Fasting has become incredibly popular over the years in the health and fitness industry, with a variety of different fasts being used for different reasons.
I do intermittent fasting and I’ve experienced the benefits associated with that, but I’ve also tried a two day fast too, you can read about my experience.
However, most people that are into bettering their wellbeing and health are concerned not only with what supplements they take whilst they’re fasting (in terms of whether the supplements break their fast and if they’re suitable), but also how they can support fasting with supplements.
In this article, I’m going to tell you all about the best supplements to take while fasting, as well as dive into what fasting is, the different types of fasting, and how to support yourself when you break your fast.
- 1 What Is Fasting?
- 2 Rules For Drinking During Fasting
- 3 Do Supplements Break Fast?
- 4 Supplements That You Can Take While Fasting
- 5 To Break Your Fast: A Super Greens Powder
What Is Fasting?
There are many types of fasting and people fast for a multitude of different reasons, from religious festivals to detox and weight loss. However, the most common type of prolonged fasting is intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting is a type of fasting that cycles between fasting and eating. It can be done by splitting up the day or week into cycles.
The most common intermittent fasting methods are the 16/8 method, the 5:2 method, the eat-stop-eat diet, and the OMAD protocol.
The 16/8 intermittent fasting method means that you don’t eat for 16 hours and then eat within an 8 hour period. For example, you may not eat your first meal until 11 am and then stop eating at 7 pm. There’s another version of this called the 14/10, with the same idea but with a smaller time frame.
The 5:2 diet is where you eat completely normally for 5 days and then reduce your calories drastically on the other 2 days. These two days should never be next to each other since the recommended daily consumption of calories is only around 500 calories on these days.
The Eat-Stop-Eat diet (also known as the 24 hours fast) involves fasting for 24 hours once a week, or in some cases, twice a week.
Lastly, the more extreme fasting protocol is the one-meal-a-day or OMAD protocol. This is where you restrict eating to just one hour within a 24-hour period.
This is the most restrictive intermittent fasting protocol for obvious reasons and if you’re tempted to give this a try then I would recommend trying the 16/8 protocol a go first. You can checkout my 7-day OMAD diet to see how I got on – spoiler alert, day 3 and 4 are tough!
My meal on day two following the OMAD protocol. Getting enough veggies each day can be challenging, which is why I drank a powdered greens supplement each day.
Rules For Drinking During Fasting
Although some fasts, such as the fasting people do during Ramadan, means that you can’t drink during your fast when it comes to fasting for health purposes, you can drink, and it’s important to do so if you are going to do so safely.
When you are fasting, you can drink water, coffee, and calorie-free drinks. Drinking will keep you hydrated, support your body whilst you’re not eating, and reduce hunger and cravings.
Do Supplements Break Fast?
Although technically you shouldn’t consume anything other than liquids when you’re fasting, you can take certain supplements.
Certain supplements do not break your fast and can support you through it – in this article, I’m going to be telling you about the best supplements you can take!
However, there are certain supplements that do break your fast, and first, it’s a good idea for me to go over these supplements.
Gummies – These types of supplements normally contain sugar and can be quite calorific, therefore meaning they can break your fast.
So, avoid these at all costs whilst you’re fasting. Honestly, avoiding these types of supplements normally might be a good idea anyway – they aren’t typically that beneficial anyway since they’re too small to be effective.
Protein Powder – Protein powders contain quite high numbers of calories as well as amino acids, both of which can increase blood sugar and can cause a spike in insulin levels, breaking your fast.
BCAAs (Branched-chain amino acids) – BCAAs contain calories and amino acids (obviously), and therefore consuming this type of supplement will break your fast.
Avoid Supplements Containing These Ingredients: amino acids, maltodextrin, sugar, cane sugar, protein, and fruit juice.
Supplements That You Can Take While Fasting
Whether you want to continue to take the supplements you typically do whilst you’re fasting, or you’re looking to add supplements to your diet whilst you fast to support yourself, there are things you can take. So, let’s take a look at them.
When I say multivitamins, it’s a little more complicated than that…vitamins fit into two main categories: fat-soluble and water-soluble.
Fat-soluble vitamins are supposed to be eaten with food so that the body can properly absorb them. These vitamins are vitamin A, D, E, and K. Therefore, if you’re fasting, there’s absolutely no point in taking these supplements whilst you fast. So, avoid them!
Water-soluble vitamins are excreted during the day when you drink and don’t need to be taken with food. There are a number of vitamins in this category, including B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, and folic acid.
If you are only doing a short-term fast, you don’t need to worry about taking these vitamins whilst you fast.
However, you may want to consider supplementing with water-soluble vitamins if you’re fasting long term.
In addition, these vitamins are safe to take during a fast.
Electrolytes can be incredibly helpful during a fast, especially for those that are new to fasting.
Since a lot of electrolytes derive from food, electrolyte solutions can reduce the likelihood of dehydration and keep your electrolyte levels topped up!
