Believe it or not there actually are a good amount of weight loss drinks out there other than water that can help you slim down. Most people really enjoy drinking something a little on the sweeter and tastier side throughout the day, and let’s be honest water isn’t always all that delicious.
In this article I’m going to share with you my favorite drinks for losing weight. The majority of these drinks are rather easy to make and will not cost much money, but are very effective in losing weight.
Most people make a huge mistake when they’re dieting by only drinking water. Even though water is terrific for weight loss it isn’t necessarily the most effective.
If you completely cut yourself off from the beverages you crave then you’re setting yourself up for a relapse. Pretty soon you’ll be binging on all the worst kind of food and drinks. Then it’s back to square one.
Of course, on the other side drinking soda and alcohol is going to cause you to gain weight. See more in my post on why soda causes belly fat.
But there are some very tasty options for you to drink to lose weight while satisfying those cravings.
Other than just losing weight there are numerous studies proving these drinks will also slow the aging process. Staying young by just drinking some of these beverages isn’t much to ask if you also get to lose weight at the same time.
I’ll give my clients this list of weight loss drinks to help curve them off soda, which is almost always the worst thing they’re drinking. Even diet sodas are just as bad (if not worst) than regular sodas.
I’m planning on writing another blog post on the worst drinks that most think are good for you. Also check out my blog post on alcohol and weight loss with the best and worst drinks.
But for now let’s get into my list of the best weight loss drinks.
The Top 18 Weight Loss Drinks
I know, I know. So I just told you there are so many better drinks out there other than water for losing weight. I just thought we’d get water out of the way first.
The average American doesn’t drink enough water each day. This leads to dehydration leading to gain weight and can cause injuries while working out.
Most dieting programs talk plenty about the foods you should be eating, but too many neglect to tell you how vital water is for your body.
A study by the Annals of Family Medicine found 33% of adults aren’t hydrating properly. Those who weren’t as hydrated were more likely to have a higher BMI.
To make it easy you should at least be drinking half your body weight in fluid ounces daily. So if you weigh 200 pounds then you’ll want to drink at minimum 100 oz. of water.
If you’re exercising, drinking caffeine or if it’s a hot day then you need to drink more but on average this is good starting point.
It’s also a good idea to find a water bottle (I like Hydro Flask) then do the math on how many of those you should be drinking daily. There’s also a great app for the iPhone call WaterMinder that will help you keep track.
When I used to coach basketball I’d tell my athletes that if their urine was clear then they’re in the clear, but if it looks like apple juice then to start drinking.
Also know if you’re eating a good amount of fruits and vegetables throughout the day then they carry a good amount of water in them as well. They all add up to keeping you hydrated.
I know way too many people who stay away from green tea because they think the caffeine is bad for them. Yet caffeine in moderate amounts is very effective at raising your metabolism so you can burn more fat.
When you’re picking out which weight loss drinks be sure to keep green tea at the top of your list. It’s packed with some strong properties that will help you burn fat.
It’s not only the caffeine content in green tea that gives it its superpowers. There is the super nutrient ECGC (Epigallocatechain Gallate) that’s the real force found in green tea.
It works by mobilizing the fat from your cells so you’ll not only lose weight but burn fat. This study found in the International Journal of Obesity found the ECGC’s and caffeine found in green tea were effective in losing weight.
I usually prefer to drink my green tea early in the afternoons. Make sure you don’t drink it too late though so the caffeine doesn’t mess with your quality of sleep.
The UMMC recommends drinking 2-3 cups daily to safely get the benefits of green tea. This equates to about 240-320 mg of polyphenols.
You can find more of my top weight loss teas here.
Coffee has probably gotten the worst rap over the years since it’s one of those drinks that’s easily the most abused. Black coffee is loaded with health benefits that most people don’t know about.
The problems with coffee start when you add sugar and artificial sweeteners to it. I can’t tell you how many people I see ordering Venti Frappucinos every time I go into Starbucks.
