Coffee lovers on an intermittent fasting schedule are happily drinking their unsweetened, black coffee during their fasting hours.
However, how if you like your coffee sweet? While adding sugar might break your fast, what about artificial sweeteners?
Can you add Stevia to coffee during intermittent fasting?
Although technically speaking, eating or drinking anything during fasting could break your fast, you can drink coffee with artificial sweeteners such as Stevia during intermittent fasting as the beverage will contain no calories.
It will typically take 50 calories to shift your body out of a fasting state, and stevia is unlikely to do that.
That said, I would still recommend avoiding sweeteners as those have other side effects, and these are all covered below.
The main objective of intermittent fasting is not to spike your blood glucose level and not break your ketosis.
This means you are not allowed to have or consume food or drinks with sugar or calories.
However, there are some exceptions, and certain foods and beverages with a maximum of 50 calories are allowed as they contain so few calories that it is unlikely to break your fast.
As long as the coffee you are planning to drink has little to no calories, intermittent fasting can continue.
Coffee itself has no calories, but drinking plain black coffee may be a bit too much so you may look for sweeteners that would not disrupt intermittent fasting.
Stevia is a sugar substitute 100 to 300 times sweeter than regular table sugar, so a little will go a long way.
Another advantage is that Stevia is naturally derived from plants, has no carbohydrates, and has virtually zero calories.
That’s why even though Stevia may add a little bit of extra sweetness to your coffee, it’s still acceptable to add it to your coffee during your intermittent fasting.
What you need to look out for is the amount you are adding in as excessive amounts of Stevia could lead to issues with health.
There are some debatable results on how Stevia may negatively impact your kidney and cardiovascular health.
Your best bet is to stick with the purified form of Stevia called stevioside that’s approved by the FDA.
Also, only use it sparingly since the side effects of overconsumption of Stevia are still inconclusive.
Is Coffee With Stevia OK For Intermittent Fasting?
Generally speaking, it is OK for you to consume coffee with Stevia.
To get the full benefits of intermittent fasting, you must avoid consuming anything that would increase your glucose levels and kick you out of your fasting state.
As coffee with Stevia contains no calories, the beverage is unlikely to break your fast.
The main goal of fasting is to avoid increasing glucose levels, which is usually caused by consuming anything with carbohydrates or sugar.
Coffee has no calories or carbohydrates, so it is safe to consume during intermittent fasting.
Stevia is a plant-based artificial sweetener that has no calories and carbohydrates, so it is OK to add to your coffee.
The goal of intermittent fasting is to get the body into ketosis.
This state is when your body is using and burning stored fat instead of energy from food, which means you are burning up the fat in your body.
That’s why intermittent fasting is widely used as a weight management strategy, as well as to reduce the risk of some diseases related to obesity such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
When the blood glucose levels and ketosis were monitored in individuals who consumed coffee with Stevia, there were no significant changes.
However, be mindful of your coffee intake while you are fasting.
Excessive amounts of caffeine can lead to anxiety and induce more hunger pangs.
Can You Have Sugar Free Sweetener During Intermittent Fasting?
Yes, you can have sugar-free sweeteners during intermittent fasting as long as it has little to no calories.
You might choose a sugar-free sweetener that won’t cause increased appetite and hunger pangs, hindering the efficiency of intermittent fasting.
Aside from being sugar-free, you also need to ensure that your sweetener contains little to no calories because it could affect your ketosis.
Ketosis is the body’s mechanism of burning stored body fat instead of other sources of calories to convert into energy.
If your sweetener has too many calories, your body will be kicked out of the fasting state and start burning energy from the calories you consume instead of the fat it was supposed to burn.
This means you’ll stop losing fat and may never achieve weight loss even though you’re fasting.
Even if the sweetener you choose claims to be sugar-free, some may have hidden calories.
Pay close attention to their labeling and nutritional facts, and check if they actually have calories.
Some manufacturers could label “sugar” as “table sugar” and claim anything that is their substitute to be sugar-free.
Your best bet is to opt for natural or artificial sweeteners that have zero calories and are sugar-free such as Stevia and Erythritol.
Both are naturally derived and not altered to achieve their sweetness.
They have a high concentration of sweetness and can be used safely in drinks and food.
How Can I Sweeten My Coffee While Fasting?
There are several ways for you to sweeten your coffee during intermittent fasting, mainly by using natural and artificial sweeteners or spices that have little to no calories and are sugar-free.
Some natural sweeteners you can opt for are Stevia and Erythritol.
Both of them are naturally derived and have powerful sweetening effects; they are safe for consumption and have been approved by the FDA to be used daily.
On the other hand, some people experience bitterness when they add Stevia or Erythritol to their drinks.
This could be due to the high sweetness level that could turn into bitterness or it might be just the aftertaste of the sweeteners.
If you do not want to use Stevia or Erythritol, another option you can try is by incorporating low-calorie spices or seasoning that are also naturally derived, such as a dash of vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cocoa powder.
They have very few calories and have great benefits, such as containing loads of antioxidants.
Although the spices may not be as sweet as Stevia or Erythritol, they do offer a pleasant sweet aroma that could counter some of the bitterness you might experience from coffee.
The best spice for sweetness compared to the others is a vanilla extract that you can incorporate in liquid or solid form.
What Artificial Sweetener Is OK For Intermittent Fasting?
Artificial sweeteners can be considered OK for intermittent fasting as long as they have little to no carbohydrates and calories.
Some of these sweeteners are Splenda, Equal, and other zero-calorie sweeteners.
Some may not recommend you use artificial sweeteners during intermittent fasting due to their side effects.
Artificial sweeteners have been shown to affect your health in the long run, such as an increase of risks in cardiovascular disease and disrupting your kidney’s function.
Aside from that, artificial sweeteners could increase your cravings, which could hinder your intermittent fasting entirely if you break your fast.
You might want to choose a more natural source of sweetness, such as some spices or natural sweeteners which do not affect your blood glucose levels.
That way, you can enjoy your sweet beverages without risking breaking your fast.
I’m Chris Watson & the Founder of EatForLonger.com. I’m a food and wellbeing enthusiast researching and sharing foodstuffs and simple food-based concepts, such as fasting and clean eating.
I hope it inspires you to make tiny changes to what you eat and when you eat while optimizing your healthspan and all-around well-being.
Read more About Me here.