Does Adding a Splash of Milk in Coffee Break a Fast?

I have always been a coffee lover, and when I decided to try intermittent fasting, one of the biggest concerns I had was whether adding a splash of milk in my coffee would break my fast. After a lot of research and consultations with nutritionists, I finally have a clear answer. In this article, I will discuss whether adding a splash of milk in coffee breaks a fast or not.

Understanding Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting has gained popularity in recent years as a method of weight loss and improving overall health. This eating pattern involves alternating cycles of fasting and eating within specific time periods. The most common fasting windows are 16/8, where you fast for 16 hours and have an 8-hour eating window, or 24-hour fasts once or twice a week.

What Breaks a Fast?

When it comes to intermittent fasting, the goal is to keep insulin levels low to promote fat burning and cellular repair. However, certain foods and beverages can kickstart the digestive process and trigger an insulin response, which can break your fast. The general rule is that anything containing calories can potentially break a fast.

Calories in Coffee

Black coffee, without any additives, is virtually calorie-free. However, when you add milk, the calorie content increases. A splash of milk, usually in the range of 15-30 milliliters, contains around 5-15 calories, depending on the type of milk used. While these numbers may seem small, they can still have an impact on your fasting state.

Impact of the Milk on Fasting

The main concern with adding milk to your coffee during a fast is the potential insulin response. Milk contains lactose, which is a sugar that can trigger an increase in insulin levels. Insulin is responsible for transporting glucose into the cells for energy production. When we fast, the body turns to its stored glycogen for energy, and insulin levels remain low. However, consuming milk can disrupt this process by raising insulin levels, potentially breaking your fast.

Types of Milk and Their Effects

Different types of milk can have varying effects on your fasting state due to their composition. Here’s a breakdown of the most commonly consumed types of milk and their impact:

1. Whole Milk: This milk contains the highest fat content and calories. Consuming whole milk will likely break your fast, as it contains a significant amount of calories.

2. Skim Milk: Skim milk has had most of its fat content removed, resulting in fewer calories. However, it still contains lactose, which can impact your insulin levels and potentially break your fast.

3. Plant-Based Milk: Popular plant-based options such as almond milk, soy milk, and oat milk are often lower in calories than cow’s milk. They also have little to no lactose. Therefore, adding a splash of these plant-based milks to your coffee is less likely to break your fast.

Alternatives to Milk

If you are strict about maintaining your fast, yet you still want to enjoy a creamy cup of coffee, you have a few options:

1. Black Coffee: The simplest and safest option is to drink your coffee black. Black coffee is calorie-free and doesn’t affect your fasting state in any way.

2. Coffee with Sweeteners: If you can’t bear the taste of black coffee, you can use artificial sweeteners like stevia or erythritol to enhance the flavor without adding calories.

3. Coffee Creamers: While most commercial coffee creamers contain additives and sugars that can break a fast, you can find specific brands that are designed for fasting. These creamers are formulated to be low in calories and carbs, making them suitable for intermittent fasting.


In conclusion, if you follow strict intermittent fasting, it is best to avoid adding a splash of milk to your coffee. Even though the calorie content may be small, milk contains lactose, which can increase insulin levels and potentially break your fast. However, if you are more lenient with your fasting approach, using small amounts of low-calorie or plant-based milk may not have a significant impact. Ultimately, the choice is yours, and it depends on your specific fasting goals and preferences. Remember to consult with a healthcare professional or nutritionist before making any drastic changes to your diet or fasting routine.

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