Coffee and Fasting: A Match Made in Heaven

It’s all about the little things

Many times, when I tell people that I am into “Human Optimization” they generally think I am speaking of sci-fi biohacking techniques and super complicated science. Granted, there are many leaders in the human optimization field that are doing some expensive and intricate practices that reap great benefits. In my opinion, human optimization is something much more basic than that. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars or dedicate hours of your day to be an optimized human. Even something as simple as drinking coffee can bring your life to a higher level. Below I will dive into a couple of ways that drinking black coffee along with intermittent fasting will add value to your life.

Coffee and intermittent fasting

In the world of intermittent fasting, there is a lot of debate on whether or not coffee breaks a fast. Of course, if the cup of joe is filled with cream and sugar it is going to throw you out of your state of fasting. On the other hand, there is a lot of evidence that shows BLACK coffee will not cause any spike in insulin and actually enhances some of the benefits individuals who intermittently fast seek. The benefits I will highlight in this article are fat burning and cellular recycling or “autophagy”. Both of these are included in the advantages of intermittent fasting, but both can be augmented with a couple cups of coffee a day (please don’t drink more than 2 cups. More than that then you are going to cause damage to stomach and intestines). Below I will highlight a little bit of science explaining this positive impact that coffee has on fat loss and cellular health.

Fat Burning

Let’s be honest, a lot of individuals main goal for intermittent fasting is to boost fat loss. Drinking coffee during your fasting window will supply you with plenty of caffeine to suppress your appetite and kick up your body’s metabolic rate. This is because caffeine increases thermogenesis, which is overly simplified as burning fat. Essentially your body will heat up because of the stimulating effects of caffeine and it will use more energy to keep your internal temperature regulated. If you are interested in a deeper understanding of coffee and thermogenesis check out this article.


Let’s stop for a second, what really is autophagy? It is a natural process that is essential to our health and longevity. When our body goes through stress it will naturally eliminate damaged or dead cells that no longer contribute to our health. The danger with these cells sticking around is that they cause inflammation which leads to a myriad of problems. Ridding the body of these compromised cells can lead to many benefits for us humans. Autophagy has been shown to…

  • Protects against heart disease
  • Boosts immune system
  • Potentially fight cancer
  • Improve cognitive function and promote neuroplasticity
  • Prevent damage of healthy tissues and organs


This all sounds amazing. The real question is how do we structure our lifestyle in a way that leads to more time for this naturally recycling process. Regular exercise and intermittent fasting have been linked to an increase in autophagy. Another way to induce autophagy in the body is to consume the magical dark elixir we call coffee. A cup of joe is filled with polyphenols (micronutrients that are found in certain plant-based foods). These are loaded with antioxidants that bring many health benefits to the body. Through various pathways, these polyphenols induce autophagy in the body. The great thing is that this benefit is not dependent on caffeine, even decaf coffee will increase autophagy. Tea also is a source of these great antioxidants if you are not a fan of coffee.

Below I have links to three different articles for a deeper understanding of autophagy. The main point I want to get across is that coffee along with intermittent fasting can have a huge impact on your longevity and quality of life.


Deep Dive on Autophagy:

Coffee and Autophagy:


I probably didn’t need to give you more of a reason to drink coffee, but it is nice to know you are actually helping yourself by enjoying a cup or two throughout the morning. If you are seeking fat loss and anti-aging benefits of intermittent fasting, then definitely include black coffee in your daily regimen. As a word of caution, do not exceed more than two cups a day. Coffee is very acidic and excess consumption can cause havoc to your stomach and intestinal lining. Also, try to avoid having coffee any later than 3 pm as the caffeine can negatively affect your sleep cycle. If you take a look at my previous article, I enjoy a cup upon waking up and also around 2 pm to give me the extra push through the end of my workday. Overall coffee is a great addition to becoming an optimized human.

Note: Tea can be a great substitution. If you don’t like coffee, react poorly to high amounts of caffeine, or have a sensitive stomach then you can definitely switch it out for tea. This is especially important if you are a person who suffers from high blood pressure.

Hope you enjoyed this article. Please if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment or email me through the contact page. Also if you know anyone that is on their path to health and wellness please share my articles with them. Overall, my goal of this site is to share knowledge and help others get the most out of life.

With Big Love,

Rob Young

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