So, you want to know, “Can You Put Cinnamon in Coffee During Intermittent Fasting?”
You’ve tried your best to consume very basic liquids during your intermittent fasting window.
However, I know as well as you just how boring and bland this can be.
In fact, the thought of having to drink yet another plain black coffee is enough to send you over the edge.
So, you’re having thoughts about potentially “spicing up” your coffee, and cinnamon seems like the perfect sweet treat.
But, is this actually allowed?
Or will cinnamon break your fast?
Let’s find out.
Can You Put Cinnamon in Coffee During Intermittent Fasting?
A general rule of thumb is that as long as you don’t consume more than 1g of carbs then you won’t break intermittent fasting. Cinnamon contains 0.8g of carbs per teaspoon, which means that it is perfectly acceptable to add ONE teaspoon of cinnamon to your coffee. Additionally, cinnamon won’t spike your insulin levels or interrupt autophagy, which once more means it won’t break your fast.
1. Cinnamon & Calories & Intermittent Fasting
There’s always a fine line when it comes to what you can and cannot consume while intermittent fasting.
In truth, during your fasting window, the aim is not to consume any calories whatsoever.
So, you’ll typically stick to water, sparkling water, tea, and coffee.
However, you’re generally told not to add anything to your tea or coffee, as there is the potential to break your fast.
The most obvious “additions” would be cream or milk, which will contain additional calories that are likely to break your fast.
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But, I totally get that drinking plain drinks during your fasting window can become extremely bland and boring.
Plus, this can actually affect your emotional and mental state, which is when you’re most likely to cheat or fail at intermittent fasting.
So, it makes sense to find certain ingredients that you may be able to consume during your fasting window, which also provide some variety.
When it comes to cinnamon, as far as calories are concerned, it’s not completely clear cut.
One teaspoon of cinnamon contains 6 calories.
So, in other words, you are consuming some calories by adding cinnamon to your coffee.
And if you were to stick to the letter of the law, then this will break your fast.
That being said, when it comes to calories and intermittent fasting, there is a general “rule” that as long as you’re not consuming more than 1g of carbs then you won’t be breaking your fast.
And it just so happens that cinnamon has 0.8g of carbs per teaspoon.
Therefore, as long as you stick to one teaspoon of cinnamon in your coffee, you won’t be breaking your fast.
This also means that you won’t be able to add any additional spices or flavouring to your coffee.
Unfortunately, anything more and you’re likely to go above 1g of carbs, and will therefore break your fast.
2. Cinnamon & Insulin Response
Now, something else to consider is that it isn’t only calories that will break your fast.
And I think this is also where many people go wrong with intermittent fasting, especially when it comes to what they can and cannot consume during their fasting window.
Basically, if you consume anything, food or drink, that provokes an insulin response, then you will have broken your fast.
If your insulin spikes then you will automatically go from a fasted state to a fed state.
This is also why I have mentioned that it’s important to ensure that you don’t consume more than 1g of carbs.
Your aim with intermittent fasting is to stop using your glycogen stores for energy, which are built up from the carbs that you eat.
Once your body has gotten used to intermittent fasting (usually from a few days up to a week), you will then start burning your fat stores for energy.
This of course is ideal for losing weight and burning body fat.
However, many sugar-free or calorie-free foods and drinks will actually spike your insulin levels.
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That being said, due to the tiny amount of carbs in cinnamon you won’t actually cause an insulin response.
Therefore, this is yet another reason why it’s fine to put cinnamon in your coffee during intermittent fasting.
3. Cinnamon & Autophagy
There are various forms of intermittent fasting, and often what is okay for one type fast will not cut it for another type.
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Now, one form of intermittent fasting involves gut rest, more specifically autophagy.
This is basically a way to clean out your old and damaged cells and then replace them with newer and healthier cells.
Gut rest, autophagy, and fasting are considered to have a huge number of health benefits.
And it has even been stated that autophagy may lower the risk of cancer.
Cancer will typically start in defective cells in the body.
So, if you’re regularly cleaning out defective cells, and then replacing them with new ones, then this potentially lowers the risk of cancerous cells forming.
Furthermore, autophagy will also remove the toxic proteins from cells, many of which are generally associated with neurodegenerative disease., such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Plus, this clearing out of old cells will typically leave you looking and feeling younger.
Now, while fasting for gut rest it is important that nothing is digested at all during your fasting window.
Unfortunately, doing so will stimulate the gut, and therefore break your fast.
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Well, it just so happens that cinnamon does not affect gut rest or autophagy.
So, yet again, this proves that adding cinnamon to your coffee is perfectly fine during intermittent fasting.
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So, as you can see, it’s absolutely fine to put cinnamon in your coffee during intermittent fasting.
Your fast is typically broken if you consume more than 1g of carbs or if you eat a zero-calorie ingredient that evokes an insulin reaction.
Fortunately, cinnamon does neither of these, and is therefore fine to consume during your fasting window.
Additionally, if you’re fasting for gut rest then you need to avoid anything that will stimulate your gut, as this will once again break your fast.
However, it just so happens that cinnamon does not stimulate the gut either.
Therefore, you could say that cinnamon is the perfect ingredient to add to your coffee during intermittent fasting.
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Hi, I’m Partha, owner and founder of My Bodyweight Exercises. I am a Level 3 Personal Trainer and Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist through the Register of Exercise Professionals, United Kingdom. I have been a regular gym-goer since 2000 and coaching clients since 2012. My aim is to help you achieve your body composition goals.