Who combined juicing with intermittent fasting?

What can I drink during intermittent fasting? Ultimate guide!

Intermittent fasting | what can i drink | Water | Tea | Coffee | Broth | Juice | Light drinks | Protein shakes | Alcohol | Conclusion | FAQ | Studies

Intermittent fasting is a diet that is typically combined with a low-carb or keto diet. If you just start with it, the supposedly simple nutrition plan quickly becomes complex.

Perhaps the most important question is: What can I drink during intermittent fasting?

In this article I take a close look at all drinks and determine their effects on intermittent fasting on a scientific basis.

What is intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting involves eating within a certain period of time and fasting for the rest of the day.

Although there are several forms of intermittent fasting, the most popular is fasting over a 16-hour window.

With classic intermittent fasting, you can therefore only eat during a time window of 8 hours per day, e.g. B. from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

However, drinking is allowed around the clock. We will therefore take a closer look at what you can drink during intermittent fasting without negating the benefits.

What can I drink during intermittent fasting?

In order to be able to judge what one is allowed to drink during intermittent fasting, we first have to find out why we are fasting in the first place.

In short, there are two main reasons for intermittent fasting:

  • Weight loss
  • Health benefits

While losing weight also brings health benefits, most of the positive effects of fasting on our bodies comes from a process called autophagy.

It is noteworthy that both fat burning (ketosis) and autophagy require a low level of insulin.

Against this background, there is a third essential aspect of intermittent fasting:

  • It increases insulin sensitivity,
  • This improves blood sugar metabolism
  • And thereby combats metabolic diseases

Losing weight and ketosis

Since fasting is the most effective way to lower insulin levels, it is essential for weight loss. Insulin is our body's essential storage hormone.

As such, it is responsible for signaling cells to take up glucose from the bloodstream as well as storing excess energy as fat or glycogen.

In addition, insulin blocks the enzyme that can break down body fat (Meijssen et al. 20011).

Accordingly, about 75% of possible gains and losses in overweight people can be predicted with the help of the insulin level (Kong et al. 20132).

The 16-hour fasting interval cuts off the supply of nutrients, lowers the insulin level and thus ends the storage mode in the body.

Then the body can begin to break down the carbohydrate stores (glycogen). As soon as the glycogen stores are empty, body fat can be burned for energy.

This process of burning fat is called ketosis and, contrary to many myths, is a completely natural mechanism that has ensured the survival of our species.

Nature has designed the body to build up fat reserves in times of abundance in order to consume this body fat in times of food shortages.

Since today we experience a constant summer instead of food shortages and also eat around the clock, we are gaining weight.

Therefore, intermittent fasting can help restore the natural balance between eating and fasting.

Insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes

Research shows that regular intermittent fasting improves insulin sensitivity.

Hence, it reduces high levels of insulin, improves blood sugar metabolism, and helps get rid of excess sugar in the body.

In addition, it can even reverse insulin resistance and its secondary disease type 2 diabetes, which most diets cannot do on their own (Halberg et al. 20053).

The cause of these metabolic diseases lies in the liver. Too much sugar and insulin cause insulin resistance in liver cells for years (Bawden et al. 20174).

The result is fatty liver. If you want to tackle this core of many metabolic problems, the stored visceral fat has to be burned in the liver.

Visceral fat is the term used to describe harmful accumulations of fat in and around organs.

However, according to recent studies, intermittent fasting can burn this dangerous visceral fat more effectively than low-carb diets (Catenacci et al. 20165).

However, a fasting interval can only burn off excess sugar and visceral fat as long as it is not interrupted by (liquid) food.

Accordingly, it is enough z. For example, if you drink coffee with milk during intermittent fasting to make your blood sugar and insulin levels soar.

Fasting and Autophagy

Autophagy is crucial for the 16 hours of intermittent fasting. If you don't eat for at least 14 hours, autophagy is induced (Yang et al. 20176).

Because it is such a breakthrough health effect, the discovery of this process was honored with the Nobel Prize (Levine et al. 20177).

When food is scarce, the body goes from growth mode to maintenance mode. Then he starts this intracellular recycling system, which breaks down broken cell parts and removes toxins from the body.

But what does it depend on whether a drink hinders or ends autophagy?

