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Can You Drink Tea While Fasting? 5 Teas That Don’t Break a Fast

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Melissa Mitri post Reviewer Melissa Mitri post Reviewer
Verified by Melissa Mitri
MS, Registered Dietitian, Former President of CT Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics

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Intermittent fasting has garnered much attention in recent years. The appeal of this regimen is based on the fact that you are supposed to limit when you eat, not what you eat. 

However, there is a question that arises: what breaks a fast and what doesn’t, since keeping your body in a fasted state is key to achieving all the benefits of intermittent fasting.

In this article, we focus on teas and discuss whether you can drink tea during your fasting window and, if so, which teas are best to have when fasting. 

The Basics of Fasting: What Breaks a Fast?

As the name suggests, intermittent fasting (IF) is a dietary regimen comprised of a set eating window and fasting window of time. The main rule is to limit all calorie-containing food or drinks during the fasting window while eating as usual during the eating window. 

Even though no food is off limits with IF, and even alcohol is not forbidden while intermittent fasting, a nutritious diet will still produce the best results.

There are numerous forms of IF, including 24-hour water fasting, alternating fasting days, and time-restricted fasting (like 18/6 intermittent fasting), among others. 

Implementing any form of IF promotes temporary ketosis. During ketosis, your metabolism switches from using carbohydrates as energy to the ketones produced from the burning of fat during periods of fasting.

But what breaks a fast? Basically, all foods and drinks that contain calories, including drinks like soda, juices, smoothies, alcohol, etc., can break your fast. Intuitively speaking, the fast is broken once calories are ingested, such as a square of chocolate or even a small slice of fruit.

On the other hand, calorie-free drinks like water, unsweetened tea, and black coffee are acceptable during the fasting period.

Keeping your body in a fasted state is essential if you want to achieve the benefits of IF, including [1]:

  • Weight loss
  • Improved blood glucose control, insulin sensitivity, and blood lipids
  • Reduced inflammation 
  • Enhanced longevity
  • Reduced incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD), cancer, diabetes, and some neurodegenerative diseases

What Can You Eat or Drink While Fasting?

So, you may be wondering what you can eat while fasting. 

Intermittent fasting doesn’t mention specific foods to include or eliminate like some other popular diets. However, following current healthy eating guidelines should be emphasized.

It is advisable to focus on eating whole foods and limiting overly processed junk foods devoid of nutrients, like cookies, muffins, takeout, and salty snacks. 

Also, while alcohol intake is not completely off limits, consider lowering your intake as too much can be detrimental to the heart, liver, and nervous system. Alcohol also contributes to weight gain and is void of important nutrients.

One more important thing to mention is that most medications don’t break a fast either.

Here are some healthy foods to focus on during your eating window:

  • Healthy fats from olives, avocados, nuts, seeds, and salmon
  • Lean protein 
  • Plant-based, high-fiber protein from whole grains, beans, legumes, and soy
  • Low-fat dairy or alternatives
  • Colorful fruits and vegetables

You can also learn more about what to eat or drink while intermittent fasting to feel fuller longer from your meals and more easily tolerate fasting windows.

Can You Drink Tea While Fasting?

Yes, you can definitely drink tea while fasting. There are no calories in tea, so it won’t break your fast unless you alter it with milk, cream, or sugar. Try to keep any additives for the eating window.

🍵 Can You Drink Tea While Water Fasting?

Water fasting is an extreme version of fasting that excludes all calorie-containing food and beverages for 24 to 72 hours. 

You can drink plain tea, black coffee, and water during a water fast. Switching up plain old water with a tea that you love can help maintain hydration and generally help you endure the fasting window easier.

Depending on what you like to drink, you may opt for sencha or matcha green tea, oolong, white, black, or various herbal teas to maintain hydration and provide some flavor to reduce the monotony of drinking solely water.

🍵 Can You Drink Matcha While Fasting?

Yes, you can certainly drink matcha tea while fasting. 

Matcha is a variation of green tea. It is processed in a certain way to form a more concentrated green tea with a high level of antioxidants. 

A cup of matcha has close to zero caloric value, so it is safe to drink during a fast. Matcha is also rich in a class of antioxidants called catechins, which help combat oxidation, lower cholesterol, improve blood glucose control, and are effective against the development of several chronic diseases. [2]

🍵 Can I Drink Tea With Milk and Sugar During Intermittent Fasting?

