Detox drinks have become very trendy. They aren’t a new thing though. People have been using plant-based ingredients in beverages for thousands of years. Here are the best detox drinks for weight loss that have the backing of research studies….
Want to detox your body? The good news is that unless your immune system is completely shot, your body is detoxing as you’re reading this.
Your liver and kidneys, arguably the two most important detox organs, are constantly helping your body get rid of impurities.
But for some people, not even exercising and eating healthy are enough to lose weight. Those stubborn 10-15 pounds refuse to come off.
There are several reasons why weight loss may be difficult despite leading a healthy lifestyle. Reasons and examples include:
- Environmental pollution: Black mold in your home may hinder your body’s detoxification ability.
- Stress: Chronic worrying about finances releases stress hormones. Large amounts of stress hormones interferes with digestion and detoxification.
- Poor gut health: If you’ve taken lots of antibiotics over the years, it can kill the good bacteria in your gut. Gut health is directly linked to immune and detoxification function.
Whatever the reasons are, you may have a liver that’s underperforming. And when your liver underperforms, it’s hard to keep the weight off.
That’s why detox drinks for weight loss are super trendy.
Do Detox Drinks Work?
Not according to mainstream medicine. In fact, the only official detoxification drink that western medicine recognizes is ipecac. Ipecac causes vomiting. Vomiting is a good thing when you (or your child) accidentally—or unknowingly—swallows something poisonous.
But in hospitals and medical clinics, you won’t see nurses or doctors dispense fancy detox drinks to patients.
Does this mean that all trendy juice cleanses don’t work?
For detoxification, it’s debatable. On one hand, plant-based ingredients may not detoxify the body. At least not according to the western medicine definition of “detoxification,” which would be removing something poisonous from the body.
On the other hand, specific compounds in plant-based foods do play a role in the body’s complex detoxification process.
Another thing about going on a juice or water cleanse is that they tend to be low calorie. So if you’re doing a 3, 5 or 7-day low-calorie cleanse, you’ll almost certainly lose weight. The question will be if you’ll be able to keep it off.
The theory behind the best detox drinks for weight loss is that after you finish with the cleanse, your liver will function better. And as long as you don’t eat junk food when the cleanse is over, your rebooted digestive system will burn fat more efficiently.
Let’s take a look at some of the liquid concoctions to help you lose weight….
Best Detox Drinks for Weight Loss #1: Lemon Juice
This study in Nutrition Research says that a low-calorie lemon detox program helps reduce body weight and body fat.
The drink consists of lemon juice, and organic maple and palm syrups. One might think that because syrup is high in sugar, the drink would not be effective for losing weight. However, keep in mind that no food was consumed for the 7 days.
The study involved 84 women in South Korea. And not only did the women who drank the lemon juice experience weight loss, their blood sugar levels also improved. Levels of the hormone, leptin, were also reduced.
In overweight people, leptin levels are high, and the brain doesn’t get the signal to stop eating.
Here’s another plus from the study: the lemon juice group also had better immune function and lower inflammation. In light of this, drinking lemon juice may help your body detoxify better. After all, if your immune system is weak and your body has lots of inflammation, chances are your liver won’t be able to detoxify as well as it could.
Best Detox Drink For Weight Loss #2: Apple Cider Vinegar
There are several benefits of drinking apple cider vinegar (ACV). Better-looking skin and improved blood sugar levels are a couple clinically-backed examples.
But can ACV help with weight loss and flush toxins from the body? Like most natural substances, there’s no large, clinical trials proving as much.
However, there is some preliminary research that supports adding it to the diet. A study from Japan involving obese people (not animals) showed vinegar intake reduces body weight as well as fat in the blood.
Another small study suggests ACV improves cholesterol levels in people with high cholesterol. Excess cholesterol can be considered a sign that the body has difficulty in detoxifying metabolites.
If you are going to drink ACV, make sure you buy a high-quality brand like Mrs. Bragg’s. Mrs. Bragg’s is raw and unfiltered. Raw, unfiltered ACV contains the beneficial part of the vinegar known as “the mother.”
Keep in mind that the taste of ACV is too harsh for many people. To improve the taste, add stevia or maple syrup to a glass of water. As for how much ACV to use, 1 tbsp is plenty.
You can also add lemon juice (see above) or other detoxification-friendly herbs and spices such as ginger.
Best Natural Detox Drink Recipes for Weight Loss #3: The Master Cleanse
It’s easy to diss The Master Cleanse as a Hollywood farce. Many celebrities have gone on the Master Cleanse, perhaps to lose weight for a role. Or because a “health guru” talked it up.
