10 Things You Can Have During Your Fast Without Breaking It

Intermittent fasting has become a popular health and weight loss strategy. The idea behind intermittent fasting is that you cycle between periods of fasting and eating. This allows your body to tap into fat stores for energy during the fasting periods.

Many people believe that if you have anything other than water during your fasting period, it will break your fast. But this is not necessarily true. There are a number of beverages, spices, supplements and other items you can have that will not affect your fast.

In this article, we will go over 20 things that you can safely consume during a fast without disrupting your results.

What Technically Breaks a Fast?

Before diving into the list, let’s first cover what makes something break a fast from a technical perspective. There are a couple main things that can shift the body out of its fasted state:

Elevating Insulin Levels

One of the key benefits of fasting is that it keeps insulin levels low. Insulin is the hormone responsible for shuttling sugar from the bloodstream into cells for energy or storage. Lower insulin levels allow your body to more easily tap into fat stores.

Consuming foods or beverages that spike insulin levels will disrupt many of the benefits of fasting.

Activating Digestion

The process of digestion also signals to the body that food is coming in. Even just the act of chewing something can kickstart digestive processes like the release of stomach acid, digestive enzymes, etc. This takes the body out of its fasting mode.

The “One Gram” Rule

A simple rule of thumb to follow is that consuming more than about 1 gram of protein or carbohydrates is likely to raise insulin levels to some degree and break your fast.

Now let’s get into the list of items you can have under 1 gram during a fast!

Pickle juice is an interesting one. Some people use it as an electrolyte replacement during fasting periods. The vinegar in pickle juice may also help stabilize blood sugar. Just keep servings under 1-2 oz.

Pure Vitamin Supplements

Most pure vitamin supplements like capsules of Vitamin D, magnesium, etc. are fine to take during a fast. Just avoid gummy versions that contain sugar.

Black Coffee and Tea

Plain coffee and tea are perfectly fine during a fast. Just avoid creamers and sweeteners that contain carbs or protein.

Nut pods are a brand of coffee creamer made from coconut and almonds. The pure fat won’t spike insulin. Limit to 1-2 tsp per cup of coffee.

The herb ashwagandha may help manage stress and anxiety levels during a fast. It contains minimal carbs/protein in supplement form.

Sparkling Water

Zero-carb carbonated waters like La Croix are fine for fasting. You can also add some lemon or ginger flavor.

Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, which may help stabilize blood sugar. Add 1-2 tsp to water.

Bone Broth

Plain bone broth is usually okay during a fast, as long as you limit intake to 1 cup. Avoid broths with added proteins or carbohydrates.


Ginger can help stimulate digestion and may have blood sugar benefits. Limit to about 1 tsp or 1 ginger tea bag.

You can have up to 1 tbsp heavy cream in coffee without affecting your fast. More than that may spike insulin.

Lemon juice also contains acids that help stabilize blood sugar. Limit to 1/4 lemon wedge squeezed into water.


Cinnamon provides antioxidants and may help stabilize blood sugar levels. Use just under 1/2 tsp.

Peppermint tea is naturally calorie- and carb-free while also acting as an appetite suppressant.

Chia Seeds

Soak 1 tsp of chia seeds in water during your fast. Avoid chewing them to prevent stimulating digestion.

A couple drops of the zero-calorie sweetener stevia in coffee is unlikely to spike insulin or break your fast.

Cucumber Slices

Add a few thin cucumber slices to your water. Avoid chewing them. Limit to about 1/8 cucumber.

Magnesium supports sleep, immunity and muscle function. Take up to 500 mg in capsule form.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Like lemon juice, apple cider vinegar may help stabilize blood sugar. Add 1-2 tsp to water.

Add up to 1 tsp coconut oil to coffee to provide stable energy from ketones and MCTs.

While these items may be okay for fasting, abstaining from anything besides water will give you the most benefits. Use these sparingly as needed on fasting days. Pay attention to your body’s response.

What Can You Have During a Fast?

Now that we’ve covered options for beverages, spices and supplements you can have without disrupting your fast, let’s do a quick recap of some of the best items to help get you through your fasting periods:

  • Water – Always aim to stay well hydrated with plain water. Add some lemon, lime, cucumber or mint for flavor.
  • Coffee – Feel free to continue your morning coffee ritual with black coffee or coffee with up to 1-2 tsp coconut oil or MCT oil.
  • Tea – Sip on black, green or herbal teas. Peppermint and ginger tea can help with appetite and digestion.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – Add 1-2 tsp apple cider vinegar to water for blood sugar stabilization.
  • Sodium – Get sufficient sodium from sea salt, salty broths or electrolyte supplements.
  • Magnesium – Take 300-500 mg magnesium supplement before bed for sleep and muscle function.
  • Pickle Juice – 1-2 oz pickle juice can provide sodium and electrolytes.
  • Bone Broth – Sip on 1 cup or less of plain, low-protein bone broth.

The key is to keep it simple and limit intake of anything that isn’t water to small amounts. Avoid snacking or chewing foods.

Pay attention to your body and how you feel with different intakes. This will help you determine if you need to adjust anything to optimize your fasting periods. The more you practice, the easier fasting will become.

The Bottom Line

Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to abstain from everything besides plain water during a fast. There are a number of beverages, spices, supplements and other items you can incorporate in small amounts that will not disrupt your fasted state.

The key is limiting carbohydrate and protein intake to less than 1 gram, avoiding anything that stimulates digestion, and selecting items that help stabilize blood sugar.

Use the tips in this article to help optimize your fasting periods and make the adjustment to intermittent fasting more sustainable long-term. Achieve your health goals with the powerful practice of intermittent fasting!

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