Because of this, there are three essential nutrient sensors in our body. They turn the process of autophagy on and off, so to speak:

  • Insulin: Sensitive to carbohydrates and proteins
  • mTOR: Sensitive to proteins
  • AMPK: Sensitive to lack of energy in cells

The AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) reacts when cells are supplied with energy - regardless of the macronutrient. Therefore, in addition to carbohydrates and proteins, fat also prevents autophagy.

Both AMPK and insulin activate mTOR (“mechanistic” or “mammalian target of rapamycin” or target of rapamycin in mammals).

This is why the enzyme that is essential for growth is known as the primary nutrient sensor; once you eat, it detects nutrient availability and overrides autophagy.

If the nutrient supply is interrupted, however, cells want to react sustainably and defective cell parts use energy production.

Once this intracellular recycling system is at work, it can bring you numerous health benefits (Raefsky et al. 20178; Jiao et al. 20179; Sasaki et al. 201710; Nakamura et al. 201811):

  • Fights dementia, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's
  • Prevents muscle and bone loss
  • Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Slows down the aging process and increases life expectancy

Now when we look at the details of what to drink during intermittent fasting, autophagy is the benchmark.

Since insulin is the essential nutrient sensor for autophagy, it covers all mechanisms that can break the fast.

Can I drink water during intermittent fasting? 💧

Fasting means not eating anything. Drinking water in its purest form, however, is allowed during intermittent fasting.

As a result, some people can go without food for over a year, but not without fluids (Stewart et al. 197312).

Intermittent fasting also aims to empty the carbohydrate stores so that the body can burn stored fat for energy.

Since the body needs water to store carbohydrates in the form of glycogen in liver, kidney and muscle cells, you lose copious amounts of water when you do intermittent fasting.

Anyone who does not drink appropriately will therefore notice symptoms of the so-called keto flu, such as headaches or dizziness, during intermittent fasting.

These minor physical ailments are mostly due to the lack of minerals - especially salt (sodium) - that were flushed out with the water.

In addition to the necessary fluids, water can also donate minerals to the body. However, the nutrient sensors are not activated during this process. That is why water does not break the fast.

In addition, it is advisable to consume more natural Himalayan or Celtic sea salt during the eating periods when you start intermittent fasting.

If you listen to your body, it will ask for more salt anyway.

Since salt reduces the cravings for sweets, increases insulin sensitivity, improves metabolism and helps with weight loss, that's a good thing (Sakuyama et al. 201613).

Intermittent fasting and mineral water

When it comes to what you can drink during intermittent fasting, I think mineral water is the best choice.

On the one hand, it has effects that provide excellent support for intermittent fasting:

  • It curbs the appetite
  • Helps with a restless stomach,
  • Or even for cramps.

On the other hand, really good mineral water can bring more than 100 mg per liter of the essential electrolytes magnesium, sodium and calcium into the body.

Therefore, if you have access to highly mineralized natural water, you do not have to resort to broth due to the electrolytes, even during longer therapeutic fasting periods.

water with taste

Although there is now water with only natural flavorings, most products cannot do without sugar or sweeteners that break the fast.

However, natural aroma means that the flavor was obtained from a natural starting product through a chemical process.

Unless other additives are included, natural flavors can be limited to very small amounts of macronutrients so that they hardly affect autophagy. Nevertheless, such products are still very rare.

If in doubt, I would therefore not use flavored water. I also think it doesn't taste good.

If you want to add more flavor to your intermittent fasting plan, natural flavors from fruits could add variety to the water.

Water with fruits

If you want to flavor water, a natural way is generally the better way.

For example, you can put a few slices of untreated lime, lemon, orange or cucumber in a carafe and fill it with water.

This gives the water a light, natural aroma that will not significantly affect intermittent fasting as long as you do not eat the slices.

However, this aid should no longer be used once you have got used to intermittent fasting.

Is lemon water allowed during intermittent fasting?

In addition to the lemon slices, a small squirt of lemon moves in a gray area during intermittent fasting.

If you want to stay on the safe side, you should leave it with a slice of lemon in the water or a small splash of freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Because the calories come primarily from carbohydrates, which technically can activate all three nutrient sensors.