Drinking black coffee is best to get the most fat burning effects. Stay away from the sugary coffee concoctions that will by default negate the benefits of it.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found coffee drinkers have an increased metabolism, therefore burning more fat than those who didn’t drink it daily.
And this study found a 15% lower risk mortality than non-coffee drinks. There are plenty more studies proving the benefits of drinking black coffee so never be afraid to get your coffee fix.
It’s recommended to drink at least 4 cups a day to fully get the metabolism boosting effects of coffee. Of course, this is depending on how well your body handles the caffeine.
If you can drink more without a problem then go for it, but after drinking a couple cups you feel cracked out then it’ll be best to leave it there.
If it’s impossible for you to drink black coffee because you absolutely need to sweeten it up then I’d recommend putting a little stevia in it. Just keep out the sugar and artificial sweeteners and you’ll be gold.
Coffee and weight loss work quite well as long as you’re doing it the right way.
Ever since I was a little kid I absolutely loved drinking milk. I felt like my body would have a boost in energy every time after drinking it.
Now I know there are plenty of you out there who really can’t drink milk because it doesn’t react well with your body. If that’s your case then you’ll be better off without it.
Those who can drink it will see some awesome benefits from it like how the American Journal of Nutrition saw a 8% lower risk of being overweight/obese than those who didn’t consume high-fat dairy.
Another study found in 3,333 adults over the course of two decades that consumed the most fat in the diet had a 50% lower risk of diabetes.
A big question I get is whether I recommend drinking non-fat or whole milk. For the most part if you’re controlling your calorie intake then I’d recommend just drinking whole milk or at least 2%.
The high fat and fat burning ingredient CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) found in higher fat dairy will help your body slim down quicker than not drinking it.
CLA is a natural fat burner that also increases your lean muscle. This study proves how effective CLA can be to reduce fat in your body.
On the other hand if you’re already consuming way too many calories then maybe drinking whole milk isn’t going to be the best option for you.
At the end of the day if the calories you’re taking in are way over what you should be then you’re going to gain weight. It’s as simple as that.
Most recommend only drinking 2 cups of milk per day. Just remember I’d recommend staying away from milk if your body rejects it as you’ll probably be causing more damage than good.
See my blog post, does milk make you fat to see how drinking whole milk can help you lose weight.
I first heard about pu-erh tea from Tim Ferriss who praised it for it’s fat burning and anti-inflammatory effects. It caught my interest so I immediately ordered some over the internet to try it out.
The pu-erh tea comes in these big bricks that you break apart to put in hot water to make the tea. It’s an interesting process to make the tea, but the weight loss benefits of the drink are well worth it.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect taste wise but I have to admit it’s actually really good. Pu-erh tea is technically just aged black tea from China.
It’s post-fermented meaning it’s just gone through a fermentation process with prolonged storage. This study found mice that drank pu-erh tea lost a significant amount of body weight.
I debated with putting red wine on this list because it’s an alcoholic drink. Alcohol has a high amount of calories per gram so it’s not the best choice for a fat loss focused diet.
It’s well known that alcohol causes inflammation in your body and brain, but considering most people drink alcohol I thought it would be a good idea to put in on the list.
There are quite a few studies out there proving red wine improves cardiovascular disease and diabetes with its high antioxidant and polyphenol content.
Resveratrol is one of the “super powers” red wine is associated with even though there’s most likely not enough to do much for you.
Red wine is lighter and has more benefits to it than other alcoholic drinks like beer, champagne and even white wine. This can easily be offset if you drink too much.
I tell my clients one glass of red wine at night is all you get. It’s easy to start drinking 2-3 glasses every night then pretty soon you’ll end up finishing the whole bottle.
Lemon water is one of those weight loss drinks that has been so overly-marketed as a magic potion it’s ridiculous. Yes it has some benefits to help you lose weight but don’t expect it work miracles.
Lemons themselves have a good amount of nutrients in them such as vitamin C and flavonoids to help reduce CVD. These aren’t the only reasons to drink lemon water too…
The trick with lemon water is that it encourages you to drink more water therefore hydrating yourself. Lots of people out there just don’t care to drink water so anyway you can naturally encourage it the better.
