Is there anything you can add to your black organic coffee that might enhance the effects of your fast? We already know that coffee by itself benefits your fast. In other posts, I also talked about how anything with calories is technically breaking your fast. Even though coffee with butter and MCT oil keeps your insulin low and allows you to reap most of the benefits, it still has several hundred calories and is technically breaking your fast.
When you look at possible additives we can add to coffee to enhance your fast, we need to look for ingredients that have both no calories and offer benefits in their own right that correlate with the benefits you get from fasting. When you lay down this criteria, two ingredients immediately come to mind: Cinnamon and Stevia
Cinnamon actually helps reduce insulin resistance. In fact, the chromium and polyphenols in the cinnamon have been proven to be the key ingredients that increases insulin sensitivity (the opposite of insulin resistance). According to a 2008 study published in The Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, the signs of chromium deficiency are similar to those for metabolic syndrome, and when you supplement with chromium, it has been shown to improve glucose, insulin, cholesterol, and HBA1c.
It has also been shown that the polyphenols in cinnamon improve insulin sensitivity. Together, cinnamon has been shown to improve fasting blood glucose, systolic blood pressure, and body fat percentage, making cinnamon the perfect additive to coffee to enhance the effects of fasting.
Stevia extract is very popular as a non-caloric substitute for sugar. Stevia also helps naturally lower blood sugar and insulin levels.
Therefore, adding things like organic stevia and cinnamon to a cream-free, sugar-free, fat-free, calorie-free, coconut-free cup of coffee when you’re in a fasted state seems to enhance the effects of coffee alone while you are in a fasted state.
What about collagen?
There is also a common question I get about adding collagen to your coffee and if that breaks your fast. Collagen and the essential amino acids it contains do contain small amounts of calories. This is a lot less calories than things like MCT oil or grass-fed butter, but it does have calories. The protein content also has been shown to negatively impact cellular autophagy, which is also why bone broth fasts may not be ideal if you are striving for the benefits of cellular cleansing and detoxification you get from autophagy. With that said, if you are injured, trying to speed up recovery, put on or maintain muscle mass while you are in a fasted state, then adding some collagen can also be a helpful addition to your morning cup of joe!