“Will herbal tea break a fast?” It is a common question among those who are following intermittent fasting.
Every IF follower knows that no food must be taken during the fasting window. But the less obvious question is what can you drink when you are doing IF?
It is true that you need to abstain from eating during your fasting phase, there are beverages that might be ideal that would not break a fast.
One of these drinks is water. You can drink lemon water, black coffee, and carbonated water.
How About Herbal Tea
Unsweetened herbal tea can be taken. It will not break a fast as long as you do not add sweeteners and other things to it.
However, the perfect drink you can have when you are in the fasting state is to drink only water. It is the best beverage you can have.
Now, if plain water does not suit your palate, you can add fresh lemon or mint to flavor it.
What Can Break Your Fast
If it has calories in it, then it will surely break your fast. That’s why you cannot drink fruit juice, protein shakes, and smoothies while you are fasting. These can break your fast.
Another thing to consider is the supplement. Will it break your fast? Unfortunately, there is no definite answer to it.
However, if the supplement has sweeteners or it contains calories, then it will likely break your fast. For that reason, protein shakes are not allowed in your fasting state because they contain calories. Furthermore, they have sweeteners.
If you are in doubt, check the label of your supplements. If they contain calories, then they are likely to break your fast.
To make sure that you are not break your fast, just do not take supplements. Anything that has calories in it will bring you out of your fasted state.
That’s why if you do not want to break your fast, just drink water while fasting. It is the easiest thing to do. In that way, you remain in a fasted state.
Some Herbal Teas Contain Calories – Will They Break a Fast
Herbal tea is fine. Herbalife’s herbal tea is fine. It offers a thermic effect on your body. Thus, your body temperature might go up but it will not bring you out of the fasted state.
However, it still depends on your goal. Since Herbal Tea Concentrate contains 5 calories per serving, it will not halt your weight loss goal during your IF.
Then again, if you are after with the digestive benefits of IF and resetting your body, then you should be more strict. Adding butter into your tea could take you out of your fasted state.
It is true that pure fat will help you burn fat when you add butter and make Bulletproof coffee. However, doing so will only cause you to be out of the fasted state.
Be Careful with Zero Calorie Drinks
You may think that a Diet Coke with zero calories cannot break your fast. But think twice. Diet Coke contains sweeteners. They can cause an insulin response and stimulate hunger signals.
Ideally, you must not drink it during your fasting state, despite it being a zero-calorie drink.
You should only consume things that your gut bacteria would benefit. If you drink beverages with artificial ingredients, it might put your body out of sync.
Why Bulletproof Coffee is Not Ideal
Bulletproof coffee is ideal if you want to promote ketosis. However, it must not be consumed when you are fasting.
As mentioned earlier, this coffee has butter and MCT. These two things will take your body out of the fasted state. However, this beverage will not halt your body from burning fats and using them as fuel.
Having one Bulletproof coffee could be fine. But avoid if you wish to get the additional benefits of IF, such as autophagy.
Intermittent Fasting and Its Basics
We all fast intermittently. When we stop eating after dinner, we are already fasting. But the goal of IF is not just about “not” eating anything. Rather, the goal here is to provide your body a break from food.
When your body “breaks” from food, it focuses on cleansing, instead of digesting.
Our body has proteins and other structures. They become dysfunctional but it is vital for optimal health.
But the dead tissues must be eliminated from the body to prevent them from causing cell death, contributing to poor organ and cell function.
When the body enters the autophagy state, it marks all damaged cells and unused proteins as harmful. Your body gets this message and clears out the damaged parts.
Without autophagy, the damaged proteins will accumulate in the body. The only best way to stimulate it is to force your body into a fasting state.
Fasting without Water
Some followers of intermittent fasting are not eating or drinking anything, including water. This is called no-water intermittent fasting or dry fasting.
It could have some health benefits. It may stimulate autophagy and lowers chronic diseases risk.
However, it has some risks.
Some people are trying it for spiritual reasons and to lose weight. They are also following for detoxing purposes. Or they are preparing for a medical operation.
Unfortunately, dry fasting may become dangerous if you do it for a longer period of time. It is true that some people can go without water for more than a week.
But doing so could be lethal. It could cause dehydration.
However, some people think that it will not make you dehydrated because your body starts to produce water. Then again, it is not ideal for beginners.
Even though it has some health benefits, you must not do it without studying its effects on your body.
You must never do it without the supervision of your healthcare provider.
Dry fasting is a form of intermittent fasting that must only be done if you do not have any medical condition.
I have not tried dry fasting but I’ve been practicing intermitting fasting for almost a year now. And the effects are great as it helps with my GERD.
I have written an article about intermittent fasting that you can read more here. When you click the link, you will be directed to the post that talks about the ways to do IF for weight loss. You may also read about how IF can cause ketosis that leads to weight loss. This link will lead you to the post that answers the question, “Does intermittent fasting cause ketosis.”