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Does Tea Break a Fast? Your Top Question Answered
Intermittent Fasting

Does Tea Break a Fast? Your Top Question Answered

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Published on 2022 August 17
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4 min

There are many reasons why people would start a fasting protocol, but many struggle with hunger pangs. The obvious choice that comes to mind when you feel hungry while fasting is to eat, but that violates the basic rule of fasting.

Does tea break a fast

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We have a few ideas you can use to feel less hungry and to comfortably keep on fasting. No matter your reason for fasting, you need to be determined to stick with it until your fasting window is over. Here’s how to fast without hunger and reach your goal for a healthier life.

Fasting requires self-discipline toward food, but you need to restrict what you drink, too. 

Many drinks contain calories, so most people play it safe with water. Water is the ideal thirst-quencher. It has no calories and no impact on your fast. 

But for some, there’s only so much water you can drink before your mind drifts toward more flavorful alternatives. 

Now, does the intermittent fasting lifestyle permit drinking tea? And with so many flavors, brands, and types of tea, are they all harmless? 

Keep following as we get into tea and the fasting period, popular types of tea, and tea additives.

Does Tea Break a Fast?

No, tea doesn’t break your fast so you can drink this beverage while fasting.

A fundamental principle of intermittent fasting is that you remain in a fasted state.

To prevent breaking the fasting window, you must restrict your calorie intake. That means no meals, no snacks, diet sodas, or milky morning coffee.

Ultimately, too many calories end a fast. So, you must stick to water or other low-calorie drinks during fasting periods.

Tea has very minimal calories, with the average cup of plain tea containing less than 3 calories. Even in large quantities, several cups are unlikely to harm your fast.

Now, we’re talking about plain tea. Sweet tea is generally a big no-no. That means no sugar or artificial sweeteners, as adding these ingredients racks up your calorie count.

Stick to all-natural, unsweetened tea for a safe alternative if you don’t just want to drink water. If you prefer to drink coffee for your caffeine fix, the same applies. Black coffee is low in calories, but flavored coffee or coffee with milk and sugar is off-limits.

Tea can even support your weight loss journey. It can help you feel satisfied as you await eating windows while providing your body with some additional health benefits, like boosting the immune system.

What Is Intermittent Fasting? 

Intermittent fasting is an age-old practice used worldwide for purposes of religion, therapy, and most prevalently in the modern world for weight loss. 

It requires that you schedule eating hours and fasting periods in which you can and can’t eat. It means zero calories, zero carbs, and overall abstinence from food for a limited time.

How long your fasting schedule lasts depends on your specific intermittent fasting plan.

As well as burning fat, intermittent fasting has health benefits, including a mitigated risk of cardiovascular disease, lower cholesterol, and better metabolic health.

Tea and Fasting

OK, you can add tea to your intermittent fasting list of safe beverages. But is every tea on the market acceptable? Let’s look at popular teas and their impact on intermittent fasting.

Does green tea break a fast?

Drinking green tea is perfectly acceptable during a fast. According to the USDA, one teabag has 0 calories.

A daily cup of green tea may help you manage intermittent fasting by creating satiety, reducing hunger pangs, and even boosting your metabolism to promote weight loss.

Does black tea break a fast?

Another tea high on the list is black tea. You can drink plenty of black tea without breaking a fast, as long as you don’t add sugar, cream, or other toppings.

Black tea has approximately 1–3 calories per cup. That means you can drink tea in moderate amounts within your caffeine limit.

As it’s rich in antioxidants and other nutrients, drinking black tea is good for gut health, heart health, and weight loss. 

Does herbal tea break a fast?

Herbal tea is unlikely to break a fast, although various brands and recipes differ in calories and ingredients.

Generally, it is a low-calorie drink. A cup of chamomile or peppermint tea contains around 2 calories.

The great thing about herbal tea is that it’s caffeine-free, so you can drink it at any time of day. Herbal teas also have wellness properties, like improving digestion and suppressing appetite, which is great if you want to lose weight. 

Does matcha break a fast?

Matcha is powdered tea leaves that you mix with hot water. 

Again, calories vary between brands, but you can expect a typical cup of matcha to have 5 calories

It won’t break your fast, but make it with water rather than steamed milk to keep your caloric intake down.

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What Can You Add to Your Tea While Fasting?

If you prefer your brew with a sweet taste, some additions won’t break your fast. However, you must use sweeteners in moderation, as excessive use can do more harm than good.

Stevia

Stevia comes from the stevia rebaudiana plant species or candyleaf. It’s a natural sweetener and sugar substitute. 

It doesn’t contain calories or carbohydrates and therefore won’t break a fast. 

Xylitol

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol found in plant material, primarily used as a sugar substitute. It is considered safe in moderate quantities. 

Sugar alcohols provide fewer calories than sugar, making them a good alternative to sweeten your tea. As it doesn’t spike insulin or blood sugar levels, adding xylitol to your tea won’t break a fast.   

Yacon syrup

Yacon syrup is a sweet-tasting agent derived from the roots of the yacon plant. 

It’s a good choice for sweetening tea and different foods where you might usually use the likes of maple syrup.

You can add yacon syrup to your tea without sabotaging your fast. 

A Word From Nutritionist

Tea won’t interrupt your intermittent fasting journey. It’s an excellent choice, as it’s flavorsome, low in calories, and packs some health-promoting properties.

When you drink tea during your fast, it’s a little boost to get you through the day. It keeps your stomach active and may help to decrease hunger.

It’s thought that regularly drinking tea can benefit your wellness overall, from recharging the immune system to reducing inflammation and improving sleep quality. 

While fasting, you mustn’t fill your cup with extra calories such as sugar, cream, and honey. Instead, learn to enjoy the natural taste and experiment with various herbal teas to find your perfect match.

Final Word

So, does tea break a fast? The answer is no, not if you choose the right ones and avoid adding other ingredients. While sparkling water and lemon water are popular choices, it’s nice to mix things up a bit with a tasty hot drink. 

You can enhance your tea with certain additives, but where possible, try to enjoy the natural flavors if you’re going to have more than one cup outside of your eating window.

Written by
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
Medically reviewed byRosmy Barrios, MD
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