Can You Drink Coffee While Doing Intermittent Fasting?

Medically Reviewed on 8/16/2022
Can You Drink Coffee While Doing Intermittent Fasting
During intermittent fasting, you are allowed to have low- or zero-calorie beverages such as black coffee

You can drink coffee in moderation while doing intermittent fasting as long as you drink it black with no added sweeteners or creamers.

Learn about what kind of coffee will not break your fast as well as the potential benefits of drinking coffee while intermittent fasting.

What is intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting is a dietary regimen that involves alternating between windows of eating and fasting throughout the day. This calorie restriction makes your insulin levels go down, and can cause your body to start using stored fat for energy.

During the fasting period, you are allowed to have low- or zero-calorie beverages. This includes black coffee, since there are only about 3-5 calories per cup. 

Generally speaking, drinking moderate amounts of black coffee will not disrupt your fast.

What types of coffee to avoid while intermittent fasting

During intermittent fasting, avoid coffee beverages with added ingredients, such as:

  • Lattes
  • Cappuccinos
  • Mochas
  • Frappes
  • Bulletproof coffee
  • Coffee with added sugar, syrup, milk, cream, or other calorie-containing ingredients

5 ways coffee may boost the benefits of intermittent fasting

1. Curbs appetite

Many people report that drinking coffee helps suppress their appetite and reduce cravings, making it easier to fast.

2. Boosts metabolism

Studies suggest that coffee can help improve your metabolic rate, meaning you may be able to burn more calories when you have coffee while doing intermittent fasting.

3. Improves exercise performance

Coffee consumption is associated with improved stamina and focus. This can help improve your exercise performance and reduce the risk of injury.

4. Anti-inflammatory properties

One of the benefits associated with intermittent fasting is its potential to lower inflammation, which is linked to many diseases such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, and cancer. Since coffee has anti-inflammatory properties, it can complement this benefit.

5. Improves brain health

Both intermittent fasting and coffee consumption have been shown to promote brain health and lower the risk of cognitive decline. Many studies have reported that people who consume coffee have a lower risk of developing conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

How much coffee can you have while doing intermittent fasting?

Generally, about 2-3 cups of black coffee are allowed during intermittent fasting, since this amount will not cause any significant metabolic changes in your body. 

While you can drink more coffee and still not break the fast, overconsumption of caffeine can cause side effects such as jitteriness, heart palpitations, and sleep disturbances due to caffeine. Coffee should be avoided late in the evening or at night.

One cup of coffee gives you about 100 mg of caffeine. For most healthy people up to 400 mg of caffeine per day is considered safe. This amounts to:

  • 4-5 cups of black coffee
  • 8-12 cups of black or green tea 

Studies suggest that excessive coffee consumption can cause increased insulin levels, which may interfere with the benefits of fasting. Coffee also has a diuretic effect (increases urine output), increasing the risk of dehydration

Therefore, while drinking coffee during intermittent fasting is fine, limiting your consumption and drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated is essential.


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Medically Reviewed on 8/16/2022
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