Who doesn’t love a good relationship hack? Hopefully, you’re head over heels in love with intermittent fasting and things are going swimmingly. But if you’re on the struggle bus, I’m here with some helpful hacks – just in time to save you from breaking up with your fast!
If hunger or low energy is getting you down, this article will give you some pointers on what you should drink (and not drink) to keep you fasting happily ever after. Plus, some of these drinks may even make your intermittent fast more effective.
Remember, the goal of an intermittent fast is to let your body enter into a fasted state so that you’re burning fat and reaping all the other benefits of fasting. To do this, you can’t consume any calories during your fasting window. So stick with these intermittent fasting approved beverages instead and stay on track with your commitment.
Drink more water. This isn’t any groundbreaking advice – everyone knows it’s important to stay hydrated. But when you’re fasting, this is truer than ever because you’re not getting any hydration from food. So ramp up your water intake and aim to drink around 50 percent of your body weight in ounces daily.
If you’re bummed out by the thought of drinking plain old water, get creative. Drink mineral water, sparkling water, or fruit-infused water. Cucumber slices are my go-to addition for a super refreshing infusion. Or add a squeeze of lemon or lime.
Obviously, water is calorie-free – but it’s also lacking in important nutrients and other minerals (unless you opt for mineral water). So add a dash of pink Himalayan sea salt to replenish electrolytes and iodine, which also promotes healthy thyroid function.
Looking for the ultimate hack to make your fast easier and more effective? Look no further than tea. Whether you choose green, black, oolong, or herbal, any tea boasts a long list of health benefits – it’s the ideal sidekick when you’re fasting.
As you start your fast, your biggest obstacle will likely be hunger (or hanger, if you’re like me). Green tea helps suppress your appetite and keep the hangry away. And wait for it… green tea may even boost weight loss. Check out this article to dig deep into all the reasons why you should be drinking this powerful beverage.
You also get a small jolt of energy from the caffeine in tea. And different herbal teas each have their own benefits. For example, chamomile tea can calm an upset stomach and help you fall asleep.
It’s kind of like the superman of beverages – go brew some tea!
Just because you’re skipping breakfast in the morning doesn’t mean you must skip your morning cup of joe. Coffee is on the intermittent fasting approved list! But drink it black – no sweeteners or milk (although you can add just a little bit of cinnamon if you’d like).
You can have either caffeinated or decaffeinated, totally up to you. Caffeine adds a pep to your step if you find yourself dragging, and some research shows that it may even enhance the benefits of IF.
However, if you go for caffeinated coffee, limit yourself to no more than 4 cups a day. Otherwise, you may build up a caffeine intolerance and even have higher cortisol (stress) levels, which counteracts some benefits from fasting.
Even if you’re already a coffee fiend, you’ll want to be careful with coffee while fasting – it may upset your stomach or make your heart race.
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
There are lots of health benefits linked to drinking apple cider vinegar. For example, it helps regulate blood sugar and improves digestion. But here’s the big benefit when it comes to fasting – apple cider vinegar can help with hunger! It’s a proven appetite suppressant.
Because you’re drinking so much water while fasting (or at least you better be), your body will be flushing out a lot of minerals. Apple cider vinegar contains minerals (potassium, magnesium, and iron) that your body needs to keep electrolytes up and prevent mineral deficiencies as well.
Try adding to sparkling water for a lip-smacking beverage you’ll actually enjoy. But don’t drink more than 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar at a time or you risk breaking your fast.
You thought baking soda was just for cooking? No way – it has lots of health benefits, including helping with digestive issues and balancing the pH levels in the body. Baking soda is another tool to help replenish your electrolytes, and it also relieves that icky bloated feeling.
It doesn’t taste great, but just add a teaspoon to a big glass of water and gulp it down.
BONUS HACK: BEWARE OF ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS
But surely you can have a diet soda, right? I mean, it’s calorie free!
Sorry, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but NO diet sodas when fasting. In fact, you should be cautious with any zero calorie beverages – they use artificial sweeteners, which are highly debatable when it comes to fasting.
While most artificial sweeteners don’t contain calories, some can still mimic real sugar by spiking your insulin levels and messing with your blood sugar. This will break you right out of your fasted state.
My advice is to avoid all sweeteners when you’re in a fasting period – you don’t know how your body will react so it’s just not worth the risk.
Now that you’re armed with these liquid hacks, you should have no problem staying committed to your intermittent fast. Let’s toast (with water) to a long, successful fast!
Coming up in the next article, I’ll share some advice on the best way to break your fast when your feeding window opens up (yes, it’s time to talk about the fun part – eating!).
And I’ll also give you the lowdown on a secret weapon for breaking your fast – AMP-V from ATP Science. It’s a kickass supplement that helps accelerate fat loss and boosts energy for your workout. But that’s all you get for now – until next time!
Lilli is a weight training enthusiast with a background in both CrossFit and powerlifting. She lives on a ranch in Texas where she has built an amazing home gym right in her own backyard (err, garage). When she’s not working out, Lilli works as a freelance writer and travels as often as possible.