10 Best Drinks for a Flat Belly, According to a Dietitian
When it comes to sculpting a toned and flat belly, you may think what you choose to put on your plate will make or break your success. But what you choose to drink can be just as crucial as what you eat. While beverages are often overlooked when it comes to managing weight, they play a significant role in weight management. From revving up your metabolism to boosting digestion and curbing cravings, the right drinks can help you achieve a toned midsection.
To learn more about the top belly-reducing beverages, we chatted with Trista Best, RD, a registered dietitian with Balance One Supplements, who unveils the ten best drinks to help you achieve a flat belly. While these options aren't magical elixirs that guarantee instant results, they can certainly complement a balanced diet and regular exercise routine to help you reach your weight loss goals.
If you want to make smarter beverage choices that support your fitness and wellness goals, you're in the right place. Read on to discover which drinks are best for achieving a flat belly. And, when you're done, learn more about these 6 'Bad' Carbs That Are Actually Good For Weight Loss.
Starting your day with a glass of water kickstarts your metabolism and can help control your appetite. That's because staying well-hydrated throughout the day supports your body's ability to metabolize fat efficiently. Studies show that drinking water before meals can also make you feel fuller, reducing the chances of overeating. Aim for at least eight glasses of water daily for optimal hydration and digestive health. "Staying well-hydrated is crucial for overall health and can help control your appetite, prevent overeating, and support metabolism," says Best.
Green tea is a metabolism-boosting powerhouse due to its high catechin content. These natural antioxidants promote fat oxidation, improve insulin sensitivity, and support healthy weight management. Additionally, the moderate caffeine content in green tea can provide a gentle energy boost, making it an excellent alternative to sugary, calorie-dense beverages. "Green tea contains antioxidants and compounds like catechins, which may help boost metabolism and increase fat oxidation," states Best.
Lemon water is packed with vitamin C, which supports your body's fat oxidation process. Drinking warm lemon water in the morning can kickstart your metabolism and promote a sense of fullness, potentially preventing overeating later in the day. "Lemon water is low in calories and can help with digestion and detoxification," says Best. "It also adds flavor to plain water, making it more enjoyable to drink."
According to a 2021 review, ginger tea can soothe an upset stomach, alleviate bloating, and reduce inflammation in the digestive tract. These benefits support a flatter belly by preventing digestive issues that can cause temporary distention. "Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and can aid digestion, potentially reducing bloating and promoting a flatter stomach," explains Best.
Cucumber-infused water is more than just a spa-day favorite; it can be a helpful tool for maintaining hydration and managing weight. Cucumbers are made up of over 95 percent water, making this infusion highly hydrating. Additionally, they contain compounds that may help control appetite, potentially reducing overall calorie intake. "Cucumber-infused water is refreshing and low in calories," says Best. "It can help you stay hydrated and may have a mild diuretic effect."
According to the experts at Mount Sinai, peppermint tea is a soothing beverage known for its digestive benefits. It can alleviate gas, bloating, and indigestion, creating a more comfortable feeling in your abdomen and promoting a flat tummy. "Peppermint tea can soothe digestive discomfort and reduce bloating, making it a good choice for promoting a flatter belly," states Best.
Apple Cider Vinegar
A 2021 meta-analysis published in BMC concluded that apple cider vinegar (ACV) may help control blood sugar levels and enhance feelings of fullness. Some studies suggest ACV can promote fat loss, especially when combined with a healthy diet and exercise. To incorporate ACV into your routine, dilute a tablespoon in a large glass of water and consume it before meals. "Some people claim that ACV can aid in weight loss and reduce belly fat when consumed in moderation. Mix it with water or use it in salad dressings," says Best.
Research shows that drinking herbal teas throughout the day can keep you hydrated while offering potential digestive and weight management benefits. "Herbal teas like dandelion, chamomile, and fennel can support digestion and reduce water retention, potentially contributing to a flatter stomach," explains Best.
Protein shakes are a convenient way to increase your protein intake, which, according to a 2020 study, can enhance appetite control and muscle maintenance. Choose low-sugar protein shakes that provide a balanced blend of protein, fiber, and essential nutrients. Consuming a protein shake as a snack or meal replacement can help you stay satisfied and reduce your total calorie intake. Best tells us, "High-quality protein shakes can help control appetite and support muscle growth, which can aid in overall weight management."
While it doesn't directly target belly fat, coconut water can boost metabolic function, prevent water retention, and reduce bloating by keeping you adequately hydrated. "Coconut water is a natural electrolyte-rich beverage that can help prevent dehydration and promote a balanced fluid balance," says Best.
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