Does drinking Zevia break a fast? While Zevia might be a delicious and refreshing beverage, that doesn’t mean you can drink it while fasting.
Knowing exactly what you can and can’t drink while fasting without breaking it isn’t very clear. The last thing you want to do is unknowingly drink something that breaks you fast. Then all your hard work will be thrown out the window.
While some drinks can speed up your fasting results, others will ruin your results. The truth is Zevia could break your fast depending on what your goals are with intermittent fasting.
Here you’ll discover everything you need to know about drinking Zevia and fasting. Its health benefits, why it could be unhealthy, and if you should be drinking it while fasting.
Does Zevia Affect Fasting
So, what is Zevia?
Zevia is a sugar-free, all-natural soda alternative. It’s made with stevia leaf extract and comes in various flavors. It’s sparkling soda water, so it’s technically a healthier version of a sugary soda.
Zevia doesn’t have any calories or carbohydrates, so it might seem okay to drink while fasting. Instead, it uses stevia leaf as a sweetener and the sugar alcohol erythritol instead of sugar or artificial sweeteners.
Drinking Zevia is a healthier way to get your sweet soda fix without drinking sugary soda. It’s considered healthier than diet soda since it uses natural stevia instead of an artificial chemical sweetener like sucralose or aspartame.
Zevia also contains citric acid as a preservative which comes naturally from citrus fruits like oranges and lemons. But like drinking lemon water when fasting, it shouldn’t break your fast unless you’re doing a pure water fast.
Citric acid can technically activate the Krebs cycle in your liver, but like any foreign xenobiotic to your body, it should be avoided if you’re doing a 100% clean fast, but it’s okay when dirty fasting.1
What are Zevia’s health benefits?
I wouldn’t say Zevia is 100% healthy, but I also wouldn’t say it’s bad for you either.
There is no nutritional value since it contains zero calories. But stevia seems like a more natural way to drink soda than full-sugar soda or diet sodas with artificial sweeteners.
You shouldn’t gain weight from drinking Zevia since it contains no calories, and there aren’t any studies linking it to weight gain. It might even help you lose weight if you’re trying to eliminate sugary sodas from your diet.
So I would say it’s a healthier alternative than regular soda but not as healthy as just drinking water or unsweetened green tea.
Stevia can help to lower inflammation, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels.2 But on the other hand, it might not be the best drink to have while fasting since it’s not just water.
Does Zevia Spike Insulin
When it comes to fasting, a significant insulin release can effectively break your fast. Therefore, keeping your insulin low and stable is key to successfully fasting.
There is no research to support that Zevia spikes insulin. The main sweetener is stevia which isn’t broken down or absorbed in your digestive tract, so it shouldn’t spike your insulin.3
Erythritol, the sugar alcohol used in Zevia, also has no known effect on blood sugar or insulin levels.4 Your body doesn’t process sugar alcohol. With erythritol, your body absorbs but doesn’t metabolize it, and it is excreted via your urine.
Yet, some believe that anything sweet could still trigger an insulin response in your body.5 However, it could still possibly break your fast despite being zero calories and not known to trigger an insulin release.
In addition, the sweetness could signal your body to release insulin in anticipation of incoming sugars and carbs. So it is possible to have an insulin release from having a zero-calorie sweetener depending on the person and their insulin sensitivity.
I tell my clients that it shouldn’t, but the only way you’ll 100% know for sure is to test your insulin before and after drinking a Zevia.
Is Zevia Keto-Friendly?
Zevia is considered keto-friendly and shouldn’t kick you out of ketosis because it doesn’t contain any sugar or carbs. It’s a great alternative to sugary and diet sodas since it doesn’t contain artificial sweeteners.
It’s a keto-friendly soda alternative since it contains no sugar or carbohydrates. It’s sweetened with all-natural, zero-calorie stevia and erythritol, both keto-friendly sweeteners.
You can drink Zevia on a ketogenic diet, and it’s even been recommended for those with diabetes. Since stevia and erythritol neither contain sugars nor carbs, they won’t require insulin to be processed in your body.
If there is an insulin response from stevia, it’s likely very minor (if any), and I wouldn’t be very concerned with it. So even if it is a minor insulin release, it probably won’t spike, which is what you’re trying to avoid when fasting and on keto.
Can You Drink Zevia While Intermittent Fasting?
You can drink Zevia while intermittent fasting without worrying about it breaking your fast. The stevia and erythritol in Zevia contain zero calories and shouldn’t spike your insulin since they’re free of calories, sugars, and carbs.
But if you’re doing a clean fast, then anything other than water isn’t allowed. Dirty fasting is when you take in other beverages that may or may not have some calories.
With dirty fasting, you’ll still get results from fasting, like weight loss but probably not 100% of the results you’d get with clean fasting. But with dirty fasting, you’re allowed to have under 50 calories without it breaking your fast.
