No matter which intermittent fasting schedule you’re using, it’s nice to have a variety in your choice of drinks. While the general rule for Appetite Correction (AC) schedules like Fast-5 is zero calories during the fasting period, that doesn’t mean you’re stuck with zero flavor. Artificially sweetened beverages offer zero (or just a few) calories, but to avoid the negative effects artificial sweeteners may have on insulin and appetite, get off (or stay off) the sweet flavor train and get a little bit creative. Once you’ve adjusted to non-sweet drinks, you can appreciate distinct flavors even more.

Tea and coffee are obvious choices, but in the middle of August heat, a hot drink may be as appealing as donning a parka and gloves.

Dr. Bert’s Cool Citrus Mint Water Recipecool-citrus-mint

Ingredients

  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 2 limes, sliced
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup sliced cucumber

Directions

  • Pour water into a pitcher
  • Mix lemon slices, lime slices, mint leaves and cucumber together in the pitcher and stir
  • Refrigerate mixture, stirring 1 time per day, until flavors have infused (2 to 3 days)

More Summertime Chill Options:

Iced tea — popular in southern USA, pouring your favorite tea over ice can make a refreshing change with all the variety of teas available. Iced tea is often served with lemon added.

herbal-sun-tea

Note: Many teas (including dry teas and bulk teas) are sweetened with sugar or fruit juice, which adds sugar. Labeling on tea is often vague, so it can be hard to tell whether sugar or other sweeteners have been added. If the tea tastes sweet or mentions sweet fruits (apple, grape, pineapple, pear, etc.) in the name or on the label, and you cannot confirm that the tea has zero calories from nutritional information on the label, the tea is best avoided while fasting.

Iced coffee — Hot and cold brewed coffees can feel like a totally different drink when on ice or blended to a slushy mix (If the coffee is hot-brewed, chill it before pouring it over ice so you don’t dilute the bold coffee flavors.

Sparkling Water — Sparkling water and carbonated water are the same thing—water that has odorless carbon dioxide (CO2) gas dissolved in it that bubbles out when the pressure in the container is released.

What Goes In Must Come Out

Most of the CO2 dissolved in the water leaves the body directly from the digestive tract by coming back up as burps or passing through as farts. If you increase your intake of sparkling water and notice yourself having more gas from either end, your drink may be to blame. Our bodies expel CO2 with every breath as a waste product, so any CO2 absorbed from the digestive tract is exhaled in the breath.

Seltzer vs. Soda

Seltzer water is unflavored carbonated water; club soda is seltzer water with a bit of baking soda (potassium bicarbonate) and other minerals (sodium citrate, potassium sulfate and disodium phosphate) added to offset the acidity of the dissolved CO2 and enhance the flavor. Tonic water is not the same thing and has a lot of added sugar or other sweetener to offset the very bitter taste of the quinine in it.

Homemade — You make your own sparkling water at home using your choice of water and flavors with a soda maker and CO2 cartridges.

Commercial — US brands LaCroix, Dasani, Syfo and others sell bottled or canned sparkling water in a range of flavors. Seltzer and club soda are available in many national and store brands.

infusion-pitcher-2Infused Water — infused water is water that’s been allowed to soak up some flavor from something you put in the water, like vegetables, fruit or spices. You can add orange flavor without adding calories by adding just the rind and not the flesh of the fruit. Lemons and limes don’t have significant sugar content in the flesh, so you can use full slices of those.


Infusion pitchers like the one pictured have a removable infusion rod that can be filled with citrus, herbs and more. The open slots in the rod allow for the proper mixing of fruits and liquids.


Make your own signature drink by mixing and matching ingredients from each column:

Water

Seltzer water

Fresh-Brewed Green Tea

Cucumber Slices

Lemon Slices

Lime Slices

Grapefruit Slices

Ginger

Mint

Basil

Cilantro

Rosemary

Thyme

Star Anise


What’s favorite calorie-free way to infuse a little refreshment into your summer fasting routine?