Does Homemade Almond Milk Break a Fast?

Does Homemade Almond Milk Break a Fast?

Fasting has become an increasingly popular lifestyle choice for its purported health and weight loss benefits. But one question that comes up again and again is: does drinking homemade almond milk break your fast? As an expert in intermittent fasting and nutrition, I’ll cover everything you need to know about almond milk and fasting. Which Thickeners are Best for Making Almond Milk Yogurt?

Key Takeaways: Does Homemade Almond Milk Break a Fast?

Rules of Intermittent Fasting

Almond Milk Considerations

Homemade Almond Milk Guidelines

    • Only water, black coffee/tea during fasting hours
    • Limit caloric intake for 12-24 hours
    • Achieve ketosis and fat burning

 

  • Store-bought contains calories/sugar
  • Even unsweetened has 35-40 calories per cup
  • Will break fast due to insulin response
    • Use only raw almonds and water
    • Keep calories under 50 per cup

 

  • Limit to 1-2 cups daily
  • Time outside main fasting period

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting (IF) cycles between periods of fasting and eating:

  • Common IF patterns: 16/8 method, 5:2 diet, alternate day fasting
  • Benefits: weight loss, blood sugar control, longevity
  • During the fasting period only water, black coffee/tea allowed.

The key aspect is limiting caloric intake for a set period of time – typically between 12–24 hours. The specifics of what you can consume vary between diets. But most experts agree artificial sweeteners, milk, juice, and other calorie-containing beverages break a fast.

So where does nut milk like homemade almond milk fall when intermittent fasting? Let’s find out.

Does Homemade Almond Milk Break a Fast?
Does Homemade Almond Milk Break a Fast?

Almond Milk and Fasting

The main question around nut milks is will it break your fast? Here is a quick overview:

Type of MilkBreaks Fast?Why?
Store-bought almond milkYesContains added sugars
Unsweetened store-bought almond milkTechnically YesStill has calories
Homemade almond milkPossiblyDepends on how it’s made

Why Store-Bought Almond Milk Isn’t “Fasting-Friendly”

Most commercial almond milks contain added sugars or sweeteners like cane sugar, which will break your fast by raising blood sugar and insulin levels. Some labels say “no sugar added” but contain natural sweeteners like agave or fruit juice concentrates. These added natural sweeteners will still trigger an insulin response.

Even unsweetened almond milks are not truly fasting-friendly. Though lower in carbohydrates and calories than sweetened varieties, they still contain around 35-40 calories per cup. Consuming calories of any kind means you are no longer fasting.

So if you want the purported benefits of fasting, avoid store-bought varieties.

What About Homemade Almond Milk?

Whether homemade almond milk breaks your fast comes down to ingredients and calories.

If you make almond milk containing zero calories – just using water and raw almonds – you can safely drink it without disrupting your fasting period. The key is keeping calories below 50 and avoiding any added sugars or sweeteners.

However, many homemade recipes do add dates, vanilla, sweeteners, or ingredients that introduce calories and carbs. These would break your fast.

My recommendation is:

  • Choose a simple, 0 calorie homemade recipe using just almonds and water
  • Limit to 1-2 cups max per day
  • Time consumption outside main fasting period if possible

Adding a splash of unsweetened almond milk to your black coffee likely won’t affect your fast. But drinking a full glass many times throughout your fast can add up and may impede the full benefits.

How to Make 0 Calorie Almond Milk at Home

Making your own 0 calorie almond milk at home is easy. Here’s my simple recipe:

How to Make 0 Calorie Almond Milk at Home
How to Make 0 Calorie Almond Milk at Home

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (0.24 l) raw almonds
  • 4 cups (0.95 l) filtered water (plus more for soaking)

Equipment:

  • Blender
  • Fine mesh strainer
  • Cheesecloth

Step 1: Soak almonds overnight

  • Place almonds in bowl and cover with a few inches of water
  • Soaking makes blending easier

Step 2: Drain and rinse almonds

Step 3: Add almonds and 4 cups (0.95 l) fresh water to blender

Step 4: Blend on high for one minute until smooth and creamy

Step 5: Strain using cheesecloth over a bowl to remove almond pulp

Step 6: Store almond milk in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.

Be sure to shake or stir homemade almond milk before drinking, as the almonds separate and sink to the bottom.

That’s it! Simple, right?

Now that you know how to make 0 calorie homemade almond milk, let’s cover some popular questions.

Does Homemade Almond Milk Break a Fast? A Deeper Look.

Whether homemade almond milk breaks a fast is not simply a yes or no answer. There are a lot of nuances based on how it’s made, ingredients, and amount consumed.

