It’s a question I keep seeing over-and-over again, “Does Coke Zero Break Intermittent Fasting?”
On the face of it, this seems absolutely fine.
I mean, you’re not supposed to consume any calories during your fasting window, but Coke Zero doesn’t contain any calories.
So, surely this makes Coke Zero fine to drink while intermittent fasting?
But, then again, is there something else within Coke Zero that may potentially break your fast?
Let’s find out.
Does Coke Zero Break Intermittent Fasting?
It is probably best to avoid Coke Zero while intermittent fasting. Coke Zero has zero calories, but calories are not the only thing that can potentially break a fast. Any food or drink that stimulates insulin release should be avoided during your fasting window. And unfortunately, some sweeteners, typically found in Coke Zero and other diet sodas may spike insulin levels.
1. Coke Zero & Sweeteners
On the face of it, anything that contains calories should be avoided during your intermittent fasting window.
Your aim is to have fasted for long enough that your body no longer uses stored glycogen (typically from the carbs you consume) for energy.
Basically, after a while, once your body has used up all the glycogen stores it will start burning fat for energy.
And this is exactly what you want, and generally how you’ll lose weight and body fat.
However, as soon as you consume one tiny morsel, irrespective of how many calories, your body will convert this for energy.
So, in other words, you’ve now stopped burning fat for energy and have returned to using glycogen.
This is absolutely fine once you’re breaking your fast, but something that should be avoided during your fasting window.
Now, the main issue with Coke Zero is the use of sweeteners.
Many people think that you simply have to avoid calories during your fasting window, so as Coke Zero doesn’t contain any calories, it is often deemed as “fasting safe”.
That being said, unfortunately it’s not only calories that can break a fast, and most people may not be aware of this.
Essentially, anything that raises your insulin levels can in fact break your fast.
And while certain sodas, such as Coke Zero, may not contain calories, the sweeteners can potentially spike your insulin levels.
The main sweeteners found in Coke Zero are aspartame and acesulfame potassium.
Now, just to confuse matters slightly further, there are currently not enough studies to either prove or disprove that these two sweeteners may spike insulin levels.
So, realistically Coke Zero is something of an unknown quantity.
Therefore, if you wish to stick to the letter of the law when it comes to intermittent fasting, Coke Zero is best avoided.
2. Avoid Coke Zero if You’re Fasting For Gut Rest
Okay, so it’s not exactly clear cut as to whether you can drink Coke Zero while intermittent fasting.
And, in truth, this also depends on the type of intermittent fasting diet you’re following.
You must remember that there are a wide variety of intermittent fasting diets out there, and not all of them follow the same “rules”.
As an example, dry fasting is a form of intermittent fasting.
And as the name suggests, this diet eliminates all beverages during your fasting window, regardless of what they are.
Then again, an intermittent fasting diet, such as the Warrior Diet, severely restricts food consumption for up to 20 hours of the day.
However, you are still able to eat some things, as well as consuming certain beverages that aren’t generally allowed on other intermittent fasting diets.
So, as I say, it will also depend on the type of intermittent fasting diet you’re following.
Another example is intermittent fasting for gut rest.
The aim of this type of intermittent fasting is to reset your gut, which involves cleaning out old and damaged cells, while regenerating new and healthier cells.
Not only is this a great way to lose weight, but it is also known to completely rejuvenate the body, thus leaving you looking and feeling younger.
However, as this form of intermittent fasting is specifically focused on your gut, then you must avoid Coke Zero.
The sweeteners in Coke Zero are digested, which means that they will stimulate your gut.
And this is something that you definitely want to avoid when intermittent fasting for gut rest.
Autophagy & Intermittent Fasting
3. How Will Your Body React to Coke Zero?
I guess I have covered this somewhat already, but I just wanted to dive a little deeper.
I’ve spoken of insulin spikes and the fact that we’re not 100% sure about the sweeteners in Coke Zero.
However, I also think this is a personal thing, so you should gauge this for yourself.
I know for a fact that whenever I’ve drank a Coke Zero (not very often at all btw), the sweet taste seems to do something to me.
In fact, I usually find that it increases my hunger levels, as well as giving me carb cravings.
Now, whether this is simply down to the fact that my body isn’t used to the sweet taste of Coke Zero, I don’t know.
That being said, I know from my usual reaction to drinking Coke Zero, or any soda for that matter, it’s best that I avoid it when intermittent fasting.
So, be honest with yourself, and think about how drinking Coke Zero usually makes you feel and react afterwards.
Are you the same as me, extremely hungry and craving carbs?
If so, then completely avoid Coke Zero.
Then again, if it doesn’t trigger your need for food and carbs, then perhaps you don’t have an issue, and it’s fine for you to consume Coke Zero when intermittent fasting.
I still stand by the fact that I would tell everyone to completely avoid Coke Zero during your fasting window.
However, the decision is yours.
So, I hope you understand that Coke Zero is probably best avoided when intermittent fasting.
Granted, Coke Zero contains no calories, but calories aren’t the only thing that could potentially break your fast.
In fact, the various sweeteners could spike your insulin levels, which is something that you should completely avoid when fasting.
That being said, there are no real studies to prove or disprove whether the sweeteners in Coke Zero would spike your insulin levels.
However, as this is an uncertainty, just to be on the safe side, I would personally avoid Coke Zero.
Hi, I’m Partha, the founder of My Bodyweight Exercises. I’m someone who’s been passionate about exercise and nutrition for more years than I care to remember. I’ve studied, researched, and honed my skills for a number of decades now. So, I’ve created this website to hopefully share my knowledge with you. Whether your goal is to lose weight, burn fat, get fitter, or build muscle and strength, I’ve got you covered.