Adding coconut oil to coffee is a new trend, especially among keto aficionados. And if you, like millions of people, are trying out intermittent fasting, but love to start your day with coffee, then this article is for you.
But first let’s talk a little about intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting is hardly a new concept. It has been used since ancient times, especially during periods of food scarcity. It is also a concept practiced by many religions across the world. For instance, once a year, Muslims observe Ramadan, the month of fasting from dawn to dusk. In Hinduism, fasting has also been suggested as a means to purify the mind and body.
If you’re looking to change up your intermittent fasting game, make sure to check out our IF resource library, for detailed information on the different types of fasting.
But if you’re reading this, you want to know if adding coconut oil to your coffee will break your fast, so let’s dig right in.
Can I Have Coffee While Fasting?
You can absolutely drink coffee during your intermittent fast. But there is a catch. It matters what you put in your coffee.
The best choice if you’re intermittent fasting is black coffee. Black coffee is completely fat-free and contains almost no calories, so it will not break your fast.
Black coffee only contains two to five calories per cup. But coffee with fancy creamers, or even plain sugar and milk can contain loads of calories, so you are officially no longer fasting when you drink this.
What Can I Put In Coffee During Intermittent Fasting?
Strictly speaking, to successfully intermittent fast, you shouldn’t be consuming any calories during your fasting period.
Intermittent fasting works so well because it forces your body to call on your fat stores for energy during your fasting period. You want your body to go into ‘survival mode’ and use its reserves.
Only then will you lose weight. If you put in new calories during your fasting period, your body will first convert them into energy and won’t draw on your fat reserves to power your body .
If you add calories from either carbohydrates or protein, you can kick your body out of your fasting state.
But there is an exception…it turns out that there are certain superfoods that you can add to your coffee to enhance the effect on your metabolism. Read on below to find out more.
Should You Drink Coffee with Coconut Oil?
Coconut oil has loads of benefits and that’s the reason it’s called a superfood.
The first and foremost benefit is that coconut oil helps you stay in ketosis during your fasting state. And for beginner-level ketonians, or the ones thinking about starting a keto diet, coconut oil can give you a boost of energy along with your morning coffee when you’re getting used to fasting.
Ketosis is the state of digestion where your body uses ketones.
Note: Ketones are molecules formed after the fat disintegrates — as the power source rather than glucose.
Coconut oil contains fats known as medium chain triglycerides which help in keeping your body in ketosis. MCTs are absorbed faster than other fats and sent to the liver at once.
What’s interesting is that it is easier to transform MCT oils into ketones compared to long chain triglycerides, which is a different kind of fat.
MCT oils help you remain in the state of ketosis.
Four different kinds of MCTs are present in coconut oil and half of its fat content comes from MCT lauric acid.
Lauric acid generates ketones slowly but more consistently as it is digested in a rather consistent manner compared to other MCTs. So, if you add coconut oil into coffee you ensure that you’ll remain in ketosis.
You can also add MCT oil directly. Or even taken as a dietary supplement because you can purchase MCT oil in capsule form.
What Actually Breaks A Fast?
Physiologically, your fast ends when your body starts to produce insulin. Insulin is produced when your body breaks down carbohydrates and protein.
So, as we just shared, foods that contain any protein or carbohydrates, can break your fast.
That means that pretty much any food aside from fats will break your fast.
How Many Calories Breaks A Fast?
Technically speaking, the addition of any calories will break your fast. But most experts believe that you can safely consume between 50 and 75 calories (of carbohydrates and protein) without breaking your fast.
Insulin production depends on your individual weight and metabolism. So by sticking to the 50-75 calorie guideline, it’s unlikely that you’ll break your fast.
Does Coconut Oil “Break” A Fast?
Coconut oil can be classified as pure fat, and pure fat never affects your blood sugar, insulin, or any other indicator of an “intermittent fast.” When you consume coconut oil mixed with coffee, your body will still burn fat.
Some people also believe that consuming coconut oil while on an intermittent fast helps you fast longer. It also makes the fasting much more tolerable.
If you can do a twelve hour fast with regular coffee (black), when you add a bit of coconut oil you may be able to easily extend your fast to sixteen.
Additionally, coconut oil has also been found to spare the autophagy process, meaning it doesn’t affect intermittent fasting negatively.
Having said that, many experts still disapprove of consuming coffee with coconut oil during intermittent fasting because it breaks a fast. Coconut oil is not calorie free; when you consume it, you ingest calories.
If you consume coffee and coconut oil for breakfast, you need to be mentally prepared to burn off those extra calories and fat grams once you break your fast. Therefore, you need to consider this when entering your eating window.
