In modern culture, people may choose to fast due to religious or health reasons. During fast, people are expected to eat less than usual, depending on if it is a strict fast or lenient fast.
More to that, what does that mean for coffee? Does it mean you abstain from coffee as well, or is it good to drink it? The answer can be a yes or no, depending on the fasting regime you usually follow.
What is fasting?
Fasting is the willful reduction of your daily food ration or eliminating it. Among the fasting types, the intermittent fast is the least extreme. One eats at a specified time and then fasts for a certain period. The diagnostic fast involves the complete elimination of food in preparation for a medical test like bloodwork.
Extreme types of fasting are dry fasting. People don’t eat or drink anything, usually for 24-hours. During a water fast, one is only allowed to drink water.
Most fasts are usually for religious purposes. It is believed that they bring people closer to God. They may range from rigorous to a lenient fast depending on the religion.
Some of the many health benefits of fasting are weight loss, reducing blood sugar, boosting immunity, detoxification, and resetting the digestive system.
Can you drink coffee without breaking fast?
Fasting means excluding everything apart from the basic needs for survival. During fasting, drinking coffee may sound forbidden. However, it depends on:
- The reason for fasting.
- The rules behind the fasting.
Strict fasting will forbid coffee and allow water. Sometimes, even water is prohibited. Some fasts allow black coffee as it does not contain calories, while others will forbid it because it contains caffeine.
Coffee and religious fasting
Most fasts are for religious purposes. Catholicism and Christianity are the most coffee friendly of the 3 Abrahamic Faiths. However, each religion has its own rules concerning fasting.
Judaism follows the kosher diet, and coffee is considered Kosher. The only two exceptions are because of the decaffeination process whereby decaf coffee is not regarded as kosher during Passover.
In the Jewish religion, the Yom Kipper and Tisha B’Av holidays require people to observe an easy fast. People are forbidden to eat or drink anything for 25 hours. People are advised to abstain from coffee during this period and other caffeinated drinks to prevent them from suffering caffeine withdrawal headaches.
In Islam during Ramadan, people are forbidden from eating any food or drinking any beverage from dawn until dusk for 29-30 days. It means no coffee by all means.
Coffee and fasting for bloodwork
Before you undergo bloodwork, doctors will advise that you stay away from food and beverages for 8-12 hours. You are only allowed to drink water.
If you drink coffee, caffeine gets absorbed in the bloodstream, which could create an electrolyte imbalance and skew the results. Caffeine also affects the liver, making it release some hormones in the bloodstream, which lasts up to 6 hours in the blood system.
Before any blood testing, you must drink water only to keep your body in a natural state. However, ensure you follow the doctor’s instructions.
Effects of coffee and caffeine on your fast
Once you find out whether your fast allows coffee or not, keep in mind that coffee triggers frequent diarrhea since you don’t eat or drink as usual. You must keep off from coffee to avoid diarrhea during your fast.
On a positive note, drinking coffee during your fast will keep you more alert and energized. That is because your stomach is empty, leading to quick absorption, making you get a more pronounced effect.
Can you drink coffee during an intermittent fast?
Intermittent fast involves someone going about 16 hours without eating. Let’s say you sleep 8 hours on average. Abstain eating 4 hours before bedtime and stay empty 4 hours after waking up. That helps in losing fat and building muscles.
Other types of coffee will help during intermittent fast and will aid in losing weight or gaining as a health benefit. These beverages will help keep insulin levels low to help the body metabolize fat for energy instead of sourcing it from food.
Coffee with cream while fasting
Adding cream to coffee during extreme fasting is forbidden. You can add a splash of cream during intermittent fasting. The cream does not stimulate insulin because of its low-calorie value.
Drink anything with calorie value under 50. Considering that coffee with cream has 20 calories, it does not affect you from getting the results you desire during an intermittent fast, according to Dr. Jason Fung.
Bulletproof is a high-performance beverage used by people from all walks of life. Bulletproof is French Pressed Bulletproof coffee beans with 1-2 spoons of grass-fed butter, 1-2 teaspoon of Brain Octane oil, which has been blended for 20-30 seconds to achieve a foamy latte appearance.
Some people say that bulletproof coffee breaks the intermittent fast while some say it is okay.
The truth is that bulletproof coffee contains 450 calories. Since the goal is to lose weight and not to add, it is, therefore, wrong during a fast. The butter in it boosts hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol).
Coffee with coconut oil
However, coconut oil coffee is good during an intermittent fast. It contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCT). This MCT speeds up the fat loss, energy expenditure, suppress your appetite, and speed up metabolism. The pros outweigh the cons here.
Does coffee make intermittent fasting easier?
For a regular coffee drinker, it is a YES! That is mainly because it suppresses your appetite and also boosts your mental alertness and activeness. That helps you maintain your fast.
More to that, coffee is a good source of energy when on an empty stomach, and it gives a stronger effect. A cup of coffee is an excellent kickoff to a productive day.
There are various types of fasts that are mostly religious. A strict fast does not allow coffee, or sometimes black coffee without milk and sweeteners. Intermittent fasting accommodates the consumption of coffee.
You must find out the reasons behind fasting. If you plan to fast for a long time, it is wise to consult your health practitioner to guarantee your safety during the fasting period.