There are many so-called “weight loss drinks” that don’t actually help. What about watermelon juice, is it good for weight loss?
Watermelons are a popular fruit, especially in the summer. They can be eaten raw on their own but another way to consume them is as watermelon juice.
Most juices are not great for weight loss but watermelon juice may be a good fit for your weight loss diet depending on what alternatives you compare it with. In any case there are many foods and drinks that are more useful for weight loss than watermelon juice.
If you decide to implement watermelon juice into your daily life make sure you choose the ones that don’t have added sugar and other sweeteners.
Find out what nutrition values you can expect from watermelon juice, some alternative weight loss drinks, if you do decide to drink more watermelon juice when to do it for better weight loss results, and exactly how it compares to regular, raw watermelon.
How is watermelon juice made?
The way watermelon juice is made is pretty simple. The process starts with the whole fruit, the watermelon.
You then press out the juice of the watermelon with a juicer machine. You then strain out the pulp, if you leave it in you would classify it more as a smoothie. Finally, some watermelon juice brands add garlic, salt, sugar, and other sweeteners. Certain recipes also suggest adding ingredients like ginger, mint, cucumber, lemon, pepper, and many more.
These different methods make it so the nutrition in watermelon juices can be different. This in turn makes it so they have different effects on weight loss.
In this article, the nutrition info of a kind of unsweetened watermelon juice will be used (1). If you buy or prepare watermelon juice at home you want to avoid the ones with a lot of added sugar and other sweeteners. Possibly also the ones with a lot of salt if your diet is already rich in sodium.
Micronutrients in watermelon juice
The first thing to look at is the amount of micronutrients in watermelon juice.
Micronutrients are a group of nutrients your body absolutely needs to survive and thrive. Micronutrients include vitamins and minerals. These are involved in basically every aspect of your health, including weight loss.
100 grams of this kind of watermelon juice provides you with approximately (1):
- Vitamin C: 14% of the DV (Daily Value)
- Magnesium: 3% of the DV
- Potassium: 3% of the DV
And a few vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts. These amounts will also vary depending on how the watermelon juice brand extracts the juice.
The numbers from the example above are not impressive values per 100 grams compared to many other foods. The thing is that 100 grams of a fluid is easily consumed. One glass of watermelon juice would already be around 200 grams.
Even with that in mind watermelon juice is not a great way to consume more vitamins and minerals. There are many other foods that can provide you with a lot more vitamins and minerals.
Watermelon juice does contain antioxidants, substances that can help your body deal with oxidative stress. It’s not clear if and if they do, to what extent, these substances can help you lose weight. A very small study suggests the micronutrients in watermelon juice may help with weight loss but more investigation is required (2).
Fiber in watermelon juice for weight loss
Another very important factor for weight loss is the amount of fiber in your food.
This example of watermelon juice contains around 0.4 grams of fiber per 100 grams.
That’s not a lot of fiber per 100 grams compared to many whole foods.
Fiber has multiple benefits for weight loss. First of all, it feeds your microbiome, the microbes that live in your intestines. The health of your microbiome influences your body’s health and weight. Feeding it well is usually not a bad idea.
Fiber also helps you feel less hungry without adding a lot of calories to your diet. Hunger and cravings can be a big pitfall for people trying to lose weight, so avoiding this is a big plus.
With the amount of fiber in watermelon juice you can reduce the time you spend craving for food a very small amount.
Will watermelon juice help you lose weight?
Before knowing whether or not watermelon juice deserves a spot in your weight loss diet you still need a final piece of the puzzle. The number of calories in watermelon juice.
This example of watermelon juice contains 30 calories per 100 grams. 26 of these calories come from the carbohydrates (6.5 g per 100 grams of which 0.4 g fiber) (these are estimations since the USDA nutrients don’t add up correctly).
You can likely fit in some watermelon juice in low carb diets like for example the keto diet but this juice is not ideal for diets like that.
Besides that, this example of watermelon juice is on the low side in calories per 100 grams. The problem is that watermelon juice is a liquid.
Solid food will leave you feeling full a lot longer. Partly because liquid is easier to process, partly because solid whole foods often contain more fiber. Try eating 100 grams of potatoes vs drinking half a glass of watermelon juice or any other liquid.
This makes watermelon juice less filling compared to the number of calories it contains. The extra small amounts of micronutrients and fiber are nice. However, they are not necessarily enough to make drinking those calories a good thing for your weight loss and health.
The particular example of watermelon juice used may still be a good weight loss option depending on what other foods you compare it with. Like with most foods, you can have some watermelon juice and still lose weight.
Make sure to check the nutrition label of the watermelon juice you have in mind before implementing a lot in your diet.
Drink these things instead
While it’s probably better to drink watermelon juice compared to most soft drinks and fruit juices, you may want to stay away from it if you’re looking to lose some weight. It’s generally better to consume these calories in solid food that will satisfy your hunger for longer and provide you with more nutrients.
When should you drink watermelon juice for weight loss?
If you do decide to drink watermelon juice, the time you drink it may influence your weight loss.
The calories in watermelon juice are mainly from carbohydrates. Carbohydrates raise insulin. Insulin in turn can mess with the production of sleep hormones. Sleep is important for your weight loss and health.
That’s why you preferably want to drink watermelon juice earlier in the day or at least not right before bed.
Watermelon juice won’t be that fattening at night that it means the end of your weight loss journey but you preferably want to stop drinking it a while before bedtime.
How much watermelon juice should you drink?
Nutrition is always a bit of a puzzle in terms of what the perfect diet looks like. It’s a pretty individual thing.
Consuming enough vitamins and minerals is important for both your short and long-term health and weight loss. Watermelon juice doesn’t provide you with a lot of vitamins and minerals so you definitely need other nutritious foods as well.
If you are close to consuming enough vitamins and minerals you can see how much watermelon juice still fits within your daily calories. The amount will be different from individual to individual from day to day, it can be 0 too.
Watermelon juice vs whole watermelon for weight loss
Juicing vegetables and fruits is often not as good for weight loss as just eating them whole but how big are the actual differences in nutrients?
When it comes to calories whole watermelon contains about 30 calories per 100 grams (3). This is actually the same number of calories as 100 grams of the example watermelon juice.
The nutrition sources even suggest that watermelon juice and regular raw watermelon contain the same amount of fiber and very similar amounts of vitamins and minerals.
In reality it’s hard to imagine that juicing won’t remove any fiber from the watermelon. The nutrition data sources suggest that watermelon has the same impact as watermelon juice on weight loss. In practice, watermelon is likely slightly better.