Coffee and Intermittent Fasting – Is It Safe?

Free Coffee Hands photo and picture

Coffee and intermittent fasting. These two are analogous to Batman and Robin – they are combating illness in your body, similar to Batman and Robin fighting crime in Gotham City. This article is especially for anyone curious to learn if consuming coffee while fasting is an option.

That Warm Cup of Java

Visualize not having consumed any food for more than 24 hours. You don’t feel overly tired or excessively hungry. However, there are still moments when you feel slight pangs of hunger and uneasiness. That’s normal when you’re fasting.

Rather than utilizing the plentiful offerings in your refrigerator, you opt to subject your body to beneficial hormetic stress by continuing to go without food in the form of fasting.

You brew yourself a nice cup of warm coffee. The appearance is terrific, the aroma is tantalizing, and your taste buds are awakened – Hey there, darkness, an old buddy of mine.

Coffee is a remarkable appetite suppressor that offers numerous other wellness advantages. It safeguards against dementia, enhances indications of diabetes, sharpens awareness, and provides energy.

You are still left pondering – “Did this cup of coffee ruin my fast?”

Will Coffee Break Fasting?

Will coffee break my fast? Depends on what you mean by breaking a fast

You need to be unambiguous about what is considered to be a state of fasting. Many metabolic changes take place when going without food, but the most well-known fasting goals are achieving ketosis and activating autophagy.

The biggest beneficial effects of fasting come from 3 things:

  1. Autophagy – the cell’s self-digestive mechanism that recycles waste material and old proteins into energy. This greatly improves your health and lifespan.
  2. Ketosis – the metabolic state with an elevated level of ketone bodies in the bloodstream. This makes you burn primarily fat for fuel from your own adipose tissue. Ketones are a much better source of energy for the brain because they cause less oxidative stress and they last for longer.
  3. Hormesis – the body’s adaptive mechanism to mild stress. This will trigger protective metabolic pathways such as AMPK that increase mitochondrial density and boost the immune system. Hormetic stressors in the right dose will make the organism stronger than it was before.

Fasting increases the likelihood of all three processes taking place, depending on how long you have been without food.

When Will I Start Fasting

The fundamental cause of all of these instances is a lack of energy and the depletion of glycogen.

  • Fasting ketosis can happen as soon as your liver glycogen stores have been depleted and your liver starts producing ketone bodies. It takes about 16-20 hours for your liver glycogen to be emptied out, but there are other factors to be considered.
  • Autophagy requires the inhibition of mTOR, which is the body’s most anabolic metabolic pathway that makes your cells grow. AMPK supports autophagy because of its energy-deprived state[ii]. Mild autophagy can occur as soon as you suppress mTOR by keeping insulin and blood sugar very low. However, for the cells to really start cleaning out the house, you need to be fasting for at least 24-48 hours to trigger any significant response.
  • AMPK gets triggered when your body needs to generate energy in a fuel-deprived state. Fasting and glycogen depletion put you into a caloric deficit, which then ramps up your body’s adaptation mechanisms. Inducing a demand for calories through exercise or the cold can also upregulate AMPK.

It is clear that the advantages of fasting arise from 3 distinct pathways and may be accomplished over different lengths of time.

Coffee and Fasting

When looking at the macro-nutrients in it, normal black coffee won’t end fast. For 1 cup of coffee, there are no fats present, 0.3 grams of protein, no carbohydrates, 115 milligrams of potassium, 100 milligrams of caffeine, and a tiny amount of magnesium and sodium. All in all, it totals 1-2 calories.

Coffee consumption activates the internal timekeeper in your brain, prompting certain liver enzymes to initiate other metabolic processes. This could start the process, but it is still likely that you will remain in a fasting state.

When looking back at the 3 positive effects of fasting that I previously referred to, it is acceptable to say that consuming coffee during a fast is acceptable.

Mice are energized by coffee through a process of breaking down fats via the autophagy-lysosomal pathway. This will cause the body to create more ketone bodies through an accelerated rate of metabolism and the burning of fat. This is going to encourage the body’s own cellular cleansing system of autophagy.

