A lot of people ask can you drink tea while fasting, and in this article, we’re going to try and answer that question.
We’ll also take a look at the different kinds of teas you can drink during a fast, and the different benefits each of them have.
Let’s get started! 💪
Can you drink tea while fasting?
Let’s answer the question right off the bat. Yes, you can drink tea while fasting.
Why can you drink tea while fasting? Because tea is not a major source of calories.
Tea is not a major source of calories
In order to continue your fast, you can’t have additional calories coming into your system, or it may prevent you from reaching your desired outcome.
There are some drinks like tea which are fine to drink, and others like coconut water that seem like they are okay but they are actually not.
Coconut water as an example actually contains quite a bit of natural sugar and calories, so it may disrupt your fast.
Adding sweeteners brings you out of your fast
This brings up another important factor when it comes to answering the question can you drink tea while fasting and that is whether or not you are adding anything to the tea.
Just because the tea itself is okay to drink during a fast, doesn’t mean that you can add whatever you want to it.
Adding sugar and other sweeteners can bring you out of your fast, so when you do drink tea, make sure you drink it plain.
Luckily, there are plenty of teas that have a great, naturally sweet taste to them and we will discuss these later on.
Coffee vs. Tea during a fast
On the surface, coffee is okay to drink during a fast because it doesn’t supply any calories, however there are a few downsides.
Coffee is very high in caffeine
First of all, coffee is very high in caffeine, and if you consume it on an empty stomach, it can really have a strong effect on the body. Tea on the other hand is much lower in caffeine, and it also contains l-theanine, which can reduce some of the negative effects of caffeine.
Coffee is acidic
Coffee can also be quite acidic, and if you’ve ever drunk coffee on an empty stomach you know the feeling it can have. When you are fasting, it is important to avoid things like this as it can really make the experience more unpleasant.
Tea can be much easier on the stomach, and it can help you avoid this jittery feeling you might get from coffee. Some people ask can you drink tea while fasting even if it has caffeine, and the answer is yes because it is most likely quite low in caffeine.
Best teas to drink during a fast
The kuki hojicha works great as a substitute to coffee for a few different reasons. First, the taste is quite similar, particularly if you get a darker roasted one like the kuki hojicha from Mr. Issin. This tea may not be quite as strong in flavor as coffee, but it certainly drifts into a similar direction, with more of these warmer roasted tasting notes.
Because the tea is made from the stems of the tea plant, it is much lower in caffeine compared to a regular green tea. If you are sensitive to caffeine, or you’re trying to cut back on caffeine during the fast, this tea might be a good buddy to have around!
As promised, here is a tea that is very sweet, even without adding sugar. The kabuse sencha is a naturally sweet and smooth tea, with a high content of theanine. This comes from the production process of the tea, as it is covered in shading for 10-20 days before the harvest.
When the tea plant is exposed to sunlight it begins to convert theanine into catechins. These catechins protect the tea from the UV light, but they actually produce a bitter flavor in the tea. If a farmer wants to produce a sweeter tea, he will cut the tea plants off from sunlight, allowing the tea plant to maintain more of its sweet and savory theanine.
Another great tea to enjoy during a fast is bancha. While most Japanese green teas are made from the younger leaves of the tea plant, bancha is made from the older, more mature tea leaves. These tea leaves are lower in caffeine and higher in minerals.
This tea is often consumed after a meal in order to soothe the stomach and help with digestion, but it can also work great during fasting! The minerals can help you if your stomach gets upset and the low caffeine content makes it perfect for a late afternoon or evening treat.
Before we get into this next tea, you should ask whoever is advising you during the fast “can you drink tea while fasting if it has rice in it?” The reason we say this is because genmaicha can contain very small levels of calories. It is made with a combination of green tea leaves and toasted rice.
This tea actually has a history when it comes to fasting. It has been popular in Japan for a long time, specifically during times of economic hardship. The toasted rice was added to the green tea to stretch the supply and make it last longer. It also helped people during times of famine, as the taste simulated a warm bowl of rice.
Benefits of drinking tea during fasting
Not only can you drink tea while fasting, you actually should drink tea while fasting. Here are a few of the benefits tea can have when it comes to your fast.
#1 Less feelings of hunger
Inevitably, at some point in your fast, the hunger will start to get to you. This is a natural response by the body, in order to get you to keep feeding it.
Green tea can actually help with this, as the catechins may help reduce the production of ghrelin, a hunger-signaling hormone within the body. This was according to a 2016 study published in Clinical Nutrition.
#2 Increased relaxation
When you no longer have food to use as a distraction, you can sometimes experience more anxiety, which can really make your fast less pleasant.
According to a 2019 study in Nutrients, the l-theanine found in green tea can help lower stress levels. This might make your fasting experience less stressful!
#3 Weight loss
One of the main reasons people fast is for weight loss, and as fate would have it, tea might be able to help with that too!
A 2018 review in the journal Molecules confirmed that the polyphenols in tea, particularly green tea, might be beneficial for those aiming to lose a few pounds. This might give you a slight advantage when it comes to boosting metabolism and fat oxidation.
#4 Calories free
Most varieties of tea contain negligible calories, allowing you to enjoy a flavorful beverage without breaking your fast or adding unwanted calories.
Drinking tea during fasting helps maintain hydration levels, as it provides a significant amount of water to the body.
Tea is rich in antioxidants, which help protect the body against damage from harmful free radicals. These antioxidants can support overall health and well-being during fasting.
#7 Improved digestion
Herbal teas like peppermint or ginger can aid digestion and alleviate digestive discomfort, making them beneficial during fasting periods.