Does coffee break my fast?

By Ivan Nikolov

If you are doing Intermittent Fasting (like me), you are probably wondering if coffee breaks your fast.

You may even want to know if adding stuff to your coffee during fasting (fats, sugar) breaks your fast.

A few words on adding stuff to your coffee (tea, etc) during your fasting window.Enter your text here...

Does coffee break my fast

(Photo by Dave Michuda on Unsplash)

What follows is based on 1) research and 2) my personal experience of 8+ years of doing IF.

For the examples below I'm making the assumption that your goal is fat loss and autophagy (cell renewal, rejuvenation).

The 3 most common fasting coffee scenarios:

#1 COFFEE BLACK

It DOES NOT interrupt your fast
It keeps fat burning going (coffee/caffeine helps that process)
It improves insulin sensitivity (debatable in healthy normal-weight women, based on limited research)
It keeps autophagy going

#2 COFFEE + MCT FAT (bulletproof, coconut)

It DOES interrupt your fast (it's calories).
It does NOT interrupt fat burning but it does slow down fat burning a bit (you have external fat to burn)
It improves insulin sensitivity
It keeps autophagy going - both MCT/ketones and coffee help with autophagy

#3 COFFEE + CALORIC SWEETENER (sugar, honey, etc)

It DOES interrupt your fast.
It stops fat burning. It shuts down Hormone Sensitive Lipase (HST) which tells fat cells to release fats to be used for energy
It does cause insulin release (which stops HST)
It stops autophagy

Overall, if you practice Intermittent Fasting - and you are doing it correctly and consistently - it will cause a mild caloric deficit, which in turn will cause fat loss over time.

And, that is irrespective of a bit of sugar or milk in your morning coffee.

But if you choose to do it that way you cannot call it Intermittent Fasting.

In full transparency, I've done adding stuff to my fasting coffee lots of times and I still do it here and there. And, I'm in my best shape ever. It simply works for me.

So, really, you decide what you want to do based on your goals - short- and long-term.

For that, you must know WHY you are doing what you're doing.

Hope that helps clear some things around morning coffee. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

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