If you love having a good cup of tea every day and are intermittent fasting, the good news is that your favorite brew won’t break your fast at all – as long as you have it the right way. Does this mean that a little sugar in your tea is perfectly okay when fasting?
You can drink tea while intermittent fasting, but do not add sugar, milk, or honey, as these may break your fast. These extra ingredients can rack up the calories, potentially causing you to exceed your calorie limit. Artificial sweeteners are also a no-no, as they can intensify your sugar craving.
Intermittent fasting doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t eat anything. In this article, we’re going to talk about why sugar (as well as other ingredients) can break your fast. We will also provide you with a list of foods and drinks that do/don’t break the fast, to help you plan your meals better.
How Sugar Breaks a Fast
The main thing we want to do when intermittent fasting is restrict the intake of calories during a specific time of the day or for a certain number of hours – depending on what type of fast you’re on.
However you approach a fast, it’s important to start by consulting a physician, especially if you have a medical condition, are pregnant or breastfeeding, or are taking maintenance meds. While intermittent fasting is known to have wonderful health benefits like a better-managed appetite and weight loss, it’s definitely not suitable for everyone.
If you are following a time-restricted fast, you should not consume any food for a specific duration, which technically means that you can’t eat or drink anything that contains any calories. This is why you shouldn’t add sugar to your tea while on a fast. Introducing calories essentially breaks your fast.
It’s also important to note that a mere teaspoon of sugar contains 60 calories. If you take two teaspoons of sugar in your tea, that’s double the amount of calories. Honey, a lower-calorie sweetener option contains only about 21 calories per teaspoon. However, since a time-restricted fast has zero allowance for calories, both are out of the question.
On days of the week or times of the day when you can consume food and drink, though, you can add sugar, milk, or honey in your tea. This is as long as you are mindful of how many calories you consume and are sure you’re not exceeding your limit.
Foods and Added Ingredients That Break an Intermittent Fast
Planning your meals when you’re intermittent fasting is crucial in making sure that you do your fast right. Since a fast means you are limiting your intake of calories, it’s helpful to know which foods and drinks contain unwanted calories – plus those that can trigger unwanted reactions when your body is more sensitive.
Milk, Creamer, and Sugar
As mentioned earlier, sugar contains lots of calories, making it a no-no for fasting plans that do not allow calorie intake. In the same way, milk and creamer, which are commonly added in coffee, also contain calories and are not recommended during time-restricted fasts.
One tablespoon of coffee creamer contains approximately 21 calories, while 100 grams (3.52 ounces) of whole milk has about 61 calories.
If doing a 5/2 intermittent fast where you consume a recommended amount of calories for five days and 25% of the recommended calories on two days per week, you can have milk, creamer, or sugar. However, this is only as long as you make sure to stay within your calorie limits.
Be wary, however, of substituting sugar with artificial sweeteners. They can intensify your sugar cravings, making it more difficult for you to stick to your diet plan.
Certain Supplements and Multivitamins
When taking vitamins or food supplements, make sure they don’t contain sugar. Some vitamins, such as those that come in chewable or gummy varieties, contain sugar and could break your fast.
Certain supplements, like protein powders and health drinks may also contain calories aside from sugar. If you’re not sure whether the ones you’re taking are okay, don’t hesitate to ask your doctor.
Foods and Drinks that Don’t Break a Fast
If you’re having intense cravings during a fast or desperate to stave off hunger pangs, you can help yourself to foods and drinks that have little to no calories. You may experience cravings if you’re used to drinking coffee or tea in the morning.
Here’s a list of foods and beverages that you can have while fasting intermittently.
Your body will be feeling very weak, especially if you’re new to the diet plan. Additionally, it will take time to adjust to the sharp decline in calorie intake. This is one of the reasons why it’s important to stay hydrated during your fasting period.
Nonetheless, aside from keeping your body hydrated, water is essential in flushing out toxins from the body – even when you’re not consuming any other drink or food.
When your stomach feels exceptionally hollow into your fast, drinking water can alleviate some of the hunger pangs and make your tummy feel full.
Thankfully, the calorie content in a cup of tea (approximately 220-240 ml or 7.44 to 8.12 ounces) is extremely low (1-2 calories). Practically speaking, that’s almost no calories at all. So it’s safe to consume a cup of tea in the morning, as long as you don’t add anything to it.
Like tea, coffee also contains very few calories–only 3 calories per 240 ml (8.12 ounces) of black coffee. This means that even on a time-restricted fast, you can safely enjoy a cup of joe, as long as you take it black, without sugar, milk, or creamer.
You can save those added ingredients for the days when you can consume your recommended amount of calories.
Multivitamins are also safe during an intermittent fast, given that they do not contain any calories or sugar. This can help you take in as many vitamins and minerals as your body needs. However, it’s best to consult with your doctor first, as most multivitamins are intended to be taken with food.
For those who just have to have a cup of tea every day, the good news is that it’s perfectly okay to enjoy tea even when you’re intermittent fasting. The only thing you have to keep in mind is to keep off any sweeteners, like sugar and honey.
The best part is not only do you get to enjoy your favorite beverage, but you also get the health benefits of your tea better this way.