This article was medically reviewed by Kailey Proctor, MPH, RDN, CSO, a board-certified oncology dietitian at the Leonard Clinical Cancer Institute with Mission Hospital.
Kefir is rich in probiotics, which studies have found may help with weight loss. Stevica Mrdja / EyeEm/Getty Images
- The best drink for weight loss is water since it has zero calories and can keep you hydrated.
- Other weight loss drinks include coffee, green tea, kefir, and vegetable juice.
- If you're trying to lose weight, avoid high-calorie, sugary drinks like soda and fruit juice.
- Visit Insider's Health Reference library for more advice.
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What you drink can make just as much of an impact on weight as what you eat.
While there's no magical weight loss drink, certain beverages keep you satiated for longer, which may prevent you from eating excess calories throughout the day.
And certain beverages may even boost your metabolism so you can burn calories more efficiently.
Here are some of the best drinks if you're trying to lose weight.
If you're feeling hungry, drink water first since hunger is a sign of dehydration. Getty Images
Water is one of your best options for weight loss. Not only is it calorie-free, but it also fills you up so you don't overeat, says Kristin Gillespie RD, a certified nutrition support clinician at Option Care Health.
In fact, a 2019 review found that increased water intake was associated with an average of 5.15% loss in body weight. So, for example, if you weighed 150 pounds, that would equate to about 7.7 pounds lost.
Aim to drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water daily, says Reisdorf. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should drink at least 75 ounces of water each day, or about 2.2 liters.
2. Green tea
Green tea is a great source of antioxidants.
Green tea contains catechins and caffeine — two compounds that may boost metabolism, says Gillespie. It also contains caffeine, which research indicates may help burn fat and increase how many calories you burn when at rest.
In fact, a small 2005 study of overweight and moderately obese subjects found that consuming a green tea mixture with 150 milligrams of caffeine for three months was linked to more weight loss and fat loss, as well as a more significant reduction in waist circumference, in comparison to those who drank a placebo.
3. Black tea
Black tea is a great alternative to coffee if you're sensitive to caffeine.
Like green tea, black tea is chock full of antioxidants, specifically polyphenols, which reduce your risk of obesity. For example, a 2018 review found that the polyphenols in tea reduce how much your body absorbs fats and sugars, thus decreasing your calorie intake and supporting weight loss.
Additionally, a small 2014 study found that drinking 3 cups of black tea a day for three months reduced a participants risk of weight gain and reduced their waist circumference by about 2 centimeters compared to a placebo group who consumed a drink with the same flavor and caffeine content, but without the polyphenols.
Kefir is a fermented milk that is similar to yogurt.
Kefir is a fermented dairy drink that contains up to 61 strains of gut-healthy probiotics.
"Probiotics have been shown to reduce weight and belly fat due to the role they play in insulin resistance, inflammation, and fat storage," says Erin Kenney, RD, the CEO of Nutrition Rewired.
In fact, a small 2016 study found that overweight and obese women on a dairy-rich, non-calorie restricted diet who drank two servings of kefir drinks daily for eight weeks had significantly greater reductions in weight, BMI, and waist circumference than those who did not consume it.
5. Protein shakes
Protein drinks are a great way to pack in some added vitamins and minerals.
Protein powders like whey protein, soy protein, egg white protein, casein protein, and pea protein have all been shown to help with weight loss. That's because the protein in a protein shake keeps you feeling fuller for longer and also takes more energy for your body to digest, so you burn more calories.
In fact, a 2014 review found that digesting proteins can increase how many calories your body burns at rest by 15% to 30% whereas carbs and fat only cause a 3% to 10% increase. That can help explain why high-protein diets burn more calories hours after eating compared to other diets.
Reisdorf recommends aiming for 20 grams of protein per shake.
6. Black coffee
Drinking coffee has been shown to decrease appetite and calorie intake throughout the day but also increases how many calories you burn at rest. For example, a small 2020 study found that drinking four cups of coffee a day for 24 weeks was associated with a 4% body fat reduction in overweight adults.
7. Apple cider vinegar
Make sure to dilute your apple cider vinegar shot with water to avoid tooth erosion. marekuliasz/ iStock
Acetic acid, the active ingredient in apple cider vinegar, boosts metabolism and suppresses appetite, according to Gillespie. Additionally, it may slow down the rate at which food empties from the stomach, thereby keeping you feeling full for longer.
In fact, one small 2009 study in obese Japanese adults found consuming 2 tablespoons of vinegar mixed with a beverage daily caused an average loss of 3.7 pounds, a 0.9% decrease in body fat, and a loss of 0.75 inches from the waist over 12 weeks.
Try mixing 1 to 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into 1 cup of water and drinking it daily, says Gillespie. This will prevent it from eroding your enamel.
8. Vegetable juice
While it's always best to eat your veggies, tomato juice can boost your vitamin intake. KarinaUrmantseva/Getty Images
While eating vegetables is always preferable due to the higher fiber content, vegetable juice may still have a positive effect when it comes to weight loss.
For example, a small 2010 study found people with metabolic syndrome who drank one or more servings of low-sodium vegetable juice while on a calorie-restricted diet lost significantly more weight than those who did not during a 12 week period. Participants were also on a calorie-restricted diet.
Vegetable juice seems to trigger a decrease in leptin. Leptin is a hormone released by fat cells that's linked to obesity when levels of it are too high in the blood.
Ultimately, experts agree that the most effective way to lose weight is through lifestyle changes — namely, eating healthily, consuming fewer calories, sleeping enough, and exercising regularly.
That said, incorporating the aforementioned beverages into your diet may help to further your results by keeping you more satiated, increasing your basal metabolic rate, and suppressing your appetite.