Whether it’s a New Year’s resolution or in anticipation of a big event like a wedding or vacation, almost everyone sets a goal to lose weight at some point.
And for some, losing weight is essential for improving their health conditions or preventing chronic disease. Either way, there’s so much information out there that can make losing weight seem like a daunting endeavor.
When you want to burn fat, it’s easy to spend all of your time planning or worrying about what to eat, since it’s pretty obvious that what you eat can make or break your weight-loss goals.
But don’t underestimate the effect that what you drink can have on your weight and body composition goals.
Certain drinks (like the ones listed below) contain properties and ingredients that can actually change the way your body burns fat and responds to the sugar and carbs you eat (i.e. store it as fat or not), basically giving you a leg up in achieving your weight loss goals.
Even better, all of the drinks listed below are completely natural, and often utilize the power of plants to help give your body a boost, while also providing other health benefits. You might want to consider ditching that magic weight loss pill or chemical-laden energy drink and start drinking the beverages below to help jump-start your weight loss goals.
The 10 Best Weight Loss Drinks that Work
It’s no secret these days that matcha tea is a smart choice when it comes to health and wellness. It’s rich in protective antioxidants and contains the calming amino acid, L-theanine.
And it contains chlorophyll, a known detoxifier, and powerful plant enzyme. (1)
But did you know that matcha is one of nature’s MVPs when it comes to weight loss?
Chances are you’ve heard about the benefits of green tea for weight loss and metabolism, and matcha is a particularly potent form of green tea. It’s a powder that consists of ground-up green tea leaves. So instead of just drinking the water that tea leaves have been brewed in, with matcha, you’re drinking the entire tea leaf!
The catechins found in green tea can not only help boost metabolism and improve cell regeneration, but they have also been shown to be effective in helping reduce body fat. (2)
Studies have shown that matcha can contain up to three times the amount of antioxidants as regular green tea, and it has quite a bit more caffeine as well (which may have its own benefits for helping to reduce body fat). (3) (4)
How to make matcha tea:
Matcha is traditionally made by whisking the matcha powder with hot water using a special matcha whisk (Chasen) and a Japanese tea bowl. The bamboo whisk allows you to create a creamy, foamy texture in the matcha simply by mixing it with hot water using a quick, “M” shaped motion. A whisk and special tea bowl are not necessary to enjoy matcha, though – that’s just one way to enjoy it.
Pique’s Sun Goddess Matcha Green Tea, for example, comes in to-go sachets that are easy to simply pour into a cup and mix with hot, filtered water (170 degrees is ideal). If you’d like extra foam, feel free to whisk.
Rooibos tea (or red tea) is a South African tea known for its sweet taste and amazing health and weight management benefits. It’s rich in polyphenols and antioxidants, and it doesn’t contain caffeine, making it a great drink option for the afternoon or evening, or if you’re sensitive to caffeine in general. (5)
Thanks to Rooibos’ sweet flavor, it’s great for curbing dessert cravings–but that’s not the only benefit that’s good news for your waistline. Rooibos contains Aspalathin (a polyphenol only found in Rooibos) which studies have shown to help reduce hormone levels that turn on fat storage in the body. (6)
How to make Rooibos tea:
Rooibos tea can be brewed several ways–either brew a tea bag in hot water for about 5 minutes (or until it reaches the desired strength for your flavor preference). You can also simply stir or mix 1 sachet of Pique Rooibos Immunity Elixir into hot or cold water (no steeping necessary).
Besides being a super refreshing drink option with a sweet flavor, hibiscus tea has some impressive weight loss benefits. Scientists have studied hibiscus tea for its slimming effects and found it effective for helping to prevent fat accumulation and obesity. (7)
Hibiscus tea was traditionally enjoyed by Egyptian pharaohs and treasured for its supposed beautifying properties. It’s also known to help improve digestion and is an excellent source of Vitamin C (not a bad added benefit!).
White tea is a triple-threat when it comes to weight loss. Why? It contains EGCG (yes, like in green tea), caffeine (which we know is great for the metabolism), and L-theanine (the calming amino acid). This combination is seriously impressive for weight loss since you’ll get the stimulating effects of caffeine, along with L-theanine which means you won’t feel over-stimulated (and too much stimulation from caffeine can turn on stress hormones, which is not ideal for losing weight).
Scientists have studied white tea and found that the high antioxidant content can actually help to prevent fat cells from developing in your body and help break down fat–which is pretty amazing. (8)
You can enjoy white tea like Pique White Peony Tea mixed with water (enjoy hot or cold). Although it’s common to think that only green and black tea varieties contain caffeine, keep in mind that white tea does contain some caffeine so you may want to avoid drinking it later in the afternoon or at night to avoid sleep disturbance.
Who doesn’t love coffee?
Even though some fad diets and restrictive detox programs call for skipping your daily dose of java, there are extensive studies that show the potential metabolism-boosting and fat-burning effects of black coffee.