This makes it easier to get through the hunger of your fast by allowing yourself to have beverages like coffee, tea, zero-calorie sparkling sodas, etc. And if it helps curb hunger pangs, you’ll keep fasting for longer, giving you better results in the long run.
Plus, some fasting-approved drinks can even speed up your fasting results. Coffee is a known thermogenic and will increase your metabolism, helping you to burn more calories and body fat. The same goes for drinking unsweetened teas. Green tea has been found to increase longevity and reduce stubborn belly fat.
One tip when fasting is to add C8-MCTs to your morning cup of coffee with this coffee creamer. These MCTs aren’t processed through your digestive tract but are sent straight to your liver, which converts them to ketones.6
These ketones are what your body makes when it runs out of quick-burning sugars and carbs for fuel. So it converts your body fat stores into ketones as a fuel source. Taking these C8-MCTs while fasting can trigger the same “metabolic switch” to start burning your fat stores for fuel.
Support Many of the Keto Benefits Associated With Increased Ketones, & Support Them FAST, but Without the Difficulty of Doing Keto...
- 3X Better Than Coconut Oil, Butter or MCTs
- Heightened energy levels
- Reduced cravings & appetite
- Graceful aging
- Healthy metabolism
- Increased mental clarity & focus
- Heightened physical performance and recovery
Why Zevia Is Bad for You (side effects)
While Zevia is a much healthier soda alternative than regular sugar-filled sodas and diet sodas using artificial sweeteners like aspartame, that doesn’t mean it’s 100% good for you.
For some, Zevia contains ingredients that can cause stomach pain with issues such as gas, bloating, cramps, and constipation. If you’re already dealing with gut health issues, Zevia can upset your stomach even more and might not be the best thing to be drinking.7,8
The primary sweetener stevia is a member of the ragweed family. If you are allergic to something like chamomile, then be aware when drinking Zevia or ingesting anything sweetened with stevia.
Like all canned beverages, Zevia cans too are lined with BPA. This chemical has been linked to health problems like cancer, infertility, and heart disease.9,10 BPA is an endocrine disruptor and can throw off your hormones.
BPA can act as a xenoestrogen interfering with your natural hormones to bind to their receptors.11 They can also mimic hormones and increase estrogen in men contributing to moobs. But the FDA has approved BPA to be used, so the effect could be minimal. But this depends on what you want to believe.
How to Drink Zevia When Fasting
Only a couple flavors of Zevia have caffeine, so you shouldn’t have to worry about overloading yourself with caffeine while fasting. I recommend drinking coffee with C8-MCTs in the morning and drinking some green tea, greens powder, or a zero-calorie sparkling beverage later in the fast.
How much Zevia is too much depends on the person and their tolerance. I wouldn’t drink more than two per day, but you can drink them daily as long as you don’t notice any problems.
You shouldn’t gain weight from drinking Zevia since it doesn’t contain calories and shouldn’t spike your insulin.
Although, there is some belief that consuming too many beverages with super sweeteners like stevia (200-400x sweeter than sugar) can make you want to crave more foods to fill the gap of not eating anything with it.
Your body is anticipating calories coming in from the sweetness, and it could make you feel hungrier when it doesn’t come. And with all this hyper sweetness, it could dilute your palate, making you crave sweeter and sweeter foods.12
I regularly drink Zevia when fasting (Creamy Root Beer is my favorite) and don’t worry about it breaking my fast. It’s an excellent way to “reward” yourself, so you keep fasting for longer and curb some of the hunger away.
So drinking Zevia won’t technically break your fast unless you’re doing a pure water fast. Dirty fasting works best for most who want to lose weight with intermittent fasting.
With dirty fasting, you can have some zero-calorie or low-calorie beverages if it means you keep fasting for longer. Drinking only water during your fast makes many people miserable and super hungry. So it’s only a short matter of time before they give up.
The stevia and erythritol in Zevia shouldn’t spike your insulin, thus not breaking your fast. You’ll still get results when fasting while drinking Zevia. But you should test on your own to ensure it doesn’t upset your stomach or cause a slight insulin response.
When it comes to fasting, it’s important not to lose sight of the big picture. The longer you fast, the more body fat you’ll burn for fuel, resulting in more weight loss. So if drinking Zevia helps you to keep fasting for longer, you’ll get better results in the long run, and you shouldn’t worry about it breaking your fast.
Josh holds a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology and Nutrition Science. He’s a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) by the National Strength and Conditioning Association and he’s a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) by American Council on Exercise. He’s worked as a Strength and Conditioning Coach at the high school and college levels. He has over 15 years of experience as a personal trainer and nutrition coach. He is also the author of The Flat Belly Formula. He strives to bring inspiration and results for people to live healthier lives through smart diet and exercise.