Podcast > Episodes
EPISODE #15
Does Coffee Break A Fast?
May 12, 2021
INTRO
Whether coffee breaks your fast depends on why you’re fasting. Most people fast for one of three reasons: weight loss/metabolic health, gut rest, or longevity (activating autophagy).

It also depends on how you drink your coffee. Do you take it black? With cream? With butter? Even sugar? Coffee itself has almost no calories, but it does trigger some digestive functions. Coffee stimulates gastrin (a hormone that triggers the secretion of gastric acid and gallbladder contraction, both of which have an impact on our GI tract. Coffee intake may also elicit a reflux sensation, which isn’t ideal for those with heartburn issues either.

So The Verdict for Black Coffee:

-Fasting for metabolic health/weight loss: likely does not break a fast

-Fasting for gut rest: does break a fast

-Fasting for longevity/autophagy: likely does not break a fast

If you are using cream, milk, sugar and other dairy products contain carbohydrates, protein, and fat that do require digestion, so the gut is activated. To stay in a fasted metabolic state, it’s best not to add any cream or sugar to your coffee. However, if you’ve already fasted overnight or longer and you just can’t drink black coffee, a bit of cream, butter, coconut oil, or MCT oil likely isn’t going to kick you out of ketosis or a fat-burning state.

Regarding autophagy, this is the body’s mechanism of getting rid of all the broken down, old cells. It is equivalent to taking your car in for an oil change, tire alignment and check up. It is a regulated, orderly process to degrade and recycle cellular components. The verdict is still unknown if coffee and/or tea have any effect. Interestingly, one animal study found that coffee actually induced autophagy in mice, but it’s not clear if autophagy would have been greater in the absence of all calories or if the results would have even been the same in humans.

In many cases, coffee and tea can make sticking to your fast that much easier because caffeine can help with appetite suppression. For some people, it can help them get through the fasting periods. But if you’re drinking black coffee and notice you’re not getting results, I would suggest reducing or eliminating it and see if that helps.

For the most part, coffee and tea don’t interfere with fasting perks like ketosis and fat burn, and coffee may even help amplify some of fasting’s benefits such as improved insulin sensitivity.

So I would say as long as you are not overconsuming coffee it can be helpful when fasting but would try to avoid adding anything to it because technically any calories break a fast. But like I mentioned if you add a bit of cream or butter and it helps you make it through the fast then go for it especially if you are just looking for fat burn/weight loss. If you are looking for autophagy or gut health I would perhaps just do water or sparkling water.

Lastly, if you do keep drinking coffee be sure to choose organic, whole bean coffee that is toxin-free. Coffee is one of the most chemically treated crops. Over 97% of the world’s coffee is considered “commercial coffee,” and is sprayed with pesticides, stored in a way that encourages mold growth and over- oxidation of the beans, all of which compromises the healthfulness of the coffee.

One estimate that I saw suggested the average acre of conventional coffee is sprayed by about 250 pounds of chemical fertilizers, so it’s, like I said, one of the more heavily treated conventional crops. When I make coffee at home and I buy it, I buy organic coffee for that reason.

Hope this helps clarify whether coffee breaks a fast and be sure to buy organic coffee! Let me know if you have any questions. Have a great day!

Brian

AUDIO
0 (1s):
Hello and welcome to the Get Lean Eat Clean podcast. My name is Brian Gryn. I’m a certified health coach, trainer and author. And this podcast is for middle-aged men and women looking to optimize their health and get their bodies back to what it once was at 10 to 15 years ago. I will give you simple, actionable items to get long-term sustainable results. Thanks for listening and enjoy the show.

1 (33s):
All right. Welcome to the Get Lean Eat Clean podcast. My name is Brian Gryn. Thanks so much for listening. And today we’re going to talk about Coffee and If Does Coffee Break A Fast. This is a common question for all my intermittent fasters out there. So whether a coffee breaks a fast depends on why you’re fasting. What’s the reason behind it. You know, most people Fast for one of three reasons, weight loss, gut health, or perhaps longevity activating something called autophagy, which I’ll touch on it a bit, but it also depends on how you drink your coffee. Do you have just black Coffee? Do you have a With cream or butter or Even sugar? So the good thing about coffee is it pretty much has no calories, but it does trigger some digestive functions.

1 (1m 20s):
It stimulates something called gastrin, which is a hormone that triggers the secretion of gastric acid and gallbladder contraction. So it does trigger something in the GI track right in can have an impact here, but you know, one of the things that you gotta be careful too, with Coffee, as it may have it listed like a reflux sensation as well, which isn’t ideal for those with heartburn, but either way, if you love coffee and you’re having it just straight up, Black the good thing is it has minimal categories. So really the Verdict for black coffee is go ahead and keep doing it. Especially if you’re just looking for a weight loss. If you’re looking for like total gut health and gut rest, I would say that it does break a fast I’m.