It is agreed that the consumption of coffee while fasting can not only make you feel like you are still in a fasted state but also enhance the effectiveness of the fast with a range of advantages.

Bulletproof Coffee During Fasting

It can’t be denied that other Starbucks or cafe coffees won’t only break a fast but might even lead to weight gain. Incorporating milk, sugar, caramel, spices, or other ingredients that are high in calories will prevent any advantages of fasting.

It is also true for items such as Bulletproof coffee or mixing coconut oil in your drink with the assumption that your brain will be tricked.

To support autophagy and activate AMPK, you should inhibit mTOR. Fat is not inclined to boost insulin levels, and it might prevent mTOR from becoming overactive when consumed in limited quantities. Your body’s internal production of ketone bodies can activate autophagy, which is beneficial for macroautophagy in the brain.

However, an excessive amount of ketones and fat in the bloodstream can also cause an increase in insulin. When the body designates an increased amount of energy, it is a sign to cut off the autophagy process and activate mTOR.

Exogenous ketones can also be insulinogenic.

A study conducted using rodents revealed that providing external ketones causes the secretion of insulin whenever the level of glucose in the blood is over 5.0 mMol/L (90 mg/dl). If you are an individual with a healthy lifestyle and low levels of body fat, chances are your blood glucose levels will be lower than average. If you have more energy than you need to be saved in your body fat, this is an indication that you have a sufficient amount of energy already. Adding calories from any source, such as Bulletproof coffee or ketone supplements, will probably hamper autophagy.

Too Much Coffee While Fasting?

Too much caffeine can cause an increase in blood sugar and insulin if you consume it in large amounts.

Although it has almost no caloric content, drinking 2 gallons of coffee might still stop you from continuing in a fasted state. It can be attributed to the release of cortisol or just the intake of 100 calories of black coffee, which amounts to around 50 cups in total.

Caffeine is amazing for improving performance, but the positive effects of coffee actually come from the beverage itself, rather than the caffeine within it. Decaffeinated coffee has the same health benefits but eliminates the potential downsides of increased blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, and jitteriness.

What Is The Best Time To Drink Coffee While Intermittent Fasting?

It is recommended to consume black coffee whilst adhering to intermittent fasting. However, this should only occur during periods of fasting.

It is suggested by some specialists that consuming a cup of coffee in the morning can help to increase the advantages of periodic fasting. It is essential to maintain adequate fluid intake and observe your diet routine for the whole day. Consequently, limiting the amount of coffee consumed to only the hours of fasting is ideal.

The Pros and Cons of Drinking Coffee While Intermittent Fasting

Let us look at the benefits and drawbacks of drinking caffeine while completing an intermittent fast.


Consuming coffee during an intermittent fast could serve as a pick-me-up and surge energy levels. Coffee has caffeine in it, a stimulant that can enhance alertness and arousal. This can be especially advantageous for those striving to boost their vigor while abstaining from food.

Coffee can also help you by suppressing your appetite. Coffee consumption can reduce cravings for food while fasting. This can help you stay dedicated to your fasting plan.


Although coffee can be advantageous while doing intermittent fasting, there may also be some unfavorable consequences. An example of this would be that drinking coffee can make it difficult to fall asleep. Caffeine from coffee can remain active in the body for up to 12 hours, which may cause difficulty when attempting to sleep.

Consuming too much sweetener and cream in coffees can lead to an increase in calories which may potentially cancel out the advantages of abstaining from eating. While using intermittent fasting, it is essential to drink a good brew like black coffee or unsweetened almond milk for your coffee.

