Detox Water: Health benefits and myths

Diet
Coach Shivani
March 13,2023

5-point Summary

  • Detox water, infused water, or fruit-flavored water is when you add a slice of fresh vegetable or fruit with some herbs in plain water. You can make infused water in numerous ways depending on your choices of vegetables, fruits, and herbs.
  • The most common types of infused water include orange-mint water, apple-cinnamon water, strawberry-mint water, ginger-lemon water and cucumber water.
  • Detox water has been shown to have benefits including helping with weight loss, increasing energy levels, boosting digestive health and improving immunity. Many of the benefits of detox water are as a result of the water itself and not the added fruit, vegetable or herbs, which are only used in tiny amounts.
  • The biggest myth about Detox water is that they flush out excess toxins from your body and prevent the harmful effects of free radicals. No scientific evidence supports that infused water can help detoxify. Your body has several natural mechanisms to clean your body and flush out toxins. Words like ‘toxins’ or ‘detox’ are not defined and loosely used in order to market various products. These terms sound good and it might feel like a nice thing, but that does not make them right. So be alert about products that make such claims.
  • Infused water made at home should not cause any side effects. But this is not the case if you look at commercially marketed detox drinks like detox teas and herbal detoxes. Many of them contain very high doses of certain powerful herbs which can cause serious liver or kidney problems. Be careful when buying such products and ideally stick to making detox water at home.

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Have you ever wondered why some people prefer lemon water or fruit-flavored water in their morning routines instead of plain water? Staying hydrated and consuming enough water is essential for health. But some people prefer to avoid consuming plain water or sugary juices. For those who find drinking plain water boring, there is an alternative called detox water.

Detox or infused water is obtained by soaking some herbs, fruits, or vegetables in plain water for a few hours. Detox water (formally known as infused or fruit-flavored water) can prove an effective way to get more from your diet and exercise regimen. Some say infused water can also help you lose weight and improve your immune system.

If you’re thinking of adding detox water to your routine, this article is for you. Here, we will uncover what detox is, detox water health benefits, detox water side effects, when to drink detox water, and some common myths about this infused drink.

Also Read: Myths & Facts Related To Diet & Weight Loss

What is Detox Water: An Overview

Detox water, infused water, or fruit-flavored water is when you add a slice of fresh vegetable or fruit with some herbs in plain water. You can make infused water in numerous ways depending on your choices of vegetables, fruits, and herbs. Detox water is said to have many benefits including:

  •         It replenishes your body after exercise
  •         infused water reduces grogginess and fatigue
  •         It flushes out free radicals and toxins from your liver and kidney
  •         It helps in weight loss and improves your metabolism
  •         Infused water also improves your gastrointestinal health

The several organs of your body, such as the liver and kidney, help detoxify. But you must consume enough water to help these organs perform the intended tasks. Staying hydrated is also essential for regulating body temperatures, removing toxins from the GI tract, and optimizing digestion.

You can use different ways to replenish your body with enough water. Infused or detox water is a great way to keep hydrated while maintaining a healthy body weight.

Types of Detox Water

Detox water uses a combination of vegetables, herbs, and fruits to provide your body with extensive benefits. There are several infused water types depending on the ingredients you use. Below we have given the most common types of infused water with their health benefits.

Orange Mint

Orange pulps are a great source of vitamins that protect your body against the unwanted effects of free radicals. It also improves your body’s natural healing process and makes your skin glow. Mint leaves are excellent appetite suppressants that can give a refreshing taste to your detox water.

Apple Cinnamon

Apple cinnamon detox water is an excellent drink for improving your metabolic system. Apples are enriched with vitamin B complex, vitamin C, and flavonoids that can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Cinnamon can help in relieving arthritic pain and lessening cholesterol levels.

Strawberry Mint

Add 2-3 unbruised, ripe, and plump berries with a few mints leaves into the plain water, and your strawberry-mint-infused drink is ready. Strawberries are enriched with Vitamin C, which can improve your energy levels. Mint leaves are ideal for giving your drink a refreshing taste, especially in hot weather.

Ginger Lemon

A ginger-lemon-infused drink can work great if you struggle to burn stubborn belly fat. Ginger & lemon  water helps you feel fuller and helps you avoid overeating.

