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Last Updated on July 30, 2022 by Scott
If you’re trying to fast, you might be wondering whether you can drink tea, or whether this prevents you from fasting properly. It’s frustrating to find you have accidentally broken a fast, so let’s find out whether you can drink tea while fasting or not.
Drinking plain tea does not break a fast, and many fasting regimes recommend having tea or plain coffee during your fast to keep your hydration levels up and make it easier to fast. Because tea is under 50 calories, it’s not thought to spoil the effects of fasting, and a lot of people drink tea during fasts.
In this article, we’re going to look at why tea does not break a fast, what you should avoid adding to your tea, and how to drink your tea to avoid breaking your fast.
Why Is Tea Okay While Fasting?
Tea is generally considered okay while fasting because it does not contain many calories. When you’re fasting, calorie restriction is critical if you want your body to get the benefits of the fast. Consuming over 50 calories will break the fast, and that means you won’t enjoy the advantages of fasting, which include:
- Improved memory
- Better sleep
- More effective weight loss
- Higher energy levels
- Reduced risk of certain diseases, such as heart disease
- Good cognition
Fasting lengths can vary depending on what you’re doing and what you’re trying to achieve, but many people fast for up to 16 hours per day and then start eating again. Some only fast for 8 to 12 hours. However, if you accidentally eat or drink anything over 50 calories during that period, you will have broken your fast.
This can be very frustrating, especially if you’ve already got through most of the fast. It’s therefore important to realize that you have done it and to recognize what beverages break a fast. Just because it’s in liquid form does not mean that it’s free from calories!
Many beverages are not okay once you start fasting, and this list includes any kinds of soda, as these will all contain sugar or sweeteners. Fruit juice will also break your fast, and you will find that smoothies, milkshakes, energy drinks, and all alcoholic drinks are also off the list. Tea and coffee are among the only beverages, besides water, that you can drink.
What Should You Not Add To Your Tea?
Of course, you do need to make sure that your tea is calorie-free – and while tea is okay on its own, adding certain ingredients to your tea could make it unsuitable for a fasting day. If you like sweet, milky tea, you need to be aware that this is no good when you’re fasting.
You need to drink your tea plain, without additives of any sort. That means you cannot add either dairy milk or plant-based milk, and you cannot add sweeteners. Sugar, maple syrup, honey, golden syrup, or artificial sweeteners will all break your fast because they give your body food, and it will start using this food.
As soon as you provide the food, the fast will be broken. That means you will no longer be getting the benefits. If you drink the tea early into your fast, before the effects of fasting have taken hold, you may never get any benefits at all. It’s really important to recognize this so that you aren’t ruining your attempts at fasting without realizing it.
If you are going to drink tea on the days that you fast, you need to opt for plain tea, without milk or sweeteners. You can drink any kind of tea you like, including herbal teas, fruit teas, or other flavored options, but you can’t flavor them with additions like honey or milk. If you do, you will no longer be fasting.
How Many Calories Are In A Cup Of Tea?
Of course, tea is not completely free from calories. It’s simply low enough that it will not give your body enough calories to break the fast. It can vary between blends and kinds of tea, but on the whole, a cup of tea contains between 1 and 3 calories. This is not enough to break the fast. Most people consider 50 calories the limit.
If you add sugar or honey to your tea, you will immediately pull the calorie count up to about 80 per cup – well over the 50 calorie limit. However, if you are drinking your tea plain, you could drink between 16 and 50 cups of tea before you would have broken your fast.
This is one of the reasons that tea is a popular beverage for drinking on fasting days. It lets you enjoy a drink other than water (which many people find unappealing), but it does not break the fast.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can you drink coffee during a fast?
A: The same rules apply to coffee. If you are drinking it without milk or any sweeteners, it should contain less than 5 calories per cup, so you can enjoy multiple cups of coffee on a fasting day without any problem. However, if you like your coffee with cream, sugar, milk, or other additives, it’s not going to be a suitable fasting beverage.
Q: How many calories break a fast?
A: Technically speaking, consuming any amount of calories is breaking a fast, but the human body doesn’t respond to calories like a machine, with either “on” or “off” positions. It is generally considered safe to consume up to 50 calories before your body will begin responding to the food and break the fast.
Q: Does fasting help you lose weight?
A: Fasting can help you lose weight when it is done responsibly and effectively. It is not an overnight solution and needs to be approached with caution.
Tea does not break a fast on its own, and many people consume tea while fasting. However, you must not add milk, sugar, or any other flavorings to the drink, because these contain calories and will break the fast.
Scott is the founder of TeaMinded. He enjoys tasting and discovering teas from across the globe, with green teas and ceremonial matcha from Japan being among his favorites. He’s grateful to be immersed in the tea community, always learning and sharing along the journey.