Intermittent fasting is the new craze promising to have a plethora of health benefits. Although not eating for a fixed time seems simple enough, you may want to drink certain things while keeping your fast. Almond milk is a healthy substitute for dairy milk, but can it break your fast?
Almond milk will break a fast because it contains 30-80 calories per eight ounces. While following a strict fast, consuming any calories breaks the fast and may start the digestion process.
This article will discuss what liquids, including almond milk breaks a fast or doesn’t. In addition, I’ll explore the optimal type and amount of almond milk that doesn’t kick you out of ketosis, a fasted state.
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Will Almond Milk Break a Fast
A strict fast involves not eating any food or drinking any liquid which contains calories 1. Some people confuse the fasting term with maintaining ketosis. Ketosis is when your body uses fat for energy when carbohydrates are unavailable 2.
Therefore, breaking a fast and ketosis is different. It’s possible to break a fast by consuming minimal calories but still maintain ketosis 3. Therefore let’s answer a few questions people ask about breaking a fast.
Will almond milk break my fast?
Almond milk will break a fast. Any calories consumed during a fast breaks the fast. Almond milk contains between 30 to 80 calories per eight ounce glass which breaks a fast.
If any calories break a fast, can you drink water when fasting? You can drink water when fasting. Water contains zero calories which will not break a fast.
Almond Milk and Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern which people eat or drink only during certain periods of the day 4. There are cycles of fasting and feeding periods. There are various different ways people choose to perform those cycles.
Some people may have a 12 hour fast, 16 hour fast, 20 hour fast or 24 hour fast 5. As mentioned earlier, consuming any calories will break a strict fast. Many people are okay consuming minimal calories during the fast which does not take their bodies out of ketosis or negatively affect their goals.
Does almond milk take you out of ketosis?
Drinking almond milk in moderation won’t take you out of ketosis. To remain in ketosis, carbohydrate intake must remain below 50 grams per day. One eight ounce glass of unsweetened almond milk contains one gram of total carbohydrates.
Some low calorie drinks, like almond milk are allowed in moderation. This is because most almond milks contain a small number of calories, sugar and carbohydrates.
During fasting, keeping your calorie intake low promotes fat burning. The low-calorie intake helps you stay in ketosis, burning fat instead of glucose. Experts believe the maximum number of carbohydrates keeping you in ketosis is 50 grams per day 6.
Therefore, if you can stay within this limit, you can safely assume you haven’t broken your fast.
Almond milk is one of those drinks which don’t kick you out of ketosis, making it a perfect beverage to drink during the fasting period. That’s because almond milk has a low glycemic index, which doesn’t lead to blood sugar spikes 7.
Always Check the Contents of Your Almond Milk
Not every almond milk counts as a viable option. The first thing to consider is the sugar content of the almond milk. Unsweetened almond milk you’ve made from scratch at home or unsweetened store bought can be safe enough in terms of sugar content.
Don’t add any form of sugar like honey or maple syrup since they will lead to sugar spikes.
If you get your almond milk from supermarkets, it will most likely contain added sugars and break your fast due to the high carb and sugar content. In addition, many store-bought almond milks may contain thickeners, like starch, to add to their consistency.
Make sure to check their ingredients and ignore those with any amount of added sugar. Look for unsweetened almond milk you’re sure has zero sugar. Check the table below for the nutrients contained in almond milks 8.
Find out how almond milk compared to cashew milk in my article, Cashew Milk vs Almond Milk: Which is Better? Let’s Compare.
Consider How Much Almond Milk You’re Consuming
Another thing considering is the amount of almond milk. Since it’s not zero calories, you can’t add countless spoonfuls of almond milk to your morning coffee. Each ounce of sweetened almond milk contains 7.5 calories, therefore if you have 12 ounces, you’ll add 90 calories to your threshold.
The same 12 ounces adds 12 g of carbohydrates and 10.5 g of sugar 9. If you’re trying to limit your daily carb intake to 50 g, 12 g in just one drink is a considerable number. Drinking unsweetened almond milk only adds 1.5 g of carbs per 12 ounces, a huge difference.
What Can You Drink During Intermittent Fasting?
As I said earlier, anything that contains calories can break a strict fast. The only zero-calorie drink is water, which is completely safe to drink in your fasting window. Many people add lemon juice and salt to the water to increase its flavor, replenish electrolytes and rehydrate the body while curbing your hunger.
However, to stay in the ketosis mode, which is pretty much the whole point of intermittent fasting, you don’t need to be in the zero-calorie area. As research suggests, you can consume a maximum of 50 grams of carbohydrates. This way, you’ll have lots of options to drink.
During intermittent fasting, you can safely drink the following:
- Bone broth
- Apple cider vinegar
These beverages will not break your fast and are low in calories. Except for water, limit the number of the other options.
I know a few people who can’t drink their coffee black and add a splash of unsweetened almond milk. A tablespoon contains 0.5 ounces. Therefore a half ounce of unsweetened almond milk adds 1.87 calories and 0.06 grams of carbs.
Wrapping Up The Almond Milk While Fasting
While intermittent fasting means not eating anything for a fixed period, you can have a zero calorie drink like water.
Almond milk will break a strict fast because it contains calories. Most people who intermittent fast are okay drinking almost zero calorie drinks like coffee, tea, bone broth and of course water.
Choose unsweetened almond milk which contains almost zero carbohydrates, sugar and many less calories 10.
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