Can I Drink Lemon Water During Intermittent Fasting?
Water plays an instrumental part in intermittent fasting. Without water, you might struggle with dehydration or malnutrition throughout your fasting window. But what about lemon water? Does adding that little bit of flavor break the fast and ruin all of your weight loss progress?
Short answer: probably yes! But, it’s a little bit more complex than that. Let’s take a look at what makes drinking lemon water while intermittent fasting okay and what you should avoid.
A Minimal Difference
Water is a substance that is necessary to find success in the intermittent fasting window. It supplies the hydration that your body usually receives through eating. When you stop eating, your body needs a way to stay hydrated. Drinking a normal amount of water will suffice, but if you want to stay fully hydrated, you’ll need to almost double the water intake prior to intermittent fasting.
What difference can you expect from a lemon here or there? Very little! Adding lemon to your water will add about 9 calories per drink. While this is – by a technicality – breaking your fast, it’s not enough to trigger any metabolic responses and won’t have an effect on your body. Drinking water with lemon makes such a small difference that it’s essentially nothing. Drink the lemon water!
No Substances or Added Sugars
Okay, drink the lemon water within reason. Don’t go overboard with lemons now that you know you’re allowed to have them with your water. Too many lemon waters will still put you over the 50 calorie threshold your body needs to break a fast. Keep it to one or two lemon waters per day to make the most of your intermittent fasting.
It’s also important to ensure that you’re using lemon, not lemon flavoring. These lemon flavoring packets can have added sugars and fats that will certainly break your fast. Stay away from lemon-flavored water, or else you’ll end up breaking your fast and losing all progress from that day. Make sure you’re drinking real lemon water if you’re set on having lemon flavoring.
Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss
The type of intermittent fasting you’re partaking in will play a major part in determining whether or not you can have lemon water. If you’re fasting for weight loss purposes, then you should feel free to add a splash of lemon or two. The calorie level you have to pass to break your fast when losing weight is relatively high.
When fasting for weight loss purposes, you have much more wiggle room to play with. Don’t be afraid to have a couple lemon waters throughout your intermittent fasting window, as long as they’re the only calorie drinks you’re having.
Intermittent Fasting for Health
If you’re partaking in intermittent fasting for health purposes, your maximum calorie levels could be much lower. It’s important to be aware of what will break your fast when fasting for health purposes. Certain health-related intermittent fasting plans require you to stick to 0 calories overall. This means no lemon water, no tea, and no coffee. Only water is allowed for these fasts – sometimes not even.
Helping With the Fast
One of the major benefits drinks like lemon water offer is a distraction from the hunger. As you’re getting closer to the end of your fast, you’re likely experiencing cravings or massive waves of hunger. Water will help out a bit, but it won’t be the distraction your mind needs. By adding that little bit of flavoring to your water, you can distract your mind and turn the focus away from hunger.
Don’t forget to check our recommended fasting apps to make your intermittent fasting journey easier.