Watermelon

Watermelon is packed with essential nutrients to keep your body hydrated. The anti-inflammatory properties of watermelon make it ideal for flushing out toxins and reducing sore muscles.

Health Claims about Detox water

There are numerous health claims associated with infused water, some of which are;

  • Improved complexion
  • Increased energy levels
  • Improved mood
  • Improved immunity
  • Better digestive health
  • Weight loss
  • Balanced pH level in your body
  • Detoxification

 

Many of the benefits of detox water are as a result of the water itself. The ingredients added are in very small quantities and you do not get much by way of nutrients from them.

 

Real Benefits of Detox Water

Most of the health claims associated with infused water are exaggerated or outright wrong. Only a few detox water health benefits are science-backed. We’ve noted below the claims about detox water benefits that are backed by science.

Helps with Weight Loss

Drinking more than eight glasses of plain water can help in natural weight loss. And this applies to detox water too. Several studies highlight that drinking enough water daily can improve your metabolic rate (the rate at which you burn calories). This applies to detox water also which will be helpful in burning some extra calories. If you find plain water boring, adding a fresh slice of fruit to the water can encourage you to drink more water throughout the day. Fruit-flavored water promotes weight loss in this way by improving water intake, reducing appetite and improving your metabolic rate.

 

Drinking water before meals is particularly helpful for weight loss. One study found that overweight adults who drank half a liter of water before their meals lost 40% more weight than those who didn’t.

 

Infused water can make you feel fuller and satisfied, helping you limit snacking on junk food and therefore reduce the high-fat and high-calorie foods in your diet. It promotes weight loss by suppressing your hunger pangs. Adding herbs, vegetables, and fruits in plain water, such as cucumber, oranges, apples, or pineapple, is effective for weight loss. You can even add pieces of fiber-rich fruits in the water. Fiber-rich ingredients take up more space in your stomach and make you feel fuller quickly.

You can replace your daily sugary drinks with infused water to reduce sugar intake. Detox water contains no calories or fat content, which helps you reduce your overall calorie intake. Being thirsty can also be mistaken for hunger and cause you to eat something. In that case, you can have a big glass of infused water to reduce unnecessary snacking.

Detox water helps with Weight Loss

Best Detox Drinks for Weight Loss

Here are some popular detox water combinations that you can try.

  • Orange detox water
  • Grapefruit detox water
  • Cucumber detox water
  • Mint and lemon detox water
  • Apple and cinnamon detox water

Most people ask when to drink detox water to get help in weight loss. You can add a big glass of infused water to your morning routine to suppress your hunger pangs and increase energy levels throughout the day. Also, as noted earlier, drinking 1-2 glasses before meals can also be helpful.

Increases Energy Levels

You may feel sleepy and tired after a long and hectic working routine. When you forget to hydrate your body while working for hours, it can affect your energy levels, concentration, and focus. Even a little dehydration can affect your mood, concentration and energy levels. 

Dehydration levels of just 1% have been shown to decrease energy levels, cause headaches, and reduce concentration span.

 

Increasing your water intake with Detox water can help improve your mood and give you more energy.

 

The liver and kidney are the two most significant organs that help detoxify your body. When the free radicals load becomes too much in your body and you do not drink enough water, these organs can’t work optimally. Infused water stimulates the function of the liver and kidney and improves circulation.

Also Read: Everything you need to know about the Low-Carb Indian Diet Plan

Best Detox Drinks for Increased Energy Levels

  • Cucumber + mint + lemon detox water
  • Ginger + lemon detox water
  • Watermelon + lemon detox water

Boosts Digestive Health 

Everyone loves consuming sugary, cheesy, and spicy foods. Unfortunately, our stomach does not greet these foods happily. Sugar and spice foods are undeniably palate-pleasing, but they can adversely affect your digestive system. You can feel bloated or uncomfortable after eating cheesy and spicy foods. Constipation can also occur, especially if you do not drink enough water.

Dehydration can cause discomfort, bloating, and constipation. 

Having a detox drink in the morning is a simple way to hydrate properly and relieve the feelings of bloating and improve your digestive health.