1 (2m 4s):
So you might want to just go with a water fast. If you’re looking to completely heal your gut. And as far as longevity and autophagy, the verdict’s still out. And I would say that it likely does not break a fast. So if you’re adding cream, milk, sugar, and I mean, other dairy products that contain like carbs, protein and fat, obviously that’s going to break your fast because it requires digestion. So the gut is activated. So if you just stay in a room, so if you want to stay in a fasted metabolic state, it’s best not to add any cream or sugar to your coffee, but if you’re going to Fasting for a while, and let’s say, you’ve got, you know, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20 hour fast going, and you, and you just can’t drink black coffee.

1 (2m 52s):
You want to add a little bit of cream butter, or even coconut oil or MCT oil. It’s not going to pretty much, it’s not going kick you out of ketosis or out of a fat burning state, which a lot of people that are looking for. So you can add a little bit of that coconut oil MCT. So I know that’s become popular with Bulletproof coffee. I would, I would go crazy with that. Again, you’ll stay in most likely to stay in ketosis, which has a lot of what people are looking for. You know, Regarding autophagy. Well, I’ll just say this, if you’re not sure what the top of GI is, its almost like think of it this way. When you take your car in to get, to get a checkup and, and an oil change and, and tires aligned, it’s the same thing pretty much with your body.

1 (3m 36s):
So it’s your body’s mechanism of getting rid of all it’s broken down old sell machinery when there’s, you know, pretty much know more low energy enough to sustain that, right? So it’s like a cell cleanse. It is a regulated orderly process to degrade and recycle cellular components. So a tophi autophagy come’s is becoming up a lot and people wonder, well, if I drink coffee or tea, does, is it going to have any effect? You know, there was one animal study found that Coffee actually induced autophagy in mice. Now granted, this was in mice. So its not clear if this would actually be the same for humans again. So the, the verdict’s out Regarding autophagy and if you have coffee or tea, if that’s going to sort of hamper that.

1 (4m 18s):
But I would say that if you’re going to go for the cell cleanse, I would just go with a water or sparkling water in many cases, coffee and tea. You know, if you’re just looking at perhaps just for weight loss, it can actually sort of, you know, help some of the benefit’s caffeine does have some benefits for Fasting for one appetite suppression, right? So if you’re just having issues, just staying in a fasted state in a sense, you know, a little bit of caffeine can hurt, you know? So for some people that can sort of make the difference, but if you are drinking a lot of caffeine or black coffee and you notice your not getting the results that you want, then I would probably reduce or eliminate altogether.

1 (5m 1s):
So, and again, coffee and tea, don’t interfere with a lot of the perks with like ketosis and fat burning, which a lot of people, the reason that they do Fasting is so it may even help improve your insulin sensitivity if you drink coffee or tea. So I would say if you’re going to do it, just don’t add any sugar to it. So as long as you’re not over consuming KA Coffee, it can be very helpful when Fasting, but I will try to avoid anything to add to it. Like I mentioned, if you’re going to add a little bit of cream or butter, that’s fine. It’s pretty much breaking your fast because you are having calories, but again, it might help you get through those sticking points and sort of help you get through those hunger cravings.

1 (5m 45s):
So now one thing I’ll say Regarding drinking coffee that probably doesn’t get talked about enough is the fact that Coffee is probably the, one of the most chemically treated crops. So over 97% of the world’s Coffee OK. It’s a commodity right? Commodity crop growing to maximize yield it’s sprayed with pesticides. Okay. And is it stored in a way that encourages mold growth and over oxidation of the beans, which obviously is going to compromise our health. So there are benefits to Coffee with the polyphenols, the antioxidants that that are, you know, can be beneficial, but just think if you’re having coffee that is sprayed conventional Coffee one study it’s sprayed by about 250 pounds of chemical fertilizers.

1 (6m 35s):
Yeah. I’ll say that again to hundred and 50 pounds of chemical fertilizers. So it’s one of the more heavily treated conventional crops. So I would just make sure that your, when you get it, its organic and you know, the source of where it’s coming from. So high quality, whole bean coffee, that’s organic and that does not have pesticides. So that’s all I wanted to talk about with Coffee again, think about why you’re doing it. If you’re just doing it for weight loss and you want to have a little bit of coffee or tea, that’s fine. If maybe you’re looking for a top of GI and sell cleansing, perhaps go for a water fast. And again, if you’re looking to just stay in ketosis, if you add a little butter or cream FA for a high-fat cream or MCT oil, that’s fine as well.

1 (7m 22s):
So I hope this helps with your Coffee adventure. If you got questions, feel free on YouTube, you can write them down below and feel free to share this with anyone who has that question does Coffee affect your Fast. Well, this is hopefully a good explanation for it. So thanks so much for listening and enjoy the rest of your day. And we’ll talk to you later.

0 (7m 45s):
Thanks for listening to the Get Lean Eat Clean podcast. I understand there are millions of other podcasts out there and you have chosen to listen to mine and I appreciate that. Check out the show notes at Brian Gryn dot com for everything that was mentioned in this episode, feel free to subscribe to the podcasts and shirt with a friend or family member has looking to get their body back to what it once was. Thanks again, and have a great day.

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