If you’re in the middle of a fast, then your cravings are likely at an all-time high. Bready dinners, cheese, and sweet drinks probably look irresistible right about now.
Thankfully, you can still have tea while fasting! Here are some of the yummiest teas to drink while fasting (and a few we recommend staying away from).
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What Are the Rules of Fasting?
Whatever your reasons for fasting, the rules are pretty much the same: no calories are allowed, except for during a small window of time. This means no iced coffee, no chocolate croissants, and no pasta.
Fortunately, there are a few zero-calorie drinks that you can enjoy during your fast. These include:
Apple cider vinegar
While these other drinks have some helpful and healthful benefits, there are a few factors that set tea apart as our fasting beverage of choice.
Feelings of Relaxation
Green tea, black tea, white tea, pu-erh tea, and oolong tea are all made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis shrub — basically, all teas except herbal teas come from this one amazing plant!
Although they all have unique flavors, these teas have something in common: they all contain an amino acid called l-theanine.
L-theanine is known for helping to promote relaxation and decrease feelings of stress. L-theanine can also help increase focus and support cognitive function. Since fasting can sometimes lead to brain fog, this might be essential to help you get to your next meal time.
These teas also contain caffeine, which can help boost your energy. Basically, tea is a lovely way to beat a mid-fast energy slump.
Lower Hunger Levels
If you’ve ever gotten hunger pangs, then you’ve experienced the effects of ghrelin. Ghrelin is a hormone that is released when your stomach is nearly empty, and it stimulates the part of your brain that controls appetite. Essentially, the higher levels of ghrelin, the hungrier you get.
Since ghrelin levels can increase the longer your stomach is empty, fasting can open the door to some pretty intense hunger pangs. Say hello to your new BFF, tea.
Formally known as epigallocatechin gallate, EGCG is a type of plant-based compound called catechin. EGCG has been clinically proven to lower levels of ghrelin, which means it can help ease some of those hunger pangs!
Many people choose to fast for its metabolism-boosting benefits. Although fasting alone is one way to boost the metabolism, tea from the Camellia sinensis plant can also help support a healthy metabolism.
One of the most important metabolic hormones — adiponectin — is responsible for helping enhance your metabolism. It also helps your body pay attention to insulin, which means that adiponectin can also help maintain a healthy blood glucose level.
Not only can tea help keep your fast bearable, but it can also help your fast do what it’s supposed to do!
6 Fasting-Friendly Teas
If you’re sold on tea, then your next step is to find the right tea for you. Here are some of our favorite fasting-friendly teas to help you get started.
Black tea includes fan favorites like English breakfast tea and chai tea, and many black teas have high levels of caffeine.
Black tea is a great choice for anyone who wants an energy boost alongside all of tea’s other wonderful fasting benefits. You can even find some delicious flavored black teas to add some variety to your fasting hours.
We love tea, so we’ve spent quite a bit of time building up our collection. If you browse some of our favorite black teas, we’re positive there’ll be something for every tea lover’s taste buds.
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Green tea is also made from the Camellia sinensis plant, but it tends to have a much lighter and more floral taste than black tea. This is because green tea leaves go through very little oxidation before they’re processed.
This also means that a lot of green tea doesn’t have as much caffeine, so it’s a great option for someone who has a caffeine sensitivity — or for someone who’s already had a few cups of coffee. Green tea also has the highest concentration of natural EGCG out of any other tea, so this is a great tea to drink if you’re looking for those fasting-friendly benefits.
One beloved green tea you can try is our Green Earl Grey. This delicate green tea features chamomile, mallow blossoms, and bergamot bits for a soothing and dreamy cuppa.
This herbal tea is made from the rooibos plant, which only grows natively in South Africa. Rooibos has been a long-standing folk remedy amongst South African natives and is primarily purported to help support feelings of discomfort and help the body metabolize fat more efficiently.
Digestive discomfort is common for many people who are new to fasting, and rooibos may help make the fasting experience more enjoyable.
