Does Hibiscus Tea Break a Fast? – When It Does and Doesn’t


Tea Facts /

You’re fasting, and you like drinking tea, in particular, you like drinking hibiscus tea – you just love it right? And maybe the fear set in when you thought… Does hibiscus tea break a fast?!

Well, fear not. Here’s where I’ll take you through the details about hibiscus tea and fasting … when it does and doesn’t break a fast, and a few ways and small wins to get around it all.

Let’s start with the short answer and go on from there…

Authentically brewed hibiscus tea has only 37 calories. As this is below the 50 calorie limit it will not break a fast. Pure hibiscus tea is an infusion of hibiscus tea in hot water, with no added sugar or milk. Hibiscus tea also aids in weight loss and fat burning, so has other fasting benefits.

So let’s get straight into more details for this…

Why hibiscus tea doesn’t break a fast 

Now we have an overview of why hibiscus tea doesn’t break a fast, it’s a good idea to better understand why – and when your fast would be broken with Hibiscus tea!

An authentic cup of herbal tea is only an herbal infusion.

In other words, hibiscus tea in its true form is only an infusion of hibiscus flowers into hot water.

In this form, a cup of hibiscus tea will only contain 37 calories per cup. To give this more perspective here’s some information on how many cups of tea you should drink per day.

According to the general rule of fasting, as long as you stay under 50 calories during the fasting window, your body will remain in a fasted state.

So … Does hibiscus tea break a fast?

In its purest form, having a cup of hibiscus tea (with just hot water) during your fasting window will not break your fast. In fact, it can provide added benefits to fasting.

Hibiscus tea can benefit fasting

Hibiscus tea has an interesting flavor profile.

This makes it an ideal – and certainly one of the more palatable drinks you can have while fasting. To add to this, hibiscus tea is filling and satisfying, so goes a long way toward keeping you away from any cravings.

Reduces belly fat during fasting

Hibiscus tea purportedly reduces belly fat. Brazil in specific uses hibiscus tea as a weight-loss beverage. So if you’re fasting for weight loss, hibiscus tea while fasting can boost up the benefits of your fasting.

Aids general weight loss during fasting

According to a study, it’s been suggested that hibiscus tea may be associated with weight loss and offers some protection against obesity. If fasting for weight loss purposes then this might provide a positive contribution.

In the study, 36 participants were assessed while taking either hibiscus extracts or a placebo.

The 12 weeks study concluded that the ones who took hibiscus extract resulted in positive effects on weight loss.

Aside from weight loss, hibiscus tea extract also showed a positive influence in reducing body fat, body mass index, and hip-to-waist ratio.

It also best to emphasize that hibiscus tea indeed has some amazing medical properties that can benefit your health.

Besides drinking hibiscus tea within the fasting window, you could also make this tea a part of your daily lifestyle or even during the feeding window. So you don’t have to fast in order to benefit from hibiscus tea.

hibiscus tea packet and mug of hibiscus tea

When does hibiscus tea break a fast?

The core reason or element that decides when hibiscus tea can break a fast comes only from how you brew it or in which brewed form you have it.

This aligns with what we already said, that hibiscus tea cannot break a fast when it is brewed authentically.

An authentic hibiscus tea brew requires the following steps:

  • Add dried hibiscus flowers to a teapot
  • Pour boiling water into the teapot
  • Let it steep for 5-10 minutes
  • Strain them into the cup
  • Enjoy the benefits of hibiscus tea

Note – you can even drink hibiscus tea cold, by chilling it or adding ice cubes after the tea has cooled down. This does not affect any fasting requirements.

Non-authentic hibiscus tea that may break your fast

Most “canned” hibiscus tea that is sold is packed with calories that will likely take you beyond the 50 calorie rule required to keep you in a fasted state.

Also, the type of water you use to brew your tea can also make a great difference with the calorie content in your tea.

Especially, water brands that target active adults like “propel” or other flavored water, and vitamin water all contain additional calories.

So avoid using such waters to brew your hibiscus tea.  

Sugar can break a fast

Finally, as we probably all know, sugar is packed with calories, so sugar is one key ingredient that you should avoid when brewing hibiscus tea.

In general one cup of tea calls for 1-3 teaspoons of sugar. One tsp. of sugar has 16 calories.

However, hibiscus tea has a tart-like and sour flavor, more akin to cranberry.

So a cup of hibiscus tea is an acquired taste. For many people, it may have you crying out for the sugar bowl …in order to make it more palatable. This will almost certainly load your teacup with calories.

Does adding honey or artificial sweeteners to hibiscus tea break a fast?

One tsp. of honey contains 21 calories, which is less than 50 calories. Here are more details regarding when honey breaks a fast.

But again as I mentioned, the flavor of hibiscus tea may leave you craving for more sugar because of its slightly more sour flavor.

However, recently, many actually now believe the sweetness induced from honey, even in small amounts can have an impact on your fasting.

In other words, even if you add one tsp. of honey in your hibiscus tea, which is below 50 calories to not break your fast, the sweetness from this one tsp. may still impact your fasted state.

Regarding artificial sweeteners with zero calories, especially stevia, they won’t break your fast.

Some people don’t find any issues with taking or adding stevia to your zero-calorie beverages like hibiscus tea. However again, the “sweet effect” from tea has the potential to break your fast, so proceed with caution!

hibiscus tea leaves and a mug of hibiscus tea

What is the sweet effect?

Regarding this “sweet effect” aspect, honey with its sweetness can trigger the release of insulin, no matter how little you take.

One best outcome of fasting, especially for weight loss is that it reduces insulin sensitivity which results in low insulin levels.

This low insulin effect is crucial for weight loss. So when you take honey, the sweet effect from it can work the other way around, making your fasting rather unproductive.

Unfortunately, recent studies have shown that zero-calorie sweeteners can also trigger the release of insulin, just like honey or sugar.

So I’d recommend you take hibiscus tea without added sugar or even artificial sweeteners to get the optimum fasting results.

Does adding milk or creamers to hibiscus tea break a fast?

Firstly, hibiscus tea easily curdles when mixed with milk, but Hibiscus tea is often manufactured as a latte, adding milk or creamers.

So unless you buy it off the shelf with creamer added, then making it at home is possible – if a little more tricky – and if you follow the simple steps below. If nothing else it will impress your friends and family!

I’d recommend starting with something like this hibiscus tea on amazon, and just giving it a try by making it at home. Or for seasoned tea drinkers, I’d head straight for this hibiscus tea instead.

Once you have your hibiscus tea, to make your hibiscus tea a little more creamy, then simply add the whisked froth of milk on top of your cup of hibiscus tea to give it that creamier taste. Use a flat bowl and a spoon to scoop the froth gently onto the tea once it’s brewed and settled.

Worth noting though, that milk or creamer contains calories. So having hibiscus tea with milk or creamers added can break your fast. 

It’s a good idea to expand on what you can have while fasting, so here are other teas I’ve written about that are also relevant to breaking your fast…

We’ll discuss caffeine content next for those who are also fasting and monitoring – or reducing – their caffeine levels.

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Caffeine in hibiscus tea

For further health reasons, it’s worth adding to this subject that there is zero caffeine in hibiscus tea. So for those trying to reduce their caffeine content while fasting as well, hibiscus tea provides a great option.

Here are some links to my other articles concerning caffeine content other types of tea you might be taking while fasting.

To finish up…

I hope this has been useful for you in answering the question – does hibiscus tea break a fast. Remain fearful no longer, go ahead and plunder the Hibiscus tea aisles. And don’t forget to check out my Tea Sommelier Course, and also my tea-wares recommendations!