What Can I Drink While Fasting?

If you’re about to try a fast for the first time, you probably have many questions. New routines and diets can be complicated and overwhelming, especially ones with rules like fasting. By definition, you can’t eat anything while fasting. So, how are you supposed to keep your energy levels up throughout the day? 


If your body isn’t getting enough nutrients for an extended period, it may be hard to complete basic tasks for work or school while feeling fatigued. Eating during a fast is considered a “break,” and there are certain beverages that won’t “break” your fast while also helping you to not feel tired and fatigued. 


The most important thing is differentiating between which drinks will break a fast and which ones won’t. Some beverages, specifically ones high in sugar and calories, will be extremely harmful to your fast and can be considered a break. 


In addition to keeping track of the nutrition facts, it’s also important not to overindulge. Drinks that won’t break your fast and contain caffeine, for example, can cause unpleasant side effects on an empty stomach if you drink too much. 


So, what can you drink while fasting? The list may be short, but we’ll break down the specifics. Let’s take a look! 


What Drinks Won’t Break My Fast? 

Below, we have compiled a list of drinks that won’t break your fast, but will help you maintain some energy so you can get through your fasting period. 


Unfortunately, there aren’t many options. But, the few selections that you do have can go a long way in helping you get through a fast. The list is in no particular order, but we’ll start with one of the most important drinks, fasting or not. 


Water

We can’t emphasize how important water is. Fast or no fast, you should be drinking between six to eight cups of water every single day. Dehydration is super dangerous and can become even worse in the middle of a fast. 


When you’re fasting, you’re aren’t getting the nutrients from the food that gives your body energy. You will likely begin to feel sluggish, especially if you’re trying fasting for the first time. If you’re dehydrated, it can also cause fatigue and tiredness. 


The only way to prevent dehydration is by drinking water. The more water you drink, the better you’ll feel. Not to mention, there are zero calories in water, making it one of the most natural and healthy energy sources out of any food or drink. 


Drinking a lot of water during a fast will also help keep you hydrated. Whatever else you decide to drink throughout your fasting window, make sure water is included at one point or another.  


Coffee

Caffeine can be a huge help during your fast as it provides you with an exceptional energy boost. In one cup of black coffee, there are roughly only one to three calories, 95 mg of caffeine, and no carbohydrates, sugar, or fat. 


Most importantly, the caffeine in one cup of coffee will allow you to get through your fasting window with ease. People tend to drink coffee for two purposes: feeling more awake or staying awake. This doesn’t change while fasting, and adding a cup in the beginning, middle, or end of your fast provides valuable feelings of energy.


The only downside is that coffee can’t have any added ingredients. The popularity of flavors, syrups, creamers, and added sugars in caffeinated drinks has skyrocketed over the last few years, specifically with younger generations. 


For example, a latte with vanilla syrup containing large amounts of milk, sugar, and calories should be avoided during a fast. Even a small coffee with heavy cream and sugar can be considered a break because of the fats and carbs that come from that cream and sugar. 


If you can’t get used to the taste of black coffee, it wouldn’t be completely detrimental to add a few drops of creamer or milk. While this might technically break your fast if you add too much, it won’t necessarily harm the benefits of fasting as long as you don’t overdo it. 


At the end of the day, you’ll want to stick to black coffee. 


It’s also important to note that too much caffeine can have a reverse effect. If you’re only just beginning a fast, you might be tempted to have three, four, or maybe even five or more cups of coffee throughout the day. This will not help you. In fact, it will make your fast so much harder. 


If you overindulge on caffeine, a crash is inevitable. You will begin to feel jittery and almost too energized to the point where you can’t focus. This is followed by a harsh period of fatigue, sluggishness, and a bad headache, known as a crash. 


We recommend no more than two cups of black coffee if you’re fasting for an extended period of time. If you absolutely have to, a third cup of coffee might not lead to a crash as long as it’s spaced out, or if you know you can handle it. 


Also, remember that including plenty of water throughout the day with or after your coffee is super important. If you don’t like coffee, no worries. There are a few more drink options you have to choose from during your fast. 


Tea

Tea has been consumed for thousands of years and is one of the most popular drinks on the planet. The healthy nutrients and energy tea provides are invaluable, especially during a fast.


Not only can tea help you get through a fast, but it has been linked to offer immune system and heart support. With all the added health benefits, it’s no wonder why tea is so popular. 


A lot of teas contain caffeine but herbal teas like chamomile and ginger do not contain any. Black, green, and oolong, arguably are the three most popular non-herbal teas, and have anywhere from 28 to 55 milligrams of caffeine per serving. 


While tea doesn’t have quite as much caffeine as coffee, it’s still enough for you to get a nice energy boost during your fast. 


Unsweetened, natural tea is one of the healthiest drinks out there. Be cautious that you are drinking unsweetened tea, as many brand-name teas can be loaded with hidden sugars and calories. 


Additionally, chain store teas will likely contain ingredients that may break your fast if consumed. Bubble teas and tea-based lattes are great examples, as these drinks often have tons of added sugar, syrups, or flavoring. 


Compared to coffee, there are many more options in terms of flavor. So, if you don’t like coffee or can’t handle the taste of black coffee, tea is a great alternative. 


What Should I Avoid Drinking During a Fast?

A good rule to follow is to avoid any drink that’s high in sugar, calories, and fats, as they will likely break your fast. Below are some drinks you should avoid during a fast:


  • Soda: High in calories? Check. Sugar? Definitely a check. Some sodas can contain as much as 80 grams of sugar. What about diet soda? Well, with zero “real” sugars, no calories, and artificial sweeteners, it usually won’t break a fast, but it’s far from a healthy option if you’re fasting for health in the first place. 


  • Energy Drinks: Everything said about soda can be applied to energy drinks. They’re unhealthy because of their ingredients and the effects they can have on on our bodies. It’s best to avoid energy drinks entirely, as they will definitely break your fast. (With the same note above as diet soda applying to “diet” energy drinks)


  • Juice: This one is really a bummer because organic, natural fruit and vegetable juices can be really good for you. But, we wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t give you a heads up before you start a fast. Even though the sugars and calories are natural and can be nourishing, they’re still sugars and calories, and will break your fast. 


Track Your Nutrition With Able

Now that you know what you can and can’t drink during a fast, it’s time to start taking control of your health with Able


Able is your new best friend and assistant for everything related to health. No matter what your goals are, Able is with you for the entire journey. 


Simply plug in your health information and goals, and you’ve already begun the process towards becoming a healthier and happier you as Able’s intermittent fasting challenge gives you the extra motivation you need to make it through a tough fast. 


Becoming healthier can be a huge challenge, and you no longer have to conquer it alone with Able at your side, and maybe a cup of tea or coffee, too!



Sources: 

How Much Water Should You Drink? | Harvard Health

Coffee Consumption and Health | National Library of Medicine 

The Hidden Health Benefits of Tea | Penn Medicine