Rooibos tea is also caffeine-free, which makes it a wonderful alternative to black or green tea for those of us with high caffeine sensitivities. Rooibos also has a remarkably low level of tannins and is rich in antioxidants, which means that it’s smooth and easy to drink.
Hibiscus tea is made with hibiscus flowers, making it a lovely fruity option for any tea lover. Whether enjoyed hot or iced, hibiscus tea will delight the taste buds.
It’s also a wonderful option for anyone who’s fasting, as hibiscus tea can help encourage a healthy metabolism. Since many people engage in fasting for its metabolic benefits, drinking pure hibiscus tea during your fast can help increase those metabolic benefits.
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Peppermint is a delicious herbal alternative to “true” teas from the Camellia sinensis plant, especially for those who are fasting. This herbal concoction is caffeine-free, which means you can drink this tea at all hours.
In fact, you may consider adding peppermint tea to your nightly routine while fasting. Hunger may make it hard to sleep, but the scent of peppermint can help relax the body and decrease feelings of stress.
Peppermint tea is also said to help reduce nausea. This tea can help calm uncomfortable stomachs and help ease digestion, making the transition into your fast smoother and more comfortable.
Moringa tea comes from the Moringaceae oleifera plant, which grows natively in Africa and Southern Asia. While it is an herbal tea, you can find moringa teas infused with caffeine for an extra kick.
Moringa also contains L-theanine, along with its relaxation- and focus-boosting powers. Similar to other teas, moringa is also a great choice for anyone struggling with digestive discomfort.
Like green tea, moringa tea can affect your body’s secretion of ghrelin. When combined with green tea, moringa can help enhance these effects.
One of our favorite moringa teas is Organic Miracle Tree Herbal Honey & Vanilla Tea. This delicious tea combines dried moringa leaves with natural lemon flavor for a simple-yet-delicious fasting-friendly tea.
Teas to Avoid
Just like there are teas that help with fasting, there are teas that can counteract your fasting progress. Here are some teas we recommend staying away from while fasting.
Tea with Milk
Whether you use dairy milk, almond milk, oat milk, or any other kind of milk, we recommend putting your creamers all the way in the back of your refrigerator until your fast is over. Milk is full of fats and carbohydrates, which can (and will) break your fast.
Some types of fasts allow for a small number of calories. This means that you may be able to get away with a very small splash of milk in your tea. However, the safest thing to do is avoid dairy until your fast is complete.
If you must add a thickener to your tea, you may be able to try some coconut oil. While a bit unconventional, many fasters add pure fats such as butter or coconut oil to their tea and coffee to help them make it through their fast without breaking.
Teas with Sugar
We love a little sugar in our tea, so it hurts to say that this is discouraged during fasting. Sugar is high in carbohydrates, which can raise insulin levels and negate the positive effects of your fast.
This means that you’ll need to be extra vigilant when choosing your teas while fasting. Some teas come blended with sugar or other high-carb sugars, which will break your fast.
Although some zero-calorie sweeteners may not necessarily break your fast, we still recommend staying away from them. These sweeteners often intensify sugar cravings and can make it harder to get through your fast.
Tea can help you stay relaxed, and some teas can even increase your metabolism and lessen hunger pangs. The most important thing to remember is that no matter which tea you’re drinking, you should stay away from milk and sugar. Basically, no chai lattes until your fast is complete!
Whatever your reasons for fasting, it’s important to follow the rules to get the most benefits from this dietary process. While you can drink water and coffee while fasting, we recommend tea as a yummy and fast-friendly option.
Wellness Tea Shop
Shop these wellness teas to help with anxiety, stress, sleep, detox, colds, energy, and more. Take care of your body while relaxing with a hot cup of tea.
About Sips by: We’re a female-founded and led startup that makes discovering tea fun, personalized, and affordable. The Sips by Box is the only multi-brand, personalized tea subscription box. Each month, we match tea drinkers across the U.S. with delicious teas from over 150 global tea brands that we’re sure they’ll love. Based out of Austin, Texas, we are adept at savoring a hot mug even when it’s seasonally inappropriate.