3 Benefits of Drinking Chlorophyll Water
It's safe to say that chlorophyll water is a one of the hottest wellness drink trends right now. In fact, "#chlorophyll" has over 550.7 million views on TikTok, with certain videos about its benefits getting over 3.4 million likes alone. And TikTok isn't the only social platform catching on to this trend. According to the Pinterest Predicts 2023 Report, which is a report the company releases every year using search data from their site to predict the trends for the coming year, people are taking a growing interest in chlorophyll. Based on the site's search trends, the search for "benefits of chlorophyll water" is up 35%. But even though this trendy green pigment is having a moment right now, are there actually any valid health benefits to chlorophyll water?
Let's first take a look at what chlorophyll water is exactly. According to Britannica, chlorophyll is found in "nearly all photosynthetic organisms," like plants, bacteria, and algae.
"Chlorophyll is the pigment that gives plants their green color, and these plants use it to trap light needed for photosynthesis," says Lisa Young, PhD, RDN, author of Finally Full, Finally Slim and member of our Medical Expert Board.
Thanks to viral trends, chlorophyll is almost always associated with the drops you can put in your water or smoothies. However, you can consume this pigment by eating certain vegetables.
"Green vegetables, like spinach, kale, and green beans, are rich natural sources of chlorophyll," says Young. "If you eat your green veggies, you'll get plenty of chlorophyll. However, most Americans don't eat enough veggies."
If getting enough vegetables during the day is a challenge for you, supplementing with chlorophyll water may come in handy. Although overall, more research needs to be done on many of the proclaimed benefits of chlorophyll water, there are a few research-backed benefits to drinking this plant-infused water. Read on to learn about some of the benefits of chlorophyll water—and for more health tips, check out 21 Superfoods That Are Surprisingly High in Protein, Say Dietitians.
You'll get an antioxidant boost
As mentioned above, chlorophyll is known to have antioxidant properties. But what does this mean for our health aside from potential skin benefits? According to Antioxidants, a journal published by the National Library of Medicine, chlorophyll's antioxidant properties mean it can delay the "oxidative cell damage" caused by free radicals.
If you're unsure of what free radicals are, these molecules are essentially the product of what happens when you consume food or are exposed to tobacco products. Having free radicals isn't inherently bad, but these molecules are unstable and can lead to faster aging and a higher risk for chronic disease by way of oxidative cell damage if they're not balanced out by antioxidants. According to Pharmacognosy Reviews, it's the balance of antioxidants and free radicals that helps keep your body in check and prevents free radicals from taking over.
It can help your skin
One of the benefits of chlorophyll water is it can help your skin health from the inside out. That is probably why drinking this water has caught on like wildfire across TikTok.
"The antioxidant and antimicrobial effects of chlorophyll water makes it a great skin-enhancing beverage," Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD, at Balance One Supplements tells Eat This, Not That! "The antioxidants work in the body to reduce and remove toxins and oxidative stress caused by free radicals. This damage, if allowed to persist, has a negative impact on overall health, but its impact on the skin is not often discussed. The skin is more susceptible to damage and aging, with things like fine lines and wrinkles, dry patches, and the like."
Best also emphasizes the antimicrobial benefits of chlorophyll water—in other words, its ability to kill certain bacteria.
"These benefits of chlorophyll water make it inhospitable for the growth of bacteria, which can reduce acne," says Best. "The anti-inflammatory effects will aid in reducing inflammation on the skin, which can cause loose skin and wrinkles if not dealt with."
It may help with body odor
Interestingly enough, chlorophyll may act as a natural deodorant in some people when taken orally. For example, it may help those with trimethylaminuria—a medical condition in which someone's body is unable to properly convert trimethylamine (TMA) to trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), and this results in a bodily fish-like odor. However, a study published in Life Sciences found that daily consumption of chlorophyllin—the water soluble form of chlorophyll—helped participants increase their levels of TMAO, which reportedly helped to reduce the presence of their physical fishy odor scent.
Where more research is needed
There are also certain chlorophyll water benefits that have been explored by experts, but ultimately more research is needed in order to confirm some of these effects. For instance, a few studies have found that chlorophyll may potentially have cancer-combatting properties.
One very small human study of four participants published in Cancer Prevention Research concluded that chlorophyll may have the potential to limit the cancer-causing compound aflatoxin. However, this point in time, the other promising studies related to chlorophyll 's impact on cancer primarily stems from animal studies. For instance, a study in Food and Chemical Toxicology found that chlorophyll was able to reduce stomach and liver tumors in trout, while another one published in Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity discovered that this plant pigment was able to reduce pancreatic cancer cells in mice. Though the implications of this research are fairly positive, because these are animal studies, it is still unclear as to whether or not chlorophyll could have the same effect on humans.
As you can see, chlorophyll water can certainly provide some benefits for your body, but it's important to note that researchers still need to take a closer look at how it can impact our overall health. Furthermore, Young reminds us that although drinking chlorophyll water is a convenient way to supplement this pigment, eating your daily vegetables is the best way to capitalize on the benefits of consuming chlorophyll.
"Ultimately, the best bet to increase chlorophyll intake isn't through drinking chlorophyll water. Instead, eat your greens from fresh or frozen vegetables, because these veggies also have other healthy benefits, which is a win-win," says Young.