I’m sure that one of the worst things that can happen to you during your fasting period, is if a supplement will possibly break your fast. I started to occasionally fast last year and it didn’t end well. I couldn’t have my vitamin supplements during fasting and it led to deficiencies. I am sure you also experience similar problems. But don’t worry you are at the right place and this article will thoroughly explain to you which supplements you can or cannot have during fasting.
No, having ashwagandha would not break your fast. A general rule can be applied that any supplement can be taken during fasting as long as it does not have any calories in it. However, some older studies suggest that anything other than water breaks your fast.
Technically, some supplements are unable to give their full benefits without having food with them that is because they are not metabolized properly. Moreover taking supplements without proper nutrients can have certain side effects too which will be explained later in the article. So it might be counterproductive to take supplements during fasting.
On the other hand, some supplements can enhance the results of fasting and can actually be beneficial to have during fasting. Supplements vary with the purpose of fasting.
10 Supplements That Won’t Break Your Fast
- Multivitamins. Multivitamins are calorie-free if they don’t have add-ons such as sugar or added fillers. They can be a great source of avoiding deficiencies for you while you are on intermittent fasting.
- Micronutrients. These include supplements for vitamin C, vitamin B, potassium, and so on. However, some supplements like vitamin A or K work best when taken with food.
- Creatine. This does not activate an insulin response and is calorie-free.
- Green coffee bean extract. According to a Korean study, green tea can help in weight loss. Another benefit of green coffee bean extract is that it prevents diabetes, is good for the heart, and reduces inflammation. Remember to not add sugar to it!
- Ashwagandha. An Indian herb that improves the immune system and has very few to no calories. It is best for fat-loss as it reduces blood sugar levels and gives you the feeling of being full. It also increases blood supply towards the brain, resulting in better mood and motivation, which can further aid while doing exercise. This makes ashwagandha a whole package to have during intermittent fasting.
- Apple Cider Vinegar. Similar to ashwagandha, it suppresses appetite and is amazing for detoxification.
- Gotu Cola. It stimulates the blood flow towards the kidneys and removes excess fluid from the body, which is great for detoxification. It also increases energy levels and is beneficial in wound healing.
- Turmeric. It has curcumin which is beneficial in wound healing, and it also improves your immune system.
- Fish oil. Although it contains few calories, it does not affect insulin levels. It is great for pain reduction. The most beneficial role of fish oil is that it improves the absorption of other important supplements that would otherwise not be effective. It is important for turmeric absorption.
- L-tyrosine. It is an amino acid and thus contains some calories; however, it helps elevate your mood and is an alternative trigger for dopamine that otherwise is triggered by having food. To further compliment your intermittent fast, it increases your energy levels and your exercise performances.
10 Benefits Of Ashwagandha
- Relieves stress and increases energy levels. It is an ancient herb that is in use for about 3000 years. It enhances your immune system and increases your blood flow. It reduces your cortisol levels which is a stress hormone.
- Reduces blood sugar levels. According to a test tube study, it increases insulin secretion and improved insulin sensitivity in muscle cells. It is highly significant and beneficial if you are fasting. If you have diabetes and are trying to reduce weight, you need to have this supplement.
- Have anti-cancer properties. Some studies reveal that it stops new cancer cells from growing and removes the already existing cancer cells. It is highly effective in breast, colon, and brain cancer.
- Reduces anxiety. Surprisingly ashwagandha also reduces anxiety by altering chemical signals to the nervous system.
- Reduces depression. Until now, you would have noticed that it is a gift for your mental health. Studies have found that this one supplement can actually reduce depression. However, detailed studies haven’t been conducted, and hence a single study is not conclusive enough.
- Increases fertility in men. It boosts your testosterone levels in men and improves your reproductive health. It is widely used for this purpose in the subcontinent.
- Increases muscle mass. Fasting does take a lot out of your body, and if you are a gym freak, ashwagandha is a must-have. By increasing testosterone levels it increases your will to exercise more which makes you feel much better.
- Reduces inflammation. Some studies have found ashwagandha to have similar effects to turmeric. It helps in reducing inflammation by increasing the activity of natural killer cells.
- Improves heart health. It reduces cholesterol levels and blood fats, making the blood flow better and thus improving your heart health.
- Improves your memory. It can potentially mitigate memory loss caused by injury or diseases. It stimulates antioxidant activity, which protects your nerve cells from harmful free radicals.
Note: Although there are no significant side effects of ashwagandha, some people have reported that after having this supplement, they experience an increase in appetite. This can then be counter-productive to have during fasting.
You can take ashwagandha on an empty stomach. To mitigate any uneasiness, you can take ashwagandha with anything, but it works best when taken with warm milk or water.
Alone, ashwagandha does not break your fast; however, if it is being taken alongside anything with any calories, it will break your fast.
10 Best Foods/Drinks After Intermittent Fasting
- Water. It is an essential part of your diet, and without it, no benefits of fasting can be achieved.
- Eggs. Proteins are very good for your body, especially when you fast regularly. A boiled egg provides 6.24 grams of protein. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, you have tons of options like any type of beans (black beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, etc.) or even tofu to name a few options.
- Avocado. Although it has the highest number of calories, it would be counterproductive to eat this fruit when your main aim is to lose weight due to its high unsaturated fat contents, it helps you suppress your appetite.
- Nuts. Like avocado, it is also high in calories, but the good part of it is that it has good fats in it, which is highly essential for your body.
- Fish and seafood. It is rich in healthy fats and proteins. It also is a major source of vitamin D.
- Berries. According to a study in 2016, people who ate strawberries and blueberries experienced smaller increases in their BMI.
- Potatoes. Eating boiled potatoes results in weight loss as it suppresses appetite. Of course, this doesn’t mean you can eat things like french fries or potato chips.
- Probiotics. It is beneficial to avoid side effects such as constipation.
- Beans. They can keep your energy level up during fasting hours.
- Vegetables. Some vegetables that are rich in fiber can again be beneficial to avoid constipation.
Supplements that are calorie-free do not break your fast. It is essential to have a certain type of supplements if you start intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is a great way of weight loss and detoxification. It has some drawbacks, but all of the side effects can be avoided if intermittent fasting is either mixed with time-restricted fasting or alternate-day fasting and if you consult with a professional.
Ashwagandha is a great supplement to have during fasting and otherwise. It does not break your fast nor does it have any significant side effects. Considering its health benefits it is a gift from nature.