Garlic is one of the most commonly used spices in cuisines. It is often used to flavor numerous meals, including salad dressings, sauces, meats, soups, vegetables, stews, vinaigrettes, and marinades. However, this bulb is also loved for its intense flavor and benefits outside of the kitchen. It is also used besides cooking as a remedy and in therapy. Today we will look at the process of preparing an easy yet healthy drink of garlic water. It is an excellent way of adding garlic to your diet to regulate your health. Stick around to learn about garlic water benefits and side effects.
What Is Garlic Water?
As the name implies, it refers to a drink prepared from garlic and water. A garlic water recipe will ask you to (5):
- Add two or three cloves to your cup of water.
- Bring the mixture to a boil.
- Please turn off the heat when it boils.
- Let it cool and serve it in a glass.
You can drink it as it is, or you can choose to add some lemon juice, parsley, or honey if you want more flavor. Note that the servings will vary depending on the number of cups you are using.
But most importantly, make sure you do the following when preparing this mixture:
- Use Fresh Garlic Cloves. Food experts cannot emphasize enough the importance of using fresh garlic to make garlic water. They argue that allicin compounds in garlic degrade when they sit out for too long. We do not want them to degrade because these compounds contribute to most of the health benefits of garlic water.
- Peel the Skin of the Clove. You must remove the skin of the garlic clove before you add it to your water. Only peel the cloves you are using and store the rest for later use.
- Boil Until the Clove Softens. Some recipes may not tell you how long you should boil the garlic clove. It would be best to boil it until it softens and is easy to pierce using a fork.
- Drink in Moderation. As we will see, garlic water has numerous health benefits. Drinking too much of it does not mean you reap even more. There are some potential side effects from drinking in excess, as we will see later in this discussion.
Over the years, this drink has become pretty popular in the health and fitness industries.
Benefits Of Drinking Garlic In Hot Water
Taking raw garlic in hot water has been linked to many benefits. Some of them include:
Reduced Risk Of Diseases
We kick off this list with one of the impactful benefits; reduced risk of diseases. This mixture has been linked to a reduced risk of diseases such as:
Medical News Today acknowledges that garlic can reduce your risk of lung and brain cancers (5). According to these experts, raw garlic contains organo-sulfur compounds that are effective in destroying cells in glioblastomas, which cause brain tumors and cancer (5).
Similarly, raw garlic has been found to serve as a chemopreventive agent for lung cancer, making it effective in reducing lung cancer risk (5). So, when you use raw garlic to prepare this drink, you benefit from its anti-cancer properties. As a result, you have a reduced risk of lung and brain cancer.
1. Bacterial Infections
Numerous studies confirm that garlic has antibiotic properties that help fight a broad spectrum of viruses, bacteria, and fungi (5). According to Medical News Today, garlic has a compound known as diallyl sulfide. It is 100 times more effective in fighting the Campylobacter bacteria than two of the most famous antibiotics.
This Campylobacter bacteria is mainly known for causing intestinal infections. So, having a cup of garlic water helps prevent the bacterial action in your gut as you benefit from garlic’s antibiotic properties.
2. Colds And Coughs
Similarly, experts acknowledge garlic water can help prevent or treat coughs and colds (5). Thanks to the excellent antibiotic and antifungal properties in garlic, garlic water relieves congestion and provides relief against colds and coughs. For added benefits, you can choose to add a spoon of honey.
3. Cardiovascular Disease
Garlic water is good for your heart because garlic reduces several risk factors for cardiovascular disease. For example, studies show that consuming garlic reduces LDL ’bad’ cholesterol levels, triglycerides, and high blood pressure (5).
These are among the indicators and risk factors for heart disease. Similarly, consuming garlic water is good for your heart because it prevents cell damage and reduces plaque buildup in your arteries. It also reduces metabolic syndrome, which comprises heart disease risk factors, including hypertension, insulin resistance, and high cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
4. Helps With Detoxification
Detoxification is not a new term in the fitness industry, especially with the rise in detox diets. However, it has become prevalent, and people are curious about this concept. The popular buzzword detoxification or detox refers to the removal process of toxins from your body (6).
So, if you had a heavy meal the previous night, you can drink garlic water in the morning and start your day in detox mode. However, science reveals that this drink, plus other detox diets, cannot tell the body when to remove toxins (6).
Researchers have found that detox drinks and diets only promote weight loss because they are low in calories.
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Weight loss is also one of the benefits of drinking garlic water in the morning. There have been numerous debates about the effectiveness of garlic water on weight loss. But, take it from recent studies, garlic water can promote weight loss.
A 2021 study analyzing randomized controlled trials on the effects of garlic supplementation on weight loss discovered it reduced waist circumference (3).
According to the Centers for Diseases Prevention and Control (CDC), too much belly fat indicates an increased risk for obesity, stroke, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes (2). So, you can use your waist size or circumference to predict the risk of health problems arising from being overweight (2).
The CDC recommends a healthy waist circumference for both men and women. Women are advised to maintain a waist circumference less than 35 inches, while men maintain a waist size of not more than 40 inches (2).
How Does Garlic Water Promote Weight Loss?