You just might want to be a little careful with over drinking it as the acidity in the lemons could wear down your teeth. But you’d have to drink a ton of it and have poor dental habits for things to get that bad.
I usually like to drink my lemon water first thing in the morning to get my body hydrated and primed for the day. You can also mix in the lemon juice with some celery juice for even more benefits.
I have met quite a few people over the years asking me if protein powder was safe for them to be drinking. The truth is that it’s 100% safe and even good for you to have.
A quality protein powder can increase fat loss while keeping your lean muscle so you’ll not only become thinner but also have some toning. Most people just want to become thinner but if you don’t have any muscle tone then you’ll end up like a squishy deflated balloon.
I like to drink my protein shake after my workout to promote lean muscle building. I like to take Biotrust Low Carb protein powder so I don’t get the high carbs or other junk most other supplement companies put in their protein.
Getting protein early in the morning is very effective for raising your metabolism. I know it’s hard for a lot of people to eat so early in the day so I’ll recommend they just pop a protein shake to cover their bases.
20g of protein at a time is enough for most people to see benefits. If you’re looking for another protein powder make sure it’s a high quality one. The cheap ones you find at Wal-Mart are usually from China and packed with artificial ingredients.
I’ve been drinking this Micronutrient Smoothie for over a year now and I can’t tell you how much better I’ve felt since. Dr. Rhonda Patrick created it to help people more easily consume the micronutrients they weren’t getting in their diets.
There’s more research coming out showing that not fulfilling your micronutrient requirements such as potassium, magnesium, etc. can lead to many diseases and a broken metabolism.
I’ve personally noticed I feel I have a lot more energy and my mood is much better when I’m drinking this Micronutrient Smoothie.
I know most vegetable smoothies taste gross but the apple and blueberries in this one really help to sweeten it up. It’s also way easier to use a blender to make your smoothie than going through the hassle of using a juicer.
If you’re having trouble getting these veggies and fruits into your diet daily then I’d recommend drinking this Micronutrient Smoothie.
There’s something about drinking coconut water on a hot summer’s day that sounds amazing. Coconut water is one of my favorite weight loss drinks since it’s great for rehydrating and is high in potassium.
I never would’ve thought coconut water could help you lose weight. Before I knew it would I thought you’d have to be stuck on an island in the middle of nowhere to drink it.
Even this study found coconut water to be just as effective as other sports drinks in rehydrating your body. I’d much rather drink some natural coconut water than something like Gatorade that as sugar in it.
If you have high blood pressure then also consider drinking coconut water for its high potassium content. Potassium is terrific for lowering your heart rate.
Just don’t start making piña coladas with it.
If you’re looking for a caffeine buzz while also losing weight then yerba mate may be the answer.
They say yerba mate has “the strength of coffee, the benefits of tea, and the euphoria of chocolate.”
It may not only help you lose weight but it can help to protect the heart. The high amount of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties make this a super drink.
This study found that the expression of genes that had changed with obesity, but after drinking yerba mate had switched back over to the normal expression of the gene.
If you’re not used to drinking much caffeine then be careful when first starting. Up to 3 cups per day will be harmless.
I’ve known more than a few people who have completely kicked their daily soda habit by drinking La Croix sparkling water.
It has zero calories, no artificial sweeteners and is sodium free. But you should know La Croix is higher on the acidic side so I wouldn’t drink them all day.
But they are incredibly better for you to be drinking if you’re addicted to soda/alcohol. As long as you have some good dental habits then you won’t need to worry about the acidity.
Nowadays you can find them at pretty much any grocery store. Sure they’re not crazy sweet like soda or even most other sparkling waters, but they’re just enough.
If you’re reading to drop your soda habit then I’d start by trying to replace that craving with some La Croix water.
Now you might have thought green tea was a super weight loss drink but matcha tea takes things to another level.
Matcha tea is essentially just green tea but the tea leaves are crushed so you consume the whole thing.