Besides containing high levels of antioxidants, the main ingredient in coffee that helps with weight loss is caffeine. Studies show that the caffeine in coffee boosts the metabolism and increases the amount of energy you burn, even at rest (aka your resting metabolic rate). (9)
Another study even found that certain compounds in coffee may block the absorption of carbs in the body, meaning that your blood sugar stays level which prevents the body from storing additional fat. (10)
If you are going to indulge in coffee, you’ll still want to avoid artificial sweeteners, which can hinder your progress.
Water is probably the most underrated weight loss drink, but it’s essential for total body health (and yes, weight loss.)
Practically every health expert, doctor, and nutritionist who helps people lose weight preaches the benefits of drinking plenty of water each day–and for good reason. If you’re trying to lose weight, you may be trying to cut back on snacking, especially junk food.
Drinking water helps keep needless snacking at bay since dehydration can actually make you think you’re hungry when really all you need is another glass of water. A study even shows a clear connection between hydration and the ability to lose weight. (11)
If you have trouble getting your daily H2O in, try spicing things up by purchasing a fun reusable bottle that will help you remember to keep filling it up (and drinking). Or try adding fresh lemon slices or even fruit to your water for a flavor boost.
Apple Cider Vinegar is one of the trendiest tonics in the wellness community at the moment.
And even though you may use it in say, a salad dressing, it turns out drinking ACV has some benefits for weight loss. (Just be careful not to drink it alone since the acidity can do more harm than good).
The ingredient in apple cider vinegar that is linked to weight loss in many scientific studies is called acetic acid. A study performed on humans suggested that the acetic acid in vinegar helped people lose body weight and body fat. (12)
Another study also shows that apple cider vinegar improves insulin sensitivity. This is good news if you’re looking to lose weight since insulin is the “fat storage hormone” that controls how your cells store excess fuel. (13)
The best way to drink apple cider vinegar is to mix a 2 tablespoon serving into filtered water and drink. You can also add some lemon, cinnamon, and a small amount of honey to make the drink more palatable.
Skip sugar-laden fruit juices and instead opt for a smoothie if fat loss is one of your goals. Not only are smoothies more filling than juice, but they’re super versatile and can be tailored for practically every taste or diet preference. So why exactly are smoothies better for weight loss?
One top reason is that smoothies contain fiber from the fruits and veggies (instead of stripping it like juicing does.) Fiber is important not only for digestive health but for also keeps you feeling full. It’s also easy to add protein to smoothies, which is an important nutrient when it comes to weight loss (among many other things!). (14)
A few tips for preparing a smoothie that is weight loss friendly: avoid overdoing the fruit or liquids that have extra sugar, like say coconut water or kombucha. Instead, opt for water or your favorite unsweetened nut milk.
A good rule of thumb is to make sure your smoothie is at least 70% greens.
Try blending in raw spinach (you’ll never taste it) and find a high-quality protein powder that contains as few additives as possible. Adding in a healthy fat like nut butter or coconut oil will also help keep you feeling full for hours.
If you do enjoy a fresh juice from time to time, make it a green or all vegetable juice. Veggie or all green juices are your best best for weight loss since vegetable juices are lower in sugar and will keep your blood sugar from spiking (and then crashing) which can leave you feeling hungrier and craving more sugar later.
Eating whole fruit is not a bad thing for weight loss, but juicing the fruit (which extracts the fiber) means you’re getting a concentrated dose of sugar without the fiber, which will wreak havoc on your blood sugar.
Other veggies that are higher in sugar that you may want to be careful not to overdo in your juice (especially if it also contains fruit) include beets and carrots.
Ginger has been used traditionally as a healing herb and remedy for thousands of years. Chances are, you’ve heard that ginger can help with digestive issues like nausea, and it turns out that there’s a ton of other things it can help with, too (like weight loss!).
One way ginger can help with weight loss is due to its potent anti-inflammatory benefits, thanks to beneficial compounds it contains, like gingerol. (15)
Now, you may be thinking…what does inflammation have to do with weight loss? (Hint: a lot, actually.) Besides being linked to tons of chronic health issues and diseases, inflammation can actually prevent your body from burning fat, according to this study. (16)
And inflammation can be bad news for your metabolism, which you definitely want functioning well in order to lose or maintain a healthy weight. (17)
One way to implement ginger into your daily routine is to make a tonic (either with grated fresh ginger or use ginger tea, like the Pique Ginger Digestion Elixir). Make the ginger tea and combine with some fresh lemon and honey to taste. This drink is a great morning ritual since the ginger and lemon support detox, and the ginger supports digestive health.
Final thoughts on healthy drinks for weight loss
It goes without saying that what you drink does matter when it comes to your weight loss journey. Healthy drinks can be especially helpful when combined with a healthy diet. And it’s not just about calories or added sugar–many of the best drinks have some serious benefits that can make a difference not only for your metabolism and weight loss but your overall health, energy levels and vitality.
So why not try a few different refreshing teas or tasty drinks from this list and see if they make a difference for you.