Green Tea and Fasting
Whether you’re already intermittent fasting for its health benefits or religious reasons, or just looking to get started, one of the main concerns you will face is what to drink during your intermittent fasts.
After all, deciding to integrate an intermittent fast into your diet plan is a conscious decision to better your health.
Fine-tuning your fasts ensures that you get the health benefits of intermittent fasting while keeping the process comfortable, enjoyable, and effective.
In this article, we’ll take a look at why green tea is an excellent option to drink during your intermittent fast, whether you’re doing a 21 hour fast, 16/8 method, or any type of intermittent fast.
We’ll touch on how and why green tea doesn’t “break” your fast.
We’ll also talk about the benefits of drinking green tea, and how they align with an intermittent fast. Head to this article to learn more about the best and worst time to drink green tea.
And finally, we’ll talk about some comparable alternatives to green tea. And if you need additional help, head to this article for 3 tips for a successful intermittent fast. And if you're looking for simple recipes to help you stay on track, head to these articles for four salad recipes you will love to eat, and three diabetic-friendly recipes that you bring to a party or a family gathering.
Table of Contents
Does Tea Break Your Fast?
You might be wondering, "can I drink tea while fasting?", "does matcha break a fast?", "can I drink matcha while fasting?", or "will tea break my fast?" No. Drinking green tea does not break a fast.
Because green tea is a zero-calorie beverage, drinking this natural tea does not interrupt your fasting period, and will not break your fast, so it's safe to drink green tea outside of your eating window.
One of the challenges you may face during these fasting windows are hunger pangs, especially when you first start intermittent fasting.
If you like to sweeten your tea, you might have additional questions such as, "does honey break a fast?", "does cinnamon break a fast?", "does heavy cream break a fast?", or "does lemon water break a fast?". 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.
What Are The Benefits Of Green Tea While Fasting?
Green Tea Benefits
Green tea has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years, some of the main health benefits from green tea leaves (and most tea bags in general) come from a high density of flavonoids, plant-based green tea phytochemicals that are extremely beneficial to your health. Also, the combination of green tea, lemon, ginger, and honey is one of the most potent cocktails around.
Flavonoids help improve your cells’ metabolism and signaling, which can help your body in many ways.
For example, some of the evidence-based benefits you may see from green tea include:
- Improved brain function and memory
- Fat burning and improved athletic performance
- Reduced risk for breast cancer
- Lower risk for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease
- Reduced inflammation
- Reduced risk of obesity and related disorders
- Reduced heart disease risk and lower blood pressure
- Reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, improved blood sugar control and lower blood sugar levels
- Strengthens the immune system
All of these benefits align with the objective of an intermittent fast, which is to improve how you feel and reduce your risks for chronic diseases in the future.
Let’s take a deeper look at two areas where green tea really complements intermittent fasting: green tea for weight loss (and athletic performance), and green tea as a detoxifier.
Benefits of Green Tea for Weight Loss (and Athletic Performance)
Intermittent fasting (time restricted feeding) is a powerful weight-loss strategy, and adding green tea to your diet only enhances those benefits.
You might be wondering, "does green tea have calories?" The answer is no. Green tea is a zero-calorie beverage that has been shown to suppress appetite and reduce energy intake at the next meal.
This means that green tea can help curb your hunger (and especially food cravings) while fasting, making an intermittent fast more comfortable, and easier to adhere to.
The research also shows that taking a green tea extract before exercise increases fat oxidation rates, insulin sensitivity, and glucose tolerance in young men.
Another study found that drinking green tea catechins increased the total amount of fat oxidation in healthy male subjects both at rest and during exercise.
Researchers have attributed many of the appetite suppression and fat oxidation effects to catechins – compounds found in tea, cocoa, and berries that with an extremely high antioxidant activity.
Finally, green tea is not caffeine free, it's a natural source of caffeine, which also helps increase metabolic rate and significantly increase the rate of fat oxidation.
Given this evidence, green tea is a great addition to an intermittent fast to help suppress appetite, increase the rate of fat oxidation, and increase metabolic rate.
