Does Lemon or Lime Water Break Your Fast?
Does Lemon or Lime Water break a fast? (Photo: Adobe Stock)
Human Window Staff
By Human Window Staff
Updated on September 29, 2019

If you’re practising intermittent fasting, then it’s important to know what foods and drinks will or won’t break your fast. So where does Lemon and Lime water stand?

To get the full benefits of fasting, you’ll need to make sure that you’re not consuming things that bring you out of the ‘fasted’ state before you do so intentionally.

The problem is that it’s sometimes pretty tricky to work out whether things are going to kick you out of the fasted state or not.

We’ve already written several articles about this, including one of our most read pages: does a pre workout supplement break a fast?

But where does lemon and lime water stand in this debate? Many people choose to have some lemon or lime in their water for its supposed benefits, but is doing this actually going to bring you out of your fasted state?

In this article, we’re going to take a detailed look at intermittent fasting, what breaks a fast and whether it’s OK to have lemon or lime water without kicking you out of the fasted state.

We’re going to break this page up into the following sections:

• What is Intermittent Fasting?
• What is Lemon or Lime Water?
• Does a Lemon or Lime Water Break Your Fast?
• Anything Else to Consider?
• Conclusion – Our Final Thoughts

So, now that the introductions are out of the way, let’s start off by taking a closer look at what intermittent fasting actually is and whether lemon or lime water can be used alongside it.

What is Intermittent Fasting?

If you’re reading this article, then you probably already know the basic points about Intermittent Fasting, but let’s cover them anyhow so that we’re all on the same page.

In case you didn’t know Intermittent Fasting (sometimes simply called IF), is simply a general term for various eating patterns that involve fasting (not eating) for short periods of time.

To people who have never heard of or tried it, the word ‘fast’ can sound pretty dramatic, but the truth is that it’s actually a relatively straightforward (and probably natural) way of eating.

Basically, if you’re practising intermittent fasting, then you are simply ensuring that you are eating your foods in a shorter ‘window’ than normal.

There is plenty of scientific research emerging that suggests there are some health benefits to fasting at times, and it’s become something of a more popular way of eating in recent years.

Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting has become much more popular in recent years (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Many people also use it as an option to help control their weight, because you generally end up eating less if you’re sticking to a shorter ‘window’ in which to consume your calories.

The science aside, many people also choose to stick to an IF protocol because it helps to improve their relationship with food and improve productivity.

For example, some people report being able to concentrate and focus better during their fasting periods, which can help with their productivity levels.

Sticking to an IF routine also means that you can enjoy a deepened relationship with food, and understand what ‘real hunger’ in comparison to simply craving the next sugar hit.

There are lots of different intermittent fasting protocols, and you can choose one to suit your lifestyle the best.

One popular intermittent fasting method is a daily 16-hour minimum fast with an eight-hour ‘eating window’.

In this case, if you finish eating at 8pm, for example, you would fast until 12pm the following day. Other variations include protocols such as a 24-hour fast, one day a week.

If you’re interested in knowing more about Intermittent Fasting, then we recommend contacting our resident expert and 2 Meal Day founder Max Lowery for more information.

The Bottom Line: Intermittent Fasting (IF) is the name given to the practice of sticking to eating patterns that involve fasting (not eating) for short periods of time. It is believed to have a number of health benefits. There are numerous intermittent fasting protocols. A simple and easy to follow one is a a daily 16-hour minimum fast with an eight-hour ‘eating window’.

What is Lemon or Lime Water?

So, before we can answer the question about whether Lemon or Lime water will break your fast, it’s first important to make sure that we have the same definition of what it is.

Some people consider Lemon or Lime water to simply be a glass or bottle of water which has had a few slices or lemon or lime added to it.

Other people, however, would also consider squeezing the lemon or lime juice into a glass of water to be the same thing.

The truth is that there is some difference between these two methods (but more on that below).

