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How To Make Sure You Can Drink Coffee When Intermittent Fasting

Are you wondering: can I still have my morning coffee? This post will answer all your questions. Plus, I will give you some delicious intermittent fasting coffee recipes that won’t affect your blood glucose.

Why Blood Sugar and Ketones Matter When Deciding What Breaks a Fast

As I explain in my post How Dirty Fasting Can Help or Hinder Your Weight Loss Progress, the only type of coffee that will not break your fast is black coffee. Even that may cause a rise in blood sugar for some. That is, if you want to practice “clean fasting” and keep your calories to a minimum (black coffee has 2 calories per cup). However, depending on your fasting goals, you may be able to enjoy my delicious intermittent fasting coffee recipes.

Can Caffeine Alone Raise Your Blood Sugar?

The short answer to this question is yes, for some people it does. The research involves people with type 2 diabetes, but their blood sugar raised by 8% on days they consumed caffeine.

On the other hand, randomized controlled trials found higher insulin sensitivity and lower risk for type two diabetes among those who consume coffee daily.

The Autophagy Benefits of Coffee

Something else to consider as you are considering whether to drink coffee or not during your fast is that coffee may help induce autophagy. Autophagy means your body is repairing itself. It’s getting rid of old and damaged cells and replacing them with new ones.

Should You Avoid Dirty Fasting?

Besides looking at your blood sugar, why would you want to avoid dirty fasting? First, there is the issue of calories. Dirty fasting can increase your calorie intake and make it harder to lose weight. Also, if you are fasting to give your digestive system a break, you should make sure you are clean fasting. Otherwise, you may be able to consume my intermittent fasting coffee recipes. Furthermore, you may find that they help you fast longer. As I was experimenting for this blog post, I discovered that my bulletproof coffee kept me full and satisfied for much longer. Fasting was easier.

For most people, making the decision to avoid dirty fasting will depend on how it affects their blood glucose.

How to Test Your Blood Sugar After Drinking Coffee

Technically you should test before your coffee every half an hour for up to two hours after drinking your coffee. I enjoyed reading the Diet Doctor’s article about his experiment. I decided to test only once half an hour after my coffee because I exercise and take supplements (which then become confounding factors) about an hour later.

The Dawn Effect

During my experiment, I discovered that the dawn effect was affecting my glucose readings. I had heard of the dawn phenomenon (or effect) before but thought it happened before you wake up in the morning. In fact, depending on your metabolism, it can happen anywhere between 2 am and 8 am. It turns out that for me, it’s usually between 6 and 7 am. I figured this out because the first morning, I tested my glucose around 6 am and it was 5.0 mmol/L. After my black coffee, it was 5.1 mmol/L (negligible difference considering the margin of error that you have to allow).

The next three mornings, I tested around 5 am and found my glucose to be around 4.6 mmol/L. It would then increase to 5.1 or 5.2 on the second reading. I was pretty sure coffee didn’t raise my blood sugar because I had done the experiment before. Consequently, I decided to test one morning without drinking coffee, in a completely fasted state. I still experienced the rise in blood sugar! This confirmed what I suspected, I was experiencing the dawn effect. My body was preparing for the demands of the day by releasing more glucose into my bloodstream.

My Glucose and Ketone Readings

Whether I had black coffee, nothing at all, or my intermittent fasting coffee recipes, my readings were always the same. My blood glucose levels were around 5.0 mmol/L (after the morning rise) and my ketones were around 0.5 mmol/L.

Would you like to test your glucose and ketones? I use the Keto Mojo and my affiliate link will give you a 15 percent discount.

Intermittent Fasting Coffee Recipes

My favorite way to have my morning coffee was with coconut milk. That’s what I have been doing for a long time! Very simple, satisfying, and filling. It’s also the first coffee I tested months ago to make sure it wasn’t affecting my blood glucose. I had tested it later in the morning, after the dawn effect rise. As I was looking for intermittent fasting coffee recipes to try and test, I found different forms of bulletproof coffee recipes. I think I may start drinking these more often. I love how full and satisfied they made me feel!

Simple Coconut Milk Coffee

I don’t avoid dairy. I used to be sensitive to dairy, but after a year of intermittent fasting (which helps reduce inflammation), I found I could have dairy in moderation. I still prefer coconut milk in my coffee, but all brands taste alike. Some are more creamy than chunky. You just have to find the right kind. Make sure you get full-fat coconut milk. Just put enough coconut milk to get the color of coffee you like. Even full-fat coconut milk does contain carbs, so that is definitely pushing the envelope. Testing my ketones and my glucose revealed that it seemed fine for me.

Image Credit: My Recipes

Basic Bulletproof Coffee

There are quite a few different bulletproof coffee recipes out there. Some just have oil and butter, some have almond milk, some have collagen, etc. This recipe is what I did and I loved it:

  • 1/2 Tbsp MCT oil
  • 1/2 Tbps butter
  • coconut milk (optional)
  • 300 ml coffee

Blend all the ingredients until frothy.

Chocolate Coffee

This is a chocolate version of the bulletproof coffee. It has the added benefits of the antioxidants from the cocoa nibs:

  • 1/2 Tbsp MCT oil
  • 1/2 Tbps butter
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa nibs
  • coconut milk (optional)
  • 300 ml coffee

Blend all the ingredients until frothy.

Cinnamon Coffee

You can add cinnamon (1 tsp or so) to your black coffee or add it to your bulletproof coffee. Cinnamon helps regulate your blood sugar. Moreover, it has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Himalayan Salt Coffee

Another excellent intermittent fasting coffee idea I found was to add a pinch of Himalayan salt to your black coffee. It is says to eliminate the bitterness of your coffee. You could also try it in your bulletproof coffee.

Intermittent Fasting Coffee Recipes