Intermittent fasting is one of the most popular health and fitness trends right now. As someone who is really interested in the health and wellness world, and also an avid kombucha drinker, I've been really curious about how kombucha interacts with a fast.
Because kombucha contains sugar and calories, it does break a no food, no calorie intermittent fast. However, around ½ a bottle (8oz) of kombucha can be drunk during fasts that allow up to 50 calories of food to be eaten. Whether drunk during the eating or fasting period of an intermittent fast, kombucha can increase weight loss and improve digestive function.
In this article I’ll walk you through how and when to use kombucha during intermittent fasting, and fill you in on all the awesome health benefits you can get from combining the two. Let’s get started!
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern with cycles of fasting and eating. It’s not a diet, since it's all about when you eat rather than what you eat.
Most people who intermittent fast do it to lose weight, get more muscular, and improve their overall health and wellness, but fasting can also be done for religious reasons.
Types of Intermittent Fasts
There are a lot of different ways to organize the eating and fasting portions of an intermittent fast. Let's go over 3 of the most popular ones.
The 16/8 Method or Leangains Protocol
The 16/8 method is probably the most common intermittent fasting routine and involves fasting every day for 16 hours, and then eating in the other eight. A lot of people will do this by either not eating anything after dinner, or by skipping breakfast.
The 5:2 or Fast Diet
This routine involves eating only 500–600 calories for 2 days of the week and then eating
normally the other 5 days.
Eat Stop Eat
The eat stop eat method is a 24 hour fast once or twice a week, and then normal eating the other 5 or 6 days. This method is probably the most difficult of the three, but can be adjusted into by starting with only 14-16 hour fasts and working your way up from there.
Most people who do intermittent fasting will allow themselves to drink water, black coffee, tea, sparkling water, and other zero calorie beverages, but won’t eat any solid foods. While others will allow themselves to eat or drink up to 50 calories per fasting period without considering the fast broken.
Health Benefits of a Fast
Intermittent fasting isn’t just a health fad. There are proven health benefits to fasting such as:
Reduced insulin resistance
Improved heart health
Does Kombucha Break a Fast?
As a kombucha drinker and home brewer, intermittent fasting’s health benefits really interest me. I’ve written plenty of articles on kombucha's benefits and power to aid in weight loss, so anytime I can find a diet or technique to combine it with I get excited.
The problem is that because kombucha has sugar and calories in it, you might not be able to drink it during fasting, depending on the rules of your fast.
If you’re someone who is strictly adhering to no calories, no sugar, and no sweeteners during fasting, then you won’t be able to drink kombucha during fasting without breaking your fast, since most bottles (16 oz) of kombucha have 10g of sugar and 60 calories.
However, you can still drink it during the eating portion of your fast to get it’s antioxidants and probiotics in your body, increasing the effects of the fast and possibly leading to greater weight loss. More on that later.
If you’re someone who is ok with consuming up to 50 calories per fasting period, then you can drink a little over ½ a bottle (8oz) of kombucha during the fasting period without breaking the fast.
It’s important to mention that some people recommend not drinking or eating anything with sugar, such as kombucha, during the fasting period because sugar can increase your appetite and cravings, tempting you to break the fast.
How Kombucha Can Help a Fast and Increase Weight Loss
So why even bother drinking kombucha during a fast? Well most people who do intermittent fasting are doing it for weight loss, and it turns out that kombucha may be able to help you with that.
Kombucha is full of beneficial bacteria known as probiotics. Probiotics are found in a lot of other fermented foods such as kefir, sauerkraut, yogurt, kimchi, and some cheeses.
Your body, especially your gut, is filled with good and bad bacteria. And it’s believed that the modern western diet which is so full of sugar and processed foods harms these good bacteria in your gut. This is bad because a lack of beneficial bacteria in the body can lead to digestive problems, diarrhea, and infections such as candida.
Fermented foods with probiotics like kombucha replace and replenish these beneficial bacteria, and have been found by quite a few studies to possibly help you lose weight.
Both human and animal studies have found that normal weight people have different gut bacteria than overweight or obese people.
Other studies found that some probiotics can inhibit the absorption of dietary fat, increasing the amount of fat excreted in poop, and decreasing the amount that is being added to your body.
One study followed people eating yogurt with the probiotics lactobacillus fermentum and lactobacillus amylovorus, after only six weeks the participants body fat had been reduced by 3-4%
Part of the reason why the probiotics like those in kombucha may aid in weight loss is because they reduce the number of calories you absorb from food, and affect hormones and proteins related to appetite, fat storage, and obesity.
So whether you drink it during the fasting or eating period of a fast, kombucha could help accelerate and increase the weight loss effects already associated with intermittent fasting.
Other Health Benefits of Kombucha
Kombucha has benefits other than weight loss that you or anyone interested in intermittent fasting and wellness will probably want to know about. Such as:
Drinking kombucha and intermittent fasting are two healthy habits that can be combined for even greater weight loss and overall wellness.
Although it technically breaks a strict fast because of its sugar and calories, kombucha can still be drunk during the eating periods of an intermittent fast, and even sipped on during the fasting period of less strict fasts as long as you don't drink more than 50 calories.
If you'd like to purchase some kombucha in bulk, you can have it shipped to your front door for free through Amazon. Check it out here.
If you want to learn more about kombucha, how it relates to your health, and even how to brew it yourself, be sure to check out the rest of my website! Have a great day!