Detox drinks have picked up steam as more and more people become aware of the “garbage-in, garbage-out” results of their diets.
We realize something today that people 50 years ago didn’t fully grasp. What you consume has a direct effect on the quality of your health and your life.
It’s not that people were always unaware of the correlation either. They just had some interesting ideas of what was good for them.
For example, the average American had no idea they were killing themselves by smoking cigarettes. Several decades ago, it was even seen as an effective measure to lose weight!
As our understanding of foods and ingredients becomes more clear, we now know that the toxins we put into our bodies can be “taken out,” so to speak, by putting the right stuff into our bodies.
In the following article, we’ll be discussing detox drinks specifically: why to use them, what they’re good for, and what some of the best ingredients are for a detox drink done right. Let’s begin!
Why Use Detox Drinks?
Have you ever eaten something and immediately afterward — or shortly afterward — felt something wasn’t quite right? We’re not talking about food poisoning here either.
Just some type of edible that clogs your mind, makes you feel off your game, and manifests in a variety of physical issues?
Perhaps you’ve gone out with friends and had a little too much to drink. The next morning, you’re cursing that older version of you for not realizing (or caring) that you had to get up and be to work or an appointment.
Detox drinks can help with any of these scenarios. In fact, there are six core reasons to use them. We’ll now spend some time going over each one.
1. Weight Loss
There’s a lot of debate on what it means to be overweight. While BMI charts set the standards, many believe they’re too harsh in the ranges for “Normal” weight that they set.
They’re generally good to follow, though if you worry about looking too skinny, you’ll probably want to err on the high-end side of the scale.
One thing’s for sure. Americans are overweight, and something needs to be done to reverse this reality. Adult men and women track between 32 and 36 percent, respectively, for being considered “obese.”
Obesity is considered to be in effect when you are more than 35 pounds overweight, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Detox drinks may not make you lose weight on their own, but they can help lower glucose levels, and aid in controlling your cravings for unhealthy foods.
When you can eliminate the craving, you put yourself in a better headspace to make wise dietary decisions.
As surely as the eyes are the window to the soul, your gut is the window to wellness. If you’re not processing daily nutrition correctly, then you’re not going to be your best self.
Nutritional deficiency accounts for a number of ailments, and when you consider what you’re losing out on, it’s no surprise.
Improper digestion means you’re not getting enough iron into your bloodstream. Low iron leads to feeling tired and weak. It also can mean you have a more difficult time fighting off diseases or other sicknesses.
Last but not least, it can impair brain function.
As with number one above, detox drinks can help cleanse you of the contaminants that you’re putting into your body. It does this through its antioxidant content.
Once you clear the system, it’s a lot easier to eat well and, more importantly, to want to eat well.
3. Better Liver Function
The liver is a pretty busy organ. Without it, not only will your quality of life suffer; you may not even have a life at all. That’s because a healthy liver enables blood to clot.
It dispels damaged cells and contaminants from your body. It takes center stage for pretty much every metabolic process. Damage or strain on the liver will set off a chain reaction that you’ll notice in every other aspect of life.
It’s important to take care of your liver. That means consuming no or very moderate amounts of alcohol. It means not smoking. And yes, it means minding your diet.
Bad choices always lead to more bad choices when it comes to your body. Detox drinks can put a stop to a string of those choices and set you back on an even keel.
Teas, particularly, are great drinks for liver detoxification. We recommend lemon, ginger, mint, chamomile, or any combination thereof.
4. Improving Skin Complexion
The skin may seem like its own thing, but at day’s end, it’s just another organ. And if an organ like the liver can benefit from detox drinks, then this one can as well.
Before getting into some specific choices, let’s talk a bit about why detoxing can help your skin complexion and overall condition.
Your skin is composed of about 5 million pores. Whenever you hear someone mention hair follicles? Same thing. This hard-to-see part of your skin is vulnerable to contamination from internal and external sources.
Internally, your skin produces oil (sebum). Sebum has a function, but irregular production or overproduction can lead to clogged pores prone to infection. That’s how acne develops.
Detox drinks can act as a pore-clearing agent to ensure smooth and glowing skin. We recommend anything that contains cucumber, lemon, berries, or apple cider vinegar.
5. Reducing Inflammation
And speaking of internal/external settings, inflammation can occur in both. External inflammation, like what you can see on your skin, is relatively easy to target and address. Internal isn’t as cut-and-dry.
In fact, there are a number of diseases and conditions that are directly attributed to inflammation that many of us don’t even consider. Asthma, ulcers, tuberculosis, Crohn’s disease, sinus issues, and hepatitis are all examples where inflammation is at work.
