Flavored Water For Intermittent Fasting – Amla Green
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Flavored Water For Intermittent Fasting

If you’ve decided to integrate intermittent fasting into your lifestyle (whether it's for its health benefits or religious reasons), you’ve made a conscious decision to invest in your health and immunity, which also serve to protect your liver

By adhering to well-defines eating and fasting windows, cells in tissues all throughout your body perform autophagy, a metabolic process that has many long term benefits, including: 

But maintaining this strategy isn’t always easy, especially when it comes to staying hydrated and energized during your intermittent fasts. 

There are plenty of rules and recommendations as to what you “can and can’t” drink during an intermittent fast, and a big sticking point are flavored waters. 

Flavored waters can vary widely. Some can be sugary drinks in disguise, others use zero-calorie flavorings, artificial flavorings such as sodium citrate or citric acid, and artificial sweeteners, while others are naturally-flavored still and sparkling waters.

You might be asking yourself things like, "does lemon water break a fast?". Well, in this article we’ll break down the different types of flavored waters and how they influence your fast. 

We’ll also take a look at a list of other drinks that taste great and enhance the benefits of an intermittent fast. And if you need additional help, head to this article for 3 tips for a successful intermittent fast.

Table of Contents

Steadfast Diet Rules For Intermittent Fasting
Flavored Water and Intermittent Fasting: What Works, What Doesn’t
Other Intermittent Fasting-Approved Drinks
The Final Word On Flavored Waters For Intermittent Fasting

 

Steadfast Diet Rules For Intermittent Fasting

The main biological process behind intermittent fasting is called autophagy, which happens during periods of low or zero-calorie intake.

During these periods of calorie restriction, cells in tissues all throughout your body manufacture ATP to power thousands of chemical reactions. 

With less (or zero) energy available from food, cells in tissues throughout your body get this energy by recycling dysfunctional and damaged proteins and cells. 

This process has a wide variety of benefits when done in short bursts, and researchers theorize that this is an evolutionary advantage that our early human ancestors gained from extended periods of low calorie intake. Head to this article for four delicious salad recipes that will have you looking forward to meal time.

Maintaining Autophagy Throughout Your Fast

One of the biggest challenges at the start of an intermittent fasting strategy is feeling hungry. 

As your body adjusts to fewer calories and a new eating schedule, you may experience hunger pangs, lightheadedness, and irritation. 

One common rule of thumb for fasting windows is that you shouldn’t consume more than 50 calories, otherwise your fasting period will end prematurely. Others recommend not eating or drinking more than 100 calories. 

The exact number of calories that “break” your fast isn’t clear in the evidence-based research, however keeping your calories as close to zero as possible is preferable to maintain the benefits of autophagy. 

These side effects, though, can be a frustrating problem, and can make intermittent fasting seem like more trouble than it’s worth. 

For many, the solution to these problems comes in the form of low- or zero-calorie beverages. 

These drinks can help you stay hydrated, energized, and satisfied during fasting windows, and even enhance the weight loss and overall health benefits of your fast. 

However, depending on the beverage these drinks could instead break your fast, or directly counteract its benefits. 

Flavored water can do both depending on its ingredients, so we’re taking a closer look at what to watch out for in your flavored water bottle below.

Flavored Water and Intermittent Fasting: What Works, What Doesn’t

Woman pouring cucumber water

For the purpose of intermittent fasting, there are three major categories of flavored waters: sugary flavored waters, zero-calorie artificially flavored waters, and water with natural flavors.

Sugary Flavored Waters

The first category of flavored waters are sugary drinks that are often marketed as ‘healthy’, like drink mix or Vitaminwater

These beverages are high in calories (usually upwards of 120 per serving), which means consuming them will take you out of a fasted state, so don’t drink them during your fasting window.  

But even if you’ve reached your eating window, it’s not a great idea to opt for these beverages. It’s become relatively common knowledge in recent years that sugary drinks, often flavored with dextrose, high fructose corn syrup, or other artificial sweeteners can have drastic negative effects in the long term, including:

Rule of Thumb: If your flavored water contains added sugars, it’s a poor choice to drink while intermittent fasting.

Artificially Sweetened Zero-Calorie Flavored Waters

For drinks that are zero-calorie (or very close to zero-calorie), deciding on ‘yes’ or ‘no’ can be a bit trickier. 

After all, these low-calorie options, often water flavorings (water flavoring packets, water flavoring drops), seltzer water or sparkling water with colorful flavors, won’t necessarily break your fast. 

However, the important thing to watch out for here are artificial sweeteners like aspartame, erythritol, stevia, and other similar alternatives. 

Though these calorie-free flavorings are advertised as a risk-free, consequence-free alternative to artificial sugars, the evidence shows otherwise. 

Studies have found that these sweeteners can significantly reduce insulin-sensitivity, particularly in those with type 2 diabetes

These results have been increasingly supported and repeated, including one study that found that artificial sweeteners in diet soda increase diabetes risk just as much as sugary sodas.

So a better question is, “should you drink artificially sweetened drinks?” 

