Does Coffee Break a Fast?

Written by Stephen Anton PhD on October 21st, 2020

Almost two out of three American adults drink a cup of coffee per day.

With the surging popularity of intermittent fasting, many are wondering if you can drink coffee while fasting, if additional ingredients break a fast, and which types of coffees break a fast.

Find the answers to these and other questions related to the use of coffee while practicing intermittent fasting below.

Can You Drink Coffee While Fasting?

Technically, any calories “break” a fast.

However, the fasting state can be maintained when you consume very few calories.

While a zero-calorie fast maximizes results, an extremely low calorie fast still provides substantial results.

“So, can I drink coffee while fasting?”

Black coffee, yes.

A cup of black coffee has less than five calories and no carbs or protein, so it practically does not affect fasting.

For all other types of coffee, the sections below provide additional information.

Do Additional Ingredients Break a Fast?

People fast for many reasons.

Two of the most popular are:

1. Fat Loss Through Ketosis

Ketosis improves fat loss (among other things)

2. Cellular Cleansing Through Autophagy

Autophagy improves overall cell function (improves overall health)

If the goal is to maintain ketosis, you can consume some calories, provided they are mostly from high fat additions, such as cream, butter, or medium-chain triglycerides.

These additions will not take the body out of a ketogenic state, so you can add them to coffee without breaking ketosis.

Coffee and Autophagy

If the goal is to enhance autophagy, you should consume very few calories during fasting.

If you are focused on autophagy, your coffee should have less than:

25 calories

3 grams of carbs

1 gram of protein

Autophagy is delicate.

The closer to black coffee you can get, the better.

Coffee and Ketosis

If you are focused on ketosis, your coffee should have less than:

100 calories

7 grams of carbs

3 grams of protein

As you can see, ketosis is not as delicate as autophagy.

Still, the closer to zero you can get in all categories, the more benefits you will experience.

Which Types of Coffees Break a Fast?

Coffees come in many different styles.

Below is a list of the 22 most popular types of coffee and whether or not they break a fast:

Final Words on Fasting with Coffee

Overall, fasting and coffee can coexist without breaking a fast.

In fact, there may be synergistic effects when fasting and coffee are combined correctly.

To help create a proper pairing, remember that black coffee is best and if you have to add ingredients, limit calories, carbs, and protein.

More on intermittent fasting:

How to Break Out of an Intermittent Fasting Plateau

Two Keys to Ease Into Intermittent Fasting

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Anton

I’ve had the privilege of studying the fields of obesity, metabolism, and aging for the past 20 years and felt an increasing desire to share what I’ve learned with as many people as possible the past few years.

More About Dr. Anton
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    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Dr. Anton

    I’ve had the privilege of studying the fields of obesity, metabolism, and aging for the past 20 years and felt an increasing desire to share what I’ve learned with as many people as possible the past few years.

    More About Dr. Anton
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    RECENT ARTICLES

    Real science. Real advice. Straight to your inbox!

    Get the latest news on topics like intermittent fasting, healthy aging, reducing obesity, and more.