Does Coffee Break A Fast? (Truth Unveiled)

coffee lined up on a wooden ledge

It’s safe to say that everybody around the globe who gets up to do their daily tasks has a cup of coffee every morning.  It’s just so delicious and provides such a strong caffeine boost that you wouldn’t want to miss it.

But when you are fasting then what should be your resolution for the early morning caffeine intake? Maybe skipping the whole cuppa and then running on low energy the whole day. Sounds unmanageable, right?

But does coffee actually break a fast? Is there really a reason to skip it when you’re fasting.

The short answer is no, coffee does not break your fast. In fact, it can probably even help it as caffeine has been shown to induce autophagy. As long as you stay under the calorie limit of 50 calories, you shouldn’t worry about coffee breaking your fast.

Let’s dive deep into it if you do not want to leave your coffee while fasting.

Is It Okay To Drink Coffee While Fasting?

You can drink coffee while fasting but without any added sugars in it.

During fasting, the basic idea is to keep your stomach empty and not consume any food that gives you energy. Therefore, some people might think that not drinking any kind of beverage is the way to go. While I agree, it all depends upon what goals you have set for yourself through fasting – whether you are looking to lose weight or trying to get your blood sugar down.

Most caffeine-induced drinks are prohibited during fasting but you can have coffee without any trouble. Generally, you can have plain strong black coffee with nothing added to it. A 240 ml plain black coffee is essentially under 3 calories. So luckily this will not start your metabolism. Anything with added sugars like latte or cappuccinos is not fast-friendly.

Keep in mind the black coffee in a whole day should not be more than 2 cups. Otherwise, it can trigger your insulin secretions and may break your fast.

Does Coffee With Stevia Break A Fast?

Adding Stevia to your coffee does not break your fast, this is because Stevia contains zero calories.

Stevia is a natural sweetener derived from leaves that people usually add to coffee to lessen the bitterness of the drink. When you’re on a fast, you are often advised to avoid sweet stuff or anything that contains sugar.

This can be a problem while fasting. People who regularly do not consume black coffee might think this awful tasting coffee is their only option in their fasting periods. But if you really need some sweetness there is a way.

Fortunately, Stevia is a zero-calorie natural sweetener that you can put in your coffee without breaking your fast.

That said, you should keep the addition of Stevia in your drink to a minimum. Despite it being zero-calorie, overdoing it might break your fast.

What Can I Put In My Coffee That Won’t Break My Fast?

creamer being added to a cup of coffee

There are some additions that would not break your fast.

A rule of thumb here is things under 50 calories would not break your fast like black coffee. The whole idea here is not to start your metabolic system or increase your blood sugar levels. Omitting things that contain carbohydrates is also the key.

For some people having black coffee on its own can be a bit difficult so there are some ingredients that you may want to add. These items are also KETO friendly, so you can enjoy them and burn fat at the same time.

Butter or Ghee: Both of these items are purely just fats. But keep in mind no flavored butter or ghee. The basic variety which is either salted or unsalted would work the best. It will not affect your insulin or break your fast.

Heavy cream: Since this is also purely fat you should be good while adding this to your coffee.

Half and Half: People tend to add this commonly in their coffees. You can continue to do this. Basically, it is more of a diluted form of heavy cream.

Coconut oil: This oil is enriched with fatty acids. This can be added in moderation to your coffee.

Unsweetened Nut Milk: Nut milk is also a great addition to your black coffee. Milk like almond milk, coconut milk, or hemp milk but only the unsweetened kind are also your options.

Spices: Mostly spices are calorie-free and do not hinder your fasting. Spices like cinnamon or turmeric can be added to spice up that boring, bitter coffee.

Sea-Salt: Since sea salt has no calories it can be added freely. Also, it plays an important role in balancing your electrolytes while in the state of fasting.

Before you go on adding these things I have mentioned above, I have made a table for you with their specific quantities. Follow this table for a 240 ml cup of black coffee and it will not break your fast.

Butter or Ghee1/2 teaspoon
Heavy Cream1/2 teaspoon
Half and Half 1 tablespoon
Coconut Oil3/4 teaspoon
Unsweetened Nut MilkNot more than 1/3 cup
SpicesAs per your taste
Sea Salt1/4 teaspoon or as per your liking

Here is an awesome video that I found for including these above ingredients in your coffee.

some great recipes

Does Coffee Break Autophagy?

