The concept of detox water has amassed a cult following in recent years, with many people swearing by it. Proponents say that mixing water with various ingredients can promote detoxification and, in turn, help you lose weight. But is there any research to back up these claims? Further, how do you make detox water? Let's answer these questions and more.
The Science Behind Detox Water
Before we get into detox water recipes, let's take a look at the science behind this practice.
Everyone knows that staying hydrated is key for health. Water is the most fundamental detox ingredient we know of. It supports your lungs, liver and kidneys – all of which filter out toxins from your body. (1)
Water even keeps the waste in your colon from drying out, which helps you pass it out as stool. If you've ever gone days drinking little water, you know how quickly constipation can set in as a result.
Plain water also helps you lose weight. It does this by boosting your metabolism, reducing water retention and suppressing your appetite. (2)
The idea behind detox water is that we can enhance this already powerful fluid by combining it with other natural ingredients.
These other ingredients – mainly fruits and vegetables that we'll explore shortly – all have their own research proving how powerful they are.
With that in mind, it's worth pointing out that there isn't a huge body of mainstream research exploring the benefits of detox water itself. This should come as no surprise given the fact that detox water is a practice that gained popularity only relatively recently.
That doesn't mean it's not worth doing, though. In fact, many popular detox water recipes contain ingredients that do have extensive research behind them. Further, many people find that combining plain water with other ingredients helps them consume more water throughout the day. Even if that were the only benefit you received (and it's not), it would make this practice worthwhile!
Combined with detox foods, this practice can really supercharge your detoxification process.
On that note, let's explore some popular detox water recipes for weight loss!
Watermelon Detox Water
Watermelon contains several compounds that benefit you. One of these compounds is lycopene. Lycopene is an antioxidant, meaning it protects your body from free radical damage. (3)
Free radicals can create oxidative stress. Oxidative stress in turn has a link to ailments such as diabetes and heart disease. So watermelon's antioxidant capabilities make it a great ingredient to consume if weight is of concern to you.
Lycopene can also reduce bad LDL cholesterol levels while increasing good HDL cholesterol. This prevents another risk associated with obesity – heart disease.
In one ten-year study, researchers found that people who ate a lycopene-rich diet were 17-26% less likely to suffer from heart disease. (4)
To make watermelon detox water, you'll need (5):
- Two cups of sliced, seedless watermelon
- 4 cups of organic spring water
Place the watermelon slices in a pitcher with your water, then place the container in your fridge. Let it sit there for a few hours so the watermelon can soak into the water.
Lemon Water Detox
Long before detox water was a thing, people were drinking lemon water – and for good reason. Research shows that this stuff is powerful, particularly when you drink it in the morning on an empty stomach.
For one, lemon water is a low-calorie and low-sugar option for increasing your vitamin C consumption. (6)
Your body absorbs vitamin C in the upper intestine. (7)
Any vitamin C that escapes being absorbed there makes its way into your lower bowel. There, it helps loosen your stool, making it easier for you to get rid of waste.
Vitamin C can also increase your stamina, making it more likely you'll stick with that workout regimen. In one study, researchers found that participants who took vitamin C had significantly lower heart rates than those who did not. The vitamin C group also perceived their fatigue level to be much lower than their peers did.
Vitamin C also improves your insulin sensitivity, helping to keep your blood sugar levels in check.
A lemon detox water recipe is a great way to get more vitamin C, especially when you compare it to eating fruits like oranges. As great as oranges are, if obesity and blood sugar are concerns of yours, swapping half a lemon for half an orange in your water would double your calorie and sugar intake from that beverage. (8)
Making lemon water is easy! (9) If you weight less than 150 pounds, squeeze half a fresh lemon into 12 ounces of spring water and drink this throughout your morning.
If you weigh more than 150 pounds, use a whole lemon in 24 ounces of water and drink that throughout your morning.
Raspberry and Mint Detox Water
Keeping with the fruity theme for now, raspberry and mint water tastes heavenly and will ensure you drink much more water than you're used to.
Raspberries contain anthocyanins that suppress inflammation which might otherwise cause heart disease. (10)
Raspberries also contain lots of fiber, which can help you manage your blood sugar levels. Do you know what fiber is also good for? Yup, you guessed it – detoxification! Fiber promotes regular stools, which helps your body get rid of waste.
The mint in this detox water isn't just there for the taste, by the way; it packs a healthy punch on its own! Mint activates the digestive enzymes that consume fat. (11)
In one study, researchers found that mint was among the best performers when it came to herbs that effectively converted fat into energy. So it's a great ingredient to include in your detox water!
To make this drink (12), you'll need:
- 1-2 stems of mint with the leaves attached
- 5-7 fresh raspberries
Just place these ingredients into a 32 ounce jar and leave it in your fridge for at least four hours – overnight, better yet.
Enjoy this beverage in the morning!
Cucumber water is another incredibly popular detox water recipe. Once you get a taste of how refreshing it is, you'll understand why!
Cucumber acts as a diuretic, which helps your body regularly flush out toxins. (13)
This can in turn have the effect of reducing bloating and tightening the muscles in your stomach.
Cucumber also contains a very little – pretty much negligible – amount of sugar, making this one of the more diabetic-friendly detox waters.
To make cucumber detox water (14), you'll need:
- 8 cups of water
- 1 cucumber
- 1 lemon
- 10 mint leaves
Slice or wedge the cucumber along with the lemon. Then, place all the ingredients in an airtight container and leave it in your fridge overnight. Drink it sooner rather than later; if you let the mixture sit for longer than 48 hours it may start to taste bitter due to too much cucumber and lemon leeching into the water. But if bitter is your thing, you may enjoy that!
Video: David Wolfe Discusses Detox Strategies
Detox Waters: A Healthy Part Of A Full Detoxification Regimen
Often, people make the mistake of putting too much emphasis on one detox strategy or another, failing to acknowledge that the sum of activities may produce better results.
Detox water is no different. As great as it is, for optimum results you'll want to ensure you are taking other precautions. These might include colon hydrotherapy.
You can also look into detox tea, which is another option for getting superfood-infused water into your system if you like to mix things up occasionally and get some warm liquids in!
A Word Of Caution
Even scientists who scoff (as scientists often do) at the idea of detox water acknowledge that there's likely not much harm they can do, even if the topic doesn't have endless amounts of mainstream research to back it up.
However, it's worth pointing out that everyone is different. Be sure to consult with a medical professional before embarking on any major dietary change, particularly if you have existing medical conditions.
Some of the detox water recipes in this article can affect things like your blood sugar levels, which could conflict with other medications you may be taking.
If you like any of these recipes, be sure to share this article with a friend!