If you like the taste of apple cider vinegar, then by all means, drink up! But if you are a normal human being who prefers not to chug pure acid, then you should know there's zero evidence that drinking the nasty stuff can actually help you drop kgs (or impart the laundry list of health benefits the Internet seems to associate with it, for that matter).
That said, if you were tempted by the get-in-shape claims about ACV, you should know that there are other beverages that actually do help promote healthy weight loss, especially when you combine them with a nutritious diet and regular exercise.
How much weight each of these can help you lose varies based on you, your body composition, and your other lifestyle habits, says New York-based R.D. Jessica Cording—but adding these to your hydration rotation can definitely help up your weight-loss potential.
Sure, water may be kinda meh, but it really is your best bet, says Cording. At a really basic level, your cells need water to do their job—and being well hydrated can help your body work more efficiently. Other weight-loss bennies of water:
- It helps expand the fibre you eat to make you feel full.
- It takes up volume in your stomach and makes you feel more satiated without adding extra calories.
- Since it’s easy to mistake thirst cues for hunger, drinking enough H2O helps ensure that you’re not eating when you’re not actually hungry.
Everyone’s water needs are different, but the Mayo Clinic recommends that most people aim to drink eight eight-ounce glasses of fluid a day. “That’s a good jumping off point, but a lot of people do better with more,” Cording says. That doesn’t mean you should guzzle gallons of water a day, but having an extra glass or two could make a big difference.
Drinking a daily cup of coffee or two alone isn’t going to magically make you drop a few sizes, but it might help a little. The caffeine in coffee increases your body’s energy use, even when you’re sitting on your butt, so you end up burning more calories after drinking it, the Mayo Clinic points out. The caffeine in coffee may also help you feel less hungry, lowering the odds you’ll overeat, the organisation says.
That doesn’t mean you should take up a coffee habit if you don’t already have one. “It’s a mild stimulant and too much can cause jitters and heart palpitations,” Cording points out. “You want to hit that sweet spot but don’t want to overdo it.” She recommends having less than 400 milligrams of caffeine a day (which translates to about four eight-ounce cups of coffee) to see results.
3. Mint tea
Mint is a natural appetite suppressant, says Beth Warren, R.D.N., founder of Beth Warren Nutrition and author of Living a Real Life with Real Food. Even better, it's instantly effective—even if you just smell it, she says.
4. Lemon water
Some celebrities swear by lemon water, and there’s something to it, Cording says. Not only does it primarily consist of water, but the lemon can help get your digestion moving and, well, help you poop, she says. It's part of why citrus can help you de-bloat, she says.
5. Whatever you want
Hear us out here: Diets can be restrictive, and you’re less likely to stick with one if you feel like you’re depriving yourself. While Cording swears that water is the absolute best thing you can drink for weight loss, she says it’s also helpful to incorporate one non-water beverage into your repertoire a day so you don’t feel like you’re missing out. That might be kombucha, a cocktail, or a latte—it’s your choice. “It seems to be a more manageable approach than saying you should just drink water,” she says.
The bottom line: Drinks alone aren’t going to make you magically shrink, but apple cider vinegar is a complete waste in that department. Go for something like water or lemon water instead. It's more effective and doesn't taste like trash.
This article originally appeared on Women’s Health US.