If you know me, you know I love coffee. I enjoy a good cup of coffee (2 in the morning). I also happen to intermittent fast.
Before I go into the whole blog, I want to explain Intermittent Fasting (or Time Restricted Eating). What is it? Why do people do it?
IF (or TRE) is simply a way of eating that doesn't really limit WHAT you eat, but rather WHEN you eat. There are many ways of doing this. Some people do a 24 or 48 hour water fast and then eat for 2 days. Some people fast 1 day a week. The most common however, and what I do, is called a 16:8 fast. This means that you have an 8 hour time period where you can eat, and 16 hours where you don't. So for example, if you finish eating dinner at 8pm, you wouldn't eat again the next day until 12. The from 12 - 8 you can eat again. I often fast from 8 until 1 or 2 in the afternoon.
Why do people do this, and why do nutrition researchers and longevity experts recommend this?
There are many reasons that IF can be a good idea. Mainly it allows your body the time to digest and recover. If we are always eating, we never give our digestive system the time it needs to relax and recover.
Depending on how long you fast, you can get into Ketosis, where your body starts using fat instead of glycogen for fuel. This is slowly being shown to be healthier and also allows us to burn body fat. If you are looking to lean out, and burn pure body fat, fasting may be worth a try. (as a side note, if you are looking into Ketosis, you will need to stay in Nutritional Ketosis as well. I will be podcasting about that in the near future, so stay tuned)
While you fast your body also releases more growth hormone, which helps with muscle development, recovery and has been shown to lead to better overall health.
So the question becomes, what can you consume while fasting?
There are a few camps on this one, but a few things are clear and agreed upon. Drinking water is essential. Some even say have water with some Himalayan Pink salt in it so you don't become mineral deprived.
Everybody agrees that you cannot eat anything, but what about coffee?
Some experts will say no since coffee gets enzymes in your liver moving and that means you are no longer in a fasted or fasting state. That does make sense, but on the flip side, you aren't consuming any calories so its ok so long as the coffee is black. No creamers, no sweeteners, nothing!
Coffee has a lot of benefits when it comes to fasting.
Mainly it gives us some energy and keeps away the hunger.
The true real reason to consume coffee while fasting is something called AUTOPHAGY. Autophagy is basically how our cells recycles parts of itself. It is best explained as:
Autophagy (from the Greek for self-eating) is the regulated process by which a cell degrades its dysfunctional or foreign components. The cell can then recycle useful chemical components for further purposes.
This allows autophagy to regulate the balance of protein composition in a cell, prevent the buildup of toxic waste products, maintain cellular organelle function, remove invading pathogens, and help sustain cells during periods of starvation.
The scientific importance of understanding autophagy was highlighted when the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to Yoshinori Ohsumi for his discoveries of mechanisms for autophagy.
Fasting and Keto diets already increase autophagy, but so does coffee. That means by consuming coffee WHILE fasting, you increase autophagy even more.
If you are looking to shed some pounds, get leaner, become a better athlete, or just feel better, I highly recommend fasting. Start off with 12 - 14 hour fasts and slowly increase until you get to 16 hours. Remember to stay well hydrated and enjoy that cup of coffee, just remember to keep it black!
All blogs written by Ozzie. Follow on Twitter & Instagram @OzziesPOV