And the answer is probably no, especially when there are naturally-flavored options available.

Rule of Thumb: Check the label. If you spot artificial sweeteners, you’re better off looking for a natural alternative that doesn’t.

Naturally Flavored Water

A “Naturally flavored water” refers to any water infused with slices of fresh fruit or vegetables, like oranges, lemons, strawberry, watermelon, or cucumbers. While these are all healthy green light foods and all natural water enhancers, the concern might be that these beverages would exceed the calorie threshold for intermittent fasting. 

If a sufficient number of carbohydrates (carbs) are present, that can shift you from a fasted state to a fed state, breaking your fast. 

Generally, to maintain your intermittent fast it’s recommended that you shoot for below 50 calories. have included some references for some common additives and brands below. 

  • Juice from 1 Lemon: 11 calories
  • Juice from 1 Lime: 11 calories
  • Cucumber Water: Close to 0 calories

Rule of Thumb: Check the ingredients and the calories. If they’re all natural, and you can stay below 50, you’re in the clear!

Other Intermittent Fasting-Approved Drinks

We’ve also included a list of some other options for drinks to enjoy on your intermittent fast, to add some variety to your routine. 

Like naturally-flavored water, the drinks on this list can help keep you hydrated, satisfied, and taste great, all without breaking your intermittent fast. 

In fact, some even have benefits that will enhance the positive effects of your fast

  • Water and Carbonated Water — Plain water, without flavorings, is the easiest way to stay hydrated. Carbonated or still, these drinks can reduce your hunger and feelings of craving by making you feel full, helping with weight loss.
  • Green Tea Green tea is a powerful natural medicine and antioxidant, that measures in at zero-calories. The research shows that green tea can reduce your risk for cancer and cardiovascular disease, and its antioxidants can improve your immunity. You can even add a squeeze of lemon juice and still maintain its protective action, while enjoying a delicious tea with natural lemon flavor, your taste buds will thank you for it. If you're drinking almond milk with your green tea, remember to keep it under 50 calories, and always choose unsweetened almond milk over sweetened almond milk. 
  • Herbal Tea —  Herbal teas are packed with antioxidants that scavenge free radicals and reduce oxidative stress. And when it comes to antioxidants, one tea stands above the rest — Amla GreenThanks to amla (Indian gooseberries), the most powerful antioxidant on the planet, this tea offers delicious flavors like hibiscus or Oolong Green Tea that can also enhance your intermittent fast and lower your blood sugar levels. Amla also has nine times more vitamin C than oranges! 
  • Green Juices — Compared to fruit juice, juice made from leafy greens and non-starchy vegetables like cucumber, celery, lettuce, and tomato add key nutrients without interrupting your fast. A satisfying and filling option if you’re feeling hungry.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar Apple cider vinegar’s natural nutrients can help control your blood glucose, and reduce feelings of hunger before they start. One or two tablespoons are all you need for this natural remedy, making it a great quick fix. (Remember to use a glucose control solution any time you get a drastically different or very unexpected result.)
  • Black Coffee — If a morning coffee is already a part of your routine, you can keep your intermittent fast easily by simply drinking black coffee, which keeps calories close to zero. The increase in metabolic rate that occurs from the caffeine in black coffee may also promote weight loss. 

Note: When consumed to excess (more than 4 cups a day), coffee’s high-levels of caffeine can be counterproductive to an intermittent fast.

The Final Word On Flavored Waters For Intermittent Fasting

Flavored water is a diverse category of drinks, so there’s no blanket answer for whether they can hurt or help your intermittent fast. 

For sugar sweetened drinks or flavor packets for water bottles, the added artificial sugar and calories will take your body out of its fasted state, and can increase your risk for many chronic diseases. There are healthier ways to enjoy sweet treats.

For “diet” drinks, diet sodas, or flavored waters with artificial sweeteners, our recommendation is still no. 

You might be wondering "can I drink diet soda or will diet soda break my fast?" or "what about carb free water flavoring?For “diet” drinks, diet sodas, or flavored waters with artificial sweeteners, our recommendation is still no. 

Though they won’t necessarily break your fast, their risks for chronic diseases and insulin resistance counteract the positive benefits of the intermittent fast. 

This is especially true considering the natural water flavoring options (or flavors that you add yourself to make your own flavored water), and alternative drink suggestions above. 

These are the best option for during an intermittent fast, and enhance your overall health while helping maximize the benefits of your intermittent fast. 

Of all of the above, our favorite is Amla Green, which combines the great taste and satisfaction of the best flavored waters with antioxidant and medicinal powers that are unrivaled by any natural alternative, with none of the negative side effects

If you’d like to try Amla Green for yourself, you can click below and try your first batch entirely risk free. 

Amla Green is available in both regular and decaffeinated versions, and also comes in a deliciously refreshing hibiscus flavor. Try one today!

 

Amla Green has strict guidelines for scientific references in our articles, and we rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, governmental organizations, and reputable medical organizations. We do our best to avoid using non evidence-based references in all articles. The references in this article are listed below.

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