Coffee does not break autophagy but instead helps the process. A study conducted suggests that drinking coffee while fasting promotes autophagy on the skeletal muscle level.

This does not mean the huge quantity of caffeine is advised but a little caffeine kick early in the morning care sure help.

Autophagy is basically the body’s natural way of destroying unwanted damaged cells and unnecessary cell components in order to regenerate healthy ones. It occurs when you essentially ‘starve’ yourself and your body’s insulin level considerably drops.   

People who fast usually strive to reach autophagy, however, some fear that drinking coffee might prevent them from that. But contrary to their belief, coffee actually induces autophagy.

A study was also conducted to determine the effects of natural and decaffeinated coffee on autophagy. The study showed that both types of coffee had a rapid impact on ongoing autophagy. This may be due to the small amount of caffeine being present in the decaf coffee or maybe some other thing. Keep on reading so you know more!

In addition to the caffeine, even the antioxidants present in the coffee like deacetylate protein induce autophagy.

Research also suggests the components which are left in the decaffeinated coffee like polyphenols also have a strong impact on triggering autophagy. One such polyphenol is chlorogenic acid. The research concluded that it activates the AMPK pathways resulting in autophagy.

Therefore, drinking coffee while fasting can be beneficial for the autophagy process. It is a win-win situation!

What Kind Of Coffee Can I Drink While Fasting?

a hand holding a cup of coffee

There are many options to choose from, however, the best coffee to drink while fasting is just plain old black coffee.

I wrote an article about the best coffees to drink while fasting and if you’re interested, you can read it here.

You can always make your hot cup of joe at home or get it from your favorite Starbucks. It is up to you. Just keep in mind that moderation is the key here during your fasting window. So do not go overboard here.

At home you can make:

  • Plain black coffee with stevia.
  • Bulletproof coffee

At Starbucks you can ask them from these listed below:

  • Regular drip coffee without any sugar or cream
  • Americano
  • Iced Black or Cold-brew Coffee. Just make sure you ask for no sugar or syrup
  • Black or Green Iced Coffee with no sweetener
  • Shaken Tea without any sweetener is an alternative to black coffee.

Does Coffee Help In Fasting?

Coffee can surely help with fasting. This is because coffee, especially black coffee, usually contains little to no calories. Drinking coffee can also induce autophagy, helps you lose weight, and decreases the risk of diabetes.

This is good news for all those coffee aficionados reading this. I can feel your happiness right through the screen. You see, we have already discussed that coffee promotes autophagy. Autophagy promotes greater brain health. Resulting in declining age-related mental illness. Plus, it is good for your overall health. Coffee also helps you with your fasting goals.

If you are looking to lose weight through fasting you can boost it by drinking black coffee. Research tells us that caffeine helps your body to burn faster quickly. It sends the signals to your nervous system to burn the fat cells in your body.

Coffee intake while fasting can decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes too. It is known to decrease by 19% if consumed regularly in moderation.

Thus, having a cup of coffee can actually boost the effects of intermittent fasting.

The Takeaway

Fasting has gained a lot of traction over the years for multiple reasons. Some do it for medical reasons, and others do it to lose weight. With it gaining popularity, questions about whether certain foods or drinks are allowed will naturally emerge too.

One being will coffee break a fast?

Coffee, especially black coffee won’t break a fast as they usually contain little to no calories. Even if the bitter taste of black coffee doesn’t suit you, the addition of Stevia, a natural sweetener, won’t break your fast either. This is because Stevia contains zero calories as well!

The rule of thumb when fasting is that anything under 50 calories is okay so even if Stevia doesn’t bode well for you, you can try a small splash of creamers or half-and-half to help with the bitterness of coffee.

Coffee also helps with autophagy, a thing many people who fast strive for. Whether it’s decaf or regular coffee, a cup of joe can aid in inducing autophagy.

The caffeine from coffee also provides many benefits, like decreasing the risk of diabetes and aids in losing weight.

So you can take a breather now and take your much-needed caffeine hit in the morning without worrying if it will break your fast.

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Matt Marshall

As I learn more and more about coffee and coffee products I want to share all my learnings with you here on this website. I hope you find my articles useful and entertaining to read.

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