Staying hydrated is vital to improving your digestive health and keeping regular bowel movements. Infused water keeps your body hydrated and helps food pass through the gut smoothly without becoming constipated.

Best Infused Drinks for Improving Digestive Health

  • Strawberry basil water
  • Cucumber lemon water
  • Ginger and lime water

These detox drinks can help relieve gastrointestinal discomfort and improve digestion.

Improves Immunity

Improved immunity is another common health benefit associated with infused water. Several studies prove that eating vegetables and fruits can improve your immune system.

 

But remember that the amount of fruit or vegetable in detox water is tiny. So it is unlikely that detox water has a similar immune boosting effect as having the fruits and vegetables itself.

 

But don’t let that stop you from adding ingredients enriched with vitamin C, such as oranges and grapefruits in plain water. It can only help.

Best Infused Drinks for Improving Immunity

  • Cucumber lemon water
  • Apple cinnamon water
  • Lemon cayenne pepper water

Myths About Detox Water

There are many myths associated with detox water. Some are not backed by science and some are completely wrong.

Detoxifies Your Body

Detox products often claim to flush out excess toxins from your body and prevent the harmful effects of free radicals. Currently, no scientific evidence supports that infused water can help detoxify. Your body has several natural mechanisms to clean your body and flush out toxins. No scientific research proves that any detox product can speed up these biological mechanisms of your body. 

 

Words like ‘toxins’ or ‘detox’ are not defined and loosely used in order to market various products.

 

These terms sound good and it might feel like a nice thing, but that does not make them right. So be alert about products that make such claims.

Balances pH/ Makes Body Alkaline.

Alkaline drinks are trendy foods because they are said to prevent infections and diseases. According to acid-alkaline theory, alkaline drinks promote better health. This is a myth. 

It does not seem possible to change the pH level of your blood through foods and drinks.

Burns Fat Even on a Poor Diet

Some claim that detox products can aid in weight loss even if you’re on a poor diet. It is undeniable that infused water can improve your metabolism and help you shed some extra pounds. But this only helps if you add such drinks to a proper and well-balanced diet.

 

Detox water is not a replacement for a well-balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.

 

Anyone who says otherwise is likely trying to sell you something.

Side Effects of Detox Water

Infused water is excellent for weight loss and a healthy immune system.  If you are making it at home then you should not be facing any side effects.

But this is not the case if you look at commercially marketed detox drinks like detox teas and herbal detoxes. Many of them contain very high doses of certain powerful herbs which can cause serious liver or kidney problems. The effects of such high doses can even be life threatening.

 

A 60-year-old woman died from liver failure after taking a “detox” tea 3 times per day for 14 days. On investigating the case, it was found that the tea contained 18 herbs that caused a decline in her liver function.

 

Be careful when buying such products and ideally stick to making detox water at home.

How to Make Detox/Infused Water?

Making detox or infused water at home is a simple task. All you need is plain water and your favorite fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

Add a few slices of your favorite ingredients into plain water. This could be some herbs, slices of a fruit or vegetable or any combination of these ingredients. You can also leave the water for a few hours or overnight in the fridge to let the flavors infuse in the fluid.

You can chop or crush the ingredients before putting it in the water to release more of their flavors.

You can use the following detox water recipe combination to have a refreshing drink in the morning or at any time during the day.

  • Apple and cinnamon
  • Lemon and ginger
  • Rosemary and grapefruit
  • Orange and lemon
  • Watermelon and mint
  • Lemon and cayenne pepper
Bottom Line

Detox water is a great way to shed some extra pounds of stubborn fat. You can replace your sugary and high-calorie drinks with this simple, refreshing drink to strengthen your immune system and improve your digestive health. Numerous health benefits are associated with detox foods and beverages.

Use the recipes noted in this article to add more hydration to your day. It will also get you closer to your weight loss goals or help you maintain your weight.

About the Author

Coach Shivani
Shivani is a Precision Nutrition-Certified Nutrition Coach with experience of coaching thousands of women. As a mom of two, Shivani knows what it takes for women to achieve weight loss & a healthy lifestyle through diet, exercise & sleep habits. She dislikes one-size-fits-all type advice.

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