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Instant Coffee While Fasting?

To all experienced Intermittent Fasting practitioners. I myself am a long time IF follower, but recently something struck me, what I myself have never thought abbout.

We all know coffee is good during fasting, period. It helps with hunger, it boosts fat burning, it increases your energy expenditure etc.

But I have always drunk instant coffee, as it’s sadly my preferred choice (sadly, because I know coffee purists would tell I am drinking piss). Now the question is - does instant coffee possibly break the fast?

I mean the difference between a black coffee and an instant is that instant actually means adding something to the water. Black coffee is basically an infusion of coffee beans. A water with added flavour. But with instant coffee you put something in your water and it dissolves. So in the end it’d be the same if I literally ate a tablespoon of coffee.

I mean, if I am not allowed to eat anything, how can I drink coffee only because it is dissolved in water? Following this logic I should be ok drinking protein shakes without a milk (yes, I am exaggerating on purpose).

Please note I am a strict IF practitioner. In other words I don’t accept claims that “it is good, as long as it doesn’t have many calories” or “you can eat fats” or “you can drink lemon water”. No, I understand some people fast this way, but I don’t want to eat anything during my fast.

So am I overthinking too much? Or am I possibly right that even dissolved coffee should still count as eating?

You are taking “overthinking” to the next level.



I mean it’s just a theorycraft. Something that got into my brain and when I started thinking about it, it made me curious. Since you theoretically shouldn’t simply eat a spoon of coffee, not to break the fast, why would you be allowed to drink it?

Always start from the basic premise that fasting means zero nutritional intake. After that, everything is a graded compromise. Now there is some thought that coffee might even be beneficial on a fast as it may actually enhance autophagy. Now, even if this is correct, and not to mention the taste, alertness, etc, advantage of coffee while fasting, a potential downside is that it raises cortisol - which will be raised already due to the fast. The upshot: coffee is a classic double-edged sword when fasting.

From personal experience, I have done several longer water fasts, i,e, without coffee, and once the caffeine addiction was broken I felt better for it than when I have water fasted with the addition of coffee. I call the latter ‘lazy fasting’ but admit I mostly do that these days rather than total abstinence.

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Sure, but it doesn’t really answer my question. My concern isn’t “should you drink coffee while fasting?”. It’s rather “is there a difference between instant and black coffee, when fasting?”. The thought crossed my mind when I realized instant coffee is a water + dissolved coffee, whil the black coffe is just an infusion (so you basically in the end you doesn’t ingest anything).

Of course it sound stupid. But I am curious. Can drinking an instant coffee be possibly considered “eating” (the same way I consider flavoured water)? If it was, I’d just drink black coffee.

Are you drinking black instant coffee? Or some type of flavored up bullshit?

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Black, just instant instead plain black. No flavour, no milk, no sugar or sweeteners, no “bulletproof” BS. Just straight up instant coffee.

Then you are fine. The part that makes it instant is that it has already been brewed and dehydrated.

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It’s the same thing as drinking drip coffee:

Instant coffee is a type of coffee made from dried coffee extract.

The extract is made by brewing ground coffee beans, similar to when regular coffee is brewed, but more concentrated.

After brewing, the water is removed from the extract to make dry fragments or powder, both of which dissolve when added to water.


So if I understand correctly - when I make myself an instant coffee and a black coffee, the end result is both cases is a drink with exactly the same composition, right?

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I dunno, it worked in Nightmare on elm Street. Surely somebody can make a gif of this!

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Yes, you are just overthinking this!


I was just curious, not like it really matters to me. One of this crazy lines of thought you exprience, while getting a shower. And so I learned something new about coffee. Thanks :wink:

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This. Anything that’s not water will interrupt the benefits of fasting to some extent. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll negatively impact fat loss though.

Dr. Rhonda Patrick literally discusses why something as basic as black coffee breaks a fast around the 7:30 mark in this vid:

Sure, this much I know. However in my opinion in this case “breaking the fast” is just semantics. In the end you fast for a reason. Not because you want to have pure, uninterrupted fast, but because fasting gives you benefits.

Now the question is - does “breaking the fast” with coffee technically actually breaks the fast? I consider “fasting” the state at which you get benefits of not eating. In this case do benefits of breaking the fast outclass disadvantages? That’s why I don’t accept ingesting BCAAs or fats or low calorie products during fast - in my opinion they hinder the fasting instead helping. On the other hand sure, coffee or tea has to be ingested, but you still get all the beneifts of the fast, while said drinks can actually help with them.

So ok - you do break the fast. So what? Is your body still acting as if 100% fasted state? Yes. Does coffee help with energy expenditure, fatburning, hunger control? Also yes. So decision whether to drink coffee while fasting or not is actually individual - you decide whether you want a 100% water fast or you want some benefits of coffee, while technically breaking the fast.

In my case it’s very simple - I am very small eating windows. My real eating window is 3-4 hours. I mean time, when I actually EAT. Food. But among many 16:8 split is still good. For me not, because after the meal you are digesting, so you aren’t really fasted. But I don’t care if my “coffee/tea fast” is so long. So what I do is simply fast 16 hours COMPLETELY, while only 4 from food. In the end rmeaining 4 hours between a moment when I break my “water only” fast and my eating period, I drink coffee and tea,

It’s a compromise I found working the best for me.

Of course people fast for a specific reason. And that reason will dictate how, why, and when they break the fast. So it really comes down to what your actual goals are for being “a strict IF practitioner”. The approach for optimal health benefits will be different than optimal fat loss.

In what ways do you believe BCAAs during a fasting period will hinder fat loss?

I heard several times about the different diets without coffee. But I can’t live without the coffee. So I have found the one that allowed it as much as I need. And it is rather good)

Except one tastes like hammered dog shit.

Drip coffee is so unbelievably easy to make now a days I can’t see any benefit to instant coffee, and the instant tastes horrible. Why even consider it?

I understand we are listing waxing philosophical about it for fasting reasons but hopefully no one is drinking that swill

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probably in exactly the same way eating fat/anything low calorie/veeggie/fruit and these other things people who can’t handle their fast advocate to be acceptable while fasting. BCAA’s are not different from these - they don’t maybe hurt much, but they do break a fast.

This is coming from a guy who does IF every day. Drink your damn coffee.

All intermitting fasting is, is a way to restrict calories. All the other benefits touted by it are lies concocted by charlatans and there are no studies to back any of the benefits claimed.

The truth is, you have more willpower in the morning, and your will power becomes less as the day goes on.

So it makes sense to use your willpower early in the day to not eat and to push your first meal back as far as possible.

I drink a coffee every morning. It does not break the fast.

You know when something breaks the fast because it makes you more hungry and you can feel when your routine has been broken. Small incidental calories, such as those found in a cup of coffee, are not enough to break the fast.

Case mother fucking closed.