 1g net carbohydrates. These net carbohydrates are extremely important when it comes to whether or not it will break your fast.
What's In Ginger Lemon Tea?
Ginger lemon tea takes the basics of the lemon water and adds the twist of ginger. I LOVE ginger lemon tea. In fact, I share my simple recipe for ginger lemon tea in my Autumn's Nerdy Kitchen Cookbook HERE. Around 1 Tbsp. sliced ginger (roughly the amount you would use in a serving of ginger lemon tea) will contain around .9g net carbohydrates. If you add this to the lemon water in order to make ginger lemon tea, you're looking at anywhere between 2g - 5g net carbohydrates. It's also important to keep in mind that these numbers are not considering any possible added sugars such as honey or maple syrup.
...so does it break a fast? Scroll down for your answer.
Do Ginger Lemon Tea Or Lemon Water Break Your Fast?
The answer to this question revolves around what your GOALS are with Intermittent Fasting. If you are fasting for specific therapeutic or religious purposes, then any form of food (and possibly liquid) will break your fast. If you are looking to stimulate your MMC (migrating motor complex - something we discuss in detail for gut health in the Complete Intermittent Fasting Bundle), then both the lemon water and ginger lemon tea will inhibit the MMC and break your fast.
Now, if you're looking to use Intermittent Fasting to improve insulin sensitivity and tap into fat burning mechanisms... it depends. Whether or not your body will release insulin in response to a certain level of carbohydrates is somewhat genetic. Some people will release insulin to much lower amounts of carbohydrates than others. However, a good rule of thumb is to stick to less than 1g of net carbohydrates to reduce the insulin response.
For this reason, the ginger lemon tea WILL break your fast while small amounts of lemon water (using 1/8-1/4 slice lemon) will likely NOT break your fast.
Why would you WANT to reduce the insulin response? If weight loss or improving insulin sensitivity is your goal, then reducing the insulin response as much as possible is the main strategy you should be focusing on. Again, this is something discussed in detail in the Complete Intermittent Fasting Bundle. The release of insulin locks up your fat cells and stops something called "lipolysis" (aka fat burning). In order to tap into fat burning mechanisms, reducing the insulin response with your meals and with Intermittent Fasting is essential.