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What Can I Drink While Fasting: What Counts as Breaking a Fast?

Intermittent fasting has become an increasingly popular method for people to improve their diets by controlling when they eat. There are various intermittent fasting methods, but they all involve a designated fasting period and a designated eating period. Research suggests that those who adhere to a specific method often see improvements in weight loss and other health benefits, such as enhanced cognition and reduced inflammation.

A fasting window is the predetermined time during which you avoid consuming any calories. It's not about starving yourself but about managing intake. During your eating window, you break your fast and consume the day's nutrients. Fasting is designed to promote a healthy diet and establish proper eating habits.

When planning your intermittent fasting routine, you might wonder what you can drink throughout the day. The primary rule during fasting is to avoid calorie intake. Some fasting methods restrict water, but these aren't as common. Some methods allow a small calorie intake during the fasting window without technically breaking the fast. Typically, this is around 39-50 calories, but stricter methods don't permit this.

Staying hydrated is crucial for fasting success. Dehydration can lead to dizziness, headaches, and fatigue. Let's explore what you can drink without breaking your fast.

What to Drink During a Fast

If you're adhering to strict fasting guidelines, you can consume beverages that don't contain calories. Water is the best choice, but coffee and tea are also acceptable as long as you don't add sugar or other flavourings.


Water is the ideal drink during your fasting window. Nutritionist Dr. Kellyann Petrucci emphasises that water is vital, especially during a fast. Drinking water can help balance digestion and curb hunger. Paired with fasting, water can aid in flushing out waste. To make your water more interesting, add lemon or mint for flavour without breaking your fast. You can also try different types of distilled water, like mineral or alkaline. Ensure there are no additives in any bottled water you buy. Carbonated water, provided it has zero calories and no sweeteners, is also acceptable.


Coffee is virtually calorie-free, so it won't break your fast. However, limit your intake, especially during fasting, as the effects of caffeine can be amplified on an empty stomach. A small amount of caffeine might even help burn fat during a fast. But too much can cause jitters. Drink your coffee black and avoid sweeteners or cream. Instead, consider adding spices like turmeric for flavour.

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Tea is another calorie-free, caffeinated option. Caffeine can suppress appetite, helping you maintain your fast. Popular teas like black and green tea are delicious without added sugar or honey. Yerba tea and chai (without sugar or cream) are also suitable. Add lemon or mint for flavour without calories.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar, typically diluted with water, can benefit digestion and heart health. It can also aid weight loss and blood sugar regulation. If you're already using it or plan to, you can consume it without breaking your fast.

Drinks to Avoid During Fasting

Some drinks, even if recommended for fasting, can technically break your fast. Depending on your goals, some methods might allow a tiny calorie intake. If you're strict about fasting and aim for weight loss, avoid these:

Coconut Water: Contains sugar and calories.

Milk/Almond Milk: Both have calories. Almond milk has protein, and while it's lower in fat than regular milk, it can break your fast.

Never Drink These While Fasting

Avoid drinks high in sugar, added protein, or carbohydrates:

Juices: Even vegetable or freshly squeezed fruit juices have sugars and carbs.

Fizzy drinks: Full of sugar.

Alcohol: Contains carbs and calories. It's also harmful on an empty stomach.

 Sweeteners: Even if they claim to be calorie-free, they can trick your body and break your fast.

In Conclusion

Always drink water during both fasting and eating windows. The key is to consume liquids without calories. If you enjoy caffeine, unsweetened coffee or tea can be beneficial. Limit caffeine to avoid feeling jittery. Only add lemon or light spices for flavour. Following these guidelines ensures you can drink without breaking your fast.

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