As time passes by, more people are becoming health-conscious. A lot of us are starting to pay attention to our health, and one of the ways to do that is by managing what we put into our bodies. Many measures have been tried and tested but among the most common ones would be fasting.
There are many ways to do fasting. But in this blog post, we'll be focusing on intermittent fasting and what drinks we can have during this period.
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a unique way of fasting. Why? It's because it's more about managing WHEN to eat rather than WHAT you eat. It's an eating pattern that alternates periods of eating with periods of eating food with minimal calories to eating absolutely nothing at all.
It may sound like you're trying to starve yourself but it's NOT. This isn't about making yourself look thinner. It is about learning how to practice healthier meals and ways of eating with the added bonus of shedding some pounds. The essence of this fasting is to teach the body about maintenance and recovery.
Funnily enough, even though it has recently become famous, intermittent fasting isn't a new thing. It's not a new trend. It has been practiced for many years before due to health, spiritual, or survival reasons. People of today just have a habit of putting things from the past on the map again.
Most intermittent fastings incorporate 12 to 16 hours of fasting each day. Some choose to do it for 24 to 48 hours once or twice every week.
What are the benefits intermittent fasting provides?
As previously mentioned, intermittent fasting isn't just about restricting calories. It does so many wonders for the body such as the following:
It uses our fats for energy instead of carbohydrates
Intermittent fasting causes a lot of changes to the body's metabolism. Once you practice it, your body enters ketosis, a state wherein fats are being used for energy in the absence of carbohydrates. If we burn fat for energy, we actually regulate our blood sugar and energy levels better.
It gets rid of harmful cells
During the fasting period, the body removes the damaged, unneeded, or harmful cells. This cleansing process is referred to as autophagy. The word "auto" means "self" while "phagy" means "eat", so it's literally translated as "self-eating".
It helps in weight loss
Obviously, losing weight is a major factor in this matter. The intermittent fasting plan will make you eat less, therefore lessening your calorie consumption. Since you're burning more fats and calories, you can expect that you would be shedding some pounds.
It reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is becoming more prevalent among young and old adults. Studies revealed that one of the benefits intermittent fasting can give is by reducing insulin resistance which, in turn, lowers blood sugar levels.
It promotes a healthy heart
Intermittent fasting doesn't just get you slimmer, it actually helps make your heart stronger. Heart disease is common and fatal, so it'd be best to avoid it at all costs. This fasting plan improves several factors leading to heart disease such as blood pressure, blood sugar level, blood triglycerides, total and bad cholesterol, and inflammatory markers.
What to drink while intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a good addition to your lifestyle but it can get difficult at times. The experience of restricting yourself from the meals and beverages that you love can take a toll on a person. Fortunately, there are tons of intermittent fasting drinks and beverages that can energize you whilst you fast.
Here are the following intermittent fasting drinks that you can turn to:
It's impossible for water to not be on this list. After all, water is considered the best source of fluid for the body. Water is great for replenishing thirst and hunger! You can drink this anytime, even on an empty stomach. It can be sparkling or not, depending on your taste. Some add a little lemon juice to their water to improve its taste (and to make it healthier).
Who doesn't like coffee? Apparently, you can drink this bittersweet beverage during your intermittent fasting plan. Take note, drink it black and not with sugar or cream. Black coffee is actually calorie-free and doesn't affect your insulin levels at all. Instead of milk or sugar, you can enhance its flavor up with something like cinnamon.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
The list of apple cider vinegar's benefits just keeps going on and on. It's also one of the good beverages to have during your fasting period. It not only helps improve the effects of your intermittent fasting plan, but it also supports healthy digestion and blood sugar levels.
4. Bone Broth
A good, homemade bone breath tastes like a mother's hug. But beyond that, it's a recommendable drink if you ever decide to fast for a period of 24 hours or more. It contains calories but there are zero carbohydrates, so you can still remain in a state of ketosis.
Drinking tea will make your intermittent fasting plan easier and more successful. Tea contains various properties that support gut health with prebiotics and cellular health. Plenty of teas are ideal intermittent fasting drinks like:
For instance, green tea actually helps support proper weight management. It contains properties that help increase metabolism. It also has catechins, which reduce levels of hunger hormones. This means you can still feel full after having a full meal.
Chamomile tea, on the other hand, is an herbal tea that's also a great intermittent fasting drink because it has sedative properties that help reduce stress levels. Stress is possible for those who are fasting because you're depriving yourself of your favorite food and drinks. It also lowers blood sugar levels, improves sleep quality, and can potentially lower cholesterol levels.
What are the drinks to avoid during an intermittent fasting plan?
While there are intermittent fasting drinks, there are those that you should avoid.
Common concerns about intermittent fasting
Despite intermittent fasting’s reputation, some people also have issues with this fasting plan. There are accounts stating that during their intermittent fasting, they experienced the following symptoms within a couple of weeks:
- Muscle cramps
However, these symptoms (especially the first one) are pretty common. The body is still adjusting to your new eating pattern so most likely you will be experiencing side effects like this. If you ever feel something worse or unusual, it would be best to consult your dietitian or nutritionist.