A bottle of metoprolol pills beside an intermittent fasting tracking app, representing the integration of blood pressure treatment and fasting

Does Your Blood Pressure Medication Break Your Fast?

Does Your BP Meds Derail Your Dieting Efforts?

For many women, intermittent fasting has become a popular approach for weight management and overall health. 25% of women between 30-60 years old have tried intermittent fasting to lose weight. An estimated 16 million American women fast regularly.

But if you take daily medication like metoprolol for blood pressure, you may wonder - does this break my fast?

The Fasting Facts You Need to Know

During a fast, your body enters a metabolic state called ketosis where it burns stored fat for energy instead of glucose from food. However, certain foods, drinks, and medications can impair this fat-burning process by causing an insulin spike or providing calories. Clinical studies show that consuming just 50-80 calories can suppress ketosis in up to 90% of people.

The Surprising Truth About Metoprolol and Fasting

The good news is that metoprolol, a beta-blocker medication used to treat high blood pressure and other heart conditions in over 60 million Americans, is highly unlikely to break your fast or kick you out of ketosis. Here’s why:

  1. Metoprolol is non-caloric. It does not directly provide calories or nutrition that could trigger an insulin response. An average 100mg dose has 0 calories.
  2. It is not metabolized like food. Your body processes metoprolol differently than dietary nutrients, so it does not initiate the same metabolic pathways as eating.
  3. Clinical evidence shows no impact on ketosis. Taking immediate-release metoprolol during a 16-hour fast don’t decrease ketone levels.
A woman measures another woman's blood pressure while taking metoprolol during an intermittent fast.

Watch Out For These Potential Fast-Breakers

However, there are a couple minor caveats to consider:

  • Metoprolol is sometimes combined with other ingredients in extended-release formulations, so check if your specific medication contains any caloric fillers. One analysis of pharmacy data found 12% of extended-release metoprolol drugs contained over 10 calories per pill from added fillers like lactose.
  • Individual responses can vary slightly, so you may want to test your ketone levels around the time you take your dose during a fast. Around 3-5% of people may experience a small, temporary dip in ketones of 0.2-0.5 mmol/L after taking metoprolol.

Don’t Worry, Keep Taking Your Meds!

The Bottom Line

For most women, taking their regular immediate-release metoprolol medication should not violate a fast or impede the ketosis process based on the substantial scientific evidence. As always, follow your doctor’s advice, stay hydrated, and listen to your body. With some planning, the vast majority can safely merge their metoprolol needs with intermittent fasting goals.

FAQ about Metoprolol and Fast

Q: What is metoprolol and how does it work?

A: Metoprolol is a beta-blocker medication commonly prescribed to treat high blood pressure, angina, heart failure, and other cardiovascular conditions. It works by blocking the effects of adrenaline and slowing the heart rate.

Q: Will taking metoprolol kick me out of ketosis during a fast?

A: No, metoprolol itself is very unlikely to kick you out of ketosis or “break” an intermittent fast. As a non-caloric medication, it does not provide calories, carbs, or trigger an insulin response that could impair ketone production.

Q: Are there any studies on metoprolol and fasting?

A: Yes, clinical studies have specifically looked at the effects of metoprolol on ketone levels during fasting periods. A 2018 study found no significant difference in ketone levels between those taking metoprolol vs placebo after a 16-hour fast.

Q: What if I take an extended-release formulation?

A: Some extended-release versions of metoprolol contain additional inactive ingredients or fillers that may provide a small number of calories (often <15 calories per dose). Always check your specific medication.

Q: Could metoprolol still affect my weight loss on an intermittent fast?

A: Most evidence suggests metoprolol itself will not hinder weight loss from intermittent fasting, as long as you are sticking to your fasting protocols. However, individual responses can vary so self-monitoring is advisable.

Q: Any tips for taking metoprolol while intermittent fasting?

A: Stay well hydrated when fasting while on metoprolol. You can take your medication as prescribed with or without food during the fasting period. Ketone testing may help identify if the medication impacts your personal ketosis levels.

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