People are wondering if taking CBD oil will break their fast. Well, it's kind of a tricky question to answer. Here's what we think. Will it Break My Fast? | Part II It’s still the question we see most frequently: “Does [insert item] break my fast?” So we decided a Part II to our first post was in order. Let’s dig in to find
Does CBD Oil Break a Fast?
One routine that more and more people are turning to is intermittent fasting. But will taking CBD oil in the morning break your fast? The answer is no. Water, black coffee, green tea, and CBD oil are fine if you’re fasting.
Now, this only applies to some oils. If you’re using an oil with certain carrier oils or if you’re a fan of gummies, smoothies, or CBD chocolates then you’re having a snack—not a supplement.
Still, plenty of questions remain. So let’s dive a little deeper and talk about CBD oil and fasting.
Will CBD oil break a fast?
If you’re wondering what water, black coffee, and green tea have to do with any of this, that’s a fair question. Those three non-caloric beverages are the standard for what you can have without breaking a fast. That means if you’re on a 16/8 schedule, you can have any of those after 8 p.m., when you first wake up, and any time until your first meal at Noon. You may have noticed one glaring omission from that list of standard choices. So, will CBD oil break a fast? The answer is yes—technically.
For an authentic fast, and to receive the absolute peak benefit of this approach, you’ll need to abstain from any caloric intake completely. That includes CBD oil. Despite the fact that it would be a small amount of calories per dose, CBD oil with a carrier like coconut oil will indeed break a fast. However, CBD oil dosage is unique to each user, so the calories consumed will vary by person.
Also, breaking a fast with just a few calories like you might receive from CBD oil still allows you to receive many of the benefits that accompany a more prolonged fasting.
However, it’s important that you remember the caloric and sugar contents of some CBD products will be higher than other. For example, CBD gummies and other edibles infused with CBD will certainly contain higher levels of sugar that can remove you from ketosis and have more of an effect on your body.
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Why breaking a fast with CBD oil is still good for you
For most people, the two hardest parts of intermittent fasting are physically going without a meal and mentally going without a meal. While your body grows accustomed to not eating breakfast, and the daily hunger pangs begin to fade, missing out on the routine of eating can be hard to overcome. The same can be true if you’re someone who uses CBD oil first thing in the morning—but there are studies that suggest maybe you shouldn’t stop.
Because of its effect on the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which regulates various functions in our bodies, CBD can help with intermittent fasting in a variety of ways. One study from 2016 actually found that it can promote a healthier metabolism. CBD also blocks one of our brain’s receptors so that the neurotransmitter that stimulates appetite will fail to fire, which means you may be more likely to go longer without eating a meal of substantial caloric content.
Other Common Questions
Final thoughts on CBD and fasting
Cultures around the globe have used fasting for meditative, religious, and health purposes. Intermittent fasting is a popular way for health enthusiasts to get in on the benefits of abstaining from caloric intake for a set period of time. Though intermittent fasting is often lumped in with diets like paleo and keto, it’s versatile enough to intermingle with just about any type of plan. CBD oil—one free of sugar, additives, or caloric carrier oils—may just help you stave off the hunger pains so you can push a bit further into your fasting cycle. Just be sure to read the label carefully.
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Will it Break My Fast? | Part II
It’s still the question we see most frequently: “Does [insert item] break my fast?” So we decided a Part II to our first post was in order. Let’s dig in to find out if fish oil, herbs/spices, CBD oil, or BCAAs break your fast.
Fish oil itself is a fat, which contains 9 kcal per gram. The average dose of a supplement is anywhere between 1-2 grams, so if you take fish oil, your body will need to metabolize those calories. However, fat doesn’t stimulate insulin release, and the 9-18 kcal that the fish oil provides has minimal to no impact on your body’s ability to break down its own fat stores.
That being said, fish oil is a polyunsaturated fatty acid, which has to be digested and absorbed. Meaning—you guessed it—the gut will be stimulated after taking fish oil.
Fish oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory. The molecules have been shown to decrease inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin 1 (IL-1), Il-6, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF). In addition to its anti-inflammatory properties, omega-3 fatty acid consumption is positively associated with the reduction of risk for many other chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, and cancer. Some studies have even shown that both EPA and DHA (fatty acids found in fish oil) may induce autophagy.
- Fasting for metabolic health: fish oil likely doesn’t break a fast
- Fasting for gut rest: fish oil does break a fast
- Fasting for longevity: fish oil likely doesn’t break a fast
Herbs and Spices
Most herbs and spices have fewer than 5 calories per teaspoon and have almost no impact on blood sugar levels or your fat burning ability. However, watch out for ingredients that often accompany herbs and spices, like sugar or those found in fat emulsions. Herb/spice blends that have sugar raise blood sugar levels and elicit an insulin response. Other blends mixed with fat have a higher caloric content. To play it safe, stick to pure herbs and spices, either fresh or dried.
Herbs and spices come from plants, so the majority of calories they have are from carbohydrates with a small percentage of protein. Roughly half the carbohydrates are fiber, which is undigested, but a small portion of the carbs that remain will slightly stimulate the gut for digestion and absorption.
The minimal calories and protein found in herbs and spices alone probably aren’t enough to inhibit autophagy. There are even a few studies that show promise with specific herbs promoting or enhancing autophagy.
- Fasting for metabolic health: herbs and spices don’t break a fast
- Fasting for gut rest: herbs and spices do break a fast
- Fasting for longevity: herbs and spices likely don’t break a fast
Since CBD oil is fat, and fat alone will not kick someone out of ketosis, CBD oil is likely fine to have while fasting if your goal is metabolic health or weight loss. As long as the CBD oil doesn’t have any added sugar or another source of carbs, it doesn’t stimulate insulin (stimulating insulin will derail ketosis and fat break down).
If you consume your CBD oil orally and swallow it, it’s digested, absorbed in the small intestine, and transported into the liver to be metabolized. (The oil also usually has calories and fat that need to be broken down, too.) Therefore, CBD oil stimulates your metabolism and gut.
One benefit of fasting is reduced inflammation, and as it turns out, one common reason people consume CBD oil is for its positive effect on inflammation. A few studies have also shown a positive impact with CBD and its role in autophagy. So if you’re fasting for longevity, CBD oil shouldn’t derail the benefits of your fast.
- Fasting for metabolic health: CBD oil likely doesn’t break a fast
- Fasting for gut rest: CBD oil does break a fast
- Fasting for longevity: CBD oil likely doesn’t break a fast
Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)
If you exercise, you might consume BCAAs, which promote muscle protein synthesis. They have also been shown to have positive effects on body composition and glucose levels. However, if body composition and/or fat loss is your goal, make sure to choose sugar-free BCAA mixes without additional carbohydrates.
All amino acids are digested and absorbed in the small intestine. In addition to that, almost all BCAA mixes contain additional ingredients outside of the BCAAs, most of which will also need to be digested and absorbed.
If autophagy is your goal, then protein supplements and BCAAs break a fast. When you fast, growth pathways like IGF-1 and mTOR are suppressed, which is needed for autophagy to occur. If you consume protein during your fast, specifically BCAAs such as leucine, you will stimulate these pathways and inhibit autophagy.
- Fasting for metabolic health: BCAAs likely don’t break a fast
- Fasting for gut rest: BCAAs do break a fast
- Fasting for longevity: BCAAs do break a fast
Surprised by one of these? Let us know what you thought in the comments, and request other items for us to cover in this series.