Home Fasting Does Diet Soda Break a Fast? Quick Answer

Does Diet Soda Break a Fast? Quick Answer

Written By
Edibel Quintero, MD
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Fasting
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Sep 7
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The intermittent fasting lifestyle is a great way to stay in shape, lose weight, and set your body up for success. The health benefits alone are phenomenal, but it can be hard to know and keep track of what you can and can’t consume during your fasting window.

While calorie-free diet soda may seem the right choice of drink, many people are wondering whether or not it breaks a fast. We’ve got all the information you need about diet soda and fasting, as well as both the risks and benefits of picking up your favorite diet drink.

Does diet soda break a fast? Let’s find out.

Does Diet Soda Break a Fast?

No, it won’t break a fast, but for those of you who enjoy drinking diet soda, the answer is complicated.

While diet soda does not have any calories and would not technically be breaking your fast, there’s a lot more to it than just having no calories and no sugar.

Many people think that just because diet soda has zero sugar and zero calories, it must be okay to drink during your fasting window. After all, soda is bubbly and heavy and might make it easier to get through that fasting period while waiting to eat again.

Experts looking at diet soda and fasting have discovered that artificial sweeteners aren’t actually that good for you when it comes to intermittent fasting. In fact, those artificial sweeteners that make diet soda so tasty get absorbed by your gut bacteria rather than just passing through.

avoid-soda

When practicing intermittent fasting, one of the main goals of your fasting period is to give your gut a rest and allow your metabolism to do the work it needs. Since these artificial sweeteners are being absorbed and interact with the microbiome in your gut, you’re not actually getting any true rest for your gut.

And when it comes to weight loss, many experts are on the fence about whether or not artificial sweeteners have any benefits in that area. Diet soda can increase sugar cravings and hunger signals throughout the day. If you thought getting used to a fast was hard, it’s going to be even harder while you’re craving sugar!

It’s also important to mention that artificial sweeteners raise blood sugar, so if your goal is to lower your blood glucose, diet soda would not be the option for you.

Does Coke Zero break a fast?

Technically speaking, Coke Zero is just like any other no-calorie sugar-free beverage, in that consuming it wouldn’t break a fast on a caloric level. However, Coke Zero is sweetened using aspartame and acesulfame-K.

cola in glass

These two artificial sweeteners, while technically not breaking a fast, can cause a lot of havoc on your system, especially if you’re drinking them on an empty stomach during your fasting window. So, while you can drink Coke Zero during your fast, it’s definitely not advised.

Does Gatorade Zero break a fast?

Well, if diet soda is off the table, what about a refreshing electrolyte drink like Gatorade Zero? Gatorade Zero is sweetened using the artificial sweetener sucralose. Much like diet soda, it’s both zero calories and sugar-free.

On a technical level, drinking Gatorade Zero won’t break your fast, as there are no calories. However, this drink has the same issue that diet soda and Coke Zero have – you’re not getting true gut rest when you drink it during your fast.

Also, the artificial sweetener found in Gatorade Zero might make it hard for you to make it through the rest of your fast since it increases your hunger signals and gives you sugar cravings. It’s best to stay away from these types of sugar-free drinks.

Does plant-based milk break a fast?

Plant-based milk is a great alternative to cow’s milk if you want to live a healthier lifestyle. If you are following an open intermittent fasting plan and you’re not a fan of black coffee, you can put a small splash of it in your coffee during your fasting period. But for regular IT, it will break your fast.

plant-based milk

Does wine or light beer break a fast?

As alcohol contains calories, any amount of it during a fasting period will break your fast.

Drinks Good for Intermittent Fasting

If you’re wondering what you can drink during your fasting window, we’ve got you covered. Here are some of the best drinks you can consume when you’re fasting that won’t increase your sugar cravings or hunger pangs.

