You might be curious to know how intermittent fasting and coffee with coconut oil works. Adding coconut oil to coffee is a recent trend, particularly among keto enthusiasts. And suppose you, like other fasting enthusiasts, are experimenting with intermittent fasting but enjoy starting your day with coffee. In that case, this article tells you whether you should drink coffee with coconut oil.
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is one of the world’s most popular health and fitness trends, gaining traction in the previous years thanks to social media. It is not a diet because it does not define which foods should be consumed or avoided; rather, it indicates when you should consume meals.
To put it simply, intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that alternates between eating and fasting, with food consumption often occurring within an eight-hour window each day.
Health Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting (IF)
- Weight Loss
Most people begin to lose weight when starting a fast. And, for the time being, that allegation appears to be correct.
According to a February 2020 article published in the Canadian Family Physician, IF may help overweight or obese people lose weight. The researchers examined data from 27 studies and discovered that IF helped patients shed up to 13% of their body weight1.
That’s good news if you want to fast for weight loss. However, because the studies were short-term, it’s still being determined whether IF is sustainable and can help you lose weight in the long run.
- Reduced Blood Pressure
In the near term, IF may help lower high blood pressure. A June 2018 pilot study indicated that 16:8, which is one of the widely used typs of IF, significantly reduced systolic blood pressure in the 23 study participants. The top number in your blood pressure reading is systolic blood pressure, which shows the force of the heart against your artery walls each time it beats2.
- Reduced Inflammation
Although animal research implies that both IF and general calorie restriction can reduce inflammation levels, clinical trials are still being determined. A published study wanted to see if that link existed in humans, so they studied 50 people fasting during Ramadan. This Muslim holiday involves fasting from dawn to sunset and eating overnight. Pro-inflammatory indicators, blood pressure, body weight, and body fat were all lower than usual during the fasting phase, according to the study3.
- Better Outcomes for Stroke Survivors
Higher cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure (the two benefits mentioned above) significantly impact lowering your risk of stroke. However, that is not the only potential stroke-related benefit of IF.
According to a study released in October 2019, fasting may provide a protective mechanism for the brain and improve recovery from a stroke, thanks to the anti-inflammatory action of IF. That was the conclusion based on animal studies; the researchers observed a need for more human data on the effects of IF on stroke4.
- Reduced Insulin Resistance
Intermittent fasting may help regulate blood sugar levels in people with diabetes by resetting insulin, but further research is needed.
In a study published in April 2019, calorie restriction may reduce insulin resistance, which is a sign of type 2 diabetes. Fasting, such as the type associated with IF, causes insulin levels to decline, which may have a role in lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes5.
Coffee While Fasting
You can drink coffee while on an intermittent fast. In fact, it is one of the few fasting safe drinks. However, what you put in your coffee matters also matters.
Black coffee is a great option for intermittent fasting if you need a little flavor from your drinks. Because black coffee has little fat and nearly no calories, it will not break your fast.
Each cup of black coffee contains only two to five calories. But coffee with fancy creamers, or bare essentials and milk, can have many calories, so you’re no longer fasting if you drink coffee with these.
What Can You Put In Coffee During Intermittent Fasting?
To achieve an excellent intermittent fast, you should refrain from consuming calories throughout your fasting phase.
Intermittent fasting is effective because it compels your body to utilize fat stores for energy throughout the fasting phase. You want your body to go into survival mode, using its reserves.
Only then will you be able to lose weight. If you consume additional calories during your fast, your body will turn them into energy and will not use your fat reserves to power your body.
You stop fasting by consuming calories from either carbohydrates or protein.
However, there is one exception: it turns out that there are specific superfoods that you may add to your coffee to boost its metabolic effect, and that is coconut oil.
Coffee And Coconut Oil
Millions of people worldwide rely on a cup of coffee in the morning to start their day. Coffee has several vital antioxidants and nutrients in addition to caffeine, which delivers a convenient burst of energy. To gain the health advantages of this beloved drink, a recent trend is to add coconut oil to coffee.
Coconut oil is pressed from the meat of a coconut. It is prepared by pressing dried coconut meat or fresh coconut meat. The oil prepared using fresh coconut meat is known as virgin coconut oil, and the one prepared using dried coconut meat is called refined coconut oil.
Coconut oil has numerous advantages, which is why it is referred to as a superfood.
The first and most important advantage is that coconut oil helps you stay in ketosis when fasting. When you’re getting used to fasting, coconut oil can provide you with a surge of energy combined with your morning coffee for beginner-level ketones or those considering starting a keto diet.
Ketosis is a digestive state in which your body utilizes ketones. Ketones are molecules generated after consuming fat that disintegrates and serves as a fuel source rather than glucose.
Coconut oil includes medium-chain triglycerides, which assist your body in staying in ketosis. MCT (Medium Chain Triglyceride) oil is absorbed faster than other fats and delivered to the liver simultaneously.
What’s intriguing is that MCT oils are simpler to convert into ketones than long-chain triglycerides, a distinct type of fat. MCT oils aid in the maintenance of ketosis6. Coconut oil has four different types of MCT oil, with MCT (Medium Chain Triglyceride) oil lauric acid accounting for half of its fat intake.
Lauric acid produces ketones slowly but consistently because it is metabolized more consistently than other MCTs. So, if you put coconut oil in your coffee, you’ll stay in ketosis. MCT oil can also be added straight. This oil can also be taken as a dietary supplement because it is available in capsule form.
Benefits Of Drinking Coffee With Coconut Oil
- It may help you stay in ketosis
Coconut oil has grown in popularity among those following the high-fat, low-carb ketogenic diet.
