One of the most common questions we get asked when recommending an intuitive fasting or intermittent fasting plan is “Can I drink coffee while fasting?” Here’s the good news: yes, you can have coffee while fasting—and it might even help create metabolic flexibility! That means that drinking coffee may actually help maximize the benefits of your fasting period.
But there is a downside: coffee is allowed as long as you’re not adding any milk or sugar. This is because coffee has zero calories, insulin-balancing properties, a ton of antioxidants, and has even displayed inflammation-fighting and fat-burning properties, according to Dr. Will Cole, author of Intuitive Fasting.
Some forms of fasting allow low-caloric foods during fasting periods—and that adding foods like healthy fats may actually increase fasting benefits like weight loss, clarity, and energy. Cole also says that if you prefer not to drink black coffee, adding MCT oil, coconut oil, or grass-fed ghee is acceptable. Healthy fats give your brain and body exactly what it needs to feel energized and clear.
Here is an excellent fasting coffee recipe you can use adapted from Dr. Cole’s new book:
1 8 oz coffee
- 1 tablespoon of MCT oil or coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon grass-fed ghee
- 1 cup freshly brewed organic coffee
Directions: use a blender or milk frother and blend until frothy
Tea is also fair game when it comes to fasting. If you’re a tea drinker, try this Fasting London Fog adapted from Cole’s new book.
The Fasting London Fog
- 1 earl grey tea bag
- 1 cup hot water
- 1/24 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil or MCT oil
- 1 tablespoon grass-fed ghee
- Keto sweetener to taste
Directions: brew tea in hot water and cover for 3 to 5 minutes. Blend all ingredients together until frothy.
*make sure your Earl Grey tea is organic and contains real bergamot and not just bergamot flavoring.
You can also add bergamot oil to your tea for calming benefits. To learn more about the benefits of bergamot essential oil, go here.
If you want to stick with traditional fasting beliefs, which means no calories at all, try adding a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg for a little extra flavor.
Benefits of Fasting
Blood Sugar Control & Reduces Insulin Resistance
Some research shows that higher coffee intake can help lower the risk of metabolic syndrome, an inflammatory condition characterized by excess body fat, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and elevated blood sugar levels.
When fasting, insulin blood levels drop significantly and can be highly beneficial for those with prediabetes and type-2 diabetes.
Improves Blood Pressure, Triglycerides, and Cholesterol Levels
Based on numerous animal studies, intermittent fasting has been shown to improve blood triglycerides, total and LDL cholesterol, inflammatory markers, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels.
Several studies show that intermittent fasting can support the body’s resistance to oxidative stress and help fight inflammation—a common driver of aging and many chronic diseases.
Boost Brain Function and Prevent Neurodegenerative Disorders
One of the most popular benefits of intermittent fasting is its potential to promote brain health and protect against age-related neurological diseases. Like intermittent fasting, consistent coffee consumption is actually associated with a decline in neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Intermittent fasting may also promote increased autophagy—a.k.a your body’s way of replacing damaged cells with healthy ones!
Supports Weight Loss
Short-term fasting increases the metabolic rate helping you to burn more calories and lose weight. But research shows that this may not be significant for most people.
A 2017 mice study found that the mice who fasted every other day saw an increase in lifespan of around 13 percent. Daily fasting also improved the overall health of male mice, and delayed onset conditions, including hepatocellular carcinoma and fatty liver disease, both very common in aging mice. Of course, there needs to be more research on humans to determine the plausibility.
Should you drink coffee while fasting?
If you want to drink coffee or not, it’s up to you. If you want to start intermittent fasting but have never been a cup of coffee in the morning person, there’s no reason to add it in.
Coffee can lead to jitters, trouble sleeping, and even anxious feelings. Drinking a small amount during the intermittent fasting period is still fine but make sure you moderate your intake and avoid most additives like sugar and conventional milk.
Are you considering intermittent fasting? For more information on the types of intermittent fasting and which might work best for you, check out our Guide on Intermittent Fasting and tune into our episode on The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting.