Everybody’s buzzing about the fat-flushing power of “detox water,” but do the drinks really work? Dr. Oz’s favorite new recipe sure does! Made with a blend of H2O, green tea, lemon juice, cucumber, mint, and cayenne, “it’s tried and tested to help you reset your body to lose the weight,” he recently revealed. Indeed, women sipping versions of his drink report losing up to 16 pounds in 72 hours — meaning there’s still time to get a whole lot slimmer just as summer arrives!
Even better, this isn’t a liquid-only strategy. You’ll sip four or more glasses of detox water a day to speed results as you eat healthy food. “You won’t be hungry,” Dr. Oz promised. In fact, many women report feeling better than ever, says Sugar Impact Diet ($9, Amazon) author JJ Virgin, the nutritionist who turned him on to the sip.
“Nutrients in this detox water not only help you steadily drop pounds, they work to improve energy levels, sleep quality, and overall health,” Virgin says. Per Rhenotha Whitaker, 38, the New Jersey radio host Dr. Oz recruited to try the drink, “This is ‘wow water!’”
One of the main goals of a detox water approach: “We want want to clean out your pipes in a healthy way,” Dr. Oz explained. Turns out, many of us carry an overload of toxins absorbed from pesticide residue on food, air pollution, and a zillion other places chemicals hide in the modern world. Our livers often can’t filter them out fast enough, “so they’re tucked into fat cells for safekeeping,” explains Virgin. Toxins not only inhibit fat burning in the cells where they’re stored, they also cause irritation and inflammation that slow the thyroid and trigger a host of other health problems. It’s why Dr. Oz’s drink is loaded with some of the universe’s most powerful detox tools.
“Antioxidants in green tea, for example, have been shown to activate special pathways the body uses to get toxins out of your system,” Virgin says. Meanwhile, a Purdue University team found that lemon allows us to absorb 400 percent more of green tea’s antioxidants. So it turbo charges the effects of the tea and allows you to move toxins out very quickly.
At the same time, plentiful water itself is another detox powerhouse. Virgin explains that getting lots of it makes it a cinch for the body to flush impurities away in your sweat or urine.
As toxins leave your body, fat burns faster — and on top of that, antioxidants in both green tea and cayenne have been shown to rev metabolism by up to 35 percent, an effect nudged even higher by lemon. “You can literally burn hundreds of extra calories,” promises Virgin. A Brazilian study even found that folks over 60 who simply sipped three cups of a green tea–based drink a day got leaner and healthier without cutting a single calorie!
Flat-belly bonus: Diuretic properties in cucumber release bloat. Plus, green tea, mint, and cayenne balance blood sugar, slashing hunger and levels of ab-fattening hormones — so belly flab burns up to 77 percent faster!
Detox Water Recipe
The drink that boosts the burn! Dr. Oz got this powerful recipe from Virgin, who encourages you to customize it using any healthy ingredients you prefer, such as other herbs and fruit.
- 5 cups cold filtered water
- 3 cups strong green tea, brewed and cooled
- 1 whole medium cucumber with peel, sliced
- Juice of 1⁄2 lemon
- 1⁄4 cup fresh mint leaves, lightly chopped
- 1⁄2 tsp. cayenne powder
- Combine all ingredients in a pitcher and refrigerate. Allow to infuse at least 1 hour before enjoying.
Detox Water Sample Day
For optimal results, pair detox water with detoxifying foods. A simple guideline to stay on track: Stick to unprocessed fare, aiming for healthy fat, high-quality protein, and lots of fiber- and antioxidant-rich berries and veggies at each sitting. Add a serving of gluten-free starch (such as oatmeal or brown rice) once a day. Detox water can be made with regular or decaf green tea and should be your main beverage; aim for four or more glasses a day. Additional plain water and other detox teas are fine too. As always, get a doctor’s okay to try any new plan.
Breakfast: Easy Detox Oats — Mix 1⁄3 cup old-fashioned oats, 2 ⁄3 cup unsweetened plant-based milk with spices and stevia to taste; cover and chill overnight. Enjoy with berries and nuts.
Lunch: Italian Lentil Salad — In skillet with 1 tsp. olive oil and minced garlic, sauté 1⁄2 cup rinsed/drained lentils and sliced veggies; serve over lettuce with onion, herbs, and olive-oil vinaigrette.
Snacks: Apple Dippers — Enjoy red and green apple slices with a spoonful of nut butter. If desired, enjoy it with a cup of licorice root tea, which Dr. Oz says helps quell sugar cravings.
Dinner: Detox Kebabs — In separate containers, marinate cubes of chicken and veggies in olive oil, lemon juice, and seasoning. Skewer and grill until meat cooks through.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.