Guest Writer for Wake Up World
Whether you are trying to support a major body cleanse or you just want to boost your energy, detox drinks can enrich a healthy lifestyle and support your mind and body!
Are you looking for answers, like how often to drink these cleansing drinks or whether to consume them before or during meals?
Or are you searching for a handful of delicious and effective body detox drink recipes rather than an overwhelming list of 50? You’re in luck! I’ve put together a comprehensive guide to the best, tastiest, and most effective drinks around.
What Is a Detox Drink?
There’s nothing supernatural about a detox drink — it is just a drink made with herbs, fruit, vegetables, vitamins, or minerals that help remove toxins from the body. It can be juice, tea, a smoothie, or even water. For best results, make it with all organic ingredients and don’t add any refined sugar.
Different ingredients work better for detoxing your liver, kidneys, digestive system, and whole body, and I will reveal which homemade drinks work best for different organ systems. I will also recommend some homemade, do-it-yourself (DIY) drinks for cleansing toxic metals from your body and for weight loss.
Do Detox Drinks Work?
Drinks made for detoxifying your body can have a positive impact on your health. But, keep in mind they are not a magic solution. Whether you drink a tangy green juice every morning or partake in a temporary diet to cleanse your body of toxins, detox drinks are just one tool to support your health journey.
Depending on your goals, and how often you consume them, detox drinks can do the following:
- Reduce fatigue
- Improve digestion
- Reduce occasional constipation
- Boost your immune system
- Flush out toxins
- Promote weight loss
- Improve overall health
- Nourish your body
Popular Detox Drinks
Detox drinks can include smoothies, green juices, teas, or the ever-popular master cleanse lemonade drink. Learn more below.
Many different types of tea can help you detoxify, including turmeric, lemongrass, marshmallow root, and milk thistle. Avoid herbal laxative teas that contain Senna and Cascara, which are harsh and may not be safe for the digestive system.
Dandelion Root Tea
Dandelion root has been used for centuries in Traditional Chinese medicine and ancient Indian medicine (Ayurveda) to support liver and gallbladder health — a use confirmed by modern science.[2, 3] Dandelion also promotes the production of bile and stomach acid, so people with gallstones or ulcers should avoid it.
You can buy dandelion tea online or at a nearby natural health store. You can buy several varieties of premade detox tea that contains dandelion root, but some natural health food stores sell dandelion root and dandelion leaf in bulk so you can make tea. Combine it with marshmallow root plus chamomile flower for a sweet flavor.
Green tea is known for its antioxidant properties. Antioxidants work to counter damage to cells caused by toxins and pathogens, so drinking a tea or juice with high antioxidant properties helps your body detoxify.
Studies have found that green tea lowers bad (LDL) cholesterol and blood pressure as well.[5, 6] Matcha green tea powder has 100 times more antioxidants than plain green tea. While green tea is an infusion from the tea leaves, matcha powder is made by grinding up young green tea leaves, which results in more detoxifying antioxidants. Matcha has positive effects on the kidney and liver.
Master Cleanse Lemonade
Lemons have many powerful properties that assist the body in detoxing. Lemons help with cleansing the liver, kidneys, and colon.[9, 10, 11] One of the most popular detox diets, the Master Cleanse, is lemonade made with cayenne pepper, organic lemons, and pure maple syrup. You can make the lemonade in single glasses, or a large pitcher — but add the cayenne as needed to each glass, or it will make the drink bitter.
Use two tablespoons of organic lemon juice, two tablespoons organic grade B maple syrup (not the fake stuff), one-eighth teaspoon cayenne pepper, and 10 ounces of distilled water. This is a juice-only cleanse; drink only this lemonade for 10 days. Afterward, transition off by drinking fresh-squeezed organic orange juice for one day, and then eating a homemade vegan soup for two more days.
For the full effect, most Master Cleanse participants flush their body with sea salt water, which must be consumed on an empty stomach first thing in the morning. Add two teaspoons of sea salt (not iodized table salt) to one quart of warm water. It’ll take about 30 to 45 minutes to work — be near a bathroom.