That said, a squeeze of lemon doesn't negate all of the benefits.

Since there is a low basic level of autophagy in the body at all times, it cannot be deactivated 100% right away - especially not by negligible amounts of macronutrients.

Intermittent fasting and coconut water

Many people believe that coconut water is a good drink for intermittent fasting.

Nonetheless, this is not the case as the lion's share of energy, unlike coconut, comes from sugar (*).

In addition, the amount of electrolytes is much lower than you might think - no comparison to real mineral water.

Can you drink tea while doing intermittent fasting? 🍵

Green tea is probably the drink that has proven itself the longest in intermittent fasting. In addition, tea is the most popular drink in the world after water.

In the meantime, only coffee can dispute this title for tea. Just like coffee, a cup of black tea has around 2.5 calories - both with (*) and without caffeine (*).

Nonetheless, many experts agree that this minimal amount of macronutrients in tea is negligible.

As with coffee, studies on green tea indicate that it induces autophagy rather than preventing it (Prasanth et al. 201914).

In addition, all pure types of real tea are suitable for intermittent fasting. The degree of fermentation of the tea plant "Camellia Sinensis" determines the name of the tea:

  • Unfermented - white tea
  • Minimally fermented - green tea
  • Partially fermented - oolong tea
  • Fully fermented - black tea

Although all of these teas are suitable, green tea provides the best properties for intermittent fasting due to its diverse active ingredients (Crespy et al. 200415; Hursel et al. 201316; Dulloo, et al. 200017):

  • Regulates blood sugar and prevents diabetes
  • Stimulates the metabolism
  • Helps in burning fat
  • Prevents cardiovascular diseases and cancer

In addition, real tea basically curbs the appetite, which is why it has helped many people to fast.

However, you should be careful with tea from coffee shops like Starbucks, which in most cases contain plenty of sugar (*) or at least sweeteners.

Intermittent fasting and fruit tea

Although fruit tea is very popular with us in Central Europe, it is always a surprise package. You never know exactly what's really inside.

In addition to dried fruits, candied fruits are always hidden in the fruit tea. It is obvious that their sugar content can interrupt the fast.

Accordingly, there is a large variance in fruit tea (*). Like green tea, it can contain next to none at all, just too many for intermittent fasting, or a huge amount of hidden carbohydrates.

Therefore, as with grocery shopping, it is essential to read the label carefully and to avoid buying anything suspicious.

If you want to be on the safe side, don't drink fruit tea during intermittent fasting.

herbal tea

Strictly speaking, herbal tea is not tea either, as it does not contain any components of the tea plant.

Nonetheless, it tends to do better than fruit tea because it doesn't necessarily contain dried fruit.

For example, the nutrient professional of pure chamomile tea hardly differs from real black tea. Just like normal tea, chamomile tea has around 2.5 calories per cup and contains traces of micronutrients (*).

Many other pure herbal tea blends are also very similar to this composition (*).

Therefore, pure herbal tea from the tea shop or health food store is suitable for fasting. But as with fruit tea, it is always important to check the ingredients and, if in doubt, refrain from buying.

Is tea with milk allowed during intermittent fasting?

Since 100 ml milk not only contains more than 5 g milk sugar, but also almost as much milk protein, it makes a serious difference (*).

Even a dash of milk interferes with intermittent fasting after it spikes blood sugar and insulin levels - especially if it's low in fat.

Both milk powder and plant-based milk drinks are manufactured industrially and, due to their composition, are not suitable for fasting.

Only unsweetened almond milk is in a gray area. It argues for and against. Since the nut milk is particularly thin, a splash in the tea will not necessarily break the fast.

The same goes for cinnamon, which also has interesting health benefits.

Tea with honey

Honey consists of over 80% sugar (*). The fact that honey is natural doesn't help much - that's basically the same with table sugar made from sugar beet.

As a result, tea with honey is not allowed during intermittent fasting.

Tea with sweetener

As you will see in more detail with the diet drinks, both natural and artificial sweeteners are problematic when fasting. Even if they have no calories, they stimulate insulin production (Anton et al. 201018).

Because it prevents autophagy and fat burning, sweetened tea is not allowed during fasting.