To recap, adding calories from sugar or natural sweeteners like honey, dairy, or alternatives (soy or nut milk) will break a fast. Therefore, they are not recommended during your fasting window. However, you can still drink tea without additives.

🍵 Can You Drink Tea While Fasting for a Blood Test?

If you are planning to get a blood test done and a fast is indicated, such as a blood lipid panel or glucose test, you shouldn’t consume anything but water in the 12 hours preceding the test. In this case, even plain tea or coffee may skew your blood results.

Tea and coffee contain the natural stimulant caffeine, which can impact digestion, body water (caffeine is a diuretic), and laboratory values, including lipids, as caffeine helps transport fat from your tissues so it doesn’t build up in the body.

5 Teas That Don’t Break a Fast

As mentioned above, you can drink any tea during a regular fasting window (other than when fasting for a blood test) as long as it doesn’t contain sweeteners, creamers, and other additives.

But what is the best tea for fasting? Honestly, it all depends on your tea preferences. However, some teas may bring you more benefits than others, so let’s take a closer look at them.

Green Tea

You can drink green tea while fasting to benefit from the flavonoids and catechins it contains. These compounds are classes of antioxidants, notably ECGC or epigallocatechin gallate, as well as theaflavins, which are important for combating oxidative stress, cavities, inflammation, aging, cancer, and CVD. [3]

You can choose any natural green tea you enjoy, like matcha, sencha, or Gyokuro. However, note that some teas have an energizing effect while others provide you with concentration and calmness–so consider this when choosing the most optimal time to drink your tea.


This tea is made from the leaves of the Asteraceae plant, and it has anti-anxiety, stress-relieving, and anti-inflammatory properties, and it may help alleviate menstrual cramps. [4]

An herbal tea fast, like with chamomile tea, may be a better option than green or black tea if you want to avoid the stimulant effect of caffeine or prefer drinking tea before going to bed.

Black Tea

This is the most conventional cup of tea and it is usually enjoyed with milk and sugar to combat the natural astringent, bitter taste. However, you would clearly need to abstain from adding anything other than boiling water to it during a fast. 

Black tea also contains antioxidants such as flavanols and catechins like green tea to combat inflammation and prevent oxidative cellular damage, much like some other tea blends, as most belong to the same species of plant called Camellia sinensis. [5]


This is a naturally caffeine-free herbal tea that may improve circulation and lower cholesterol. [6]


Hibiscus tea has a pretty rich pink hue and a fruity tang. It contains important trace minerals and anthocyanin antioxidants, which may have an antiviral effect as well as offer cardiovascular benefits. [4]

Can Drinking Tea While Intermittent Fasting Promote Weight Loss?

Drinking tea, including green, matcha, white, or black tea, can assist in weight loss (in addition to diet and exercise), as all these teas belong to the same species of plant called Camellia sinensis. [2] They contain caffeine and catechins, which are anti-obesogenic and function in a multifactorial manner:

  • Suppressing appetite
  • Altering the gut microbiome
  • Reducing the metabolism of fats or lipids and increasing lipolysis
  • Reducing fat absorption

However, relying on drinking tea alone is a poor weight-loss strategy. Even if you follow intermittent fasting and limit your eating window, you should still focus on changing your dietary habits and eating nourishing, nutrient-dense foods most of the time. 

However, cheat days can occur during intermittent fasting as well, and you shouldn’t be afraid of them.

All in all, drinking tea can help support your weight loss results and get you through the fasting window. However, it shouldn’t be perceived as a weight-loss remedy.

Take-Home Messages

  • Intermittent fasting is a regimen that limits when you eat, not what you eat, so it’s important to know what foods and beverages will break your fast and what won’t.
  • Can you drink tea while fasting? Yes, you can drink plain tea and other calorie-free beverages, such as coffee, during fasting. The only exception is fasting for a blood test, when you should avoid all drinks, including plain tea or coffee, for 12 hours prior to the procedure.
  • You should also drink plenty of water during both the eating and fasting windows.
  • Unsweetened tea offers many health benefits due to its antioxidant content. These antioxidants can support overall health, reduce the risk of chronic disease, and assist you on your weight-loss journey. 
Disclaimer This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!

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