So can you drink green tea and do intermittent fasting at the same time?
Most people already know drinking green tea has a lot of health benefits and is considered one of the best weight loss drinks out there.
But there are some questions around whether or not it breaks your intermittent fasting. There’s nothing worse than fasting for hours on end only to have broken the fast because you put something in your body that you shouldn’t have.
And to be honest the answer is complicated to whether or not drinking green tea while intermittent fasting.
I’m sure you’ll agree that it can be confusing finding the right answer if drinking green tea while fasting is okay or if it’ll defeat the purpose.
Here you will find how to drink green tea to maximize its benefits while intermittent fasting so you can burn more fat and lose more weight while fighting the aging process.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting and Green Tea
There are a lot of health benefits that come with both intermittent fasting and green tea.
Green tea has been found in multiple studies to increase weight loss (1,2). Green tea contains powerful catechins such as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which gives it most of its benefits.
Some of the other science-backed benefits include lowering inflammation, improving heart health, increasing autophagy and even increasing lifespan (3,4,5,6).
One of the many benefits of drinking green tea is it’s considered thermogenic (7). This means it will help to increase your metabolism so your body will burn more calories and fat than it normally would.
If you have belly fat then drinking green tea can help. According to this study, those who drank green tea had reductions in the size of their waist (8).
Now intermittent fasting also has quite a few health benefits and is more than just another fad diet trend.
Studies have found intermittent fasting helps with weight loss, lowering heart disease, reversing diabetes and fighting off dangerous cancer cells (9,10,11,12,13).
I usually recommend the 16/8 intermittent fasting style. But many people also like to try fasting every other day too.
Now the question is can you drink green tea while intermittent fasting or will it defeat the purpose…
The Answer if You Can Drink Green Tea While Intermittent Fasting
The good news is you can drink green tea during intermittent fasting and it shouldn’t break your fast.
The thing with intermittent fasting is it isn’t like a light switch. Just because you put a very small minute amount of calories in your body from green tea it doesn’t mean it’s going to break your fast.
It will take an insulin response in your body from the foods or liquids you drink to break your fast. So drinking 2 to 3 cups a day of green tea is perfectly fine and isn’t even a whole lot of caffeine.
There are a very minimal amount of residual calories in green tea to begin with. 5 cal from green tea isn’t going to cause insulin response in your body nor will it end up breaking your fast.
This also includes matcha green tea and other types of teas too. I usually recommend my clients to drink tea while they’re fasting as it’ll help to curb the hunger pains that can come with fasting.
Sticking to any diet can be hard because of the pain that’s associated with hunger. So the more you’re able to lower these feelings of hunger in your body the more likely you are to stick with your intermittent fasting schedule.
As a general rule of thumb, anything under 50 cal shouldn’t break your fast. Especially if it won’t cause an insulin response. This is also why recommend taking the all-in-one nutritional insurance supplement MetaboGreens too while you’re fasting.
Studies have found taking green tea while fasting can lead to increases in fat burning as well as autophagy (14). This is the killing of dangerous cancer cells in your body.
Just one word of advice make sure that you do not put any sugar in your green tea. Now, this is will break your fast.
Side Effects of Green Tea With Intermittent Fasting
A lot of people who try drinking green tea on an empty stomach while intermittent fasting can experience nausea or an upset stomach.
And this can be disastrous because it can make you want to throw up. Or it’ll cause you to force yourself to eat something to settle your stomach. Neither of which will be good but the latter one will for sure end up breaking your fast.
The trick with making your green tea to not upset your stomach or taste funky is to only steep it for no longer than two minutes. Once you start brewing your tea at boiling temperatures or up to five minutes it can produce tannins. This is very tough for your body on an empty stomach and can make the green tea taste bitter (15,16). Plus tannins will neutralize the caffeine which will lower the thermogenic properties of the green tea.
Also, try to be careful not to drink green tea too late at night. Since caffeine is in green tea it can disrupt your sleeping patterns and not allow you to get a full night’s sleep. Studies have found those not getting a quality night sleep have less self-control the next morning (17). And the less self-control you have the next day the less likely you are to stick with your intermittent fasting schedule.
But Some Say Green Tea Can Break Your Fast
One word of advice is there are some purists fasting people out there who say anything you put in your body other than water will end up breaking your fast.
But if you’re doing intermittent fasting for weight loss then you have nothing to worry about when it comes to drinking green tea or coffee.
The purist fasting experts think you should only do a water fast to get the maximal amount of results from intermittent fasting.
They say putting anything in your body other than water can cause a response in metabolic enzymes which will stop the production of ketones thus breaking your fast.
