What to Drink When Intermittent Fasting – And What to Avoid

What to drink and not drink when intermittent fasting

It might sound horrible if you’re a foodie, but if weight loss is on the agenda this year, intermittent fasting could be the jump start you need. 

You may not believe it, but Dr. Irving Penn, the founder of our program,  was one of the first pioneers in the USA to recommend intermittent fasting for weight loss. New science over the past 10 years has validated this approach, and now it is extremely popular, and for good reason.

We specifically recommend limiting your eating to less than six hours in a 24 hour period.  

If you’re interested in learning more about intermittent fasting, talk to a support team member at our weight loss clinic

This may seem uncomfortable but it has worked for a large number of our patients. It is not hard to understand not eating for a period of time, but what about drinking? Of course, we definitely recommend drinking lots of water when not eating to avoid dehydration, but what other liquids are permitted?

Drinks That Will NOT Break Your Fast

In the world of intermittent fasting, water is always the first choice. but drinking only water can be boring, and for those of us who like a little flavor, we need to go beyond plain H20.  Drinks that will be the most “fasting friendly” will be zero sugar and zero calories. Here are some options: 

Regular Water and Mineral  Water

60% of our bodies are water, and 71% of our planet is covered in water. Follow the percentages. Drink it early and often.


Zero-calorie and sugar-free are just the beginning of what’s great about tea during intermittent fasting. Tea can even help you age better. We’ll drink to that!

Black Coffee

Aren’t you relieved coffee is on this list? Coffee is another antioxidant and energy loaded drink that won’t break your fast as long as you keep it black. Avoid adding milk, sugar, or cream.

Apple Cider Vinegar 

Buy into the hype just a bit when it comes to the many benefits of apple cider vinegar. A powerful bacteria fighter, apple cider vinegar also boasts an ability to help with blood sugar levels and diabetes. No sugar, no calories. Tasty with benefits.

Diet Sodas and Sports Drinks (Gatorade, etc.)

These drinks usually have zero calories, which will not break your fast. Be CAREFUL, however. Many of the artificial sweeteners in these sodas can actually make you feel hungry. IF you need a little flavor, go ahead, but it is a good idea to not drink too much, and if you can, dilute it 50/50 with water. Still a nice flavor, with half of the sugar.


Not only a great zero-calorie sweetener, but Stevia lowers some bad blood fats while helping increase the good cholesterol.

Drinks That WILL Break Your Fast

Sugary drinks are the ones you need to avoid because they will easily kick you out of a fasted state. Even drinks you think are “healthy” may have lots of sugar.

Fruit Juices

This is the one we get most often. Many people think that juice is “natural” and it may be, but it is LOADED with sugar and should be AVOIDED when trying to lose weight.

Health Shakes/Protein Shakes

This is another common mistake that people make all the time. Shakes you buy in a store or health bar are usually loaded with calories, often containing protein, fats, and lots of sugar too. We recommend avoiding them all the time, and certainly while you are in a fasting state.

If you make your own vegetable juice at home and are NOT using fruits or sugars, then that can be OKAY sometimes, but not while fasting. 

Regular Sodas

The sugars and calories make regular sodas a no-no when fasting. Even many diet sodas have sweeteners that will inhibit the positive effects of fasting and should be avoided. 

Any Alcohol

Forget beer, wine, or hard liquor; they can be used in small doses when you aren’t in your fasting window, but anytime during, will break your fast.

Artificial Sweeteners

Some artificial sweeteners will stimulate the release of insulin and break your fast. If there are calories/carbs, avoid that sweetener. Use Stevia instead.

Almond Milk

While the degrees of intermittent fasting vary, the strictest rules would say no to almond milk because it contains protein. Some open fasting plans allow the use of a splash of almond milk in their coffee, but overall, it’s on this list because it will break a fast.

Coconut Water

High in sugar and calories, coconut water will work against you when trying to fast. It’s a great option if stranded on an island, but lousy for keeping you in a fasted state.

Getting Help from a Weight Loss Clinic

Whether you’re a veteran with intermittent fasting or just starting out, knowing what you can drink to preserve your fast is paramount. 

Making the right decisions with drinks can determine your long-term success. If you’re looking for more direction on a weight loss program designed just for you, stop by one of our clinics and talk to our support team at Healthy Steps. 

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