The Master Cleanse is a food-free diet of varying length (up to 21 days). It’s a mix of pure water, cayenne pepper, lemon juice and maple syrup. The Master Cleanse salt water flush is a variation. Its purpose, as the title implies, is to flush toxins from the body.
Again, because it’s low-calorie, the chances of weight loss are high. As for its detoxifying potential, you’ve already read above how lemon juice can help.
Other ingredients also have some research backing. Cayenne pepper, says this research, has anti-obesity properties.
Best Detox Drink Ingredient #4: Activated Charcoal
In addition to ipecac, the only other recognized western-medicine detox substance is activated charcoal. Most hospitals keep charcoal in stock in case of poisoning or drug overdose. Unlike ipecac, it’s usually given in powder form (or via feeding tube in the emergency room).
Activated charcoal has gone from the ER to the health bar. It’s an ingredient in several brands of juice cleanses.
Mainstream doctors would probably argue that unless there’s something truly poisonous in your gut, drinking juice with charcoal won’t magically whisk toxins out of your bloodstream.
However, considering sales of juice cleanses are booming, lots of consumers think it can help. And why shouldn’t it? Charcoal can help get rid of heavy metals and mold from the body.
If you want to make your own beverage at home, there are brands of charcoal powder that you can buy online. You can simply blend the powder with water and other nutrients that may help encourage weight loss, such as marine collagen peptides.
Best Natural Detox Drink for Weight Loss #5: Turmeric Shots
Never heard of turmeric shots? Assuming you’re familiar with turmeric spice, pounding a shot is the liquid way of getting the benefits from this anti-inflammation all-star.
Curcumin is the compound that’s responsible for many of the benefits in turmeric. This includes possible weight loss.
To make a turmeric shot, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground dried stevia leaves
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- dash black pepper
Simply blend all the ingredients and refrigerate.
Best Drink For Weight Loss #6: Detox Tea
Herbal teas can also help support the liver. A sampling of some of the best botanicals to use are chamomile, licorice root, hibiscus, rose hips, alfalfa, dandelion root and burdock root.
For thousands of years, these herbs (and others) have been used as purifying ingredients in Indian, Native American, and Chinese medicine, and other traditional medicine systems.
You can add decaffeinated green tea to get more antioxidants.
If you don’t feel like brewing all these herbs and making a tea, just buy dandelion tea from the store.
Best Drink To Help You Lose Weight #7: Green Drinks
Green leafy veggies are the best for supporting the health of your liver and thus flushing your body of toxins. Kale has been shown in studies to lower cholesterol and body fat. Collard greens fight inflammation. And if you’ve ever watched Popeye, you already know what spinach can do for your body.
Weight Loss Drink #8: Celery Juice
Thanks to “The Medical Medium,” aka Anthony William, celery juice is having its moment in the sun. If you’re not familiar with William, he’s not a doctor. But he does charge people a steep fee ($500) for a 30-minute consultation, divining out of thin air what your ailment might be.
Nonetheless, thousands of people have hopped on William’s celery juice bandwagon. In William’s defense, there is evidence that drinking celery juice may offer numerous benefits.
On the Medical Medium website, it states, “Eventually, research will reveal that [celery juice] flushes out toxins, dead pathogens such as viruses and bacteria, and pathogenic neurotoxins and debris from every crevice of the body.
In addition, William says, “A sluggish, stagnant, fatty liver causes lower bile production, which means the body can’t break down and disperse fats easily.”
If you want to give celery juice a try all you need is one bunch of it and run it through a juicer or blender.
Don’t add anything to the celery juice, suggests William.
Best Detox Drink #9: Wheatgrass
The grass of the common wheat plant Triticum aestivum has been shown to help manage ulcerative colitis, type 2 diabetes and obesity.
#10: Spa Water
Spa water is fruit infused water. Think mint detox water or water with cucumber wedges and strawberry slices. There are countless detox water recipes.
Side Effects of Detox Drinks for Weight Loss
According to mainstream medicine, detox drinks don’t actually remove toxins from the body. It’s the kidneys, liver, lungs and skin that do that.
The reason why you may feel better after going on a cleanse diet is you’re not eating junk food. As for why you may lose weight, it’s because you’ll be eating way less calories than you normally do.
Keep in mind that if you’re doing a calorie-restricted detox drink diet (like the Master Cleanse), you’re going to be depriving yourself of protein. The human body needs to consume protein every day for optimal health. So consider adding some clean, plant-based protein such as a powder from pea protein, hemp or brown rice protein.
Do detox diets offer any health benefits?
What is the apple cider vinegar detox?
Plants Consumption and Liver Health
Activated Charcoal An Effective Treatment for Poisonings
Therapeutic Roles of Curcumin: Lessons Learned from Clinical Trials
A Review of the Antioxidant Activity of Celery