Does Coconut Water Break a Fast

When it comes to intermittent fasting, it can be a little unclear what breaks your fast. In this case, does coconut water break your fast? Coconut water is a nutritious beverage loaded with minerals and electrolytes, but that doesn’t mean you should have it while fasting.

Some swear having an electrolyte powerhouse like coconut water during a fast will keep you well hydrated. Wouldn’t it be great to have a refreshing drink like coconut water during your fasting period? You’d be well hydrated, and it tastes delicious.

Yet, the last thing you want to do is unknowingly ruin your fast by drinking coconut water. It’s frustrating and confusing to know what exactly breaks your fast, even if it has a ton of health benefits.

Here, we’ll dive into the science and small nuances of intermittent fasting and coconut water. Then, you’ll be able to make an informed choice on coconut water when you’re fasting and if it destroys your results.

Can You Drink Coconut Water While Fasting?

Quick Answer: Coconut water does break your fast because it contains a good amount of calories and carbohydrates. It breaks a fast since it spikes insulin, so it’s best to avoid it during your intermittent fasting period.

One cup of pure, unsweetened coconut water contains 44 calories, 10.4 grams of carbohydrates, and 9.6 grams of sugar. Coconut water is definitely not allowed if you’re following a strict water fast.

Coconut water will break your fast even if you’re following a modified “dirty fast.” A dirty fast is when you’re allowed to have under 50 calories during your intermittent fasting period without breaking your fast.

Even though 1 cup of unsweetened coconut water only contains 44 calories, it still contains over 10g of carbs and almost 10g of sugar. The whole goal with intermittent fasting is to keep your insulin levels as low as possible.

Keeping your insulin levels low during your fasting periods is crucial because it puts your body into a ketogenic fasted state. This is where all the health benefits from intermittent fasting like weight loss come from. By spiking your blood sugar and then having an insulin response, you’ll be breaking your fast.

Drinking coconut water in your intermittent fasting routine will cancel out your fast and pretty much ruin your results. Sure, you still may get some results since you’ll still be in a low-calorie state, but you won’t get the maximum health benefits of intermittent fasting.

Long Extended Fasts with Coconut Water

Some have tried going on a long, extended fast with drinking coconut water. Drinking coconut water for 24 hours or multiple days will keep you hydrated since it also contains valuable electrolytes.

But if you’re drinking coconut water during your fast, then it’s kind of defeating the purpose. You’ll be causing an insulin response from the carbs and natural sugars in the coconut water. This can kick you out of a ketogenic state slightly or all the way.

Ideally, consuming coconut water during your fast isn’t ideal. But it’s also not the worse thing. If you’re fine knowing you won’t be getting near the same results as your fast by drinking coconut water, then go for it.

It will keep you hydrated since it’s essentially water combined with sugars and electrolytes and other minerals like magnesium. If it helps you keep fasting for longer because you like drinking coconut water, then you’ll win out in the long run since you’ll be in a super-low calorie state.

But keep in mind the natural sugars and carbs in coconut water are in the form of fructose. Fructose goes straight to your liver where it’s processed. This can trigger the de novo lipogenesis metabolic process that converts carbohydrates into fat.

De Novo lipogenesis can cause these sugars to easily be stored as body fat. This can depend on how insulin sensitive somebody is. But it’s counterproductive to intermittent fasting since it’ll put your liver into metabolic overdrive.

Coconut Water Can Break Ketosis & Autophagy

Drinking coconut water will break your fast, but it can also disrupt ketosis and autophagy. But this depends on a few factors.

Ketosis is the process of your body using your fat stores as a fuel source since it’s become depleted of incoming carbs and sugars. To keep your body in a ketogenic state, you have to refrain from eating carbs and sugars.

So drinking coconut water can break ketosis, especially if you’ve only been in a slight ketogenic state. Intermittent fasting for 12+ hours only starts to put your body in a slight ketogenic state. But then if you drink coconut water, you’ll likely kick yourself out of it and ruin your results.

But if you’re following a full-on ketogenic diet, then having a little bit of pure, unsweetened coconut water is suitable. If you’re only drinking one cup of coconut water, then you’ll be keeping yourself under the 50g of carbs per day threshold.

Autophagy is your body’s natural recycling and cleaning process when you are in a fasted state for 17+ hours. It’s great for longevity and preventing serious health diseases.

The first phase of autophagy is hepatic autophagy, when the liver goes through autophagic flux. Drinking coconut water during this autophagic phase can easily disrupt this process and break autophagy.

So, yes drinking coconut water breaks autophagy too. And the same goes for coconut oil too, anything with that many calories will cancel autophagy.

Drink Coconut Water After Fasting

While drinking coconut water during your fast isn’t a good idea, drinking it afterward is. Drinking coconut water at least an hour after you’re done fasting (not on an empty stomach) will provide your body with minerals (potassium and magnesium) and electrolytes.

But I wouldn’t recommend drinking coconut water as your first drink or meal to break your fast. This is because of the sugars in coconut water. You don’t want to spike your blood sugar and insulin right after ending your fast.

Ideally, the meal and drink you break your fast with will be higher in protein and healthy fats. This helps to minimize the insulin response when breaking your fast. Having a lot of sugars and carbs when you break your fast isn’t only jarring for your body but can easily cause your energy to crash.

Coconut water doesn’t detox your body, so there’s no advantage to taking it while fasting. It will hydrate your body while providing electrolytes and antioxidants, but your body has its own built-in detoxification system.

Coconut water can be a mild laxative for some, which is even more reason to reconsider drinking it while fasting. Since coconut water is highly perishable, it’s best to drink it within 24 hours of opening.

You can drink coconut water every day if you want. Just make sure to keep it limited to 1-2 servings for a total of 8-16 ounces. Drinking too much coconut water every day can cause bloating and gas as a side effect, which can make your stomach look bigger.

Drinks That Don’t Break a Fast

If you’re following a pure and strict water fast then technically anything other than water is going to break your fast. But if you’re following a lightly modified “dirty fast” then you’ll have more leeway with what you can have during your fasting window.

The key is to keep calories to an absolute minimum and make sure not to go over the 50 calorie limit. Also, keep sugars and carbs at a minimum since you don’t want any blood sugar or insulin spikes during your fast.

But there are some drinks that can speed up your intermittent fasting results. Staying hydrated during your fast makes it easier to fight off hunger. And caffeinated beverages can give your energy levels and metabolism a boost.

Here is a list of drinks you can have during intermittent fasting:

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  • Coconut water does break a fast because it contains a good amount of calories per serving, and the sugar content will cause an insulin response. This breaks intermittent fasting so you shouldn’t drink coconut water during this time.
  • The natural sugars in coconut water can break ketosis. If weight loss is your main goal with intermittent fasting, then avoid sugars during your fast.
  • Autophagy also breaks from drinking coconut water when intermittent fasting. Fructose from the coconut water is processed in the liver and can interfere with the liver’s autophagy process.
  • Drinking coconut water during your eating window is a good idea for a hydrating beverage. Just don’t have it to break your fast since the blood sugar and insulin spike at that time isn’t ideal.