Simply put, Lemon or Lime water is made by adding either a few slices of the fruit – or some of the lemon or lime juice – directly to your glass of water.

Some people also choose to add other things to their water, such as slices of cucumber, orange or even other things such as strawberries and herb leaves.

Many people choose to start their day with a glass of lemon or lime water because of its supposed health benefits.

These are said to include things such as hydration and the fact that citrus fruits are a source of Vitamin C.

However, if it does indeed break a fast, then you can see why the timing of this popular drink may be an issue.

So, now that we’ve taken a closer look at Lemon and Lime water, it’s time to find out whether it will actually break your fast or not.

The Bottom Line: Lemon or Lime water is a popular drink made by either adding slices of lemon or lime to a glass of water, or squeezing the juice into the drink. Drinking Lemon or Lime water could have some benefits for hydration and thanks to the fact that citrus fruits contain Vitamin C.

Does a Lemon or Lime Water Break Your Fast?

So, does Lemon or Lime Water break your fast?

Unfortunately, there is not really a definitive answer to this question.

If you want to be 100 per cent sure that you are not breaking your fast, then we always recommend sticking only to water during your fasting periods.

Citrus fruits such as Lemon and Lime contain a sugar called Fructose, which once ingested, will pull you out of the fasted state, because it contains calories.

The thing to bear in mind when it comes to Lemon and Lime water is the amount you are adding.

If you are simply adding a few slices or lemon or lime to your water, then most of the fructose will be staying in the fruit itself, meaning that it probably won’t break your fast.

However, if you are instead squeezing the juice into the glass of water, then you’re likely to be adding more fructose to the drink, which is more likely to break your fast.

Tap Water
Drinking just water during your fasting window is one way to be sure of not breaking your fast (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Whether you choose to have Lemon and Lime water while intermittent fasting really depends on your preferences and goals.

If you are looking to get the supposed health benefits from fasting at a cellular level, then maybe it’s best not to drink Lemon or Lime water and stick to just regular water instead.

However, if you’re not as strict with yourself about the fasting and are willing to risk consuming a few calories during the fast, then adding some lemon or lime to your water is probably not going to have a huge effect anyway.

As we mentioned above, it all depends on your goals, your mindset, and how strict you are looking to be with yourself when it comes to your fasting protocol.

If you are really not sure about having Lemon or Lime water during your fast and want to be sure, you could simply drink regular water during your fasting window and enjoy lemon or lime water during your eating window.

The Bottom Line: Lemons and Limes contain a sugar called fructose, which will pull you out of a fast. However, if you are simply leaving the slices of lemon or lime in your water, then it’s likely that most of the fructose will remain in the fruit and not break your fast. If you squeeze the juice of the lemon or lime into your glass, this will release more of the fructose and create a drink that contains more calories. So, if you want to be 100 per cent sure of remaining in a fasted state, we recommend sticking only to water.

Anything Else to Consider?

As we mentioned above, whether or not you’re willing to freak out about something like Lemon or Lime water breaking your fast really depends on your approach to the protocol.

If you’re super strict with yourself, then we recommend consuming nothing but water during your fasting periods.

However, if you’re not as fussy about sticking 100 per cent to the rules of IF, then having some Lemon or Lime Water during your fast is not likely to have a massive impact (in our opinion, at least).

We do also always recommend that you speak to a certified medical professional before thinking about trying intermittent fasting or making any changes to your diet and lifestyle.

Conclusion – Our Final Thoughts

So, that brings us to the end of our look at whether Lemon or Lime Water will break your fast or not.

We’ve walked you through the basic things you need to know about intermittent fasting and lemon or lime water.

To summarize, here is how we see it:

1) Guaranteed not to break fast – Stick to water only
2) Probably won’t break fast – Slices of Lemon or Lime in your water
3) More likely to break fast – Lemon or Lime juice squeezed into your water

We’ll leave it up to you to make the best decision for your personal preferences.