What is Bulletproof Coffee?
For many keto followers, Bulletproof Coffee (BPC) is a healthy, invigorating way to start each day. It is a coffee drink fortified with “good fats” and is often used as a keto-friendly liquid meal that will tide you over until lunchtime.
The recipe, originally by Dave Asprey, founder and CEO of Bulletproof and author of The Bulletproof Diet, is pretty simple: combine 1 (12 oz.) cup of coffee with 2 tablespoons of grass-fed butter and 2 tablespoons of medium chain triglyceride oil (MCT). And voila!
They’re bulletproof – and they’re consuming 53 grams of fat and 435 calories. However, you may start slowly with the MCT oil as this can be difficult on your stomach. Begin with half a tablespoon and add more as you adjust.
Does Bulletproof Coffee Break A Fast?
“Will drinking XYZ break my fast?”
This is a question that nearly everyone asks when they start intermittent fasting.
XYZ can stand for coffee, tea, coffee with cream, tea with cream, bulletproof coffee, branched chain amino acids (BCAA’s,) etc.
Bulletproof coffee does not break your fast because you are only consuming fat, and consuming fat does not increase insulin levels. Therefore, you stay in fat burning mode even with a bulletproof coffee.
But for those people who are trying to lose weight and see better results, consuming Bulletproof Coffee could keep them from successful weight loss because of the additional fat and calories.
Try it out for a few days. If you find that morning and mid-morning fasting is really difficult, try drinking a cup of bulletproof coffee and gauge how you feel.
If you find that the extra fat isn’t stopping you from achieving your goals, then it’s great and you can move on. But if you feel like you’re not getting the results you want, try skipping bulletproof coffee in the morning and see how it affects your weight loss.
Can You Have Bulletproof Coffee While Intermittent Fasting?
It depends on your goal for fasting.
If you are intermittent fasting for the health benefits (link), bulletproof coffee can be a healthy addition since it won’t break your fast and can help you extend your fasting period.
But if you are fasting to lose weight, keep an eye on the calories you’re adding to your coffee.
The calories present in the added oil, while they keep your brain invigorated and keep you in a state of ketosis, do add to the bottom line if you are trying to hit a daily calorie goal.
How Much Coconut Oil Should You Use?
A small amount of Coconut Oil (such as one teaspoon) mixed into unsweetened black coffee should not disturb your fast.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting With Bulletproof Coffee
Bulletproof coffee offers keto followers a number of important benefits:
Coffee is a go-to beverage for many cultures as its natural caffeine provides a boost of energy that will help you start the day or weather a midday slump. The issue with using coffee as a quick morning pick-me-up is that there is an inevitable “crash” that can occur once the caffeine wears off.
Bulletproof coffee (BPC) is preferred in a keto diet because it offers more than just a quick burst of caffeine. It provides sustained increased energy levels because it contains healthy fats (butter, MCT oil, and cream, if desired) which are the main fuel source for people on a ketogenic diet.
A bulletproof coffee to start your day may be all you need to focus your mind, get your heart pumping, and your body ready to move.
Drinking BPC is also a way to satisfy hunger pangs. A dose of healthy fat gives you enough energy so you can easily wait until lunchtime or for a mid-morning snack with no impact on your fasting schedule
Meeting your recommended fat macros can be tricky, especially if you have one meal per day. One cup of BPC with 1 tablespoon each of butter and MCT oil contains 26 grams of fat that you can use to meet your daily recommended fat requirements.
Does Putting Coconut Oil In Your Coffee Help You Lose Weight?
The inventor of Bulletproof Coffee has lost 45kg of body weight since he developed this concoction.
According to Aspey, this coffee drink can provide a burst of energy and a feeling of satiety for several hours which can help you more easily skip breakfast while you extend your fasting period.
Not surprisingly, many fans of the paleo diet and people who prefer a ketogenic diet rely on the bulletproof coffee.
Does Coconut Oil In Coffee Make You Poop?
Coconut oil does act as a laxative. It is said to increase the metabolism which results in softer and smaller bowel movements. Add that to the fact that coffee makes some people poop, and the combo may definitely make you feel like you have to visit the bathroom more often.
The Takeaway: Intermittent Fasting Coffee with Coconut Oil Does Not Break Your Fast
Bulletproof coffee has definitely developed a cult-like following, with users who swear to life altering results.
Research has shown that starting your day with a cup of coffee and good quality fats can give you energy to start your day without breaking your fast.
Just make sure to account for the added calories when you plan your food for the day.