Yes, drinking a glass or two of garlic water right after waking up can help you shed pounds. But what is the rationale behind this running theory? Science reveals that this beverage promotes weight loss in several ways, including (3):
- Suppressing Your Appetite. Garlic is an appetite suppressant, which is good as it prevents overeating. Consequently, you can watch the number of calories you consume to help maintain a calorie deficit for weight loss.
- Enhancing the Fat-Burning Process. As seen above, garlic has numerous compounds, such as ogano-sulfur and diallyl sulfide. These and more of its compounds stimulate the fat-burning process and may help you torch calories.
- By Stimulating Digestion. A smooth digestion process can help you lose weight. The running theory is that the entire digestive process requires calories as it uses up energy. That means you could shed pounds if you consume fewer calories than you are burning.
Despite this knowledge, experts state that this drink is not as effective as other known weight loss drinks like green tea. Instead, it has been found to be more effective in reducing waist circumference, unlike body weight and body mass index (BMI) (3).
So, you are advised to enhance its fat-burning properties by adding other substances like honey and lemon juice. In addition, several studies have shown that adding honey and lemon to water like garlic water can promote weight loss. This is by enhancing metabolism and increasing satiety, which helps promote weight loss (4).
Better Immune Functioning
Drinking garlic water can also strengthen your immune system because garlic has antibacterial, antiseptic, and antifungal properties (5). It enhances your immune functioning by helping your body fight infections and destroy viruses, bacteria, and microorganisms.
Garlic also contains antioxidants that help fight radicals that may lead to infections. All these keep your immune system strong and ready to deal with pathogens.
Improve Digestive Health
Drinking garlic water can also help by improving your digestive health. It is better to drink this drink first thing in the morning because it stimulates digestion and appetite (5).
Additionally, this drink can improve digestive health by preventing stomach issues like diarrhea. Maintaining digestive health is crucial as it improves overall health by bringing essential nutrients to your body. Similarly, you would be least likely to experience a host of uncomfortable symptoms like bloating and constipation when your digestive health is in check.
Drinking garlic water first thing in the morning can also help boost your physical and mental health. Garlic contains natural mood-lifting properties that help balance chemicals in your body that regulate your mood.
Depression often arises when there is an imbalance of these chemicals in your body. So, when you use raw garlic to prepare this drink, you reap its mood-enhancing properties and can ease depressive symptoms. However, be sure to talk to a professional before consuming this drink for this benefit.
Side Effects Of Garlic And Lemon Water
Whether you add lemon water or not, garlic water will result in some side effects. For example, researchers investigating the impact of garlic on cardiovascular health discovered that most participants complained of gastrointestinal discomfort and nausea (1).
Researchers also acknowledge other side effects could be experienced, including dizziness, headaches, bloating, profuse sweating, and sometimes, allergies (1). In addition, consuming raw fresh garlic may also have additive effects with anticoagulants or platelet aggregation inhibitors (1).
It may lead to a life-threatening hemorrhage (1). So, let your doctor know if you are on medications or have an underlying health condition before you start drinking garlic water.
On top of that, you may also experience bad breath because this bulb is known to cause a strong stench. So do not be surprised to notice your sweat and pee also smelling garlic.
You can mask the stench by eating citrus fruits like oranges or drinking milk (1). Lastly, some studies have found that too much allicin in your body may lead to liver toxicity (1). So, you are urged to drink this beverage in moderation and not overdo it with the cloves.
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Can You Drink Garlic Water Every Day?
Based on our discussion above, you may want to drink garlic water every day to reap the many benefits of this drink. You may be tempted to use more garlic cloves in a bid to get as many benefits as you can.
Note that, as seen from our discussion of the side effects, using too much garlic can result in some discomfort and stomach issues. In addition, it may result in bloating, diarrhea, and even bad breath. So as tempting as it is, it is important to drink this beverage in moderation (1). So how often can you drink garlic water?
Well, it comes down to what your doctor recommends. The minimum that most nutritionists and doctors recommend is one raw garlic clove taken two to three times daily. The maximum is maybe two or three cloves, depending on the drink or food you prepare.
When Is The Best Time To Drink Garlic Water?
Some drinks like garlic water are believed to work best at particular timelines. There are numerous benefits associated with drinking garlic water in the morning, so most people often find themselves having this drink in the morning.
Science backs up this and suggests taking this drink on an empty stomach in the morning, especially for weight loss purposes. For years, this practice has been carried out in some cultures and has been linked to the named benefits above.
The Bottom Line
Drinking garlic water benefits you in numerous ways. It improves your immune function, mental well-being, and digestive health. This drink can also reduce your risk of diseases such as cancer, promote weight loss, and help with detoxification.
Even so, too much of this drink has adverse effects. It may lead to diarrhea, bloating, bad breath, and other stomach issues. So, please take it in moderation and after getting your doctor’s go-ahead.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Effect of garlic on cardiovascular disorders: a review (2002, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Healthy Weight (2021, cdc.gov)
- The effects of garlic supplementation on weight loss: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (2021, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- The impact of water intake on energy intake and weight status: a systematic review (2011, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- What are the benefits of garlic? (2017, medicalnewstoday.com)
- What to know about detox drinks (2019, medicalnewstoday.com)