Drink or not to drink: What to drink while fasting?

Table Of Contents

What liquids can you have while fasting?

Okay, you already know what fasting is and why you should give it a try if you are working on your dream body. 

*if you don’t, check this article out: The Complete Guide to Effective Fasting

Moreover, you got set on the importance of a healthy diet during the eating windows. But what about the no-food windows: what can you drink while fasting?

Why are some drinks not allowed while fasting? 

To start, let’s get this clear: which type of fasting are you interested in and why?

The fasting method determines the range of allowed beverages. In a nutshell, there are two types of fasting patterns: intermittent (with a fasting window of up to 24 hours) and extended (with a fasting window of up to 48 hours) (24-96 hours of fasting). Intermittent fasting takes a step further by providing a variety of fasting schedule options. The most popular regimens include:

  • 5:2 or 6:1 Pattern: Restrict your calorie intake for two days per week (500 calories per day for women and 600 for men).
  • Eat Stop Eat: A 24-hour complete fast 1–2 times per week.
  • 16:8, 12:12, 20:4, 14:10 Patterns: These patterns involve only consuming food in a shorter window and fasting for 12–20 hours a day, every day of the week. 

The point of intermittent fasting is to have no calorie intake and no glucose spikes during the fasting window to release the autophagy process (when your body transforms fat cells into energy). As a result, you lose weight, boost your metabolism, and rejuvenate. But remember – no calories during the fasting window for that trick to work.

As to prolonged fasting (24 + hours without food), autophagy is taking place even if you add some external fuel like vitamins, oils, unsweetened flavored beverages, and bone broth. In other words, there is a wider list of allowed liquids during a prolonged fast. However, carbs (especially sugar) are still out of this list, as they cause an insulin response and break your fast. The benefits of prolonged fasting are less focused on weight loss and more on overall health. 

Please, keep this in mind: once you feel unwell, you should likely break the fast.

Also, read: Intermittent Fasting and Alcohol: Can I Drink While I Fast?

what to drink when fasting

What should you drink during intermittent fasting?

If you are practicing a dry fast – you can have no food and no drinks; that is pretty much it. But, if your fasting is not dry, it is crucial to stay hydrated. So, you can and should drink these beverages:

  • Mineral water

Literally the best choice as it is proper hydration combined with minerals and no calories. Pure energy promotes your metabolism.

  • Water

Regular water is almost as nice as mineral water. However, the primary function of water is hydration, and ordinary water is completely adequate for this purpose.

  • Coffee

During fasting periods, unsweetened black coffee is a fantastic way to support autophagy. Drink it as much as you want, but keep in mind the potential heart risks.

  • Tea

Tea, like coffee, is high in caffeine and antioxidants, both of which are good to the body’s activities during a fast. You can also drink extra unsweetened tea instead of coffee. 

What supplements can you add?

  • Cream: Only during a prolonged fast. 
  • Sugar: Absolutely not – sugar provokes an insulin response and breaks your fast.
  • 0-calorie sweeteners: Only use stevia.
  • Electrolytes: Definitely yes, to keep minerals balanced in the body.
  • Apple cider vinegar: Diluted apple cider vinegar mixed into the water can prevent cravings during a fast.
  • Vitamins: Unless they contain sugar, you can take multivitamins. However, they are still processed better with food.

What drinks should you avoid while fasting?

  • Alcohol: Alcohol is high in calories and carbohydrates, and it completely hinders the autophagy process during fasting. If you really want to drink something, break the fast, eat a normal meal, and then have your drink.
  • Milk: If you are having a prolonged fast, you can add some milk to your drinks, but not more than once.
  • Soda: Absolutely not; sweet fizzy soda is an ultimate evil for fasting and eating habits in general. It provokes cravings and sabotages your progress. 
  • Bone broth: Bone broth is better for breaking fast, but if you are doing a prolonged fast, you can have it.
  • Collagen: Being a protein source, it is allowed during prolonged fasting only. 
  • Juices: Same as soda – useless calorie source, insulin response provoker, and unapologetically evil.

The bottom line:

The most adaptable fasting-friendly beverage rule is: All beverages from fruit or with added sugars should be avoided because they will break your fast.

At the end of the day, the goal is to ingest as few calories during the fasting period as feasible. You’re on the right track if you can avoid the add-ons in your hot beverages, as well as sweetened drinks and spirits.

Second rule: pay attention to your body language and know your boundaries.

If you need to take a break and come back later, remember that you are only human.

But you’ve got this! Just keep in mind that your body is an alias, not an adversary to be punished with food deprivation:)

We are an Inspired team of writers who are passionate about writing on the topic of a healthy approach to Nutrition and Wellness. We are guided in our writing by our knowledge and experience as well as open official medical and health sources.

Intermittent fasting 101Intermittent fasting drink