Since I have been trying to get back into shape, I have resorted to intermittent fasting. To be honest, everything is actually going well aside from the fact that I am still on the fence about drinking black coffee in my fasted state.
There have been mixed opinions about it, so I don't really know where I stand with drinking black coffee; as a result, this prompted me to do more research in hopes of finding more clarity about this matter.
The most logical explanation I found online about whether black coffee is acceptable in doing intermittent fasting ties back to the different benefits that fasting brings to a person, and what role black coffee plays into each of these benefits.
Common benefits of fasting that coffee plays a role in
Fasting is considered as one of the easiest ways in which a person will be able to achieve ketosis because this is the natural phenomenon that happens inside someone's body. Knowing all these about this condition in the body, it has been found that caffeine actually increases ketosis during a fasted state.
Due to the fact that ketosis increases the amount of fat being burned in the body during a fasted state, it is also safe to assume that having a supply of caffeine can also boost the fat burning process in the body.
One benefit of doing intermittent fasting is that it trains the body to become more resistant to insulin and all types of sugar. This addresses a person's usual cravings to anything sweet; when doing intermittent fasting, these cravings are lessened because the taste buds are also made accustomed to food that is not sweet.
This benefit is supported by regularly drinking coffee because studies have shown that people who include coffee in their morning routine are less likely to suffer from type 2 diabetes.
Autophagy is the process of cleaning out the damaged cells from a person's body, allowing the cells to generate healthier and newer cells; as a result, this process slows down the degeneration of the cells in the body. Coffee has been found to enhance autophagy in the body because as studies have shown, coffee had the same effect for mice.
AMPK stands for Adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase, and this is an enzyme that prevents the bodies in the cell from absorbing fat from all the food intake and even promotes burning of fat instead.
The special thing about this enzyme is that it also activates various antioxidants that allow people to burn more calories most especially when they participate in different physical activities such as exercise, and in our case, intermittent fasting. It has been found that coffee has a component called chlorogenic acid that triggers more AMPK in a person's body.
Now that these benefits have been scrutinized more closely, I am now more convinced that black coffee definitely does not interfere with a person's intermittent fasting because it seems like coffee doesn't disrupt the fasted state at all.
If anything, coffee even boosts the effects that people get out of doing fasting. However, there is still an unanswered question regarding coffee: "What is acceptable to add in coffee that will not ruin a person's fasted state?"
I researched about the different possible additions to coffee and found answers for each and every single one of them.
Possible additions to coffee
Adding fat into coffee will definitely break the fast because this is like adding more calories in the body, and once a certain amount of calories has been exceeded, the fasted state will be disrupted. However, what adding butter or coconut oil in coffee can do is that it will allow a person to fast for a longer period of time, allowing a person to even reach up to 24 hours of not eating.
Heavy cream can actually be incorporated in coffee during a fast, because it really depends on the amount to be added. An ounce will not kick the body out of ketosis, but it will slow down the fat burning process; having said this, it is okay to add in a certain amount of heavy cream as long as the amount of calories will not impede the ketosis happening in the body.
Milk that comes from the essence of nuts are said to be fasting-friendly as long as not more than a half cup will be added to the coffee. Generally speaking, these milk variations contain only a small amount of everything that comprises them.
Basically, all three are okay to add in coffee as long as they are within the recommended amount. The problem with adding these three in coffee is that they have a tendency to be indulgent so I personally feel like I will be carried away when adding these in my coffee especially since I am feeling hunger pangs if in the middle of fasting
When ordering coffee in shops
Another question I always ask myself about drinking coffee during fasting comes out whenever I am out in coffee shops; I always wonder what specific items from the menu I can order so as not to stall the fasting that I'm doing. And it seems like black coffee is the only thing worth ordering in coffee shops because the cream that they normally use isn't 100% cream - usually it's 50% cream, and 50% milk.
Or if cream really needs to be added in coffee, it would be best to explicitly ask for heavy cream so that the baristas would know that you are aware of what they really put in your coffee when "heavy cream" is not specified. I've also considered asking nut milk variations to be added in my coffee instead, but it seems like coffee shops use the sweetened versions which will definitely kick someone out of ketosis.
In turn, instead of having a healthier version of milk, you will even be forced to consume something that impedes your goal to fast, so your best bet is to just stick with black coffee.