During your fast, you’re not allowed to consume anything that can raise your blood sugar. Instead, you are allowed to drink things like water, unsweetened coffee or tea. So, where does ginger stand in all this? Does ginger break a fast?
Technically, ginger contains some calories and nutrients, so some might argue that it counts as breaking your fast. But things like ginger tea won’t impact your blood sugar the same way as eating something will.
Let’s take a closer look at how ginger can impact your fast.
Does ginger break a fast?
- Better immunity
- Improved digestion
- Weight loss
Many people recommend starting your day with some ginger tea, adding ginger to your lemon water, or even trying a ginger shot. But how well does this practice go with intermittent fasting?
The answer depends a lot on how you’re having your ginger, but also the reasons you have for fasting. Ginger root contains about 80 calories per 100 grams with 17.77 grams of carbs, 1.82 grams of protein, and 0.75 grams of fat. Few people are going to want to start their day eating 100 grams of ginger, but the problem is, even a quarter of that quantity will have some calories and most importantly, carbs. Most fasts will consider that enough to break a fast.
For weight loss or insulin sensitivity, the answer depends. If your net carbs remain very low, under 1 gram, or even under 0.5 grams, you probably won’t have an insulin response. But since it is impossible to tell, you can either find out on your own by measuring blood sugar levels after eating some ginger or simply include it only in your eating window.
Would ginger in hot water break your fast?
Again, the answer depends on a few factors, including why you’re fasting, how you respond to carbohydrates in general, and if you’re adding anything else to your water.
For instance, if you’re looking at making a ginger lemon tea, with 1/4 slice of lemon and about 1 tbsp of ginger, you’ll get about 2 grams net carbohydrates. For dietary purposes, that’s very little and will not impact weight loss. But it is enough to break a fast. If you’re fasting for religious reasons or want to stimulate your migrating motor complex (MMC), your fast will be considered broken if you have ginger, in any form.
For those who are fasting for weight loss or to improve insulin sensitivity, things vary from person to person. The truth is, we all respond differently to carbohydrates. For many, 1-2 grams from ginger will not cause an insulin response. But others will find themselves breaking their fast. For this reason, it is best to stay under 1 gram of carbs during your fast. In other words, if you add a bit of ginger to your water, don’t add lemon as well (or vice-versa).
Do ginger shots break your fast?
Ginger shots are very popular both for boosting immunity and for their aid in fat loss. They usually contain a fairly big amount of ginger (2-3 tbsp or more), lemon, cayenne pepper and/or turmeric, and honey.
Honey is obviously a big no when fasting. It will instantly break your fast, raising blood sugar levels. But even if you were to remove the honey, you’re still left with enough net carbs from the ginger to break your fast. In other words, if you want to have daily ginger shots to boost your immunity, have them during your eating window because they will break your fast.
What effects does ginger have on your fast?
Ginger has a lot of health benefits. We already established that in most circumstances it will break your fast, so you should probably stay away from it. But, in those few instances where it doesn’t, its effects can be both positive and negative. On one hand, drinking a lot of water flavored with ginger can curb your appetite and make fasting easier. Ginger also helps immunity and it may boost fat loss, so you could say it will aid in your weight loss efforts.
On the other hand, ginger is known to aid digestion. That’s not a bad thing in and of itself. But on an empty stomach, the result might not be so positive. Some might find themselves hungrier than normal during their fast. Ginger may also stimulate the appetite in some people, again, not something you want while you’re fasting.
If you consume during your eating window, ginger may be very helpful to your intermittent fasting lifestyle. It aids digestion, which can be especially helpful if you make the mistake to overeat after the fast is over. If you find you have a sensitive stomach after a long fast, ginger may be the perfect solution for you.
Does ginger break a fast? Sadly, in most cases, it does. Ginger has carbs, protein, and fats. Even if they aren’t enough to impact your weight loss efforts, and most people wouldn’t even count them towards a daily total, they are enough to break your fast. A very small slice in hot water may be ok for most people, as long as you make sure you don’t add anything else – not even lemon juice. Religious fasts or those aimed at stimulating the MMC could be impacted even by plain ginger water, so avoid it in these cases.
You can however get all the benefits of ginger by adding to your diet during your eating window. Its benefits on digestive health may even make intermittent fasting easier and help you on your weight loss journey.