When it comes to your weight loss diet, choosing the right drinks is crucial in boosting your metabolism, curbing your appetite, and helping you reduce calorie intake. However, an average American takes in one out of five daily calories from beverages (1). More specifically, these people get about 7 percent (which is more than 100 calories) of their daily calories from sugary beverages (2).
Seventy percent of adults in the United States are overweight due to drinking problems – and no, we are not referring to alcoholic beverages (2).
There are certain beverages that, when coupled with healthy lifestyle changes, are more effective in promoting weight loss. Some beverages – like green tea, coffee, and high-protein drinks – aid in weight loss by promoting the feelings of satiety and decrease hunger (3).
If you want to make real progress towards your weight loss goals, the best way to do it is to steer clear of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) like fruit juices, colas, and sports drinks. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, this can contribute to hundreds of unnecessary calories to your diet, which leads to weight gain (4).
One mistake that most of us commit is that we focus on cutting back on certain foods or macronutrients when dieting, instead of noticing the liquid calories that go down our guts (2).
In this article, we are going to reveal eight beverages that can help in weight loss. Paired with a healthy lifestyle, diet, and exercise, these beverages can aid in your weight loss goals and help you slim down those extra weight in no time (2).
Change what you drink and start your weight loss mission with these healthy liquids weight loss (2).
Best Weight Loss Beverages to Try
Simple yet essential – kickstarting our list, of course, is no other than water. Although it’s sometimes overlooked, water is one of the most healthful drinks; it has no calories, and some of its known benefits is that it facilitates metabolic and physiological processes and aids in detoxification (5).
As we all know, our bodies are made up of 60 percent of it (2). For some, thirst is sometimes mistaken as hunger, so make sure that you stay hydrated to keep your hunger at bay. Plus, if you take in water before a meal and fill your belly, you get to eat less and obtain no calories (2).
According to a registered dietitian in Denver, Acacia Wright, most of us are chronically under-hydrated yet we are even entirely aware of it. She points out that water is one of the most vital nutrients we can consume, and it serves as a medium for most enzymatic and chemical reactions in the body – particularly metabolic reactions in energy production (6).
Other than aiding in proper digestion, absorption, and transportation of nutrients in the body, water also helps you to remove waste and decrease instances of constipation and bloating (6).
If you are looking to manage your weight, a lot of organizations recommend either increasing water intake or choosing water instead of high-calorie beverages (5). Furthermore, research suggests that drinking around 64 ounces of water each day is ideal for maintaining a healthy weight and good organ functioning (2).
As put by nutritionist Ilana Muhlstein, RD, “The more water you drink, the more weight you may lose (2).”
2. Dandelion Tea
Dandelion leaf is a diuretic, which means it increases the amount of water and salt removed from your body – making you pee more often. Interestingly, a French name for dandelion is “pissenlit,” which translates to “pee in bed (7).”
A Boston and Orlando-based registered dietitian named Carissa Galloway, notes that if you are feeling bloated, two cups of dandelion tea can help you relieve bloating; however, this would not lead you to long-term weight loss. Instead, this offers a temporary water weight loss (6).
A dandelion leaf tea helps you shed some water weight when you feel puffy or overate some salty snacks. If you’ll choose this drink, prepare yourself for more frequent trips to the bathroom (7).
However, don’t confuse dandelion leaf with dandelion root, as the latter is used more as a substitute for coffee although it doesn’t have the same medicinal properties (7).
3. Green Tea
Green tea is commonly known for its antioxidant properties, which offers you a lot of potential health benefits – including weight loss. Green tea has been used in various civilizations for centuries as a treatment for different health conditions (8).
Today, green tea plays a huge role in boosting your metabolism, making your body more efficient in converting food and beverages that you take in, into energy (8).
It has two main ingredients: caffeine and catechin (a type of antioxidant). These components boost the amount of energy that your body uses. Furthermore, catechin aids in the breakdown of fat molecules. Results in a review of 14 studies on the power of green tea, revealed that participants who drank green tea daily for 12 weeks lost around 0.2 to 3.5 kg (8).
With its natural diuretic properties, green tea also helps with fluid retention. Thus, if you drink it every day, the amount of body fat in your body is reduced (8).