Alternatives to Coffee for Those Who Are Intermittently Fasting

Now that we have addressed the issue of whether or not you can drink coffee while engaging in intermittent fasting let us discuss some of the most suitable coffee substitutes for intermittent fasting. Here are a few ideas:

  • Matcha: Matcha is one of the best alternatives to coffee for intermittent fasting. Matcha is a green tea with antioxidants that can help boost your energy levels. Matcha is also a great source of caffeine and L-theanine, which can help you focus and stay alert. Plus, matcha has a delicious flavor that will please your taste buds.
  • Chai tea: If you’re looking for something more unique than matcha, consider chai tea. Chai tea is a spiced beverage made using black tea, spices, and milk. Not only does it offer a delicious flavor, but it is also a great source of caffeine and antioxidants.
  • Green Tea: Green tea is an excellent alternative to coffee for intermittent fasting. It’s full of antioxidants and other beneficial compounds that help increase your metabolism and boost energy without the crash of caffeine.
  • Herbal Teas: Herbal teas such as chamomile, peppermint, and ginger are all great alternatives to coffee for those who are intermittently fasting. They are also full of antioxidants and other beneficial compounds that help to boost your energy levels.
  • Bone Broth: It’s full of vitamins and minerals that help support your digestion and boost energy.
  • Kombucha: Kombucha is a fermented tea drink full of beneficial probiotics and antioxidants. It is also a great source of caffeine and can help you stay energized during fasting. Plus, kombucha has a delicious flavor that will please your taste buds.
  • Coconut Water contains electrolytes and other beneficial compounds that help hydrate your body and boost energy.
  • Yerba Mate: Another great alternative to coffee for intermittent fasting is yerba mate. Yerba mate is a popular South American beverage full of nutrients and antioxidants. It is also a great source of caffeine and can help boost your energy levels. Yerba mate has a unique flavor that will tantalize your taste buds.
  • Adaptogenic Herbs: Finally, consider trying adaptogenic herbs for intermittent fasting. Adaptogens are herbs that can help your body adapt to stress and can help you stay energized. Popular adaptogens include ashwagandha, Rhodiola, and reishi mushrooms. They can be added to drinks or taken as a supplement to help give you the energy you need during your fasting period.

Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Intermittent Fast While Still Enjoying Coffee

Following are some suggestions for making the most of your intermittent fasting while consuming coffee.

1. Type of coffee you’re drinking.

It is essential to bear in mind that any item with a calorie amount greater than 50 will cause you to no longer be in a fasted state. Consequently, it is suggested that coffee be consumed with just a bit of milk or cream, as these will have fewer than 50 calories.

If you depend on coffee beverages with sugar, like lattes and frappuccinos, you’ll be disrupting your fast with extra sugar and calories that might hinder your development. Opt for coffee with low-calorie sweeteners such as stevia, monk fruit, and xylitol, or go for a plain black coffee to maximize your fasting benefits.

Steer clear of any flavored coffee beverages, as they are certain to have over fifty calories.

2. Stick to black coffee.

You should not forget that the calories you take in during your period of fasting should be taken into consideration when calculating the length of that period. This implies that when you consume caffeine with cream and sugar, you are negating the effects of fasting. Choose only black coffee if you are doing an intermittent fast.

3. Choose quality coffee.

Consuming good quality coffee can have a huge impact on your wellbeing while you are fasting. High-grade coffee beans can supply you with the energy you need and minimize your longings for food. Select a top-notch java from a dependable supplier to reap the greatest benefit from your quick cup.

4. Choose the right time and coffee strength.

When you have your cup of coffee is essential. If you are refraining from eating or drinking anything from 8 PM to 12 PM, it is advisable to not consume coffee in the morning. Drinking coffee may increase your hunger levels and impede fasting. If you intend to drink coffee during a fast, it is preferable to have it early in the fasting period.

It is essential to select the proper strength of coffee. If you are a big fan of coffee, you could be drawn to drinking a stronger cup of coffee while abstaining from food, which can have a bad effect on your period of abstinence. Opt for a less strong coffee so that you don’t exceed your caffeine quota.

5. Hydrate throughout the day.

Drinking coffee can lead to your body losing more water than it takes in since it is a diuretic. Make sure to keep yourself hydrated through the whole day as a way to resist this. Consuming a lot of water and abstaining from diuretic drinks such as soft drinks or alcohol will help achieve the goal.

6. Don’t drink coffee on an empty stomach.

Taking in coffee without having eaten anything first can lead to an upset stomach, as well as bring about headaches and other unpleasant reactions. It is advisable that you should eat something before having coffee to gain the maximum benefits from fasting.


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