These supplements also help to support a state of ketogenesis (where the fat cells in the body are broken down into chemicals called ketone bodies, which provide a different source of energy for you).
If you feel dehydrated, dizzy, or fatigued during a fast, grab an electrolyte supplement – just make sure you choose one that has zero sugar to make sure you don’t break your fast.
Magnesium is an essential mineral that can be very useful during a fast. Magnesium cannot be made naturally within the body and therefore we typically get it from food and drinks.
Magnesium helps to support the reaction of enzymes, the production of energy, regulation of other minerals such as calcium and potassium, and brain function.
When you’re fasting, obviously you’re not going to be getting magnesium from food, and sometimes, people don’t consume enough magnesium anyway.
Therefore, magnesium supplements can be incredibly beneficial especially when you’re fasting! They can also be consumed without worrying about breaking your fast.
Psyllium husk is a type of fiber that you can take whilst you’re fasting. It’s a supplement that’s created with the husks of the Plantago ovata seeds.
Psyllium husk helps to improve digestive health, which is an important thing to focus on when you’re fasting – in fact, improving gut health is a reason why a lot of people fast.
Supplementing with psyllium husk can help you to support your gut health, both in the fasting period and in the eating period of your fast.
Caffeine and Green Tea Extract
Caffeine and green tea extract are both things that you take to support your fast – you can either take them as supplements or through drinking black coffee or green tea.
Caffeine and green tea extract can help to improve memory, boost brain function, reduce fatigue, and promote weight loss.
They’re also supplements that are fine to take during a fast, just make sure you don’t overdose on them since you might get the jitters.
Potassium is an essential mineral that helps to support muscle function, heart function, and energy levels. These are all obviously incredibly important functions, and keeping energy levels up is essential during a fast.
Potassium also has no calories and therefore will not break your fast.
Calcium is also an essential mineral that helps your body to maintain bones and build them in the first place. It also helps to support heart, muscle, and nerve function, as well as support a suitable level of blood pressure.
You can supplement with calcium during a fast because it doesn’t have calories.
L-Tyrosine is an important amino acid, and although amino acids can increase blood sugar and cause a spike in insulin, as long as you take a small amount of it, it can be consumed safely during a fast – just keep an eye on the dosage you’re taking.
When consumed, the body turns L-Tyrosine into three major neurotransmitters: dopamine, norepinephrine, and adrenaline.
These help to support your brain function and improve your mental state, both of which are always important, but especially important during a fast.
Adaptogens are specific herbs that help the body to adapt to stressors, whether environmental, physical, or emotional.
Although not as commonly taken as multivitamins, adaptogens provide substantial benefits to both mental and physical health.
They’re also safe to be taken whilst fasting so they’re an ideal support supplement during this time.
You can check out the many benefits of adaptogenic herbs in my article.
To Break Your Fast: A Super Greens Powder
When it comes to breaking a fast, there are some rules you still need to follow. Your first meal after breaking a fast should not be heavy, shouldn’t include high levels of carbs or sugar, and should be incredibly easy for you to digest.
When you start to eat again, you may experience digestive discomfort if you don’t consume the right sort of food or the right amount of food. Keep it small, nutritious and easy to digest!
Greens powders are the best way to break a fast since they provide you with a variety of essential micronutrients, incredibly beneficial ingredients, and are easy for your body to digest.
If you’re looking for a greens powder to consume after you break your fast, you’re going to want to look for one that has a fully disclosed label, contains sufficiently dosed ingredients, and doesn’t contain any fillers, colors, artificial ingredients, or added sugars.
I’d recommend my own brand, Super Green TONIK! I created Super Green TONIK after having tried and researched a lot of the super greens formulas on the market.
I was incredibly disappointed by the majority of the powders out there, so, with the help of some of the world’s leading nutrition experts, I created a super greens supplement that actually does what it says it does!
Super Green TONIK contains more than 30 individual ingredients, has a fully transparent ingredients label, contains sufficiently dosed ingredients, and contains no filler ingredients or hidden ingredients.
LifeHacker Guy Greens Recommendation
Please give me a few moments to shamelessly introduce my brand, SuperGreen TONIK.
I have researched a lot (and I mean a lot) of super greens out there but was disappointed with most of the ones I tried.
In conjunction with some of the worlds leading nutrition experts, I developed a greens supplement that actually does what it promises to do. Full transparency, No hidden ingredients and certainly no BS.
None of the other brands offered that.
Its the best out there (of course I would say that about my own), but let me tell you why...
- No hidden ingredient amounts - we have full disclosure labelling, so you know EXACTLY whats inside
- Ingredient amounts that make a difference - we include the minimum effective amounts supported by research, and most of the time, MORE
- Ingredients that also boost mental clarity and shake off brain fog - making for a much more productive and happy lifestyle
After many months I finally got a greens formula that fuels my body and mind for the day ahead.
But please dont JUST take my word for it, make up your own decision by checking out my review. (I TRY BE AS UNBIASED AS POSSIBLE )