Does Coffee Work with Intermittent Fasting?

Fasting is the process by which someone holds off eating for a certain amount of time. Based on University of Michigan Health Lab, intermittent fasting is beneficial for weight loss and may help improve blood pressure, reduce liver fat, and lower cholesterol[1].

If you’re considering intermittent fasting, you must be quite confident to resist your craving for food in the morning, at noon, or even in the evening.

What about your craving for coffee?

This article tells you everything you need to know about coffee and intermittent fasting.

“Can I Drink Coffee While Intermittent Fasting?”

The short answer is YES.

The long answer is one serving of coffee contains about 2 calories, 0 carbohydrates, 0 sugar, and 0 fat. Therefore, coffee doesn’t bring any burden to weight and body. That also means coffee doesn’t break a fast and it perfectly works with intermittent fasting.

“Does Coffee Break My Fasting?”

Since coffee doesn’t bring any burden to weight, it works with intermittent fasting. On the contrary, coffee has the following advantages towards body that go along with them supported by intermittent fasting.

Inflammation Reduction

Chronic inflammation is the root cause of many diseases. Based on the research published by PubMed[2], intermittent fasting and coffee intake are beneficial to reduce inflammation.

Some research[3] indicates higher coffee intake may help reducing the risk of metabolic syndrome that is a type of inflammation featuring high blood pressure, fat excess, high cholesterol and high blood sugar.

There’s also research[4] indicating that coffee intake may decrease the risk of Type 2 Diabetes. In addition, daily up to 3 cups (710 ml) of coffee may lead to a 19% reduced risk of death from heart disease.

Good for Your Brain Health

One of the reasons why intermittent fasting becomes increasingly popular is that intermittent fasting may promote brain health and protect against nervous system disease related with age.

Fortunately, coffee features such advantages as well.

Similar with intermittent fasting, regular coffee intake may reduce the risk of mental decline, Alzheimer disease and Parkinson.

Under the condition of intermittent fasting, your body will generate energy from ketone fat, which is related with brain health improvement. The earlier research[5] indicated that the caffeine in the coffee equivalently promotes the generation of ketone.

Moreover, intermittent fasting may improve brain health by increasing autophagy that is the process of getting rid of cells that are damaged or dysfunctional. Autophagy may protect against mental decline correlated with age.

According to a research in mice[6] indicates that coffee intake can promote the generation of autophagy. In addition, the diet mode supported by intermittent fasting contributes to brain health as necessary brain health supplements because of high fiber, high nutrients like Omega-3, Vitamins, etc.

Therefore, coffee intake during intermittent fasting may be quite beneficial to your health and coffee can’t break your fasting.

“Are All Types of Coffee Fit for Intermittent Fasting?”

Definitely NO. No single rule can be fit for all cases.

Although coffee generally won’t break a fast, it doesn’t mean all types of coffee are fit for intermittent fasting. Not want to break your fasting, black coffee is recommended.

You can drink coffee while fasting as long as it’s black coffee. So, it won’t have any issue if you’ve been used to black coffee while you should reconsider your choice if you’ve been used to flavored coffee.

Coffee nowadays has changed to more of a dessert beverage that is packed with calories. As one of the main benefits of intermittent fasting is weight loss, coffee having cream, sugar, or any type of sweetener should be avoided. Sugar is a monster that will quickly increase your blood sugar level and sugar is also a big enemy of skin health. Therefore, sugar or cream should be avoided being added to coffee if you are doing intermittent fasting.

Apart from sugar and cream, milk should also be avoided adding to coffee during the fasting window. However, coffee with milk is totally find during the eating window since no limits are set to intermittent fasting diet.

In addition, coffee is beneficial during fasting as it provides caffeine and will have you up and moving with energy even when you are feeling sluggish because of the lack of food. Caffeine is also the world’s most widely used nootropic (smart drug). So, drinking coffee during fasting will ensure that your mind is still working properly as well. Therefore, bulletproof coffee is even also recommended for weight loss consideration because it contains fat (MCT oil) and is sugar and carbohydrates-free.

“Does Coffee Stop Autophagy?”

