When considering whether energy drinks will break your fast, it is important to consider what your goals are for fasting and what is in the ingredients of your energy drink. Intermittent fasting is an eating plan that involves you switching between fasting and eating on a schedule. Instead of focusing on what you eat, it is all about when you eat.
There are several different ways of doing intermittent fasting, but all of them originate from choosing a period of time to eat and fast. One of the most common method is the 16/8 intermittent fasting. This composes of 8 hours of eating and 16 hours of fasting. During the eating period, you are free to eat and drink anything you want. This means that there is no restrictions on energy drinks while you are in the eating period.
While you are in the fasting period, the idea of the fast is that you do not consume anything with calories in it. This means that you are suppose to stick to drinks such as water, tea and black coffee. However, there have been some professionals who suggest that it is possible for you to consume 50 calories as it would not break your fast.
Even if you can drink 50 calories worth of an energy drink during your fasting period, I would not recommend it. For example, if you were to drink 50 calories worth of Gatorade Orange Thirst Quencher, you would still be drinking around 11 grams of sugar! An original Monster would contain 12 grams of sugar in 50 calories!
50 calories is not just 50 calories. Eating sugar and carbs raises your blood sugar level and that leads to a spike in your insulin. If you are fasting to lose weight by increasing your fat burning during your fasting state then you should not drink the 50 calories of energy drink. If you drink any sugar, your body will automatically prefer the the sugar source and stop your fat burning process.
In addition, drinking the sugar in your energy drink will require digestion, this means that your gut will be activated and autophagy is stopped. This is because consuming sugar will spike your insulin, a hormone that is involved with energy storage and cell growth, thereby deregulating autophagy.
Some of you guys might consider drinking zero calories energy drinks instead. Since it has zero calories, it might be alright to drink during a fast, right? Sadly, this also depends on what your goals of intermittent fasting is.
If your goal of intermittent fasting is to help you eat less calories without worrying about hitting any fat burning zones or other intermittent fasting benefits, then you should be able to drink zero calorie energy drinks.
If you are fasting for the benefits then unfortunately the ingredients in the energy drinks can ruin your fasting goals. Most, if not all, energy drinks contain artificial sweeteners. Even if they do not contain any calories, sweeteners actually can impact your insulin levels and can contribute to making weight loss harder.
Studies have shown that when humans are given either water or Sucralose (sweetener), those who drank Sucralose had 20% higher blood insulin levels and took longer to clear the insulin from their bodies. It has been suggested that they trigger your insulin levels because the sweetness triggered the receptors in your mouth. However, because the insulin spike is relatively low, it seems like Sucralose does not significantly rase your insulin levels. Therefore if you are trying to lower your insulin levels, drinking a zero calorie energy drink could be considered as the effects are minimal.
If you are aiming to reset your gut, then artificial sweeteners seem to have an impact on your gut, despite that it contains no calories. There has been evidence to suggest that consuming Sucralose on a regular basis will alter your gut microbiota and might lead to negative effects in your guts.
Currently, there still isn’t many research on the impact of artificial sweeteners on autophagy. The theory is that because the artificial sweeteners isn’t made from protein that stimulates the mTOR, it is not used for energy and therefore it should not stop autophagy.
Overall, it is probably better to skip the energy drink, whether it is the normal or zero calorie ones. Regular energy drinks generally have way too much sugar to be able to be drank during fasting periods and zero calorie energy drinks can still impact your insulin levels.
If you do feel the need to drink energy drinks while fasting, then I would suggest drinking a zero calorie energy drink as they do seem to have less of an impact on the benefits of intermittent fasting. Although they impact your insulin levels, the effects seem minimal. Instead, you should try it out and see how your body is feeling. If you get good response even with artificial sweeteners, then you’re good to go!
Have you tried fasting with zero calorie energy drinks? How did it go?
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