When doing intermittent fasting, how you break the fast can make the difference between a good day and a bad day. The first meal you have after a long fast impact your blood sugar, but also your digestive system. That’s why many recommend you break intermittent fasting with smoothies.
Smootihes are a quick and easy way to get many nutrients and boost your energy, without overwhelming your digestive tract. Of course, there are a few things to keep in mind. Your smoothie should contain a variety of fruits and veggies, it shouldn’t be overloaded with sugar, and it should also provide healthy fats and protein.
Here’s everything you need to know about why you should break Intermittent Fasting with Smoothies.
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Why you should break your fast with smoothies
If you’ve read nutrition articles, you probably heard that starting your day with a smoothie, preferably a green one is highly recommended. While the start of your eating window may not coincide with the start of your day, most of the same principles apply.
Here are 4 Reasons why you should break Intermittent Fasting with Smoothies.
Filled with vitamins and minerals
Because they contain several fruits and veggies, smoothies are packed with vitamins and minerals. If you also add a source of healthy fats, such as some avocado, coconut oil, or nut butter, and make sure there’s also a source of protein, you get a complete meal that’s quick and easy to make. The more veggies you add, the more vitamins and minerals your smoothie will provide for minimal calories.
Also, since you’re skipping at least one meal each day, you may have a harder time getting all your necessary vitamins and minerals from food. Smoothies are an easy way to increase your nutrient level.
Easy to digest
Smoothies are easy to digest, something most people can benefit from after a long fast. Ideally, you want to avoid overwhelming your digestive system after a long fast, or you risk indigestion. On the other hand, it is natural to feel you need a large meal after not having eaten for so long. Smoothies are the perfect solution – you can pack the same amount of nutrients that you’d get from a large meal in just one drink.
You should, however, pay close attention to the ingredients you’re adding. If you have a sensitivity to lactose, stay away from everything dairy, including dairy-based protein powders. Opt for plant-based alternatives, because they are easier to digest. People with IBS-D should also be careful about what fruits and vegetables they add, to avoid getting a flare-up.
Great after a workout
After a workout, you need to replenish your energy levels. If you’re also working towards increasing lean muscle mass, getting some protein quickly after your exercise is essential. Again, smoothies are the perfect solution. You can make them exactly as you’d like to maximize your results.
Did you do cardio or HIIT and need a quick energy boost along with a little more sugar than usual? Add more fruit. Did you do an intense weight training session and need something to repair your muscles? Add a scoop of protein powder to your smoothies and you’re good to go.
Remember that in case you want to have your smoothie immediately after your workout, you’ll need to exercise just before you’d normally break your fast. Otherwise, you either need to postpone the first meal or break the fast earlier.
Endless customization options
The great thing about smoothies is that they are probably the most customizable meal! You only need to change one ingredient and it is a different meal with a different taste. The best thing is that no ingredient is mandatory. You may want to make sure you reach a certain macro ratio and stay within a certain number of calories, but the ingredients you use for that are up to you. You don’t like bananas? No problem, skip them and add a different fruit. Do you want to keep it low carb? Skip the fruit altogether. The possibilities are endless!
Can you drink smoothies during intermittent fasting?
Smoothies contain carbs, protein, and fat regardless of the ingredients you use. As a result, you can’t drink them while fasting because they will cause an insulin response. During your eating window, though, you’re free to consume as many smoothies as you’d like (but keep the calorie count in mind). Protein shakes aren’t exempt from this rule, so even if you’re just adding protein powder and water, you can still consume it only during your eating window.
Outside of your fasting window, there are no restrictions on the smoothies you can consume. If you’re on a diet, don’t forget these delicious drinks come with calories, so you may want to keep them lower in sugar.
Best smoothies to break your fast with
The first thing you need to think about when choosing your smoothies after a fast is the goals you’re working towards. For instance, if you’re immediately post-workout and you did a lot of cardio, you most likely need a little more carbs. In this case, you can add a bit more fruit than usual. A good example would be a smoothie with one banana, 1 scoop of protein powder, a handful of walnuts, or some nut butter if your blender can’t handle raw nuts. Add some greens like spinach and about a cup of milk and you’re good to go. (8 Best Vegetables for Intermittent Fasting)
If you prefer to keep it low carb but still want a lot of energy and sweetness, you can start by adding one avocado. Don’t forget some protein powder, greens, and milk. If you want even more fats, you can also add nut butter. And in case your protein powder wasn’t flavored, go ahead and add some cacao or vanilla, or other flavors you like. If you like it a little bit sweeter, go ahead and add a sweetener like stevia.
If you want more recipes, make sure to check out this post: 10 Best Smoothies for Intermittent Fasting
The bottom line
When doing intermittent fasting, smoothies can help you reach your goals quicker. They keep you full for longer, boost your energy, and balance your blood sugar. They’re also gentle with your digestive system, which is mandatory for any foods you choose to break your fast with. Keep in mind that not all smoothies are created equal and despite the great number of benefits in general, there is such a thing as the wrong smoothie. So don’t add too much sugar, no matter how natural it is, and make sure you create a healthy, balanced meal.