Can I drink coffee while doing intermittent fasting? ☕

Although some religiously motivated fasting customs prohibit drinking coffee, it does not fundamentally harm intermittent fasting.

On the contrary - coffee does not hinder autophagy, but can stimulate it.

Accordingly, scientists were able to determine in mice that both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee can activate autophagy in muscle tissue, liver, heart and other important organs (Pietrocola et al. 201419).

While coffee doesn't break the fast, those ingredients that are often added to it do, such as:

  • Milk and milk powder
  • Cream and milk foam
  • Soy and oat milk
  • Any sweetener

A splash of almond milk may still be in a gray area. Nevertheless, even the thin nut milk technically breaks intermittent fasting.

You can find details on this in my ultimate guide to coffee and intermittent fasting:

Black coffee and espresso

A cup of black coffee can contain 1-4 calories and very small amounts of protein, fat, or trace elements.

Therefore, for most people, the nutrients in 1-2 cups of black coffee are not enough to influence the metabolism in such a way that it could break the fast (van Dam et al. 200420)

Since coffee can help suppress appetite, it helps many people persevere in their fasts longer.

Due to the stimulation of the hormone adrenaline, which prepares our body for stressful situations, larger amounts of coffee can influence intermittent fasting (Smits et al. 198621).

In this way, glucose can enter the bloodstream without ingesting food (Sherwin et al. 198422).

As long as you don't drink more than 1-2 cups in the foreseeable future, coffee won't inhibit autophagy in this indirect way.

Due to the following characteristics, one can drink a cup of coffee again and again during interdependency fasting (Greenberg et al. 201223; Bagherniya et al. 201824; (Acheson et al. 198025; (Icken et al. 201726):

  • It is rich in antioxidants that curb appetite
  • Activates and supports autophagy
  • Increases the metabolic rate
  • Supports sustainable weight loss

Accordingly, espresso or black coffee is an ideal drink for in between, when the appetite shows up again. However, you shouldn't consume jugs of it.

Can you drink Bulletproof Coffee during intermittent fasting?

Although Bulletproof Coffee is repeatedly declared safe from fasting, it is not.

This fat keto coffee may not make insulin levels soar, but it does keep the body abundant in fat.

And as we know, the AMPK nutrient sensor reacts to fat. Therefore, Bulletproof Coffee affects autophagy.

Since the original Bulletproof Coffee only contains high-quality, pure fat, but no other macronutrients, it does not increase the insulin level. You can find the recipe here:

In this way, fat burning is not negatively affected by ketosis.

Since it counteracts hunger, this coffee with MCT oil and butter helps fasting beginners in particular to get used to intermittent fasting.

If you can only get by with black coffee for 12 hours at the beginning, but last 18 hours with a few teaspoons of coconut oil in the coffee, the disadvantages of adding fat are probably justifiable.

Nevertheless, with 16/8 intermittent fasting, after a few days you will no longer need any fat to extend the fast.

Ultimately, you prefer to burn body fat instead.

Can I drink broth during intermittent fasting? 🥣

Homemade bone broth made from beef, pork or chicken bones not only tastes great, but also has properties that help with fasting:

  • Provides electrolytes
  • Is easy to digest
  • Contains natural fat that helps with nutrient absorption

But here's the whole point: broth contains enough fat to activate AMPK and break the fast.

Rather, bone broth is a first-class fast-breaking food.

Since there are magnesium, potassium, calcium and sodium in bone broth, it can replenish the electrolytes that have been flushed out.

During fasting, broth is therefore used as an electrolyte donor, e.g. B. used in therapeutic fasting for days or weeks. Therefore, when doing intermittent fasting, it represents a maximum of training wheels for the start.

Cucumber water for intermittent fasting

Like bone broth, the water in sugar-free pickles has already helped many people fast. While broth is a comprehensive electrolyte donor, the cucumber water in particular provides salt.

This is why you should drink it during interval or therapeutic fasting when physical pain (e.g. headache) occurs.

Nonetheless, cucumber water should remain an aid for this purpose.

Can you drink apple cider vinegar during intermittent fasting?

Apple cider vinegar helps people who are mostly used to digesting carbohydrates and proteins more easily incorporate healthy fats into their diet for nutrient absorption.

