What Can Break Your Fast? Foods, Drinks, and Supplements

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Some drinks and supplements could potentially break your fast due to their ingredients, especially if they contain sugar.

Practicing fasting has become a very popular lifestyle choice.

However, fasting periods don’t last forever and you’ll eventually add different types of foods back into your diet, which will effectively break your fast.

You need to be careful when you start eating after a fast. Also you should note that some foods are better for this than others.

Additionally, some things you eat or drink, or even some supplements you take, might end your fast unintentionally, while others won’t really affect anything.

This article will will cover which foods, drinks, and supplements are the least possible to break your fast and which are best to have when it’s time to eat again after a fast.

What is intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of eating and periods of either not eating or consuming very few calories. Intermittent fasting pays more attention to when you eat rather than what you eat.

While it may seem like a new eating concept, intermittent fasting is actually very old. Throughout history, people have practiced fasting periods for religious, health-related, or even survival-related reasons. Study 1

The goal of intermittent fasting is not solely to limit calorie intake but to also give the body time to carry out repair and maintenance processes instead of digestion.

Various patterns of intermittent fasting may include regular fasting intervals of 12 to 16 hours each day or 24 to 48 hours of fasting once or twice a week.

Fasting leads to certain changes in your body’s metabolism. After a certain duration, the body enters a state known as ketosis, where it begins to use fat for energy when carbohydrates aren’t available. Study 1, Study 2, Study 3

Fasting also lowers insulin levels and promotes a process known as autophagy, where the body removes unnecessary, damaged or harmful cells. Study 1, Study 2, Study 3, Study 4

Studies suggest that intermittent fasting can have health benefits such as helping with weight loss, lowering blood sugar levels, boosting heart health, reducing inflammation, and lowering the risk of chronic diseases. Study 1, Study 2, Study 3, Study 4

Foods you can eat while fasting

Fasting, by its very nature, involves abstaining from eating food. However, certain foods and drinks might be permissible without losing the benefits of fasting.

Some specialists suggest that as long as your daily carbohydrate intake stays below 50g (grams) during a fast, you can still sustain ketosis. Study 1

Here are some foods and drinks you could consume while fasting:

  • Water. Whether still or sparkling, water contains no calories and will help maintain hydration during a fast.
  • Coffee and tea. These are best consumed without added sugar, milk, or cream. However, some people find that adding small amounts of milk or fat can help keep hunger at bay.
  • Diluted apple cider vinegar. Some people find that mixing 1-2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in water helps keep them hydrated and wards off cravings during their fast.
  • Healthy fats. Some people drink coffee with MCT oil, ghee, coconut oil, or butter during their fast. While oil will technically break a fast, it won’t disrupt ketosis and can help bridge the gap between meals.
  • Bone broth. This rich source of nutrients can help in recharging lost electrolytes during extended periods of only consuming water.

Keep in mind that any foods or drinks with calories — like bone broth and the healthy fats mentioned above — will technically break your fast.

However, consuming small amounts of these low-carb, high-fat, moderate-protein foods won’t kick your body out of ketosis.

How supplements affect fasting

While fasting, the likelihood of experiencing nutrient deficiencies is low, but this can be based on how restrictive your fast and its duration is.

Some people choose to include supplements during their fast to guarantee they’re receiving enough vitamins and minerals. Frequent fasting could lead in nutrient deficiencies, especially if your regular diet is already lacking in vitamins and minerals. Study 1

If you decide to take supplements during fasting, it’s important to understand which ones may break your fast. This can help you decide whether to take them with a meal or during your fasting period.

Supplements that could break a fast include:

  • Gummy multivitamins. They often contain small amounts of sugar, protein, and occasionally fat, which could break your fast.
  • Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). BCAAs seem to stimulate an insulin response that opposes autophagy. Study 1
  • Protein powder. Protein powder contains calories and triggers an insulin response, signalling to your body that you’re not in a fasting state.
  • Those with specific ingredients. Supplements including ingredients like maltodextrin, pectin, cane sugar, or fruit juice concentrate contain sugar and calories that could break your fast.

Supplements less likely to break a fast include:

  • Multivitamins. Brands without sugar or additional fillers should contain little or no calories.
  • Fish or algae oil. In standard doses, these supplements contain minimal calories and no digestible carbohydrates.
  • Individual micronutrients. This covers supplements such as potassium, vitamin D, or B vitamins (though fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K are best absorbed when taken with food). Study 1
  • Creatine. Creatine doesn’t contain calories and doesn’t affect insulin response. Study 1
  • Pure collagen. This might slightly affect autophagy but shouldn’t significantly affect ketosis or fat burning during a fast. Study 1
  • Probiotics and prebiotics. These typically carry no calories or digestible carbohydrates. Study 1

How to break your fast properly

When it’s time to end your fast, it’s recommended to do so gradually. Near the end of your fast, you might want to start eating small portions of easily digestible foods, to avoid overwhelming your digestive system.

Consuming foods that are particularly high in fat, sugar, or even fiber can be challenging for your body to process, leading in bloating and discomfort.

Food and drinks that could be especially shocking or bad to your system after a fast include items like a fatty cheeseburger, a slice of cake, or even a soda. Even high-fiber raw fruits and vegetables, nuts, and seeds can be hard to digest.

However, nutrient-rich foods that are easy to digest and contain a little protein and some healthy fats can provide a better and smoother way to end your fast.

Examples of what to eat when breaking your fast:

  • Smoothies. Blended beverages can provide a smoother way to reintroduce nutrients to your body, as they contain less fiber than whole, raw fruits and vegetables.
  • Dried fruits. Dates, a rich source of nutrients, are often used to break fasts in Saudi Arabia. Apricots and raisins may have similar benefits. Study 1
  • Soups. Soups that contain protein and easily digestible carbs, such as lentils, tofu, or pasta, can offer a smooth way to end a fast. Steer clear of soups made with heavy cream or a large amount of high-fiber, raw vegetables.
  • Vegetables. Soft, cooked, starchy vegetables like potatoes can be good choices when ending a fast.
  • Fermented foods. Choose unsweetened yogurt or kefir.
  • Healthy fats. Foods like eggs or avocados can be excellent great foods to consume after a fast.

Ending your fast with nutritious foods that your body can handle well can help replenish essential nutrients and electrolytes while gradually reintroducing food to your diet.

Once you’re comfortable with gentler foods, add other wholesome foods, such as whole grains, beans, vegetables, nuts, seeds, meat, poultry, and fish back into your meals and resume your normal eating patterns.

Do not to overeat

It might be tempting to eat excessively during fasting periods.

While fasting focuses more on when you eat rather than what you eat, it’s not intended as a free pass to eat unhealthy foods.

Binge eating and consuming junk food in between fasting periods could negate the health benefits of fasting. Instead, go for minimally processed, whole foods whenever possible for maximum health benefits.


When fasting, it’s crucial to know which foods and supplements could break your fast. This will allow you to decide whether to consume them during your fast or in between fasting periods.

During a fast, choose beverages and supplements that don’t contain any calories.

Some people might consume small portions of specific foods to help control cravings, which could technically break your fast but may still keep your body in a state of ketosis.

When it’s time to end your fast, focus on foods that are easily digested and don’t have high levels of sugar, fat, fiber, or complex carbs that could pose a challenge to your digestive system.

Afterwards, you can gradually return to your regular, nutritious eating habits.

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