If you’re looking for more intermittent fasting help, you can try downloading one of the many apps that are specifically designed to help both beginners and veterans of the intermittent fasting lifestyle. We recommend DoFasting, a great app where you can get thousands of recipes, track your progress, and share with a community of other intermittent fasters.

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Black coffee

As long as you’re not adding cream and sugar to your coffee, having a cup of black coffee won’t break your fast. The caloric count on black coffee is very low. Just make sure you’re not drinking more than the recommended 400g of caffeine per day.

black-coffee

Tea

There are so many teas perfect for the intermittent fasting lifestyle. Tea helps keep you hydrated while also helping you deal with those pesky hunger cravings when you first get started fasting. Green tea, ginger tea, and hibiscus tea are all great for intermittent fasting.

ginger tea

Sparkling water

While some people may experience more hunger cravings after drinking sparkling water, it is a great beverage to have while fasting. Lightly flavored sparkling water doesn’t break a fast, and it keeps you hydrated.

Risks and Benefits of Diet Soda

For most people, diet soda’s main benefit is zero calories and zero sugar. For people who are trying to lose weight, being able to indiscriminately drink a sweet and bubbly beverage without worrying about calories is enough to overlook everything else.

And yes, this is true. Diet soda doesn’t contain any sugar or calories. Drinking diet soda itself won’t actually put any weight on you while working on shedding a couple of pounds. However, drinking diet soda can actually increase your appetite.

If you drink a high amount of diet soda, your brain may signal to your body that you’re not getting enough calories, which can cause you to inadvertently eat more calorie-dense foods more often, which can actually result in weight gain.

Several studies have also linked diet soda to heart disease and type 2 diabetes. There have been studies that have linked daily diet soda consumption with adverse effects on the health of the kidney and even childhood obesity.

So, while those artificial sweeteners might make it so that you can enjoy a sweet, calorie-free drink, the risks of daily diet soda drinking might actually outweigh the few benefits.

What Is Diet Soda?

Almost every popular brand of soda has a diet version. In the 1950s, diet sodas were introduced to the market as an alternative to soda for people who had diabetes. Now, diet sodas are synonymous with the low-calorie and weight-loss lifestyle.

Diet sodas are both sugar-free and calorie-free. It makes them very tempting to pick up when you’re craving something sweet and bubbly but don’t want to waste a ton of calories on a single drink. However, diet sodas are flavored with a host of artificial sweeteners.

The most common artificial sweeteners manufacturers use in their diet sodas are called cyclamates, aspartame, acesulfame-k, sucralose, and saccharin.

A Word From our RD

Getting used to intermittent fasting can be difficult. Drinking diet sodas may seem like a great alternative to regular soda with added sugar. Especially if your reason for fasting is weight loss, zero sugar drinks and non-caloric sweeteners seem like the way to go.

However, research suggests that diet soda and consuming artificial sweeteners might not be the best thing for both your fast and overall health. Most diet sodas use sweeteners that, while not technically breaking your fast, don’t do you any favors in the long run.

Therefore, even if diet soda technically doesn’t break your fast, there are plenty of other calorie-free beverages you can enjoy: green tea, black coffee, and sparkling water are some of the ones we recommend.

And, of course, if you’re starting intermittent fasting and struggle to drink enough beverages during your fasting period, you can always ask your doctor for guidance. It’s important to let medical professionals know before you start any intense eating style change, like fasting.

Conclusion

So, does diet soda break a fast? It seems like all the experts agree: zero-calorie soft drinks won’t break your fast when it comes to the actual consumption of calories, but they break your fast in other ways. 

Drinking soda that is full of artificial sweeteners might not be the best course of action, both for your fast and your health. Too much diet soda has been linked with type 2 diabetes, kidney disease, and even weight gain in the long run.

It’s better to enjoy a zero or low-calorie drink that isn’t full of sweeteners. Tea, coffee, and sparkling water are all great alternatives.

Written by
Edibel Quintero, MD

Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel's goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.

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