Detox drinks aren’t cure-alls for these conditions, but they can definitely make a difference in your quality of life if you suffer from one of them.
It’s important to choose beverages that have clear anti-inflammatory qualities. Some good examples: pineapple and ginger, berries and beets, turmeric, and a variety of other fruit juices.
6. Enhancing Energy Levels
So far, we’ve talked mostly about physical appearance. While the last major use of detox drinks we want to discuss still has a physical effect, it deals more with how you’re feeling on the inside, particularly in the head.
How you feel (see numbers one through five) has a direct correlation to what you feel like doing.
Your energy levels stem from the brain. That shouldn’t come as a surprise considering the brain uses the most energy of every other organ in the body.
It taps into your glucose to fuel the activity in every other cell in the body. Keeping the brain happy will keep most of the rest of you happy, provided you’re not suffering from any other chronic, unrelated conditions.
Even then, how you treat your brain will allow you to better cope should you find yourself diagnosed with conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
The best detox drinks for your brain might include anything from melons and berries to rosemary and turmeric. We’ll be getting into our favorite ingredients (and why) a bit later.
Signs You Need to Detox
Thus far, we’ve talked about what detox drinks can do for you. We’ve also touched a bit on when they become necessary.
Unspooling that thread, here are some indicators that your immune system could use the type of boost a detox drink provides.
- Mood Swings: do you feel yourself getting short with people? Do you start the day feeling okay but notice by lunchtime you’re dragging and uncertain of how the heck you’ll make it until 5 p.m.? If so, you may want to look at the dietary decisions you’re making and reconfigure with a mid-morning boost.
- Halitosis: you brush two times every day, but still notice a staleness or unpleasantness to your breath by morning, midday, or after meals. If this is common, consider a mint detox blend after your next meal or before bed.
- Food cravings: if you catch yourself craving a lot of unhealthy foods, it’s generally because you’re already consuming them. Added sugars are not unlike addictive drugs. They may not have the immediate potency, but they can create a cycle of unhealthy eating that leads to nutritional deficiencies and, eventually, to diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Shut that down by incorporating a detox drink rich with antioxidants at some point in your day.
- Sluggishness: do you find yourself reacting slowly to things, either in the physical or mental sense? What times of day are these dips in energy levels occurring? While the body has its own natural circadian rhythm, your work and lifestyle demands may not always align with those. Pay close attention to where your energy dips occur and find time for a detox drink ahead of those periods.
- Dry, itchy patches and other skin conditions: we’ve already discussed what can happen with oil overproduction. But as you age, your pores may go the other way, so it becomes essential that you’re putting the right stuff into your body to guard against the slowdown in production that produces dryness of skin and cell damage.
- Headaches: what causes your headaches? Have you noticed a pattern? Some caffeinated detox drinks can be helpful in bringing up energy production and boosting your overall metabolism. With better metabolism, you can treat your body better in a variety of other ways, such as eating right and keeping an exercise routine.
- Gas and bloating: earlier we mentioned how detox drinks can be great for improving digestion. One of the ways this rings true is in how they can help tamp down on gas and bloating, usually brought on by heartburn but also symptomatic of more serious conditions. Some of those include ulcerative colitis and diverticulitis. Seek medical help to ensure you don’t have one of these more advanced conditions. But even if you do, a well-concocted detox drink can help you better deal with the fallout.
- Constipation: the inability to maintain regular bowel activity can contribute to the gas and bloating mentioned above. It can also start to affect your overall health. The long-term damage from constipation may include internal and external hemorrhoids as well as anal fissures. If you’re concerned about the frequency of your bowel movements, track how many you’re having. Three or fewer bowel movements per week are indicative of a chronic problem. Choosing detox drinks that are diuretic in nature can help.
- Joint pain and other aches: joint pain is the most common cause of the aches and pains that we may feel throughout the day. This typically occurs due to internal inflammation around those areas. It’s also a condition synonymous with arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Detox drinks loaded with antioxidants can be helpful in reducing inflammation, thus addressing this issue in the short term. Consistent use equals consistent help.
Now that we’ve covered the benefits of detox drinks and the best time to think about using them, let’s move into their makeup.
What Are the Best Ingredients?
Many of the best detox drinks are going to check all the boxes in terms of what they can do to improve your health and address symptoms of underlying issues.
But that doesn’t mean they’re all made alike or that each beverage will taste the same and produce the same results.
We’ve thought about how to handle this. You can find numerous places online that’ll guide you in the right direction for specific recipes. For our purposes, let’s stick with the building blocks.
Before trying a tea or smoothie or flavored water for the purposes of detoxification, make sure at least one or two of these elements are present.
Ginger has a number of health benefits that make it a worthy inclusion for any detox drinks that you plan on tipping up.
