When used alongside healthy lifestyle changes, certain beverages are more effective than others at promoting weight loss.
Beverages like green tea, coffee and high-protein drinks have been shown to boost metabolism, promote fullness and decrease hunger, all of which may encourage weight loss.
Here are eight drinks that are some of the best to include in your diet when trying to lose weight and get healthy.
Green tea is often associated with health, and for good reason.
Not only is it packed with beneficial antioxidants and other powerful nutrients, it’s also one of the most effective drinks for weight loss.
Drinking green tea has been shown to decrease body weight and body fat in several studies.
A review of 14 studies found that people who drank high-concentration green tea for 12 weeks lost an average of 0.44 to 7.7 pounds (0.2 to 3.5 kg) more than those who did not drink green tea (1).
It should be noted that this benefit is linked to green tea preparations that contain high amounts of catechins, antioxidants that may increase fat burning and boost metabolism (2).
One study found that women who consumed 3 grams of matcha per day experienced greater fat burning during exercise compared to women who did not drink matcha (4).
What’s more, people who drink green tea tend to have lower blood pressure and a lower risk of developing diseases such as heart disease, certain cancers and diabetes (6).
Summary Drinking green tea may help you lose weight by boosting metabolism and encouraging fat loss.
Coffee is used by people around the world to boost energy levels and lift mood.
This is because coffee contains caffeine, a substance that acts as a stimulant in the body and may benefit weight loss.
Coffee can reduce energy intake and boost metabolism, which may help you lose weight.
One study in 33 overweight adults found that those who drank coffee containing 6 mg of caffeine per kilogram of body weight consumed significantly fewer overall calories than those who drank less caffeine or no caffeine at all (7).
Coffee drinkers may have an easier time maintaining their weight loss over time, as well.
A study in over 2,600 people found that those who were successful in maintaining weight loss over time drank significantly more caffeinated beverages than a control group (5).
Summary Caffeinated beverages like coffee may stimulate weight loss by increasing metabolism, decreasing calorie intake and stimulating fat burning.
Like green tea, black tea contains compounds that may stimulate weight loss.
Black tea is a type of tea that has undergone more oxidation (exposure to air) than other types of teas, resulting in a stronger flavor and darker color.
Black tea is high in polyphenols, including a group of polyphenolic compounds called flavonoids. Polyphenols are powerful antioxidants that may help reduce body weight.
A study in 111 people demonstrated that those who drank 3 cups of black tea daily for three months lost more weight and had greater reductions in waist circumference compared to a control group (11).
Another study in 2,734 women found that those with higher intakes of flavonoid-rich foods and beverages like black tea had significantly lower body fat and belly fat than women who consumed less dietary flavonoids (12).
Summary Black tea contains polyphenols, antioxidants that have been shown to reduce body weight. Studies show that drinking black tea may help reduce body fat and encourage weight loss.
Increasing your water intake is one of the simplest ways to improve overall health.
Drinking more water may also benefit your waistline by keeping you full in between meals and increasing the number of calories you burn.
Research suggests that having water before meals can set you up for success when trying to cut back on calories and lose weight.
A study in 48 overweight adults found that those who drank 500 ml (17 ounces) of water before meals while following a low-calorie diet lost 44% more weight over 12 weeks than those who did not drink water before meals (13).
Drinking cold water increases resting energy expenditure, which is the number of calories you burn while resting.
For example, a study in 21 overweight children showed that resting energy expenditure was increased by up to 25% for 40 minutes after drinking 10 ml of cold water per kilogram of body weight (14).
Summary Drinking more water can help burn calories and decrease intake at meals, which can result in weight loss.
Animal studies have shown that acetic acid can prevent weight gain and decrease fat accumulation in the belly and liver (15).
Although research is limited, there is some evidence that vinegar is effective in promoting weight loss in humans.
A study in 144 obese adults demonstrated that drinking a daily beverage containing 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of vinegar per day resulted in significant reductions in body weight, waist circumference and belly fat compared to a placebo group (17).
However, it should be noted that drinking acidic beverages like apple cider vinegar can erode teeth, which is why it should be consumed sparingly and always followed by rinsing with water (19).
Summary Although more research is needed on the risks and benefits of apple cider vinegar, consuming a small amount per day may encourage weight loss.
Human and animal studies have also shown this flavorful root to have a beneficial effect on weight loss.
A study found that rats fed a high-fat diet supplemented with 5% ginger powder for four weeks had significant reductions in body weight and significant improvements in HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels compared to rats fed a high-fat diet without ginger (21).
Although this study used a concentrated ginger powder, a study in humans found that ginger tea also helps reduce appetite and increase calorie expenditure.
One study in 10 overweight men found that when they drank 2 grams of ginger powder dissolved in hot water with breakfast, they experienced increased fullness and decreased hunger compared to days when no ginger tea was consumed.
Plus, the study showed that the ginger tea increased the thermic effect of food (the number of calories needed to digest and absorb food) by 43 calories (22).
Although that isn't a huge number of calories, this suggests that — when combined with its satiating properties — ginger tea could be an effective way to enhance weight loss.
Summary Human and animal studies indicate that ginger can promote fullness, decrease appetite and increase metabolism, which is helpful when trying to lose weight.
Beverages that are high in protein can curb hunger, decrease appetite and promote fullness, which is important when trying to shed excess pounds.
There are countless protein powders available to consumers that make preparing a quick, healthy snack or meal a breeze.
Protein increases levels of hunger-reducing hormones like GLP-1 while decreasing ghrelin, a hormone that drives appetite (23).
A study in 90 overweight adults found that those who consumed 56 grams of whey protein daily for 23 weeks lost 5 pounds (2.3 kg) more fat than a control group who consumed no whey protein but the same number of calories (24).
Whey, pea and hemp protein powders are just a few varieties that can add a satisfying protein boost to shakes and smoothies that may help you drop pounds.
Summary Protein drinks decrease appetite and increase fullness. Protein powders can be easily added to any beverage for a quick and satisfying snack or meal.
Although fruit juice has been linked to weight gain, drinking vegetable juice may have the opposite effect (25).
In one study, adults who drank 16 ounces of low-sodium vegetable juice while following a low-calorie diet lost significantly more weight than those who did not.
Plus, the vegetable juice group significantly increased their vegetable consumption and significantly decreased their carb intake, two factors that are important for weight loss (26).
Consuming whole vegetables whenever possible is the best choice for health due to the high amount of fiber that is lost in the juicing process.
However, consuming a low-calorie vegetable juice can increase your vegetable intake and may even help you lose weight.
Summary Although whole vegetables make the best choice, drinking vegetable juice may encourage weight loss when incorporated into a healthy diet.
Certain drinks such as green tea, coffee and ginger tea may help boost metabolism, minimize hunger and increase satiety, all of which can facilitate weight loss.
Additionally, these beverages contain beneficial nutrients like antioxidants and other powerful compounds that can benefit your health.
Replacing high-calorie beverages like soda and fruit juice with the drinks listed above is a smart way to cut calories and help you achieve your weight loss goals.