The fuss about the supposed health benefits of ‘detox water is alarming and surprising.’
Yes, staying hydrated is important for health. Therefore, it’s often recommended that you drink eight glasses of water per day.
However, some people think adding extra ingredients to water boosts its health benefits.
The result, called detox water, is said to help your body get rid of toxins, improve your energy levels and help you lose weight.
Here is a detailed look at detox water. It separates the true health benefits from the false idea.
What Is Detox Water?
Detox water is water that has been infused with the flavors of fresh fruits, vegetables or herbs. It’s sometimes referred to as fruit-infused water or fruit-flavored water.
You can make detox water at home in lots of different ways, using any combination of fruits, vegetables and herbs that you like.
How to Make Detox Water
Making detox water at home is very simple. All you need is water and a selection of fruits, vegetables and herbs.
Simply chop up your ingredients and add them to hot or cold water, depending on your preference. The more of an ingredient you use, the stronger the flavor will become.
Crushing or bruising fruits and herbs can help release more of their flavors.
Here are some popular detox water recipe combinations:
- Cucumber and mint.
- Lemon and ginger.
- Blackberry and orange.
- Lemon and cayenne pepper.
- Watermelon and mint.
- Grapefruit and rosemary.
- Orange and lemon.
- Lemon and lime.
- Strawberry and basil.
- Apple and cinnamon.
Health claims about detox water
Detox water is said to have many health benefits, including:
- Weight loss.
- Toxin removal or detox.
- Balancing the pH of the body.
- Better digestive health.
- Boosting immune function.
- Improving mood.
- Increasing energy levels.
- Improving complexion.
The exact properties of detox water will vary depending on the ingredients you use and the strength of the infusion.
However, many of the health claims for detox water can be attributed to the water itself, rather than the ingredients it’s flavored with.
That’s because you don’t get that many nutrients from the ingredients in detox water, especially not compared to eating them in their whole form.
Real Health Benefits
Below is a detailed look at the science behind detox water’s health claims. A few are valid, even if they are a little exaggerated in some instances.
Helps With Weight Loss
Drinking water may help you lose weight, and this applies to detox water too. Water has been shown to temporarily raise your metabolic rate, so you burn more calories.
Studies have shown that drinking 17 oz (half a liter) of water can increase your metabolic rate by up to 30% for about an hour.
In fact, people who drink the recommended amount of water as part of a weight loss program tend to lose more weight than those who don’t.
One study found that overweight adults who drank 17 oz (half a liter) of water before their meals lost 40% more weight than those who didn’t.
This can be partially explained by a rise in metabolism, but may also be due to the effect water has on your appetite. Drinking water has been linked to reduced hunger, so if you drink water before a meal, you may eat less.
Improves Digestive Health
Hydration is important for digestive health and maintaining regular bowel movements. Chronic dehydration can cause constipation, which can make you feel bloated and sluggish.
Drinking plenty of water may help food pass smoothly through your gut and prevent you from becoming constipated.
Improves Mood and Energy Levels
Even mild dehydration can affect mood, concentration and energy levels.
Studies have shown that dehydration levels of around 1% can significantly decrease mood, reduce concentration span and cause headaches.
One study looked at adults who consumed less than 41 oz (1.2 liters) of water per day. When they increased their water intake to 85 oz (2.5 liters) per day, they were happier, had more energy and felt calmer.
If you aren’t drinking enough, increasing your water intake could improve your mood and give you more energy.
Boosts Immune Function
This is one claim about detox water that may be a little exaggerated.
It’s true that eating fruits and vegetables and even fruit juices can help support your immune system.
In particular, vitamin C has been shown to benefit your immune system when consumed on a regular basis.
However, the amount of these nutrients that you would get from an infusion like detox water is likely to be minimal and highly variable.
Although it is theoretically possible, it’s unlikely detox water has any meaningful effect on immune function.
There are also many myths surrounding detox water. Some of these are not supported by science, but others have been downright shown to be false.
The take home of the above is that drinking detox water could help you lose weight, have better digestive health and make you happier.
However, you will get all of these benefits from drinking regular water too.