In this article we will discuss vitamins and fasting. When fasting, we are told to avoid food and only consume liquids. But what about vitamins? Do vitamins break fasts? How about supplements? Are those safe to consume during a fast? Continue reading to see our extensive guide to supplements while fasting!
Do Vitamins Break a Fast?
The short answer to this question is no: vitamins do not break a fast. However, it’s important to know which vitamins you’re taking, when you take them, and how they interact with the body. For example, taking a vitamin without eating solid foods could cause stomach discomfort, nausea or diarrhea in some people. This is important, because many vitamins are designed to be taken with food.
Not everyone will experience these symptoms, so it’s important to know your body and how it reacts when taking vitamins, especially during a fast. It’s also a good idea to let your physician know you’re going on a fast, and intend on taking vitamins as well.
Multivitamins While Fasting
Another point to remember is the body has the ability to store nutrients from foods we’ve consumed. Since the dawn of time, this has allowed the body to protect itself during times of starvation and famine. As a result, it can pull these nutrients from various locations (such as in bones and body fat) during short fasts. In other words, taking a multivitamin while fasting may or may not yield the benefits we anticipate. This can depend on the person and how their body reacts. On the other hand, there are some excellent supplements a person can take while fasting, which we will discuss later.
What Breaks a Fast
A person can have the best intentions on fasting for a certain period of time, but make one big mistake: they inadvertently consume something they didn’t realize broke their fast.
There’s a fierce debate as to what constitutes breaking a fast. For example, the purists believe consuming anything other than water breaks a fast. This includes consuming even just a few calories from any source (including vitamins). Others feel something that raises your blood sugar (even slightly) stops a fast in its tracks. Here’s a chart showing the two categories of commonly used items some believe can break a fast:
Increases Blood Sugar
Has Hidden Calories
Some bottled waters
(Sucrose, stevia, artificial sweeteners, etc.)
Some medications and cough drops
Bottled and packaged teas
Some coffees and teas
Once again, it depends on who you ask. Bone broth is often considered safe for fasts lasting several days or more. Coffee and tea are also considered great alternatives to consuming water only. The key for each of us is to listen to our bodies and determine what is best for you and your specific fasting goals.
What About Electrolytes While Fasting?
While the debate on what can break a fast rages on, there’s one thing everyone can agree on: consumption of electrolytes during a fast is essential. This is especially true for longer fasts of several days or more.
Electrolytes assist in regulating nerve and muscle functions in the body. They also help maintain the body’s water and acid balance.
Common signs of electrolyte deficiency include the following:
- Headaches and dizziness
- Muscle cramps
- Increased hunger and thirst
- Irregular heartbeats
- Elevated heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
During a fast, electrolyte levels in the body begin to gradually decrease, which could lead to serious health consequences if they get too low. One of the best ways to get your electrolytes while fasting is with salt. The RDA for sodium is 1500 to 2000 mg. This equates to approximately 1 tsp per day, but when fasting we could need anywhere from 4000 t0 7000 mgs (3- 7 tsp) daily.
It’s critical we understand the importance of maintaining our electrolyte levels. Studies indicate approximately 50% of deaths from heart failure are sudden deaths, and electrolyte imbalances may play a role.1
The best way to consume sodium while fasting is to simply mix it with water. Instead of regular table salt, many opt for sea salt, because it does not have the harmful additives found in the traditional table varieties.
Multiple studies have shown that table salt is “a major cause of blood pressure,” and a slight reduction in consumption can lower blood pressure.2
Can I Take Supplements While Fasting?
When intermittent fasting, your body is able to focus its energy on things other than digesting food. For example, it begins to enter ketosis, where it burns fat for energy. It is during this time the body begins to remove toxins as well. To help assist with these functions, there are many supplements available, specifically designed to help the body maximize the health benefits that intermittent fasting can provide.
Products that contain electrolytes are great supplements to use while intermittent fasting. As previously discussed, electrolytes help in two important ways: they assist the body in removing toxins and use ketones more efficiently.
Can I Take Supplements While Water Fasting?
When doing an exclusive water fast, the body doesn’t need supplements initially because it can sustain itself by using stored fat for energy. With that said, it’s still important to be mindful of electrolyte levels. When performing other fasts, such as bone broth fasts or fasts where other beverages like tea are consumed, electrolytes can be replenished when drinking these beverages. Another option is to take an electrolyte supplement.
There are many supplements available that can help the body get into ketosis, burn fat and eliminate toxins. They are all acceptable for water fasts (and can be readily used) as well.
The Best Supplements for Fasting
While they aren’t mandatory, taking supplements during a fast is an excellent way to maximize its health benefits. The key is to listen to your body and discover which one(s) work best for you. Please note: consult with your doctor or health care professional before starting a fast.