Adding it to your coffee can help you achieve or maintain ketosis, a metabolic state in which your body uses ketones as fuel instead of glucose, a type of sugar7.
Maintaining ketosis on a ketogenic diet has been related to health benefits such as weight loss, improved blood sugar control, and lower risk factors for heart disease 8,9,10.
As mentioned, MCTs are rapidly absorbed and transported to your liver compared to other saturated fats. They are either used as an energy source or transformed into ketone bodies in this process11.
Interestingly, MCT oils convert to ketones more efficiently than long-chain triglycerides, another type of fat found in meals.
According to research, MCTs can still help you stay in ketosis even if you eat slightly more protein and carbs than recommended on a traditional ketogenic diet 12.
Bringing back to coconut oil with lauric acid accounting for half of its fat content13, lauric acid appears to produce ketones at a slower but more persistent pace than other MCTs because it is digested more gradually. As a result, adding coconut oil to your coffee is an excellent strategy to stay in ketosis14.
- It may speed up your metabolism
According to research, MCTs in coconut oil and caffeine in coffee may speed up your metabolism, increasing the number of calories you burn every day15,16,17.
- May improve energy levels
Caffeine, which is included in coffee, can help you feel less weary. Coconut oil contains MCTs carried directly to your liver and can also serve as a rapid source of energy18,19.
- It may help keep your bowels regular
Coconut oil MCTs and coffee compounds like caffeine and chlorogenic acids may help stimulate your bowels and keep your digestive system healthy20,21.
- It may help raise HDL (good) cholesterol
Several studies have discovered that coconut oil can increase HDL cholesterol levels, which are protective against heart disease22,23.
However, there are certain disadvantages to using coconut oil in coffee.
To begin with, many people who add it to their morning coffee use it as a breakfast substitute. This implies you may be missing out on many vital nutrients that you would get from a more balanced meal.
While coconut oil contains specific nutrients, it only includes a few as a nutritious breakfast with various food groups.
Furthermore, coconut oil contains many calories, with 121 calories per tablespoon (14 grams). Most individuals use two tablespoons in their coffee, which adds 242 calories.
If this seems like little, consider that a 155-pound (70-kg) person would need roughly 50 minutes of brisk walking (3.5 miles or 5.6 kilometers per hour) to burn that many calories24.
Furthermore, while the combination of coconut oil and coffee may somewhat increase your metabolism, it is more likely to cause you to gain weight if you do not account for the calories.
The calories in a few tablespoons of coconut oil will likely exceed the calories expended due to the slight metabolic boost caused by the MCTs and caffeine use.
Furthermore, certain medical diseases, such as gallbladder problems or pancreatitis (pancreatic inflammation), may necessitate limiting your fat consumption25,26.
Coconut oil is far more beneficial when used to replace less nutritious fats in your diet, such as those found in processed foods, rather than in addition to the saturated fats you already consume.
Intermittent Fasting And Coffee With Coconut Oil
Does Coconut Oil in Coffee Break A Fast?
Some people prefer the taste of coffee when some fat is added to it.
To make coffee more satiating and to transform basic black coffee into “bulletproof coffee”. Bulletproof coffee is basically a drink consisting of brewed coffee, grass-fed unsalted butter, and medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) coconut oil.
Coconut oil is the most commonly used oil in coffee because it provides a sweet, nutty, and tropical flavor.
If you consume bulletproof coffee during intermittent fasting, keep in mind that any type of fat, such as coconut oil, butter, and so on, will break your fast. However, adding one teaspoon of your favorite fat is acceptable because, as stated, it will not disrupt the fat-burning, ketosis, or autophagy phases of fasting.
Coconut oil is pure fat, and pure fat does not affect your blood sugar, insulin, or any other indicator of an “intermittent fast.” When consuming coconut oil mixed with coffee, your body will continue to burn fat.
Some people also claim that eating coconut oil during fasting helps you last longer. It also makes fasting a lot more bearable.
If you can do a twelve-hour fast with standard coffee (black), adding a bit of coconut oil may allow you to stretch your fast to sixteen hours easily.
Drinking coffee and coconut oil for breakfast means you must be mentally ready to burn off those extra calories and fat grams once your fast is broken. As a result, you will need to consider this when you enter your eating window.
How Much Coconut Oil Should You Use?
A tiny amount of Coconut Oil (one teaspoon) poured with unsweetened black coffee should not interfere with your fast.
Does Putting Coconut Oil In Your Coffee Help You Lose Weight?
Though widely promoted for weight loss, most results studying coconut oil have been mixed. There is currently no evidence suggesting that coconut oil will have a beneficial effect on weight loss if you simply add it to your diet. Majority of weight loss results came from coconut oil that was part of a reduced-calorie diet and exercise plan.
An asset of bulletproof coffee though is that this drink can deliver a burst of energy and a sensation of satisfaction for several hours, allowing you to skip breakfast more easily while extending your fasting time.
Does Coconut Oil In Coffee Make You Poop?
Coconut oil has laxative properties. It boosts metabolism, resulting in softer and smaller bowel motions. Add to that the fact that coffee causes some individuals to poop, and the combination may make you feel like you need to use the restroom more frequently.
Having coconut oil with your coffee will break your fast. In spite of that, the addition of coconut oil to coffee may provide some health benefits.
It helps your body make ketones. So adding it to your cup of coffee may help you reach and stay in ketosis, which is a benefit that aids in fasting for weight loss.
Lastly, because of its satiating effect, it can help you prolong your fast. Just be mindful to keep your coconut oil serving to a single teaspoon amount to use for both flavor and health benefits.
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