Can You Drink Milk During Intermittent Fasting?


Looking smart and attractive is the most preference in young generation. Many people adopt different ways for this purpose. Intermittent fasting is also one of them. Intermittent fasting has gained popularity as an effective approach for weight management and improving overall health. One common question that arises is whether Can You Drink Milk During Intermittent Fasting. In this article, we will explore the impact of drinking milk during intermittent fasting and provide insights to help you make an informed decision.

Understanding Intermittent Fasting:

Intermittent fasting is not a diet but rather an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating. The two most commonly practiced methods are the 16/8 method (16 hours of fasting with an 8-hour eating window) and the 5:2 diet (eating normally for 5 days and restricting calorie intake for 2 non-consecutive days). The fasting period typically involves abstaining from calorie consumption while allowing for the consumption of non-caloric beverages such as water, tea, and coffee.

Can You Drink Milk During Intermittent Fasting?

Milk, a nutrient-rich beverage, poses a potential challenge during the fasting period due to its calorie, carbohydrate, and protein content. A fundamental aspect of intermittent fasting is achieving a state of metabolic ketosis, where the body shifts from using glucose as its primary fuel source to burning stored fat. The consumption of milk, with its macronutrient composition, can disrupt this metabolic state and undermine the desired benefits of fasting.

Milk and Intermittent Fasting: Does it Break the Fast?

Milk has been a staple in human diets for centuries and is known for its nutritional value. However, when it comes to intermittent fasting, milk might not be the best choice. Fasting involves avoiding food and liquids or consuming a limited number of calories during a specific period. Milk contains calories, lactose, and other factors that can interfere with fasting.

Impact on Blood Sugar and Fat Burning

Milk contains calories and nutrients, including lactose. According to a study, drinking milk will trigger an insulin response in the body. The spike in insulin levels can lead to higher blood sugar levels and prevent the body from burning fat for energy. Insulin also helps the body store food-derived energy. Therefore, consuming milk during a fasting period can break the fast and interfere with fat burning.

Impact on Gut Health

Milk can negatively affect intestinal health, particularly for people who are lactose intolerant. Drinking milk can cause bloating, gas, diarrhoea, and stomach pain due to lactose. Additionally, research shows that casein, a protein found in milk, is challenging to digest and can form curds in the stomach, leading to bloating, constipation, and pain.

Impact on Hormones

Milk consumption during intermittent fasting can also affect the body’s hormone levels. Milk contains oestrogen, a naturally occurring hormone in the body, which can increase oestrogen levels when consumed. Research shows that high levels of oestrogen can lead to weight gain, mental abnormalities, and an increased risk of certain types of cancer. Milk consumption during fasting can also interfere with the body’s hormone balance, making it harder to lose weight and achieve other health objectives.

Autophagy Prevention

Autophagy is the body’s natural process of disposing of damaged cells, promoting cellular repair, and reducing inflammation. However, drinking milk while on an intermittent fast can stop autophagy. The body converts milk proteins into amino acids, including leucine. Research shows that these amino acids can start a process that prevents autophagy. Thus, milk consumption during fasting periods can diminish the benefits of autophagy, such as increased longevity and general health.

How to Choose a Beverage During Intermittent Fasting?

Choosing the right beverage during intermittent fasting is crucial to maintain the fasting state and maximize the benefits of your fasting period. Here are some guidelines to help you select suitable beverages:

  1. Zero-Calorie Options: Opt for beverages that are calorie-free or extremely low in calories. These include water, unsweetened herbal tea, black coffee, green tea, and plain sparkling water. These options do not contain macronutrients that can disrupt the fasting state, such as carbohydrates or proteins.
  2. Avoid Added Sugars: Be mindful of added sugars in beverages, as they can spike insulin levels and break your fast. Check labels and avoid sugary drinks, including soda, fruit juices, sweetened teas, and energy drinks.
  3. Read Labels Carefully: Some seemingly healthy beverages may contain hidden calories or additives that can interfere with fasting. Read ingredient lists and nutrition labels to ensure there are no added sugars, artificial sweeteners, or other ingredients that can break your fast.
  4. Unsweetened Plant-Based Milks: If you prefer a milk-like beverage, opt for unsweetened plant-based milks like almond milk, coconut milk, or oat milk. Ensure they are free from added sugars and keep in mind that they still contain some calories and carbohydrates, albeit in smaller amounts compared to dairy milk.
  5. Electrolyte-Rich Drinks: During longer fasting periods or intense workouts, electrolyte imbalances may occur. Consider incorporating electrolyte-rich beverages, such as sugar-free electrolyte water or homemade electrolyte drinks with minimal or no calories.

What to Drink During Intermittent Fasting: The Best Beverages

Intermittent fasting is a popular way to lose weight and enhance physical health, but what should one drink during fasting? Staying hydrated is critical to prevent dehydration and maintain good health during fasting. Here are some of the most recommended beverages to drink while fasting:


Water is the most essential beverage to consume during fasting periods. It contains no calories, sugar, or artificial sweeteners, making it the ideal drink to preserve good health. Drinking adequate water can also help prevent hunger and maintain a feeling of fullness during fasting. According to studies, one must consume at least eight glasses of water daily and even more to stay hydrated during fasting. Plain or flavoured water with lemon, cucumber, or mint is an excellent option.

Black Coffee

Black coffee is an excellent drink to stay hydrated and lose weight during fasting periods. Caffeine helps to support ketosis and lower insulin sensitivity, according to studies. Drinking coffee can also curb your appetite, making it easier to maintain your fast and lose weight more quickly. Black coffee is an excellent option because it has no calories, sugar, or artificial sweeteners. However, avoid milk or cream, as it can break the fast.