In addition, drinking apple cider vinegar supports intermittent fasting due to the following effects:

For these reasons, supporters of low-carb diets like the keto diet swear by apple cider vinegar.

Fasting beginners also repeatedly use apple cider vinegar, which is diluted with water. Technically speaking, an apple cider vinegar drink could affect autophagy, but the tiny amounts of macronutrients are arguably negligible (*).

Nevertheless, like broth, it is an aid for new fasting distances and, due to its properties, is a first-class drink for breaking the fast.

Can I drink juice while doing intermittent fasting? 🍹

Juices are often referred to as natural products. But is it allowed to drink it during intermittent fasting?

Fruit juice when fasting

Compared to the consumption of fruits, their consumption in the form of juices is more hazardous to health.

After the protective fiber is removed with the pulp, fruit juice leads to enormous insulin spikes.

Precisely because the natural protective effect of dietary fiber is missing, the fructose in fruit juices also pops unchecked into the liver, where it causes insulin resistance and visceral fat in the long term.

Therefore, non-alcoholic fatty liver (NAFL) is also far more common than fatty liver caused by alcohol (Angulo et al. 200231).

Fruit juice not only breaks the fast, but the bottom line is not much better than a cola - no matter how “organic” it is. If you are serious about losing weight, you have to keep your hands off it - even during eating periods.

Celery juice and vegetable juice

Even if celery is on my low-carb grocery list, it will remain a meal if you juice it up.

Neither celery juice nor other vegetable juices are calorie-free, which breaks the fast. In addition, it is precisely sugar that makes up the main energy component in celery and stimulates insulin (*).

Are smoothies allowed during intermittent fasting?

Although blending smoothies contain fiber instead of juicing them, they clearly break intermittent fasting.

Compared to fruit juices, they are the lesser evil, but still represent a meal.

And what about lemonade?

Since it contains sugar, lemonade is not allowed to be consumed by interdicts. You would have to reduce it to conventional lemon water for it to be allowed.

What is the verdict, however, if lemonade only contains sweetener?

Intermittent fasting and light drinks 🥤

Sweet taste is a particular issue in intermittent fasting. On the one hand it is already difficult to get rid of it, on the other hand it also promotes cravings.

Most sugar-free sweeteners have zero protein, carbohydrates, fat, or calories.

But what many diet gurus forget is that insulin release isn't just stimulated by blood sugar.

However, this is exactly what happens with sweeteners - many of them can increase insulin levels even more than the sugar in regular cola.

Can I drink Diet Coke during intermittent fasting?

One of the best-known sweeteners is aspartame, which has also been the basis for Diet Coke for decades.

Although the calorie-free aspartame has no effect on the blood sugar level, it sometimes increases the insulin level more than table sugar (Anton et al. 201032).

Therefore, the sweetener in Diet Coke not only prevents autophagy, but also prevents fat burning.

Against this background, it is probably no coincidence that people who devour huge amounts of light drinks are on average particularly overweight.

Can you drink Cola Zero during intermittent fasting?

Although Cola Zero varies in its composition, it always contains aspartame and acesulfame-K.

In addition to aspartame, the heat-resistant sweetener acesulfame-K in Zero drinks increases insulin levels to the same extent as glucose, according to studies (Liang et al. 198733).

Cola Zero is therefore not suitable for autophagy and weight loss.

In addition, calorie-free sweeteners stimulate cravings in the brain - a property that does not go well with intermittent fasting (Yang 201034).

Accordingly, researchers have found that consuming zero and light drinks instead of normal soft drinks does not lead to the desired calorie reduction due to the increased appetite (Bellisle et al. 200735).

And how about Green Cola for intermittent fasting?

Stevia is often sold to us as the natural sweetener par excellence. However, like table sugar from sugar beet, it is extracted from a plant and refined using a complex process.

With this in mind, the sweetener in Green Cola suddenly doesn't sound that natural anymore.

In addition, the calorie-free sweetener has other problems:

So the situation is clear. Stevia and Green Cola are not suitable for intermittent fasting.

Energy drinks while fasting

Regular energy drinks obviously contain sugar. So you shouldn't drink it during intermittent fasting.

Sugar-free energy drinks

Just like Cola Zero z. B. Red Bull Sugarfree Aspartame and Acesulfame-K.

