Can You Drink Energy Drinks While Intermittent Fasting?
Page Medically Reviewed and Edited by Cyrus Khambatta, PhD
If you’re starting an intermittent fast, it’s important to know what drinks you can have while fasting.
Most people believe that they can have whatever they want…as long as they don’t go over 50 calories during their “fasting” window.
However, those people would be wrong.
In fact, there are specific things you can—and cannot—have while you’re on an intermittent fast.
If you’ve taken the time to learn, decipher, and apply the simple and effective rules to intermittent fasting, then you will be very, very successful.
After all, who wants to spend all that time researching and planning for your fast, if you’re just going to go and screw it up by drinking something you’re not supposed to?
No one—that is who!
So why do people ask:
Can you drink energy drinks while intermittent fasting?
To answer that, I think that the list is pretty clear…
What You Can Drink While Fasting
Despite the name, intermittent fasting is unlike any diet that you’ve ever done before. Most diets cut your calories…give you small portions…and deprive you of the foods that you love to eat (so long pasta and bread).
But intermittent fasting is different…and it works wonders!
People have lost a ton of weight…reversed diabetes…and improved their health by leaps and bounds using this plan.
Even though you may think fasting is depriving yourself of food, this type of fast is completely different.
Intermittent fasting is an approach where you have a “fasting” and a “feeding” window. During the “fasting” window, you voluntarily avoid consuming anything that is over 50 calories.
That includes drinks and foods.
During the “feeding” window, you are able to eat whatever you want, as long as you’re eating it during that feeding time (usually between 6 and 8 hours,
depending on the protocol you’re doing).
But there is one thing to consider…
When you’re in your fasting window, you need to be sure that anything that you do drink is under 50 calories.
The reason for this is simple:
When you’re in the fasting window, your body is busy using your fat stores as its main source of energy.
This is important because it may aid in weight loss and changes in body composition. But here’s the deal-breaker…
If you consume something that is over 50 calories, then your liver function starts to increase, which kicks you out of your fasting stage.
If you’re serious about changing your health, then you want to stay in the “fasting” window as long as possible to reap all the benefits.
Here are some drinks that will keep you in the fasted state:
• Water—this is the best option while you’re doing a fast. It contains ZERO calories, so you don’t need to be worried about it kicking you out of the fasting window. Plus, it is hydrating and may prevent hunger and cravings.
• Coffee—coffee, without any additives, could be a great drink to include in your fasting window. It contains powerful antioxidants that could lower blood sugar, improve health, and keep you alert. It may also produce ketones, which could aid in the weight loss process. However, drinking coffee on an empty stomach may lead to shakes, jitters, and problems with your stomach lining.
• Tea—another ZERO calorie beverage that could improve your fast. Tea has been used for centuries to improve your health, thanks to the powerful antioxidants found in tea. But, unlike the other drinks, it has also been used as a medicine to treat a number of different health conditions. And that is why tea may be the BEST drink choice when doing an intermittent fast. Although there are many brands you can try, Amla Green Tea is the best. Infused with Indian gooseberries and dark, green Oolong tea leaves, you’re getting more antioxidant power in one cup of Amla green tea than you would get in most tea brands. This means you have more antioxidants that are capable of repairing cells, protecting your health, and preventing chronic diseases from occurring.
These are the top liquids you should use while intermittent fasting. What’s one thing you don’t see on this list?
Energy drinks! And there is a very good reason for that…
Can You Drink Energy Drinks While Intermittent Fasting?
There are a lot of people who use energy drinks as a source of…well, energy.
They typically use it because it’s got a lot of caffeine and keeps them motivated throughout the whole day.
However, if you’re considering drinking energy drinks while fasting, you should stop right there.
Not only are energy drink full of unwanted calories (way more than the 50 calories you’re allotted in your fasting window), but they typically have a ton of sugar.
And with more than twice the caffeine compared to coffee, having an energy drink on an empty stomach could lead to jitters…that shaky feeling…high blood pressure…and a rapid heart rate.
But what about the ZERO calorie energy drinks?
Well, these are a no-no as well.
Even though they have zero calories, the use of artificial sweeteners could have the opposite effect on your body.
In fact, some people have reported increased feelings of hunger and a lack of appetite control when using drinks that contain artificial sweeteners.
Plus, Fung (considered one of the founders of intermittent fasting) recommends against artificial sweeteners since it may interfere with insulin production (one goal of intermittent fasting is to become less insulin resistant and more insulin sensitive, which can’t occur if your insulin is spiking).
So the simple answer to if you can have energy drinks while intermittent fasting is a big, fat NO!
The Take Home Message
If you’re looking to start an intermittent fasting plan, and are wondering if you can have energy drinks while intermittent fasting…
…the answer is no. Regular energy drinks contain far too many calories, have twice the caffeine, and could easily push you out of the fasting window.
And the diet energy drinks are no better. The artificial sweeteners have been linked to insulin spikes and an increased appetite.
The best option, once again, is to consume water during your fast. Not only will it help hydrate you, but it will also keep you full and satisfied throughout your fasting window.
If you’re looking to take your fast to the next level, then I would suggest you use Amla Green Tea. This popular concoction infuses the power of Indian gooseberry (Amla) with dark green Oolong green tea leaves, which rushes an immense amount of antioxidants to the cells of your body.
Not only could this improve your health, but Amla Green Tea could also enhance your fast, giving you far better results than just including water or coffee—or even energy drinks!
The Most Effective Way To Rush Powerful Antioxidants To Your Cells And Enhance Your Fast
Page Medically Reviewed and Edited by
Cyrus Khambatta, PhD
Cyrus Khambatta, PhD, is a cofounder of Mastering Diabetes and Amla Green is an internationally recognized nutrition and fitness coach who has been living with type 1 diabetes since 2002. Using an evidence-based approach to nutrition and fitness, he first reduced his own insulin usage by more than 40%, and has educated thousands of people with all forms of diabetes how to reverse insulin resistance using food as medicine. Cyrus earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University in 2003, then earned a PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley in 2012. He is the co-host of the annual Mastering Diabetes Online Summit, a featured speaker at the Plant-Based Nutrition and Healthcare Conference (PBNHC), the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) Conference, Plant Stock, and has been featured on Forks Over Knives, NPR, PBS, KQED, Fast Company, and is the author of the upcoming book Mastering Diabetes.
- Kevin DiDonato