Intermittent or long term fasting and curious if enjoying a latte will end your fast? Does drinking a latte count as a fast failure?
The calories in a latte will vary based on the type of milk used, size, and added flavorings. A traditional latte contains 1-2oz of espresso (6-10 calories) and 8oz of whole milk (150 calories). A fast is usually considered broken when more than 5-10 calories are eaten or drunk, so a latte does break a fast.
That’s the short answer, but breaking or not breaking a fast is somewhat subjective, so in this article, we’ll cover when a fast is broken, how different types of lattes affect your fast, and what other coffee drinks do and do not break a fast.
In This Article:
- What Counts as Breaking a Fast?
- What’s in a Latte
- Does a Latte Break a Fast?
- What About Other Coffee Drinks?
Does a Latte Break a Fast?
What Counts as Breaking a Fast
A fast is generally considered “broken” when you eat or drink calories. However, there are no hard or fast rules for how many calories break your fast, so at the end of the day, it is up to you.
Technically, consuming any amount of calories breaks a fast, however, that would mean that drinking a cup of black coffee, which only contains 1-10 calories, would count as breaking a fast. Most people are more than comfortable with drinking coffee in their fast and not considering it broken, since the few calories arn’t felt. Some people will even drink 20-60 calories of cream or milk in their coffee and still consider themselves to be in their fast.
Tip: Caffeine is an appetite suppressant, so drinking coffee will probably help with your fast.
Drinks with 0 calories that no one would count as breaking a fast include: Water, carbonated water, and tea.
At the end of the day, it’s not up to me, a random guy on the internet. You should use the reason why you’re fasting to create your fast rules.
If you’re fasting to lose weight, then you’ll be okay with consuming a few calories and continuing on with your day.
If it’s for mental health and to feel good, then you should experiment with drinking lattes and see if they keep your mind in the “fasting mode.”
If you’re fasting for autophagy and internal cellular level benefits, you may want to avoid eating over 10 calories or so to prevent entering digesting mode.
What’s in a Latte
To determine if a latte breaks your fast, you need to know what you’re actually putting into your body when you drink one.
A latte is really just espresso and milk. It’s made with 1-2 shots of espresso and topped with some type of steamed milk, usually whole milk.
Espresso is just a form of concentrated coffee. While regular coffee is made by slowly dripping hot water over loose ground coffee beans, espresso is made by quickly forcing pressurized hot water through a compact “puck” of ground beans. This creates a much stronger coffee with less volume.
The type of milk used in a latte is usually whole milk because it traditionally froths the best, but other types of milk like skim, oat, almond, or coconut can be used.
When making a latte, the milk is frothed through the use of a “steam wand” that injects hot air to create bubbles in the milk and heat it up. The very top layer of the latte milk is frothed which creates an extra light and airy foam.
Almost all of the calories in a latte come from the milk. The espresso will only add 1-10 calories from the oils of the coffee beans.
As for how many calories, it will depend on the type of milk and how much is used. A latte can have between 8-15 ounces of milk depending on the size. The chart below from healthline.com shows you how many calories will be in an 8-ounce latte depending on the milk used.
Does a Latte Break a Fast?
As I mentioned above, breaking a fast is somewhat subjective. There’s no exact calorie intake that makes a fast break, but most people would say eating or drinking anything over 10 calories (this buffer allows for drinking coffee) would put the body into a digesting mode, breaking a fast.
I personally would say that it depends on what type of milk you use. A whole milk latte is 150 calories, which I personally would consider breaking fast, however, an almond milk latte is only 40 calories, which I would say doesn’t take me out of fasting mode.
At the end of the day, I say drink what you want to. Even if you do “break your fast” with 150 calories of whole milk, as long as you don’t eat or drink any other calories you should burn those calories off within an hour or two of just sitting, and within 20-30 minutes of walking. Then you’ll be right back in your fast again!
What About Other Coffee Drinks?
A cup of black coffee only contains 5-10 calories from the coffee oils, so virtually everyone considers drinking black coffee as not breaking a fast. However, if you add sugar, cream, or milk to your coffee, you’re adding extra calories, which could break your fast.
I personally believe that if you want to add less than 100 calories of milk or cream to your coffee and don’t eat or drink anything else, you should do so and consider yourself still fasting. Enjoy your life! Unless it’s medically necessary, you’re fasting in order to make your quality of life better. So add some milk to your coffee and be happy!
Cappuccinos have the same milk-to-espresso ratio as lattes, so they are in the same boat when it comes to fasting.
Americanos are just espresso and water, so you can consider them the same as black coffee and not breaking a fast.
Does an Iced Latte Break a Fast?
An iced latte contains a similar amount of calories as a hot latte, maybe just slightly less due to the space taken up by the ice. The calories in an iced latte will range between 40-300 depending on the type of milk used, the size, and any added flavorings or sweeteners.
This article was written by me, Josh, the founder and owner of angryespresso.com. You can learn more about me on our About the Team page.