Can I drink coffee while fasting? Intuitive fasting and coffee


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Coffee mug

When functional medicine practitioner Will Cole introduces his patients to intermittent fasting, one of the first questions they usually ask is: Is it okay to drink coffee during my fast?

We too. Fortunately, Cole answers those questions and even more so in his latest book, Intuitive post, which came out of goop Press this week. Its clear, flexible four-course program includes meal plans, recipes, and a daily diet schedule. And it is also a wonderful education on the most effective ways of fasting and what foods to eat when the benefits of intermittent fasting are amplified. Throughout the book, Cole shares holistic strategies to reduce inflammation, replenish metabolism, and reset bowel health.


  1. goop Press INTUITIVE POST

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    INTUITIVE POST
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Which brings us back to coffee. In this adapted passage from Intuitive post, Cole explains some good news: Yes, you can drink coffee while fasting – and it might help you determine metabolic flexibility. There are other ways to maximize the benefits of the fasting period, including exploiting different varieties of tea for different unique benefits. It’s all part of Chapter 10: Your intuitive fasting tool.

PS Cole holds our workshop on intuitive fasting wellness summit, which starts on March 6, is designed as a (fully digital) reset: You will be guided through lectures, workshops and conversations during the month. And for all those interested in trying out the four-week breakout plan, Cole agreed to lead the group through it. You will access it via video and Slack throughout the month.

Unpacking your intuitive toolbox:
Answers for coffee

Custom from Intuitive post written by Will Cole

Coffee is a controversial topic in the wellness world. For the purposes of a 4-week flexible fasting plan, coffee consumption is allowed as long as you do not add milk or sugar. Why? Because coffee contains zero calories and zero sugar and can help you establish metabolic flexibility. Coffee shows anti-inflammatory, fat-burning and insulin-balancing properties, and is also a great source of antioxidants. There is also some evidence that coffee and caffeine can reduce appetite and even help the body burn more calories.

For coffee lovers this is great news! Feel free to enjoy coffee throughout the plan – no need to feel like you have to deprive yourself of your favorite drink! If you’re used to coffee with milk and sugar and want a recipe for fasting creamy coffee, try making your coffee keto-friendly by adding MCT.

By adding healthy fats to coffee, you give your brain exactly what it needs to be mentally sharp, and your body exactly what it needs to be physically energized.

Lean coffee

She makes one 8-ounce coffee

  1. 1 tablespoon of grass-fed ghee

  2. 1 tablespoon coconut oil or MCT oil

  3. 1 cup freshly brewed organic coffee

Using a blender or hand-held milk frother, mix all the ingredients until foamy.

All that said, you don’t want to exaggerate either. Coffee contains caffeine, which is a powerful medicine. Drink too much and you can end up with anxiety, insomnia, indigestion, palpitations, high blood pressure, panic attacks, nervousness, and even nausea and vomiting. I don’t need to tell you that these are things you want to avoid. My recommendation is to continue with your typical coffee habits throughout the plan. It’s definitely not the time to increase your caffeine intake or start drinking caffeine for the first time.

This is especially true if you think you have a hormonal imbalance or sensitivity to caffeine. One variant of the gene, which encodes the enzyme CYP1A2, causes people to metabolize caffeine more slowly. I often test to see if my patients have this genetic variant because slow metabolizers don’t work well with any caffeine; even a small cup will leave them nervous and fast-paced. If you think coffee can be a problem for you, a four-week flexible fasting plan is a great opportunity to reduce consumption and see how you feel.

For teapots

Fair London fog

  1. 1 tea bag Earl Gray

  2. 1 cup warm water

  3. ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract

  4. 1 tablespoon of grass-fed ghee

  5. 1 tablespoon coconut oil or MCT oil

  6. keto sweetener to taste

Boil the tea in hot water – covered – for 3 to 5 minutes. Then, using a blender or hand-held milk frother, mix all the ingredients until foamy.

Gray tea is a black tea that traditionally includes bergamot oil. Aside from the taste, I love Earl Gray for its health benefits. I personally sip organic Earl Gray tea when I do intermittent fasting – and make sure it has real bergamot, not just bergamot flavor. If you don’t have Earl Gray tea on hand, you can mix a drop or two of pure bergamot essential oil into black tea to create the same taste and benefits of Earl Gray. Bergamot oil can also be added to various types of foods, such as sauces and desserts, giving them a hint of citrus flavor.


Custom from Intuitive post. Copyright © 2021, by Will Cole. Separated with permission from goop Press and Rodale Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without the written permission of the publisher.


This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. To the extent that this article contains the advice of a physician or physicians, the views expressed are those of the cited expert and do not necessarily represent the views of the goop.


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