When going for this drink, make sure that you drink at least two to three cups of it each day. However, note that the amount will still depend on your body’s natural metabolism rate (8).
Although there are many kinds of green tea available in the market, always opt for the regular one and make sure that they undergo minimal processing. Nonetheless, these amounts offer you enough caffeine and catechin for weight loss and while still maintaining their nutritional content (8).
When preparing this weight loss drink, make sure not to boil the water for too long as it can destroy its catechins, making it ineffective. Only bring the water to a boiling temperature, and allow it to boil for 10 minutes. After that, you can pour it over the green tea leaves. Let it brew for a minute before straining out the leaves in the weight loss drinks (8).
4. Coconut Water
After a simple workout, nothing beats a cold and refreshing coconut water. Compared to energy drinks, pure coconut water usually consists of less sugar and five main electrolytes, namely sodium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium (4).
On that note, Galloway explains that a cup of pure coconut water contains only 46 calories; thus, beverages with high calories – such as juice, soda, or latte – help you to lose weight with its calorie deficit (6).
Galloway also mentioned that coconut water can be used as a sports drink option – only with less calories and sodium. This weight loss drink helps you replenish some electrolytes after sweating a lot from your workout (2)(6).
She also warns that one should read the label and make sure not to purchase coconut water that has added sugar or more calories than what is recommended (6).
Coffee is commonly used by people worldwide to boost their energy and lift their mood. This is because coffee is a great source of caffeine compared to sodas or energy drinks. Caffeine is a substance that acts as a stimulant in the body and aids in weight loss (1)(3).
Black coffee, in particular, is calorie-free yet rich in antioxidants. Studies have shown that drinking around 3 to 4 cups of black coffee a day can improve your mood and concentration, and lower your risk for type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer (1).
A recent study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that drinking four cups of coffee everyday reduced fat by about 4 percent. The study was conducted as a 24-week observational investigation wherein 126 overweight, non-insulin sensitive adults drank either four cups of regular coffee or four cups of a coffee-like placebo beverage each day (2).
The study aimed to look for evidence regarding coffee consumption’s effect in reducing the risk for developing Type 2 diabetes, but it resulted in a much more different (and unexpected) finding – which was a correlation between drinking coffee and moderate body fat loss (2).
The study’s co-author in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Derrick Alpert, mentioned that they believe the fat loss was not due to changes in diet and physical activity. Instead, it was the caffeine that sped up the drinker’s metabolic process (2).
In other studies, coffee drinkers have been found to have an easier time maintaining weight loss over time. Coffee, like other caffeinated beverages, has been shown to increase metabolism and promote fat burning, and also reduce energy intake – all of which may help you lose weight (3).
Opt for caffeinated coffee – and not the ones found in coffee shops with sugary toppings, syrups, and whipped cream. Instead, go for black coffee with only a little milk or cream (6)(7). While you’re at it, a Dallas-based registered dietitian named Alicia Galvin suggests that you drink one cup of coffee before a meal and aim for no more than 200 mg caffeine (2 cups of coffee) every day. She adds, “having caffeine 30 minutes to four hours before a meal may influence stomach emptying, appetite hormones, and feelings of hunger. Opt for organic coffee that is chemical, mold and pesticide free (6).”
6. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, a compound that promotes weight loss by decreasing insulin levels, boosting metabolism, suppressing appetite, and burning fat. Animal studies with 175 participants have shown that acetic acid can prevent weight gain and suppress body fat accumulation in the stomach and liver (3)(6). The subjects drank either 0, 1, or 2 tablespoons of vinegar for three months and the results found that those who consumed it on a daily basis lost an average of 2 to 4 pounds and had lower triglycerides compared to those who didn’t consume the vinegar (6).
Although research is limited, there is some evidence that shows vinegar as effective in encouraging weight loss in humans. A study conducted in 144 obese adults showed that drinking a daily beverage with 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of vinegar per day resulted in significant weight loss, reduced waist circumference, and less belly fat compared to a placebo group (3).
A small study with 39 participants found that those who were on a 12-week restricted-calorie diet and took apple cider vinegar experienced more weight loss and lower cholesterol levels than those who did not consume the salad dressing while following their diet (5)(7).
