Intermittent fasting, also known as IF, has been the talk of the town for some time. The practice of time-restricted feeding requires you to limit the time of eating to a few hours per day.
With the increasing popularity of this dietary lifestyle, a lot of queries have been circulating among the masses such as:
Can I drink coffee with coconut oil during intermittent fasting? Experts have mixed reviews. While some people consider it beneficial to consume coconut oil during intermittent fasting, most of the experts are against this practice as it disrupts the whole concept of intermittent fasting–i.e. restricting calories.
Can you drink coffee mixed with coconut oil during intermittent fasting? What should you keep in mind while ordering a cup of coffee from a coffee shop? Which types of beverages can you consume safely without disturbing your fast?
This article will help you find the answers to these questions.
Can I drink coffee with coconut oil during intermittent fasting?
Technically speaking, coconut oil is a type of pure fat, and pure fat is never found to affect your blood glucose, insulin, or any other indicators of a “broken fast.” As you consume coconut oil mixed in coffee, your body will still be burning fat but as a lesser speed.
Some people are also of the opinion that consuming coconut oil during intermittent fasting helps you fast for a longer period of time. It also makes fasting a lot more tolerable. For example, if you are able to go on a 12-hour long fast with plain black coffee, adding a few teaspoons of coconut oil in it can help stretch your fasting to 24 hours.
Moreover, coconut oil has also been found to spare the process of autophagy. Ideally speaking, it may not affect intermittent fasting in any way.
Despite all the points discussed above, there are many experts who still don’t approve of consuming coffee with coconut oil during intermittent fasting as it breaks a fast. Coconut oil is not calorie-free; when you are consuming it, you are ingesting calories. These calories, in turn, break your fast.
If you drink coffee with coconut oil in it during the day, you must be mentally prepared to eliminate 120 calories and 12 grams of fat when you break your fast. This is because your body has already taken in these macronutrients in the form of coconut oil earlier. Therefore, you must account for them when you enter your eating window.
If you don’t consider this, you are likely to gain fat instead of losing it even if you spend half your day fasting.
These conflicting schools of thought regarding the use of coconut oil during intermittent fasting make it quite difficult to reach a decision. However, weighing all the pros and cons, it is better to avoid using coconut oil in coffee during intermittent fasting because of the following reasons:
- Even though pure fats like coconut oil do not affect insulin, they do possess extra calories which come with their own consequences. If you are spiking your coffee with coconut oil, you must be prepared to subtract a particular amount of fat and calories from your daily calorie allowance. Failing to keep a track of these calories will otherwise result in weight gain.
- Research has suggested that adding coconut oil to your coffee can increase your risk of acquiring hyperlipidemia. It is important to check with your health care practitioner for a regular assessment of the lipid levels and establish a baseline before you start adding coconut oil in your coffee.
- If you are specifically aiming to get rid of the stubborn fat, it is important to fast properly. Triglycerides like coconut oil hinder this process by inhibiting hormone-sensitive lipase present in your body, so it is better to stick to plain coffee during IF.
While dumping coconut oil in your coffee may not be a good idea, you can still consume coffee during intermittent fasting to reach your goals at a faster pace.
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Does Drinking Coffee Benefit Fasting?
While supplementing your fast with coconut oil may not be a good idea, it is beneficial to keep consuming coffee every now and then. Coffee has a lot of benefits in terms of fasting and weight loss, some of which are explained below:
Ketosis and Fat Burning
Fasting is a great way to get into ketosis. Once you are in this metabolic state, your body starts breaking down fats in order to derive energy. Research has proven that consuming coffee up-regulates the process of ketosis in humans.
By speeding up the process of ketosis, coffee also increases the mobilization and burning of fat in the human body. As a result, you are able to reach your weight loss goals at a much faster pace.
Fasting has been known to improve glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. Most of the things that promote fat burning instead of fat storing (i.e. low-carb diets and exercise) improve insulin sensitivity as well. Coffee is said to have a similar effect on the body.
Drinking coffee, in the long run, can improve your glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. It may also reduce your risk of acquiring type 2 diabetes.
Autophagy is a process through which the human body tends to keep itself maintained, healthy, and free of debris. All the cells and tissues of your body are constantly working towards disorder. To contain this disorder while maintaining the normal functioning of the body, autophagy is essential.
Fasting is known as the best way to induce autophagy; anything that hinders this process can hinder the purpose and benefits of fasting. Luckily, coffee in both caffeinated and decaffeinated forms has not been found to hamper autophagy in any way.
Instead, consuming coffee during fasting is said to induce autophagy in the heart, liver, and muscle tissues.
Adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase, also known as AMPK, is a type of enzyme that stops the storage of fat and promotes its burning. It also stimulates different antioxidant networks and induces autophagy. Fasting has been known to promote the activation of AMPK in the body.
Consuming coffee while fasting has been known to supplement this process. Chlorogenic acid, a component of coffee, has been particularly found to trigger AMPK and, as a consequence, fat burning.
Ordering Coffee at Restaurants
Now that you know about the benefits of using coffee during intermittent fasting, it is important to learn how to consume it without disturbing your fast. When you are ordering a cup of coffee at a restaurant or cafe, make sure to keep the following points in mind:
Always Go for Black Coffee
Order espressos, pour-overs, and Americanos as they will make sure to benefit the body without breaking your fast.
The cream served along with coffee at most of the cafes is usually half-and-half (half cream and half milk.) Consuming it will give your body a boost of carbs and proteins which is guaranteed to break your fast.
Avoid using the cream whenever you go out for coffee. If you absolutely have to consume it, ask for heavy cream.
Steer Clear of Nut Milk
Most of the coffee places serve sweetened nut milk, which is usually sweetened quite a bit. A typical almond milk latte will have about eight ounces of almond milk, which is too much even if it is not sweetened.
It is advised to avoid all types of nut milk and stick to black coffee.
Which beverages are safe to drink during intermittent fasting?
You can safely consume water, black coffee, green teas, and sparkling beverages with no calories or added sugar.
Is it safe to add heavy cream to coffee during fasting?
Heavy cream is said to have around one gram of protein and carbohydrates per ounce. While this may not affect the fat burning significantly, it is definitely going to inhibit autophagy to some extent. Therefore, it is better to avoid it if you wish to lose stubborn fat.
Can I add collagen to coffee during fasting?
As healthy as it may be, collagen is a type of pure protein, and proteins tend to inhibit autophagy. Therefore, it is better to avoid it.
Do artificial sweeteners break a fast?
A lot of conflicting research exists on the use of artificial sweeteners during fasting. Generally speaking, sweeteners like allulose with zero calories are not going to break your fast; however, those that contain calories like dextrose will disrupt the insulin levels and must be avoided.
Intermittent fasting is a great way to burn fat and reach your weight loss goals at a faster rate. While coffee can help you speed up this process to a great extent, it is generally not advised to add coconut oil to it as there are chances it may break your fast and reduce your chance of benefitting from fasting.