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  • Writer's pictureShonagh C.

What You Can Drink While Practicing Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting or alternatively referred to as Time-restricted eating (TRE), also known as time-restricted feeding (TRF), is a fascinating dietary approach that limits eating to a specific window of time during the day. This practice aligns your meals with your body's natural rhythms, offering potential health benefits. In this article, we'll explore what you can safely drink during your fasting period while practicing TRE.

What You Can Drink While Intermittent Fasting

Understanding TRE and Breaking the Fast

Before delving into the beverages that won't break your fast during TRE, let's clarify what it means to break a fast in this context. While definitions may vary, for the purposes of this article, breaking the fast refers to consuming items that register as food in the body or disrupt the beneficial biological processes of fasting.

What You Can Drink While Intermittent Fasting

1. Purified Water

Purified water, processed to remove impurities and then re-mineralized, contains no calories or macronutrients. It is an ideal choice to stay hydrated during your fasting period.

2. Spring/Mineral Water

Natural spring water, with its added minerals, is another safe option during your fasting hours. It contains no calories or nutrients that your body needs to break down.

3. Sparkling Water

Carbonated or sparkling water, infused with carbon dioxide (CO2), is calorie-free and won't disrupt your fast. However, it may affect hunger sensations differently in individuals.

4. Lemon-infused Water

Adding a few slices of lemon to still or sparkling water imparts a refreshing flavor with minimal calories and nutrients. The small amount of lemon used typically has no significant metabolic impact.

5. Black Coffee

Black coffee, with just five calories per cup and minimal protein and fat, is a common question mark during fasting. While it may affect circadian rhythms and liver processes, clinical trials have shown that it does not negate the benefits of TRE.

6. Plain Tea

Both caffeinated and non-caffeinated teas, such as green or black tea, contain negligible calories, glucose, protein, or fat that could disrupt fasting. Herbal teas, too, appear to have no adverse effects on TRE benefits.

The Flexibility of TRE

Time-restricted eating offers flexibility in both the timing of your eating window and the beverages you can enjoy while fasting. It's essential to prioritize long-term adherence to the protocol rather than imposing strict restrictions. Based on current evidence, TRE's metabolic benefits are powerful, and enjoying your favorite tea or coffee can help you maintain this sustainable lifestyle.

In conclusion, TRE is a promising approach to improve health and wellness by aligning your eating habits with your body's natural rhythms. When it comes to choosing what to drink during your fasting period, the options listed here are likely to support your fasting goals without breaking the fast.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is time-restricted eating (TRE)?

Time-restricted eating is a dietary approach that limits daily food consumption to a specific window of time, aligning with the body's natural circadian rhythms.

2. Can I drink coffee or tea during TRE?

Yes, both black coffee and tea, whether caffeinated or herbal, are generally considered safe to consume during the fasting period of TRE.

3. Does sparkling water affect hunger during fasting?

Studies have shown conflicting results regarding the effect of carbonated or sparkling water on hunger sensations. Individual responses may vary.

4. How does TRE benefit health?

TRE may lead to weight loss, improved glucose tolerance, reduced cholesterol, and blood pressure. It has also been associated with a reduced risk of chronic diseases.

5. Is it better to follow a strict or flexible TRE protocol?

Long-term adherence to TRE is key to its success. Flexibility in the timing of your eating window and beverage choices may help maintain the protocol's sustainability.


Embracing Time-Restricted Eating (TRE) opens the door to a healthier, more vibrant life by synchronizing your eating patterns with your body's natural circadian rhythms. What you can drink while intermittent fasting, including purified water, spring/mineral water, sparkling water, lemon-infused water, black coffee, and various teas, are generally considered compatible with TRE fasting periods.

The key to success with TRE lies in its flexibility, allowing you to make choices that align with your preferences and lifestyle. Instead of imposing strict restrictions, prioritize long-term adherence to the protocol. The metabolic benefits of TRE, such as improved weight management, glucose tolerance, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure regulation, along with a reduced risk of chronic diseases, highlight its potential to enhance your overall well-being.

As the field of circadian science continues to evolve, TRE stands as an empowering approach that enables us to make conscious decisions about our eating habits. By harmonizing our food intake with our body's internal clock, we embark on a journey towards a healthier and more fulfilling life.


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