We’ve all been there. When your cheat meal turns into a cheat weekend.
When you had a few too many drinks the night before or you’ve eaten enough Sunday lunch to feed a family of four. Whatever it is, if you feel like you need to give your body a break, we’ve put together some drinks to get you started.
What do we mean by a detox drink?
A detox drink should contain ingredients that promote one or more of the following things within your body:
- Reducing inflammation
- Boosting metabolism
- Immune system functionality
- Liver function
There are a lot of ‘diet’ and ‘detox’ teas on the market now that claim to help ‘reduce body fat’ or that will help you ‘achieve a flat stomach in three days’. This is definitely not what we are referring to.
To truly ‘detoxify’ the body, you want to help your body to process anything bad and remove it from your system. You want your body to be working efficiently – not overworking. You want to be well hydrated with your metabolism firing. You also want to be in an alkaline state to restore balance from consuming acidic foods and drinks, which leads to inflammation.
There are many ingredients we can look to, to achieve this detoxification of the body, each having their own benefits to your health and wellbeing.
Coconut water is great for hydration as it contains a high density of electrolytes (potassium and sodium) which are important or maintaining fluid levels. Keeping your electrolytes replenished will help to reduce fatigue. Coconut water also contains enzymes which help the digestive process. If you’ve been drinking alcohol, your body will be seriously dehydrated the next day, so coconut water makes the perfect detox drink to help rehydrate your body.
Not only a great detox drink, the electrolytes in coconut water make it a great post-workout drink too. Consider it nature’s sports drink – helping to replace the fluids and electrolytes lost through sweat.
Green tea has so many health benefits that it has long been labelled a superfood. It contains high levels of polyphenols which are antioxidants that reduce the formation of harmful free radicals in the body. Free radicals damage cells and promote ageing and have been linked to cancer.
There have also been numerous scientific studies that look into evidence that green tea boosts metabolism and can increase the bodies fat-burning potential.
Warm Water and Lemon
Although we would consider lemons an acidic fruit, they have an alkalizing effect on the body once digested. Your body functions best in an alkaline state as an acidic environment can promote inflammation and disease. The alkalizing effects of lemon helps to reduce inflammation and also helps to cleanse the liver.
Lemon juice supports the digestive system and the citric acid in lemon juice maximises enzyme function which stimulates the liver.
Ginger contains gingerol which has anti-inflammatory effects on the body. It can help to ease nausea and indigestion, stimulating the digestive process to help to remove the build up of waste products and excess gas.
Similar to ginger, peppermint aids the digestive system, helping to relieve bloating and relaxing stomach muscles.
When you have over-indulged or feel the need to ‘detox’, then remember you have likely put your digestive system through a lot of stress as it attempts to digest everything that you have consumed.
It will attempt to remove waste products from your body and to absorb nutrients from the food you have consumed. By drinking peppermint tea, you can give your digestive system a helping hand in getting your body back to optimum efficiency.
Watermelon is fantastic for rehydration due to its high water content, to help flush toxins from your system. It also contains the antioxidant lycopene, which gives the watermelon its red colour and can help reduce the damaging effects of toxins such as pesticides commonly found in non-organic foods. There have been studies to suggest that eating watermelon can reduce the risk of heart disease and can aid kidney cleansing.
Cucumber is often overlooked as a salad topping but contains numerous health benefits, particularly useful when looking to detoxify the body. Cucumber is fantastic at flushing out toxins and will help to rehydrate your body.
Cucumbers also contain vitamin C for boosting your immunity and fibre to further assist digestion.
Below are some example recipes that you can try, based on why you feel the need to have a detoxifying effect on your body.
Overindulged? Simple Green Smoothie
This recipe beats most green smoothie recipes that are high in sugars and contain just a few spinach leaves. The addition of flax seeds boosts the fibre content and contains omega-3 fatty acids.
- 1 handful spinach
- 1 handful kale
- juice of 1/2 lime
- 200ml coconut water
- 50g diced fresh pineapple
- 1 tbsp flax seeds
- Blend all of the ingredients together.
Tip: You could add a variety of healthy additions to this smoothie. Try a 1/2 tsp of matcha green tea powder which contains potent antioxidants that will boost your immunity and get your metabolism fired up!
Feeling Run Down? Hot Lemon, Ginger and Manuka
Try this recipe for boosting your immunity with lemon, ginger and manuka honey.
- Juice of half a lemon
- 10g root ginger, sliced
- 1 tsp manuka honey
- Add the ginger to a mug and fill with boiling water.
- Stir in the manuka honey.
- Squeeze the lemon juice into the mug and stir well.
- Add a slice of lemon and enjoy.
Over-eaten? Iced green tea
The fresh lemon in this recipe will help to alkalise your body, reducing inflammation after over-indulgence – plus green tea has been suggested to increase fat-burning.
- 1 green tea bag
- Juice of half a lemon
- Stalk of fresh mint (ideally peppermint)
- 1 tsp of honey
- Brew your tea bag in hot water for 3-4 minutes.
- Remove the tea bag and add the lemon juice and mint.
- Leave for 2 minutes then remove the mint stalk.
- Stir in the honey, then leave to cool.
- Chill in the refrigerator and serve with ice cubes in a tall glass with a slice of lemon.
Bloated? Fresh Peppermint Tea
Simply take a large sprig of fresh peppermint and steep in hot (not boiling) water. Allow to infuse for 2-3 minutes before drinking. Perfect to ease your digestion after a large meal.
Dehydrated? Coconut and Watermelon Cooler
A brilliant hangover cure – the coconut and watermelon will help to rehydrate you and replenish lost eletrolytes.
- 200ml coconut water
- 100g watermelon
- Juice of half a lime
- Blend all ingredients together in a blender.
- Serve over ice.