Intermittent fasting has taken off over the past few years, with millions of people and several celebrities swearing by its benefits. One of the most challenging parts of intermittent fasting is knowing what exactly constitutes breaking your diet.
This will be confusing for those who are trying to undergo intermittent fasting. Taking supplements or drinking and eating other foods might interfere with your diet. Some might completely undo all the fasting you’ve done.
Certain supplements can also cause digestive discomfort when taken on an empty stomach, so the timing of supplement intake plays a role in determining whether or not you should take supplements while fasting.
If you want to keep your health supplements and you would like to know if taking them is harmful to your intermittent fasting, continue reading below for the full scoop about supplements and intermittent fasting.
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
First, if you aren’t familiar with intermittent fasting, then let’s get you equipped with essential details. Intermittent fasting involves prolonged periods where you don’t consume any food. Most people who undergo intermittent fasting will stick to a strict schedule of when they will eat before cutting out all consumption, which constitutes the actual fasting period.
The science behind intermittent fasting is solid, with extensive research demonstrating many excellent health benefits, which include appropriately managed weight loss. Going on periodic fasting increases the burning of fats as the body will use it for energy. It will also lower your sugar levels, and it will improve concentration and the clarity of your mind as well.
Schedules of intermittent fasting differ from one person to another. One popular method is the 16/8 technique, which involves eating during an 8-hour window before fasting for 16 hours. Others will perform an extended fast of 24+ hours once or twice a week, rather than sticking to a schedule every day.
Taking Supplements During Intermittent Fasting
The truth is that whether or not you should take supplements while fasting depends on what supplements you’re using and when you’ll be taking them. A variety of factors come into play here, including calorie content, vitamin type, and whether you’re in or out of your eating window.
When To Take Supplements?
A lot of supplements, especially those involving vitamins and minerals, are designed to be taken with food for maximum absorption. Fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin D, and vitamin E are far more effective when taken together with a high-fat meal as they bind themselves to fat. It might not get absorbed quickly if taken on an empty stomach, so it’s almost pointless to take it on an empty stomach.
However, other vitamins are still effective on an empty stomach, including the B vitamins, vitamin C, and folic acid. These water-soluble vitamins don’t have to be taken with food as the body can easily absorb them though it might still cause digestive discomfort.
It’s highly recommended to take them during your eating window rather than on an empty stomach. This will help maximize how your body absorbs supplements, and it will also minimize the chances of digestive problems.
Will Supplements Break My Fast?
Another burning question people who go on intermittent fasting have about taking supplements while on a diet is what certain supplements will interfere with the benefits of fasting. It depends on the type of supplement you choose, if you’re taking vitamin supplements, you won’t need to worry about it breaking your fast, as these don’t contain any calories or sugar, which triggers a metabolic response.
However, some supplements do have the potential to break your fast if you take them outside of your eating window. Some products, such as protein shakes and meal replacements, contain a significant amount of calories and sugar. Taking these while fasting will usually break your fast as they trigger a metabolic response, although they’re entirely favorable to consume during your eating window.
Should You Take Supplements While Intermittent Fasting?
There are plenty of benefits of taking supplements while doing intermittent fasting, as long as you’re committed and you properly do the process. It can be a good idea to top up on your supplements if your diet plan isn’t balanced enough as certain levels of nutrients in the body can rapidly drop when fasting.
You’ll want to avoid taking too much outside of your eating window, as it will not be absorbed by the body, and you might develop digestive problems. Some supplements can interfere with the natural processes of your body, either by lowering your blood sugar too much or provoking a metabolic response, which contradicts all the benefits of fasting. Yes, you can take supplements while undergoing intermittent fasting as long as you take supplements accordingly with your diet.
About the Author, Elmer Wheeler
Elmer Wheeler is a health enthusiast who is very devoted to becoming healthy. Elmer shares his interest in living healthily by producing health-related articles online. Elmer’s online content usually talks about dieting, meal preparation, and exercise routines.