Here are a few of the top supplements for fasting:
One of the great benefits of fasting is the body’s ability to remove toxins naturally. Bind - Toxin Elimination helps to safely remove these harmful contaminants by absorbing and then removing them from the body. Other features of this product include the following:
- Absorbs nearly 300 times it weight in toxins
- Has probiotics, which helps to support symptoms of leaky gut
- Doesn’t hinder nutrient absorption or functions of the intestines
- Contains fulvic acid, which helps transport minerals throughout the body
- Binds and removes pesticides, plastics and herbicides that are eaten
- Prevents the reabsorption of candida, mold, and other bio-toxins in the intestines
- Contains humic acid, which prevents viruses from attaching to cell membranes
In addition to these and other benefits, Bind - Toxin Elimination helps to eliminate bloating, making it an ideal supplement to take while fasting.
While fasting, keeping electrolyte levels high is a must. Electrolyte Concentrate E-lyte contains sodium, potassium and magnesium – 3 vital nutrients all that help keep the perfect pH balance and electrolyte levels high.
E-lyte uses only the best purified water. The process includes passing through several filters, including a reverse osmosis filter, an UV purifier, and a deionizer.
In addition to balancing the essential electrolytes in the body, Electrolyte Concentrate E-lyte helps to improve stamina, increase energy levels and reduce fatigue. These great benefits make this product an ideal supplement for fasting.
Magnesium is an electrolyte that has over 300 uses in the body. A few of them are keeping the bones strong, supporting the immune system, adjusting blood glucose levels and keeping the heartbeat steady.
Another important function of magnesium is its role in the body’s ability to absorb vitamin D: A review published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association notes vitamin D can’t be metabolized without this vital electrolyte. Another surprising statistic noted in the review is up to 50% of the U.S. population is deficient in magnesium.
This is important because fasting can deplete electrolyte stores in the body, which includes magnesium.
It’s critical we maintain our electrolyte levels, which makes products like Magnesium Malate 120 Vegetarian Capsules so important. This product also contains di-magnesium malate, which is bound to malic acid. (Malic acid forms naturally in apples and other fruits). These Vegetarian Capsules are specifically designed for the health conscious, and do not contain yeast, dairy, soy, artificial colors, preservatives, sugars, flavors, and other harmful ingredients.
This powerful combination of supplements is an excellent way to maximize your fast. Here’s a brief description of each supplement:
- Fastonic: neutralizes free radicals and decreases the oxidative stress that are released during a fast.
- Bind: reduces detoxification symptoms and helps to accelerate toxic elimination.
- CytoDetox®: designed to eliminate toxins that have accumulated over time. Helps to reduce unpleasant symptoms that often occur during fasting. (This product can also be used before during or after a fast).
Fasting Trio - CytoDetox, Fastonic, BIND can be used by those new to fasting as well as seasoned experts. In addition to these benefits, users of this product are also invited to join the Fasting for a Purpose group. Click here for more information.
One of the most common side effects of intermittent fasting is a drop in energy levels. This often happens as the body shifts from burning carbs (food) to burning fat (ketosis). That’s where NuMedica - MCT Oil USP comes in.
MCTs are medium chain triglycerides that are broken down by the body to be used as energy. These fatty acids are quickly absorbed in the body for fuel, and can be used for energy more efficiently than long chain fatty acids (LCTs).
NuMedica - MCT Oil USP can be added to sauces, or used as a substitute for salad dressings. It is free of artificial flavors, preservatives, soy, milk, wheat, and other potentially harmful products.
It can also be added to beverages, which makes it a great supplement that won’t break a fast.
When it comes to taking care of our bodies, fasting is second to none. It has been used for centuries for a variety of reasons, including weight loss, regulating blood sugar, improving cardiovascular health and reducing the risk of some cancers. In addition to physical benefits, it has been used by many religions for its spiritual benefits as well.
The health benefits of intermittent fasting have been documented by science as well: studies on intermittent fasting have shown improvements in a variety of health indicators, including DNA repair, autophagy, insulin resistance and risk factors for cardiovascular disease.3
Even though the body is able to reap the benefits of fasting naturally, there are many supplements available to maximize its effects. Give intermittent fasting and these fasting supplements a try. Your body will thank you.
1Urso C, Canino B, Brucculeri S, (et al.) Analysis of Electrolyte Abnormalities and The Mechanisms Leading To Arrhythmias In Heart Failure. A Literature Review. Clin Ter. Published 2016 Jul-Aug;167(4):e85-91. [PMID: 27598028] doi: 10.7417/CT.2016.1944. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27598028
2He FJ, MacGregor GA. Salt And Sugar: Their Effects on Blood Pressure. Pflugers Arch. Published 2015 Mar;467(3):577-86. [PMID: 25547872] doi: 10.1007/s00424-014-1677-x. Epub 2014 Dec 30. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25547872
3Mattson MP, Longo VD, Harvie M. Impact Of Intermittent Fasting On Health And Disease Processes. Ageing Res Rev. Published 2017 Oct;39:46-58. [PMID: 27810402] PMCID: PMC5411330 doi: 10.1016/j.arr.2016.10.005. Epub. 2016 Oct 31.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27810402