So you’ve decided to try intermittent fasting to jumpstart your weight loss journey, but one question remains. “What drinks are safe to enjoy during my fasting window?”
After losing 40 pounds with intermittent fasting, I’ve tried many different options. So I’m happy to share everything I know about what drinks are great and which to avoid.
Read on to discover my top five drinks that you can enjoy during your fasting window (and still lose weight.)
Intermittent Fasting Basics For Beginners
In case you don’t already know how fasting works, here’s a quick n’ dirty version to get you up to speed…
So intermittent fasting is just a pattern of eating that restricts when you eat rather than what you eat.
It’s not really a diet on its own. (That means it can work for you even if you’re not plant-based or vegan!)
No food is technically off-limits, so long as you eat reasonable portions and only within a specific window of time each day.
The most popular intermittent fasting schedule is 16:8, where you fast for 16 hours of the day and eat all your day’s food within the remaining eight consecutive hours.
Keeping things simple, for most people, this equates to skipping breakfast, eating lunch around or after 12, and finishing your last bite of food for the day around 7 or 8 pm.
Now that you know what fasting is let’s talk more about the fasting window.
What Should I Drink During My Fasting Window?
First, keep in mind that generally speaking, during your fasting window you want to consume as close to zero calories as possible.
Depending on who you ask, some people say keeping it under fifty calories or so is harmless.
Others are staunchly against this and will try to fight you online if you drink anything other than water during a fast.
You’ll have to decide for yourself how you feel and what you’d like to include in your intermittent fasting diet plan.
If you choose to consume beverages that have more than zero calories, this is known as “dirty fasting.”
If, on the other hand, you stick to zero calories with no additives at all, this is known as “clean fasting.”
I’ve had success going the dirty route and found no problem with losing weight while consuming a variety of beverages, which I’ll share with you below.
But some people have reported that their bodies hold on to excess weight and fat if they don’t go 100% clean.
My advice to you is to block out all the noise and experiment!
We are all different, and nobody can tell you what to do with your body.
Your body, your rules. Period.
Okay, now, with no further ado, here are the seven best liquids to drink while fasting for weight loss!
Best Drinks For Intermittent Fasting
First and foremost, this may come as no surprise, but the #1 best liquid to drink during your fasting window is water.
Water is critical because so much of the time, we think we’re hungry when we’re really just dehydrated.
In fact, I used to struggle with feeling low-energy in the morning, even if I had lots of sleep the night before.
But it occurred to me – in our waking life, how long do we go without drinking water? You’d be so thirsty and dehydrated if you went through your entire workday without a sip of water, would you not?
So yeah, if you’ve been sleeping for eight hours with no water, your body is likely extremely dehydrated.
Make a habit of drinking 16 to 24 ounces of water as soon as you wake up, and you’ll be so amazed at how much better and brighter you feel in the morning, and how much less hungry you feel during your fasting window!
What If I Hate Water?
If you’re one of those people who don’t enjoy drinking water, you have a few options (provided you’re cool with dirty fasting and all.)
First, you can try infusing your water with lemon or cucumber. You may get some calories from these, but it would be so few that it wouldn’t matter.
If it gets you to drink more water, it’s worth it.
The other option is to use water enhancers to increase flavor while also providing electrolytes to increase hydration.
My favorite brand is Mio Drops. They are calorie-free and taste delicious! I always buy a few sets at a time, so I never run out, and they do help!
(The best color is Black Cherry!)
Next up on the list of best beverages to drink while fasting is coffee.
Now, the consensus is that black coffee with no sweetener, creamer, or additives is best, and I’ll have to say I agree.
I think you should give black coffee a try for at least a week or so if you can muster it up.
It may sound gross, but you just might start to like it!
If you don’t like it hot, maybe try it cold? I’ve found that to be helpful to me.
But if you’ve tried black coffee and just can’t hack it, you’ve got a few options.
First, you can add a little bit of zero-calorie artificial sweetener, provided you’re okay with that idea.
I’ve always used sucralose liquid sweeteners with great results!
The thing I love most about sucralose is that all it takes is one tiny drop, and you’ve got it made.
One bottle lasts me almost a year, too! And it’s cleaner than the powdered sweetener as well.
Another option is using just a dash of milk or creamer, but I don’t do this personally.
I think it’s a slippery slope.
And I don’t know about you, but I’d need way more than 50 calories worth of creamer to make it taste like anything. So I don’t even bother.
Another option if you don’t like the taste of black coffee is green or black tea (or any other zero-calorie tea, really) without sugar.
The caffeine in either coffee or tea helps to suppress hunger while giving you energy to power through your morning. So either option works well if you have to get a caffeine buzz.
Again, I use sucralose sometimes to sweeten my tea, but I find the taste of plain tea unoffensive enough to go without.
4- Sparkling Water
Another drink you can enjoy while fasting is sparkling water!
You’ll feel full, still, hydrate your body, and still get to enjoy a bit of flavor if you want to experience something beyond just plain water.
Plus, sparkling waters are usually calorie free so you don’t have to worry about breaking your fast.
I love having a can of lime sparkling water first thing in the morning because it helps to make me feel refreshed and hydrated without any extra calories or sugar.
5- Zero-Calorie Beverages
I’ve saved this one for last because it’s probably the last-ditch option if you want to be as “clean” as possible while intermittent fasting.
But I put it here because if your primary reason for fasting is weight loss, you can technically still enjoy zero-calorie beverages like diet soda or sugar-free energy drinks and still lose weight.
I’ll put it to you like this.
When you’re just starting with intermittent fasting and feeling like you can’t make it through otherwise but you might make it if you can have your Diet Pepsi or your Red Bull to get you going?
If the choice is between cracking open one of those and making it until noon, or not fasting altogether?
You’ll probably do better off doing what gets you through!
Throughout my intermittent fasting weight loss journey, I’ve gone in and out of these drinks.
I know it doesn’t fall under the “whole food plant-based” umbrella, and sure there are healthier approaches out there, but I think it’s important to be gentle and graceful with yourself when you’re trying to make a major life change!
You can always tweak and improve as you go.
So I don’t beat myself up if I make this choice (or ever, really!) You shouldn’t either!
Best Energy Drinks While Intermittent Fasting
If, based on the above, you’ve decided that you want to drink diet soda or energy drinks while fasting, the best energy drinks while intermittent fasting are definitely the zero-calorie ones!
As I’ve said before, I use these to fuel my workouts sometimes and have never had a problem retaining weight. The extra energy boost I get helps me workout better and that makes me lose more weight.
But I do have a relatively high caffeine tolerance, so your mileage may vary!
The only way to know what works for you is to try different things!
But my all time favorite brand is Rockstar Sugar Free!
We buy them in bulk on Amazon so I always have a fresh, cold one when I want it!
So there you have it – five drink options to get you through your intermittent fasting window and still lose weight!
Remember, you may need to take some time trying different approaches on for size before you learn what works best for you.
Give yourself time, but try your best, okay?
I hope you found this article informative and that it helps you reach your weight loss goals.