To be perfectly honest I think this is more on the extreme side of intermittent fasting. You still should get plenty of results from drinking green tea or coffee while fasting. Plus in the long run, it will help you stick to your intermittent fasting longer because it’ll make it much more sustainable.
Green Tea Intermittent Fasting Recipe
I prefer loose matcha green tea because it contains a significantly higher amount of antioxidants than traditional green teas (18). But feel free to pick any green tea you want to use while you’re fasting.
First, you should use some hot water but make sure you do not bring it to a boiling temperature. I generally use hot water at 155 to 185°F.
Then steep your green tea for 30 seconds to two minutes. Once again be sure not to steep your green tea for five minutes because it will produce a bitter compound known as tannins. This can make you feel nauseous or get an upset stomach.
If you have a problem with the bitter taste of the green tea then try to find a loose-leaf green tea. This way you can better control how much green tea you’re using.
If you need to sweeten up your green tea you can try adding some stevia to it as it shouldn’t break your fast. I’m not big on artificial sweeteners such as sucralose and aspartame but if you have to take it then they also shouldn’t break your fast. But keep in mind there are also negative health benefits associated with these artificial sweeteners such as increases in weight gain, bad gut health, and neural problems (19,20,21).
More Teas to Drink While Intermittent Fasting
Now just because this article is about drinking green tea and intermittent fasting it doesn’t mean you can’t drink other kinds of teas too.
Black green tea is also very good to drink while fasting. It contains a high amount of antioxidants as well as a lot of caffeine (22). If you’re sensitive to caffeine then maybe black tea isn’t a great idea for you. But generally more caffeine is associated with higher thermogenic properties and more weight loss (23).
Yerba maté is also another one of my favorite teas. People like to call your Yerba maté a blend between coffee and tea. It’ll give you the caffeine from coffee without the jitters but also a ton of antioxidants too. Studies have found drinking Yerba maté can help reduce your appetite as well as increase your metabolism (24).
Pu-erh tea contains a high amount of antioxidants that are powerful for fighting inflammation, weight loss and reverse aging in your body (25). If you have trouble with sun photoaging then drinking Pu-erh tea is a great idea (26). Pu-erh tea has also been found to contain a compound known as GABA which can lower anxiety (27).
Oolong tea is also known as the “Black Dragon” but it can be very powerful for helping you lose more weight while fasting (28). It contains a high amount of powerful catechins which can lower inflammation and improve weight loss (29).
Peppermint tea is great to take while fasting because studies have found it can help reduce the feelings of hunger. One of the hardest parts about intermittent fasting is the hunger pains that can come with it at times. But studies have found those who have more peppermint in their diet have less appetite and lose more weight too (30).
Rooibos tea is another fantastic teat to take on an intermittent fasting diet. It contains glutathione which studies have found to be very powerful for fighting the aging process (31). You can also lower stress levels by drinking rooibos tea too.
These are just a handful of my favorite weight loss teas.
What can you eat or drink while intermittent fasting?
Along with water, you can also drink green tea, other teas, coffee, zero Cal sparkling waters, lemon water and pretty much any other beverage that contains 0 cal. You can also take a greens supplement. Or you can take a fiber supplement like psyllium husk to help fill up your stomach while fasting.
A lot of purest fasting experts out there are against taking branched-chain amino acids while fasting. That’s because amino acids can cause a high insulin response in your body. But there also some experts out there who say you can take branched-chain amino acids if you’re working out as your body will quickly metabolize and utilize those amino acids for the recovery process.
Can you drink tea while water fasting?
If you’re doing a pure water fast then it might not be the best idea to add tea to your diet. If you’re doing a water fast for weight loss then it shouldn’t be a big deal and can even help increase your weight loss. But if you’re trying to use a water fast for other benefits such as autophagy then it probably won’t be the best idea.
The Last Word
So at the end of the day, you can still drink green tea and get the vast majority of the benefits that come with intermittent fasting.
Just make sure you steep and brew your green tea the right way. Otherwise, you can end up getting nauseous or an upset stomach while fasting. And it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know this can disrupt and even end your intermittent fasting schedule.
Many studies are finding the health benefits of drinking green tea such as increased weight loss, lowering belly fat and reducing inflammation. Plus there are even more studies finding intermittent fasting can increase weight loss, reverse diabetes and improve heart health. Combining both can create a strong combination to not only lower unwanted weight on your body but to also increase overall health too.
So you definitely can drink green tea while intermittent fasting and it’s better for you than not drinking any at all.
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.