Since sugar-free energy drinks cannot do without artificial sweeteners, they are not suitable for fasting.

Zero sport drinks

Even if fortification with electrolytes and vitamins sounds interesting for fasting at first glance, sugar-free sports drinks are not suitable for it.

For example, in addition to acesulfame-K, Powerade Zero also contains sucralose, the sweetener in the sweetener Splenda.

According to studies, one packet of this can be enough to wipe out 50 percent of a healthy intestinal flora (Abou-Donia et al. 200838).

In addition, sucralose increases insulin levels by around 20 percent, which breaks the fast anyway (Pepino et al. 201339).

Intermittent fasting and protein shakes 💪

Until the 1990s it was not known that protein also strongly stimulates insulin (Nuttall et al. 199140).

Because of this, the first low-carb diets, like the Atkins diet, weren't particularly effective for weight loss. The fact that the keto diet is based on this knowledge also explains its popularity today.

Nonetheless, protein shakes still enjoy the image of a slimming drink.

However, there is hardly any drink that stimulates insulin and the primary nutrient sensor mTOR like a protein shake with isolated whey protein.

Not only do protein shakes break intermittent fasting, but they also directly counteract autophagy. This aims at protein accumulations such as B. in the brain (Li et al. 201741).

Autophagy thus counteracts our modern diseases, which are characterized by too much growth or proteins in the body. These range from dementia to cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

Alcohol during intermittent fasting 🍷

If only because its effect is increased on an empty stomach, you should not drink alcohol during intermittent fasting.

In addition, alcohol is a source of calories that breaks the fast.

Alcohol isn't a great idea during the eating periods either. Cocktails, mixed drinks and especially beer are full of carbohydrates, stimulate insulin production and stimulate the appetite.

The exception is red wine, which can be drunk about the size of a glass with dinner (Corrao et al. 200042).

When drunk with meals, red wine has positive effects on blood pressure, glucose and insulin levels (Shai et al. 200743).

If you choose a dry red wine like Pinot Noir (2.3 g carbohydrates), it can generally improve insulin sensitivity (Napoli et al. 200544).

What you can drink during intermittent fasting! 📋

If you want to save yourself the details from above, here comes the distilled result. According to the latest science, you can drink the drinks on this list during intermittent fasting:

  • water
  • Mineral water
  • Water with lemon, orange or cucumber slices
  • Lemon water (a squeeze of lemon)
  • Black coffee (without, milk, sugar, sweetener)
  • Black decaffeinated coffee (see above)
  • White tea (without, milk, sugar, sweetener)
  • Green tea (see above)
  • Oolong tea (see above)
  • Black tea (see above)
  • Herbal tea (check ingredients for sweeteners and fruits)
  • Diluted apple cider vinegar (auxiliary)

What you can drink during intermittent fasting always depends on your goals. If you are practicing classic intermittent fasting to lose weight, then this list is the right place for you.

Research is not yet entirely sure about longer therapeutic fasting periods for anti-aging effects and disease prevention.

While numerous animal studies suggest that coffee and green tea aid in autophagy, the truth is we don't know for sure.

Since there are no corresponding data for humans, autophagy fasting is often practiced as a pure water fast, in which salt or mineral water is also allowed.

However, green tea was already able to activate autophagy in human cells, but these were previously implanted in mice (Prasanth et al. 201945).

What can I drink during intermittent fasting FAQ ❓

Which tea is allowed for intermittent fasting?

Real tea 🍵 from the tea plant Camellia Sinensis is allowed during intermittent fasting as long as it is drunk without milk and without sweeteners. That includes green, black, white, and oolong teas.

Which foods are allowed in intermittent fasting?

There is no eating during the fasting period. Drinks such as water 💧, coffee ☕ and tea 🍵 are allowed during intermittent fasting as long as they are not sweetened and consumed without milk.

What to eat at 8 16 hours of fasting?

The best results with intermittent fasting are achieved with a low-carb diet such as the ketogenic diet, as it is based on the same principle of fat burning 🔥.

Can you drink coffee while doing intermittent fasting?

Coffee ☕ is allowed during intermittent fasting as long as it is drunk black, without milk or any sweetener.



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