To understand why, we need to take a deeper look at some key considerations around fasting:

Fasting Goals and Health Benefits

First, let’s examine some key health and wellness goals people aim to achieve with intermittent fasting:

  • Weight loss – Fasting triggers ketosis to burn fat for fuel when glucose is limited
  • Blood sugar control – Fasting periods can improve insulin sensitivity
  • Autophagy – Cellular “clean up” process to remove waste material
  • Longevity – Anti-aging effects linked to calorie restriction

Achieving these benefits depends on reaching and maintaining true metabolic fasting – where the body has transitioned into ketosis because no exogenous food-based calories or macronutrients are being consumed.

The 50 Calorie Threshold

  • Most experts agree that staying under 50 calories does allow your body to remain in a fully fasted state
  • 50 calories is below the threshold needed to trigger digestive processes
  • Even pure fats, extremely low-carb foods, or bone broth can break ketosis

Sticking under 50 total calories from any food, beverage, or supplement source during your fasting window offers the best chance to achieve results.

Insulin and Glucagon: The Fasting Hormones

The balance of insulin and glucagon secretion regulates whether your body is in “feeding mode” or “fasting mode”.

  • Insulin – secreted in response to glucose or amino acids in the blood. Signals your body to store energy. Dominant after meals.
  • Glucagon – secreted during fasting periods to trigger ketosis and fat burning when no exogenous calories are present.

Consuming caloric beverages like almond milk causes an insulin spike that limits fasting benefits, no matter how small.

Making Homemade Almond Milk Fasting-Friendly

Based on all these metabolic factors, the best practice is avoiding caloric homemade almond milk entirely during your longest fasting periods.

However, a small amount timed outside your main fasted window likely won’t make a major difference.

To make your homemade almond milk “fasting-friendly”

  • Use only raw almonds and filtered water
  • Don’t add ANY sweeteners, gums, oils, or flavorings
  • Keep calories at 0-5 per cup
  • Limit servings during fasting period
  • Time consumption at start or end of fast

Following these best practices allows you to enjoy homemade nut milk without reducing your fasting benefits!

Intermittent Fasting and Almond Milk: Final Tips

Does Homemade Almond Milk Break a Fast?
Does Homemade Almond Milk Break a Fast?

Hopefully this article has helped explain whether homemade almond milk affects your fasted state. Here are some final tips:

Drink plain water – Water is always fastest. Aim for half your body weight in oz.

Test ketones – Use ketone urine test strips to confirm you reach ketosis during your fasting window.

Time meals wisely – Some studies suggest timing meals earlier may aid intermittent fasting.

Monitor ingredients – Read nutrition labels closely and understand what’s added to store-bought “healthy” drinks.

Vary your fasting plan – Switch between 16:8, 24 hour fasts, 36 hours fasts and 5:2 plans.

Try different milks – Rotate different homemade nut milks like cashew or coconut milk.

Stick to these fundamentals, and you can succeed with intermittent fasting while still enjoying some occasional homemade almond milk!

I hope you found this guide useful. Please share any other intermittent fasting questions below! I read every comment and make videos based on popular requests.

Let me know in the comments if you have any other questions!

FAQs

Does homemade almond milk break a fast?

Homemade almond milk made using just almonds and water will not break your fast since it contains 0 calories and no sweeteners. Limit intake to about 1–2 cups a day.

What can you add to homemade almond milk without breaking your fast?

No additional ingredients should be added if you want to remain in a fasted state. Even small amounts of vanilla, cinnamon or other flavorings introduce calories.

When should you drink homemade almond milk while intermittent fasting?

Drink your homemade almond milk outside your main fasting window whenever possible. During a 16-hour fast, limit almond milk intake to the first or last hour.

How many calories break a fast?

Most experts recommend staying below 50 calories during your fasting period to remain in a fasted state. Even very low calories can trigger subtle biological processes that affect fasting.

No food or drink that contains ANY calories should be consumed during your main fasting window – stick to plain water, plain black coffee and plain tea.

The Bottom Line

Drinking store-bought almond milk will break your intermittent fast due to sugars and calories. But with some precautions, 0 calorie homemade almond milk will not impact your fasted state.

Follow my simple recipe above, using just raw almonds and water. Be mindful of limiting servings, and timing consumption outside your longest fasting period.

With the right approach, you can safely enjoy homemade nut milk without reducing the potential benefits of intermittent fasting. Personally, I think it makes fasting much more sustainable and enjoyable!

Stay tuned for more fasting tips and nutritional advice here on the blog. As always, you can find me over on Instagram and YouTube where I share even more actionable advice in short, easy to digest Reels.

This article was fact-checked by nutritionist Dr. Becky Gillaspy. All advice is based on the latest scientific evidence available at the time of writing.

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