Tea is a great way to stay energized during fasting periods. Choose plain tea without sugar or artificial flavours, and there are many unsweetened teas to choose from, including black tea, green tea, and chamomile tea.

Caloric and Macronutrient Content of Milk:

A standard glass of whole milk (240 ml) typically contains around 150 calories, 12 grams of carbohydrates (mainly from lactose), 8 grams of protein, and 8 grams of fat. While these macronutrients provide essential nutrients, they can elicit metabolic responses that interfere with the fasting process. Notably, the carbohydrate content in milk can stimulate the release of insulin, which halts the breakdown of stored fat and inhibits the body’s ability to enter a fasted state.

Impact on Fasting Benefits:

Consuming milk during the fasting period may compromise the numerous benefits associated with intermittent fasting. Insulin release, triggered by the carbohydrates in milk, not only inhibits fat burning but also affects other metabolic processes, such as lowering blood sugar levels. Additionally, the caloric content of milk can contribute to overall energy intake, potentially hindering weight loss efforts.

Considerations for Milk Alternatives:

If you prefer a milk-like beverage during the fasting period, alternatives to consider include unsweetened plant-based milks such as almond milk, coconut milk, or oat milk. These options generally have lower calorie and carbohydrate content compared to cow’s milk, making them more compatible with the principles of intermittent fasting. However, it is essential to carefully read labels as some plant-based milks may contain added sugars or other additives that could impact fasting.

Benefits of Zero-Calorie Beverages:

To optimize the benefits of intermittent fasting, it is advisable to primarily consume zero-calorie beverages, such as water, herbal tea, or black coffee, during the fasting period. These options do not contain macronutrients that stimulate an insulin response, helping to maintain a fasted state and support fat burning.

Professional Guidance and Personalization:

It is important to note that the suitability of consuming milk during intermittent fasting can vary depending on individual goals, health conditions, and dietary preferences. Consulting with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian is recommended to receive personalized advice tailored to your specific needs. They can help assess the potential impact of milk consumption on your fasting goals, provide alternative recommendations, and guide you through the intermittent fasting process.

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Final Thoughts “Can You Drink Milk During Intermittent Fasting”

While intermittent fasting allows for flexibility in food choices during the eating window, it is generally advisable to avoid milk consumption during the fasting period. Milk’s carbohydrate and calorie content can disrupt the fasting state, potentially hindering the desired metabolic effects. Opting for zero-calorie beverages or unsweetened plant-based milk alternatives can be a more compatible choice with the principles of intermittent fasting. Remember to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian for personalized advice based on your specific health needs and goals.

SehatNagar Recommendation

Can You Drink Milk During Intermittent Fasting? – Try infusing water with herbs and fruit. Besides hydrating you, it can also help you stay full for longer, making it easier to stick to your fast. Add your favorite fruits and herbs, such as lemon, mint, or cucumber, to a water pitcher and leave it for a few hours to infuse the flavors. You can add a pinch of cinnamon or turmeric for an extra flavor boost and potential health benefits. This refreshing and healthy alternative to sugary beverages can help you stay on track with your weight loss goals.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I drink milk during intermittent fasting?

A: Drinking milk during fasting may result in an insulin rise due to lactose, a sugar in dairy products like milk. It can disturb the fasting state and affect your final results. Hence, it is advisable to avoid milk consumption during intermittent fasting.

Q: Will drinking milk break my fast?

A: Yes, consuming milk will end your fast as it contains calories, carbohydrates, and proteins that speed up digestion and break a fast. The main objective of fasting is to enter a state of ketosis, where the body burns stored fat for energy instead of glucose from food. Any calorie- or nutrient-containing food or beverage can interrupt this process.

Q: Does the type of milk matter when fasting?

A: Yes, the type of milk you consume while fasting can make a difference, even skim milk. Lactose, a naturally occurring sugar, is present in all kinds of dairy milk, which can induce a metabolic response and halt fasting. Therefore, it’s crucial to avoid consuming carbohydrates, fat, and protein during your fasting period.

Q: How much milk can I drink during intermittent fasting?

A: Your overall calorie and nutritional needs and the type of fasting you follow will determine how much milk you can consume during intermittent fasting. However, even a small amount of milk can break the fast, so it’s essential to avoid it altogether.

Q: Can I add milk to my coffee or tea during fasting?

A: Adding milk to your coffee or tea during fasting can end your fast as it contains calories and nutrients that can speed up digestion and break the fast. However, a small amount of milk may not significantly impact your overall caloric intake or raise your blood sugar levels.

Q: Will drinking milk affect the benefits of intermittent fasting?

A: Yes, drinking milk can impact the benefits of intermittent fasting by halting the process of achieving a state of ketosis, where the body burns fat reserves instead of glucose from food. Consuming milk or other calorie- and nutrient-rich liquids can diminish the benefits of fasting.

Q: Can I consume milk alternatives like almond or soy milk during intermittent fasting?

A: Whether you consume milk substitutes like almond or soy milk during intermittent fasting depends on the type of fasting you follow and your personal preferences. Almond or soy milk is a better option than dairy milk during fasting as they have fewer calories and less of an influence on blood sugar levels.

Q: What are the potential risks of consuming milk during intermittent fasting?

A: Some potential risks of consuming milk during intermittent fasting include breaking your fast, elevated insulin levels, and intestinal discomfort.

Q: Will drinking milk cause an insulin response during fasting?

A: Yes, milk consumption during fasting can result in an insulin response due to lactose, a sugar that can raise insulin levels. It can prevent the body from burning fat and storing glucose in the liver and muscles, which reduces the benefits of fasting, such as weight loss and improved insulin sensitivity.

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