If you're supplementing with zinc during cold and flu season, should you wait to take it during your eating window? Today, I'm diving into whether or not zinc breaks a fast.
Does Zinc Break a Fast?
Whether or not something breaks a fast depends on your goal with Intermittent Fasting. If you're looking for the gut health perks of Intermittent Fasting, then anything other than water and electrolytes will likely break a fast. However, if you're looking to achieve a weight loss goal, anything that causes insulin (the storing hormone) to spike will break a fast.
Assuming that we're talking about pure zinc (meaning, not in gummy or sugary powder form), then this won't break a fast if your goal is weight loss. Because zinc doesn't contain any protein or carbs that could spike insulin, the body stays in a fat burning state during the fast. However, if you take zinc in a gummy form or if your supplement contains any sugar or protein (always check the label!), then this will break a fast. Zinc is often found in lozenges or syrups, so if you're using this form, then these will break a fast.
Zinc may break a fast if your goal is to improve gut health. Intermittent Fasting helps to improve gut health by activating the gut cleaning process called the Migrating Motor Complex. This flushes out left behind food and bacteria that typically causes bloating and GI distress. When you eat/drink anything other than water or electrolytes, this has the potential to stop the Migrating Motor Complex. Because of this, you might want to keep your zinc intake to your eating window with a gut health goal as the primary objective.
But if you need to take zinc during the fast and you want to optimize for both gut health and weight loss perks, you might want to check out a sublingual zero sugar brand. These are absorbed directly through the capillaries under the tongue and therefore bypass the usual digestion process.
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