Does Medication Break Intermittent Fasting?
Written by Andrew Brewer. Updated on June 2023.
Medically reviewed and fact checked by Dr. Kinjal Kanani Shah.
Whether it’s over-the-counter or prescribed medication, whether it breaks your intermittent fast looms large for many intermittent fasters. We’ll take a closer look at certain medications to see whether or not they will break your intermittent fast.
- Medications with sugar or starch, such as vitamin gummies and protein powder, can break a fast, but most medicines don’t break a fast.
- Medications should be taken with food in some cases to avoid stomach cramps and digestive problems. Consult a healthcare professional to adjust the dose and timing of medication during fasting.
- Don’t forgo necessary medication for the sake of intermittent fasting. Instead, alter your fasting plan or consult with a healthcare professional for guidance on how to take medication while fasting.
- Some over-the-counter drugs may contain elements that break the body’s fast, but consult a healthcare professional to work out a schedule that fits both intermittent fasting and medication.
- Consider using fasting apps to help you stay on track with your intermittent fasting journey.
As a general rule, medicines don’t break fast.
There is a difference between over-the-counter medication and most dietary supplements. Vitamin gummies and protein powder may contain starch or sugar, which can break a fast. . .
You can look at the inactive ingredients on the label and select healthier options when possible.
Some of these dietary supplements should also be taken with fats which will certainly break your fast. Many medicinal supplements that are taken for health reasons should be centered around meals or taken as a transition between fasting and eating.
Taking Medication on an Empty Stomach
Many over-the-counter drugs should be taken with food. Ingesting certain drugs on an empty stomach can be quite damaging. To avoid stomach cramps and digestive problems, doctors recommend taking the medication with a meal. In most cases, this shouldn’t affect your intermittent fasting, as it’s relatively simple to schedule medication during the day.
However, for anyone on a more restrictive intermittent fasting plan, there could be some issues. Besides, drugs for diabetes are designed to spike insulin levels which will trigger your body to break its fast. It can be quite difficult to adhere to both your medicinal schedule as well as your intermittent fasting.
In such cases, you should consult your physician to adjust the dose and its timing when you fast.
Don’t Forgo Your Medication
If you have a schedule to stick to that requires you to take a pill that would break your fast during your fasting time, do not forgo that pill. Medicinal drugs serve a much more important purpose for the body, and intermittent fasting can always be adjusted to accommodate your other schedules. Do not forgo any medication that you take just to serve your weight loss goals.
Intermittent fasting is flexible and comes in many different forms. If you’re on a strict schedule that clashes with your medicinal intake, it might be best to alter your intermittent fasting plan. Bump it down a notch to a method that fits your schedule. Maybe try out the 5:2 which allows for up to 500 calories on your fasting days – that way you can still have food with your medication.
Some over-the-counter drugs that are for addressing swelling in muscles, but aren’t necessarily needed for health reasons could be put off until your eating window opens back up. However, if the pain you’re trying to reduce with the anti-inflammatory medication is just too much, you don’t have to soldier on. Intermittent fasting is all about losing weight in a healthy manner.
Possible Intermittent Fasting Solutions
Gummy medication and some over-the-counter drugs contain sugar which triggers insulin production and breaks a fast. Chances are, the medication you’re taking will contain elements that could break your body’s fast. So what is there to do? How can you take your medication without breaking your fast?
The best recommendation would be to see your health care professional. They could work with you to devise a schedule that fits both your intermittent fasting and your medicine. It can be tempting to prioritize intermittent fasting over medication, but switching up on when you take your drugs can be dangerous to the body. Speak with a healthcare professional to work a schedule out for you.
Don’t forget to check our top 10 fasting apps to make your intermittent fasting journey easier.
Does medication break intermittent fasting?
It depends on the type of medication. If the medication is a pill or tablet, it is generally safe to take during intermittent fasting. However, if the medication needs to be taken with food, it may break your fast.
Can I take my vitamins during intermittent fasting?
Yes, you can take your vitamins during intermittent fasting. However, vitamins and supplements do not contain any calories, so they will not break your fast.
Can I drink water during intermittent fasting?
Yes, you should drink plenty of water during intermittent fasting. However, water does not contain any calories, so it will not break your fast.
Can I drink coffee during intermittent fasting?
Yes, you can drink black coffee during intermittent fasting. Coffee contains no calories, so it will not break your fast. However, be cautious of adding cream, sugar, or other sweeteners to your coffee, as these can break your fast.
Can I drink tea during intermittent fasting?
Yes, you can drink tea during intermittent fasting. Tea contains no calories, so it will not break your fast. However, be cautious of adding milk, cream, or other sweeteners to your tea, as these can break your fast.
Can I chew gum during intermittent fasting?
Chewing gum may cause an insulin response and break your fast. It is best to avoid chewing gum during intermittent fasting.
Can I take protein powder during intermittent fasting?
Protein powder usually contains calories and may break your fast, especially if it contains sugar or other sweeteners. However, if you are using a high-quality protein powder with minimal calories and no sweeteners, it may be acceptable to take it during intermittent fasting.
Can I take prescription medication during intermittent fasting?
If you need to take prescription medication with food, it may break your fast. However, if your medication can be taken on an empty stomach, it should not affect your fast. Consult with your doctor if you are unsure about when to take your medication while intermittent fasting.
Can I exercise during intermittent fasting?
Yes, you can exercise during intermittent fasting. Exercising while fasting may have some additional benefits, such as increased fat burning. However, listen to your body and adjust your exercise routine as needed.