This beverage promotes satiety for a long time and even reduces overeating by slowing down stomach emptying (3). Also, it is known to decrease insulin levels, as found in a study conducted on people with type 1 diabetes. The study found that apple cider vinegar keeps you fuller longer even by just adding a few spoons of it to your drinks (4).
Note, however, that drinking acidic beverages like apple cider vinegar can cause your teeth to erode and aggravate heartburn, so make sure that you only consume it sparingly and always follow it by rinsing with water (3)(4).
To consume apple cider vinegar for weight loss, you can add 5 to 10 ml of it to a 250 ml room-temperature water. Consume this in the morning on an empty stomach before taking in your breakfast. This will help boost your metabolism, clean your system and serve as a great remedy for water retention (8).
You can also dilute this beverage by mixing 1 to 2 tablespoons into at least a cup of water. This will help protect your esophageal tissue over time (7).
To see the best results, couple this drink with a proper diet and exercise (8).
7. Vegetable Juice
Vegetable juice can be as nutritious as fruit juice – but only with less calories and a lot more sodium. For instance, a cup of tomato juice has 41 calories, while orange juice contains 122 calories. Choosing juice with pulp also provides some fiber, which may help control hunger (1).
While fruit juices can be linked to weight gain, drinking vegetable juices works oppositely. A study found that adults who drank 16 ounces of low-sodium vegetable juice while following a low-calorie diet significantly lost more weight than those who did not. Interestingly, these individuals also significantly increased their vegetable consumption while significantly decreasing their carb intake – two factors that are known to be important for weight loss (3).
A 12-week study had [participants limit their daily calorie intake to 1,600 for women and 1,800 for men. One group was given zero fluid ounces of low-sodium vegetable juice, the second group with eight ounces, and the third with 16 ounces. The results showed that the groups that consumed vegetable juice lost more weight than those who didn’t. Adding to this benefit is a higher intake of vitamin C, potassium, and dietary fiber (6).
Consuming whole vegetables is the best health choice to obtain a high amount of fiber that is often stripped off by juicing. Although this is true, drinking this low-carb drink may still encourage weight loss when incorporated into a healthy diet. It increases your vegetable intake and even helps in weight loss by staving off hunger with lots of fiber (3)(4)(7).
8. Ginger Tea
A zesty ginger tea offers more than just hydration. It helps ease nausea and curb your hunger. Participants in a small study reported that drinking hot ginger tea helped them feel more satiated and less hungry, and their bodies burned some additional calories as well (7).
As per registered dietitian nutritionist and Natural Grocer’s senior nutrition education specialist, Aryn Doll, a cup of ginger tea per day can potentially support health in various ways, including weight loss. She adds that, due to its impressive antioxidant phytonutrient profile, ginger has been shown to decrease inflammation, promote blood sugar balance, and stimulate digestion. Furthermore, she explains that ginger can also boost metabolism and suppress your appetite (6).
For centuries now, ginger has been used to improve digestive health. With its incredible anti-inflammatory properties, it can be a healthful addition to hot tea or sparkling water (5). Some studies also suggest that drinking ginger water before meals can help promote satiety (4).
These properties are also known to prevent cardiovascular damage and other stressors. With its compound gingerol, ginger can potentially improve blood sugar levels and reduce “bad” cholesterol (4).
Just a tip: Ginger-flavored carbonated water is a healthy drink with no calories at all (7).
The Bottom Line
Weight loss drinks have powerful abilities to promote metabolism in the body, which results in a reduced number of fat cells in the body – leading to weight loss (8).
Simple is always the best, which is why water is the ideal weight loss beverage. Although we often overlook it, water offers great benefits without the calories. Since the body doesn’t treat liquid and solid calories (from food) the same way, it’s best to stick with water and other natural beverages that are free from calories when on a weight loss mission (7).
If water seems too plain for you, you can opt for other weight loss beverages like green tea, ginger tea, and coffee. This can help you boost your metabolism, decrease hunger, and promote feelings of fullness to achieve weight loss. In addition, these beverages contain other beneficial nutrients like antioxidants and other compounds that give you the best health benefit (3).
Thus, you can replace high-calorie beverages like soda and fruit juices with these weight loss drinks to achieve the best outcomes for cutting down calories and achieving your weight loss goals (3).