This lets you get at least 3x the EGCG than just drinking old fashioned green tea. That’s pretty crazy considering green tea already has a high amount of the super EGCG fat burning compound in it.
So you can only imagine how much more weight you’re going to lose after drinking matcha tea.
Now mint tea isn’t just a weight loss drink, it’s also anti-microbial, anti-viral and anti-tumor.
It helps you lose weight but reducing your cravings for food. This classic study by the Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research found those who sniffed mint lost 4.7 pounds.
Mint tea also benefits you by relaxing the GI tract so you can better absorb the nutrients in your food.
This helps you by reducing your food cravings and hunger leading you to losing more weight.
Not to mention mint is delicious just make sure you stay away from the Girl Scouts Thin Mint cookies.
Oolong tea is a traditional Chinese tea from the same plant as green/black tea only processed differently. Think of it as taking the best parts of black and green tea to make a super tea out of them.
This is makes my list of weight loss drinks since it helps to stabilize your blood sugar. Another study by the British Journal of Nutrition finding oolong tea helped to prevent diabetes.
The combination of caffeine and polyphenols are really what makes oolong tea stand out from the pack. It’s a fantastic weight loss drink more people should know about.
It might sound kinda crazy but drinking aloe vera can actually help you lose weight. A 2012 study found a reduction in body fat in mice who consumed aloe vera by raising their metabolism.
Aloe vera is also very useful for helping to lower blood sugar levels in diabetics, therefore helping them lose weight. Just making sure you find a version that doesn’t contain any sugar or additives.
Aloe vera is a natural laxative so it’s recommended for you not to drink too much of it. So it might not be the best idea to drink aloe vera at a party…
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is one of those old timey folk remedies your Grandma told you about.
Turns out Grandma was right as the science has caught up with data proving the weight loss benefits of this super elixir.
It’s been found to lower blood sugar levels, fight diabetes, lower insulin levels and increase fat burning in the liver.
I usually like to drink a tablespoon a little bit before my dinner to get the blood sugar stabilizing benefits. It definitely has a little kick to so I usually drink it like a shot.
When you’re buying apple cider vinegar make sure you find one that is organic and has the mother still inside it. This apple cider vinegar will have the most benefits.
I don’t usually recommend any kind of fruit juice to help you lose weight since they’re all so sugary, but grapefruit juice is the exception.
To me, it not only tastes delicious but there are quite a few studies out there proving its effectiveness at enhancing weight loss.
This study in the Journal of Medicinal Food found the group that ate grapefruit lost weight of the placebo group.
And this study at UC Berkeley discovered that the mice who drank grapefruit juice gained less weight on a high-fat diet than the counterpart group.
If you’re taking any medication make sure to be on the safe side and talk to your doctor before drinking a lot of grapefruit juice as it can change how your body absorbs the medicine.
I’ll usually drink a little bit in the morning with my breakfast. Not a whole lot though just about a cup if that.
You can see from the list above there are lots of different options out there for weight loss drinks.
Even though water is the clear choice you still have plenty of variety in the 17 other drink choices to help you lose weight.
I’ve noticed my clients did better at weight loss when they had multiple options to choose from with food and drink. Nobody likes be restricted to just one or two choices so the higher amount of quality alternatives you have the better.
Drinking healthy doesn’t have to taste bad. Even though every drink I listed above may not be for you I’m sure there are at least a handful that are.
There’s nothing more boring than eating and drinking the same thing day after day. That’s why to stay on your diet it’s important to make sure you can keep mixing things up.
All of the weight loss drinks above are terrific choices now all you have to do is make them a consistent part of your daily routine.
Josh holds a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology and Nutrition Science. He’s a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) by the National Strength and Conditioning Association and he’s a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) by American Council on Exercise. He’s worked as a Strength and Conditioning Coach at the high school and college levels. He has over 15 years of experience as a personal trainer and nutrition coach. He is also the author of The Flat Belly Formula. He strives to bring inspiration and results for people to live healthier lives through smart diet and exercise.