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Does Coffee With Creamer 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, as you might already know, alternates between periods of fasting and eating. Many follow this method to lose weight, but research suggests that it can also improve heart health and conditions such as type 2 diabetes [1]

While eating is obviously restricted during the fasting stage, certain non-caloric beverages, such as unsweetened tea and black coffee, are allowed within this period. We know some of you prefer your coffee creamy rather than black, but what happens when you put cream in coffee while you’re fasting? 

Does coffee with creamer break your fast? It certainly can, but there are some caveats. 

If you’re someone who likes to enjoy a creamy coffee in the morning but also wants to follow an intermittent fasting routine, this post is for you. 

How Many Calories Are There In Coffee Creamers?

To delve into the question “Will creamers break a fast?” we must consider one principal factor: the number of calories per serving of the coffee creamer. 

First, a little prelude: there’s a broad range of creamers, such as those containing dairy, heavy cream, and half-and-half, as well as dairy-free creamers that contain vegetable oils, nut milk, and other plant-based milk. 

Some of these creamers are non-sweetened, while some contain sugar or other non-nutritive sweeteners. The number of calories in these creamers depends on the type of milk, other fats, and sweeteners used in them.

For example, one tablespoon (15 g) of heavy cream contains 51 calories [2], while the same amount of half-and-half only contains 20 calories [3]. Another popular hazelnut creamer also contains 20 calories per tablespoon [4].

Does Coffee With Creamer Break a Fast?

Coffee with cream certainly can interfere with intermittent fasting, especially if you are following a stricter version of it. 

In a more general situation, though, a small number of calories—typically less than 50—is allowed during the fasting window. In that case, if you’re adding less than 50 calories worth of creamer to your morning coffee, you will be fine. 

You can choose between dairy or dairy-free creamers as per your preference. While dairy-based creamers tend to have more calories than plant-based creamers, they also contain more protein. For instance, 1 cup of cow’s milk contains 8.1 g of protein when compared to almond milk, which only contains 1 g of protein per cup. [5] [6] 

Soy milk, however, contains almost the same amount of protein as dairy milk. These non-dairy creamers are also considered more heart-healthy than dairy-based creamers as they come with a healthier lipid profile [7]

Does Sugar-Free Creamer Break a Fast?

Now you have a clear understanding of whether or not regular coffee creamers break a fast, but what about sugar-free creamers? Many coffee enhancers in the market swap sugar for non-nutritive sweeteners, which contain negligible amounts of calories. 

Can these sugar-free coffee creamers break your fast? In order to answer that, again, you need to have an idea about their caloric value. 

Just because these coffee creamers are sugar-free doesn’t mean that they are calorie-free. They might contain certain ingredients, such as vegetable oils, that can add calories.

The best thing is to check their nutrition labels to get an idea about the number of calories per serving size and use an amount that adds less than 50 calories. 

How Much Creamer is Safe to Use During Fasting?

The next inevitable question is how much creamer to use in order to stay within the fasted state. 

This depends on the type of creamer you’re using and the number of calories per serving in that particular product. Options like heavy cream are on the high-calorie end of the spectrum, while some other creamers contain fewer calories. 

Therefore, if you’re using heavy cream, you will have to add less than one tablespoon, whereas you can add a little more than 2 tablespoons if you’re using the hazelnut creamer we talked about earlier. 

You also need to keep an eye on the number of creamer-added coffees you’re drinking throughout the fasting period, as these can add up and exceed the calorie limit.

How to Make Coffee Taste Better Without a Creamer?

You can also make your coffee taste better without adding any creamer. Try spicing it up with a sprinkle of cinnamon, nutmeg, or pumpkin spice. You can also add a few pumps of a flavor extract such as vanilla or hazelnut or sprinkle in a bit of a calorie-free natural sweetener such as Stevia. 

What Else Can You Drink While Fasting?

In addition to coffee, there are a few other non-caloric beverages, such as unsweetened tea, electrolyte drinks, and sparkling water, that you can drink while fasting. Also, make sure you drink plenty of water to keep you hydrated.

Wrapping Up

  • Can you drink coffee with cream while intermittent fasting? Yes, you can add creamer to your coffee even when you’re fasting. However, you should be mindful of the caloric value of your coffee creamer as it can break your fast if the number of calories exceeds 50 calories. 
  • Even sugar-free creamers can contain a certain number of calories due to other ingredients. Be sure to check the nutrition label to confirm how much creamer is safe to add to stay within your calorie limit.
  • If you consume more than one coffee during the fasting period, keep in mind that the calories can add up and break your fast.
  • You can also add spices, flavor extracts, and natural, non-nutritive sweeteners to your coffee to make it taste better.
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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