Coffee and Intermittent Fasting: What You Should Know
If you are considering, beginning, or currently doing an intermittent fasting plan, you may be wondering where your morning cup (or two, or three) of coffee fits into the equation. Here at Roast2Order, we would certainly be feeling nervous, heck, downright terrible about anything that could come between us – your daily enjoyment of a steaming hot mug of coffee made from freshly roasted R2O beans!
Thankfully, coffee can most certainly be a part of intermittent fasting. In fact, many people who try this eating schedule say it’s very helpful to them! So let’s explore the role of coffee in intermittent fasting.
Can you have coffee while you fast?
The good news for those on the intermittent fasting diet? You can have coffee, and it is not considered breaking your fast! So if you need that morning cup of joe to help you get started, it won’t start the clock on your eating window.
In fact, many who fast say that a cup of coffee can help give them a nice boost of energy and a feeling of fullness to start the day, carrying them through until they can break the fast with that first meal. Coffee can play a big part in reducing hunger, suppressing appetite, and even burning extra calories!
What kind of coffee can you have while you fast?
When we say that experts say you can drink “coffee,” we don’t mean a double-mocha-chip-espresso-smoothie-with-extra-whip. But there’s a lot in between a sugary coffee shop concoction and a plain black mug. So where do you draw the line?
So what does that mean for cream and sugar? Unfortunately, it’s probably a no-go. While some people say that a low-glycemic option, such as MCT oil (coconut/palm oil), may help give you a bit more fullness and flavor without adding too many calories, a true fast would not include adding any additional calories.
The magazine Women’s Health has a nice breakdown on the topic and some good suggestions for things you can add. They suggest things like a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg, or a zero-calorie sweetener.
Of course, everybody is different, and everyone’s body is different. Depending on the effects and benefits you’re looking for, as well as how your body responds, you might decide to customize your approach.
What about coffee during times when you usually eat?
If you drink coffee throughout the day, you might consider how to maximize the health benefits of coffee and support the IF lifestyle. MCT oil, which we offer here at Roast2Order in powder form, is a popular choice for adding to coffee. Because it’s made with medium-chain triglycerides, it may help contribute to a feeling of fullness and longer-lasting energy.
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is an approach to eating that centers on intentional periods of fasting or abstaining from food. While strategies vary, many people choose an approach such as only eating during a certain eight or ten hours of the day.
The strategy is meant to mimic the way humans have eaten throughout history (with less late-night snacking under electric lights and more of a throw-back to our hunter-gatherer roots).
Why fast? According to an article by Johns Hopkins Medicine, research has pointed to a variety of potential benefits of this strategy, including cognitive performance, memory, resting heart rate, diabetes prevention, and weight loss in adults with obesity. Some studies show benefits in animals that are still being tested in humans. However, other studies have called into question the health benefits. So while intermittent fasting may not be a panacea or magic diet secret, many people still find it helpful for regulating their eating patterns and sticking to a lifestyle that avoids excess nighttime snacking and other unhealthy eating patterns.
Of course, you’ll want to check in with your doctor before beginning any new diet regimen. It won’t be a good fit for certain groups of people, including diabetics and those who have a history of disordered eating.
Coffee can be a delicious and healthful addition to many different types of lifestyles and diets, including intermittent fasting. Whatever your plan for health, we think enjoying what you eat and drink goes a long way towards feeling great! Check out our freshly roasted coffees and healthy additions and see our article on Surprising Health Benefits of Coffee and Tea.