Green Tea for Detoxifying Your Body
One of the major benefits of performing an intermittent fast is a process known as autophagy – a “housekeeping” or “recycling” process that degrades old cellular material.
During autophagy, your body recycles dysfunctional proteins and cells, which promotes the growth of new cells.
These combined detox tea benefits — protecting your body from oxidative stress while also recycling damaged and dysfunctional cellular material — can drastically dramatically reduce your risk of both infectious and chronic diseases.
This increase in overall health is a big reason why green tea (and other teas) are often touted as having anti-aging effects.
As you age, it becomes more challenging for tissues to promote cell growth and regeneration, and to neutralize oxidative stress.
For these reasons, combining intermittent fasting with green tea is not only a good idea, it’s a great idea.
Green Tea And Fasting: What Are The Drawbacks?
Allergic reactions to green tea are relatively uncommon, but in some people, one the disadvantage of green tea can be an upset stomach and constipation.
However, one of the main concerns when integrating green tea into your diet is excessive daily green tea consumption.
Some of the positives of green tea (particularly its weight loss effects and caffeine) can be unhealthy in large quantities.
Some research has shown that some disadvantage of drinking green tea everyday in excess, as it can interfere with iron absorption and cause anemia.
Natural caffeine levels can be one of the disadvantages of green tea, and another cause of unwanted side effects. For example, some studies have shown that drinking eight cups or more of green tea per day can cause headaches, dizziness, and nausea.
Other side effects from excessive caffeine consumption, if you drank green tea in excess, can include nervousness, sleep problems, vomiting, diarrhea, irritability, irregular heartbeat, tremor, heartburn, dizziness, ringing in the ears, convulsions, and confusion.
A good rule of thumb: if you have any negative reactions to caffeine, are currently nursing or pregnant, or have any anxiety, heart, or bleeding disorders, it’s worth being aware of your green tea consumption, if you are consuming green tea.
A Guide To Teas And Fasting
Green tea is one of many, many forms of teas available on the market right now, and many are marketed for their restorative and health benefits.
However, for the sake of this article, we’ll be breaking these teas down into two categories: traditional teas (green tea analogs), and other teas.
There are four types of traditional teas, each taken from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant:
- White tea
- Green tea (or matcha tea)
- Oolong tea
- Black tea
The main difference between each of these teas is how long the leaves are fermented, which changes the densities of their antioxidants, flavonoids, and caffeine. As a result, these forms of tea can be considered to have similar benefits to green tea in a broad sense, but their individual effects can have varying strengths.
Other teas, like herbal teas and fruit teas, come from other plants and herbs. Examples of other teas include:
- Herbal tea
- Peppermint tea
- Hibiscus tea
- Chamomile tea
- Rooibos tea
- Ginger tea
While many of these teas have excellent health benefits thanks to catechins and other antioxidant compounds, they’re not nearly as similar to the four traditional teas derived from Camellia sinensis.
Beverages to Drink While Intermittent Fasting
Most traditional and herbal teas are excellent drinks while intermittent fasting, and we’ve also included some other options that can keep you full and refreshed, curb your appetite, taste great, and may even accelerate weight loss.
- Naturally-flavored water infused with slices of fresh fruit or vegetables (without artificial sweeteners), below 50 calories.
- Carbonated water
- Herbal teas
- Green tea
- Green juices (made from leafy green and non-starchy vegetables)
- Apple cider vinegar
The Final Word On Green Tea Fasting
As we’ve touched on above, intermittent fasting has a wide range of benefits both for your weight loss and overall health.
And green tea has similar effects, which makes it the perfect drink to curb your hunger during your fasting windows.
We also discussed how other weight loss teas can have similar effects. Herbal teas and fruit teas are also excellent options, though their effects can vary beyond what we explore in this article.
Amla Green takes all of the benefits of green teas and adds the benefits of amla (which is arguably the most powerful medicinal plant on the planet), without breaking your fast.
To learn more about one of the most potent natural drinks for intermittent fasting, and try your first batch risk-free, click below.
To learn more about one of the most potent natural drinks for intermittent fasting, and try your first batch risk-free, click below.
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