Chief among them: it treats morning sickness for pregnancy as well as significantly reduce menstrual pains for women during their periods; it can reduce soreness and pains in your muscles; it can aid with joint pain and osteoarthritis; it can address both blood sugar and cholesterol, thus tackling two of the main components that lead to life-threatening complications from diabetes and heart disease; and it may even prevent certain types of cancers.
Cinnamon not only makes for a terrific Christmastime ingredient in your favorite hot beverage or healthy smoothie, but it also has medicinal qualities that include lowering your risk of heart disease and helping you better cope with the physical symptoms of a diabetes diagnosis.
Additionally, it has a pair of compounds in it that boost your neurotransmitters, thus making it a valuable ingredient if you have a history of Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s in your family.
To be clear, it may not prevent the onset of these conditions but it could be helpful in addressing symptoms. It’s also great for addressing brain fog.
Some people are surprised when they hear that onions make for a great inclusion to any detox drink. But if you look at the known benefits — how it helps guard against heart disease and cancer — why wouldn’t you want to move it off the dinner plate and into your drink cup?
Onions have a few other little-known benefits to them. For example, tooth decay. This is caused by bacteria buildup that weakens the tooth at its root. But onions have antimicrobial qualities that can serve as a disinfectant of sorts.
That said, you may want to carry around some extra no-sugar chewing gum if you decide to incorporate this into your daily routine.
Lemons are a favorite ingredient for virtually every detox-related beverage under the sun. Lemon benefits include support for digestion and fresh breath. It also helps you maintain your hydration, which can have a net-positive effect on skin complexion.
What really puts lemons over the top (for us) is that it’s such a rich source of vitamin C. While you also could get your supply through an orange — in case lemons are too tart — we like the fact that lemon has a harsher palate to it.
It’s particularly effective in helping to open up your sinuses and improve breathing.
5. Green Tea
Depending on whom you are speaking to, green tea is either a very healthy beverage or the healthiest on the planet. The commonality here is health, and it’s certainly got the antioxidants to back it up.
Plus, you don’t really have to worry about what you’ll put with it as it tastes great and has everything you need.
Green tea is comprised of several plant compounds that come packed with nutrients. These include polyphenols, which are instrumental in being able to reduce inflammation throughout the body and fight the effects of damaging free radicals that could lead to the development of certain types of cancer.
6. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is one of the better-tasting detox drink ingredients. You can take it by itself or blend it with other fruity notes for extra flavor.
The primary areas where ACV is of use: it brings up low blood sugar levels and better aids in the fight against diabetes. It also has value in clearing your bloodstream of unhealthy fats (i.e., LDLs, or bad cholesterol).
Support for lowering cholesterol has a residual effect of being able to combat the onset and growth of heart disease.
Garlic is extremely bad for you if you are a vampire. Everyone not among the undead, however, can rest easy knowing it has a ton of health benefits that include reducing blood pressure and heart disease risk factors.
It’s high in nutrients, low in calories, and contains enough antioxidants to make it one of your must-haves when dealing with cold symptoms. Caveat: it can lead to bad breath and odor problems.
So make sure you’re brushing regularly and keeping good hygiene while using it, or you may end up with a lot of unhappy friends and coworkers.
Any type of greens incorporated into your detox drink of choice will only improve the overall outcome. Leafy greens are high in vitamin K, which brings with it a number of health benefits.
Eating more of them in your diet and blending them with your beverage-of-choice gives you bone protection, digestive assistance, and increased energy.
They also have a variety of antioxidants that can protect the health of your cellular ecosystem. While not making them a cancer cure-all, eating more of them will greatly reduce your chances of falling victim to this often-deadly disease.
Parsley has a lot of great qualities, but the one most commonly associated with it is cancer prevention. In other words, don’t just cast off that sprig of parsley that comes on your plate at a restaurant.
Dropping it into your water or including parsley when making a detox drink at home can enhance the health of your digestive tract, skin, and prostate (in men).
It’s also recommended for women with a history of breast cancer in their families. Not the best-tasting item, for sure, but it’s not overpowering and it’s loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory qualities, so find a way you can use it to your advantage.
Think of Detox Drinks As Your Hard Reset Button
Some websites will try to sell a detox beverage as a miracle cure. We don’t want to mislead you. You’ve still got to work for optimum health.
That means eating the right things, working out, and taking care of your mental and emotional health. But detox drinks of all kinds can be a valuable component in accomplishing all of these goals.
We hope that you’ll use the information presented here to find the flavor combination that works for you. From there, make it part of your routine and document how you feel over the next month.
We think you’ll be surprised by the results. Good luck!