Partially yes.

If too much coffee is drunk, insulin signal and mTOR will be stimulated that will stop autophagy. Nevertheless, the polyphenols or plant compounds in coffee can stimulate AMPK, so coffee tends to start autophagy in general.

“How Much Coffee Can I Drink Every Day if My Fasting isn’t Broken?”

Generally speaking, 5 teacups of coffee can be drunk for 24 hours, which won’t have obvious effect on blood sugar on an empty stomach. 1 to 2 teacups of coffee don’t stimulate mTOR or reduce ketone as long as you don’t suffer from diabetes or slow down coffee metabolism genetically.

“What Can I Add to My Coffee that Won’t Break My Fasting?”

One thing to keep in mind: if you like flavored coffee, that’s also OK.

What can be added to your coffee for fasting, the key is to watch the calorie count and avoid sugars. One cup of just plain black coffee is only about 3 calories. That is why during fasting, a couple of cups of coffee will not take away the health benefits by affecting your metabolic change in a negative way. If you need to add something to the coffee to make it more suitable for your taste, a little bit of artificial sweetener probably won’t hurt you. Still, don’t go overboard with it. In fact, you would be better off trying a few sprinkles of cinnamon instead. Cinnamon is loaded with antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties.

Other things that can be added to your coffee that won’t break your fasting include:

  • A sprinkle of cinnamon
  • A little nutmeg
  • A little cocoa
  • Some sweet flavor without fat like stevia
  • Some sugar-free almond milk

Creamer can be also added to your coffee without breaking your fast as long as it contains zero calories or low calories. Normally, calories within the coffee creamer should be controlled to 50 to 75 calories.

“What to Avoid Adding to My Coffee for Fasting?”

As stated above, the elaborate coffee available nowadays at the stylish shops and cafes are not only pricey, but they can be as high in calories as a milkshake. Milkshakes won’t help you lose weight.

Anything that adds calories to your coffee needs to be looked at closely. If the coffee is getting close to 50 calories or above, it can knock you out of fasting. Adding high-calories milk and sugar can easily make that cup of coffee a couple hundred calories. It is best to avoid the heavy creamers, the fancy flavoring, and anything else that will have your calorie count climbing.

Play It Smart: Use Coffee to Strengthen Your Fasting

Drinking coffee while fasting for eight to twelve hours is fine as long as you don’t overdo it. Try to limit yourself to up to two cups every day and keep them low calorie and you can still have all the health benefits. However, don’t feel like you MUST drink coffee while fasting if you are not a fan of the beverage. Water and certain teas are perfectly fine as well, which will be introduced below!

“Besides Coffee, What Else Can I Drink During Intermittent Fasting?”

One rule, any drink is OK with intermittent fasting as long as no sugar is included, and calories are strictly controlled. Of course, alcoholic drinks aren’t suggested for the sake of your health.

The Best Drink: Water

Water is naturally free of calories and a must-have necessity to your body.

Do you know sometimes emotional hunger is aroused because you’re thirsty? Drinking water is beneficial for you to avoid the risk of the following diseases:

  • Heart diseases
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Overweight

If you’d like flavored water, you can try adding some lemonade to it. As a natural flavor, lemonade contains zero calory.


Similar to black coffee, tea contains zero calories. Any type of brewed tea is friendly with intermittent fasting no matter it comes from tea bags, leaves, or flakes. High-calorie food should be avoided being added water for fasting such as honey, milk, or heavy cream, which is the same as coffee intake.

Lemon Water

Lemon water consists of water and a couple of lemon slices and tastes sour and sweet. It provides vitamin C that promotes weight loss, helps reducing wrinkles, stopping bad breath, etc. It’s also an ideal drink for intermittent fasting.

Bottom Line: Must-Read Tips for Coffee with IF

  • Coffee doesn’t break a fast as long as zero or low calories are strictly added.
  • Coffee is beneficial to intermittent fasting because it helps reduce inflammation and boost brain health.
  • Don’t crave coffee every day and up to 2 cups are acceptable for the consideration of health with intermittent fasting.




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