Green juice is all the rage among health enthusiasts. This healthy drink can start your day off with a shot of antioxidants and nutrients — power for a positive day! I drink a delicious green juice almost every morning. I change it up based on what I have in the refrigerator, but a favorite includes fresh apples, lemon, parsley, celery, kale, cucumbers, ginger, and romaine lettuce. Drink it down in a couple of minutes for a super-boost of energy. I’ll give the recipe below.
Juicing concentrates the fresh, raw nutrients in the fruits and vegetables, giving you a quick shot of nutrition — far more than you could consume in the same period. Apples provide an all-natural sweetener, especially if you are not yet accustomed to the piquant taste of pure, all-vegetable green juice. Lemon juice also balances out flavors and provides excellent benefits for digestion, weight loss, and detoxifying the kidneys.
Making homemade juice is easy and convenient with a juicer. Although juicers can be a bit expensive, they are an excellent investment for your health.
Some people wonder why they should waste all the pulp that comes from the fruits and vegetables when you juice. If that’s you, try a smoothie instead of juice. Smoothies retain the fiber from fruits and vegetables.
Another trick is to save the pulp left from juicing, pack it into ice cube trays, and add frozen pulp cubes to smoothie recipes. If you are making smoothies for detoxing, do not add sugar. Instead, use fruit like bananas or berries to sweeten your smoothie.
What’s the Best Detox Drink?
If you want to cut to the chase and find out the best drink, read on. In a nutshell, water is the best way to detox, but there are a few ways to add flavor and additional cleansing properties to your water.
Pure Distilled Water
Truly, the best drink for detoxing is always water! Because tap water can be contaminated, using a proper water purification system is essential for your health. I recommend distilled water because the process by which it is made removes all contaminants; it is pure H2O. Distillation involves bringing water to a boil — which converts it to steam — and then sending the steam through cooling tubes where it condenses back into pure water. This process also removes all of the naturally occurring minerals, so you might need to supplement to get them back.
To keep all your organ systems working efficiently, I recommend that you drink at least eight glasses per day — especially if you are trying to detox. If you want to take it to the next level, try water fasting. I completed an 18-day water fast and created a series of videos, one per day, documenting my experience with it. I also drank hydrogen-infused water to ensure the greatest benefit during my fast. Studies show that water fasting slows aging and improves cell recycling and promotes the body’s natural healing properties.[12, 13, 14] It can also give you a flat belly and help you kick-start a lifestyle of healthier eating.
Purified Water With Apple Cider Vinegar
The vinegar adds a slightly tart and tangy taste to the water. Apple cider vinegar has incredible detoxification properties. It’s full of probiotics, has a powerful ability to resist all kinds of harmful organisms, and it helps normalize blood sugar levels. Distilled water with ACV — with or without added lemon juice — creates the perfect alkaline drink.
Detox water is just water infused with one or more fruits or vegetables, like watermelon, cucumber or lemon. If you infuse your water with the right ingredients, you can detox while you hydrate. Always use distilled water. If you have to use tap water, purify it with a filter that removes toxins.
Watermelon Citrus Water
My favorite is watermelon citrus water. Watermelon has nutrients that make it ideal for detoxing your liver.
- Pour 1 gallon of purified water in a glass pitcher (for best results)
- Cube about 1 cup of fresh watermelon
- Squeeze the juice of ½ lemon and ½ orange
- Add 1 lemon wedge
- Add 1 orange wedge
- Add 5 to 8 cucumber slices to mellow the harsh citrus flavor
These drinks can be consumed before a meal or in place of a meal if you are intermittent fasting. There are many other delicious recipes.
Detox Drinks for Weight Loss
Many people are on the lookout for convenient ways to help them lose weight and they wonder if detox drinks will do that. The answer is that they absolutely can! However, it’s important to use detox drinks (and intermittent fasting) as a regular habit, not just a crash diet. Fasting and drastically reducing calories — which can be done by substituting a drink for one or more meals — have scientifically valid benefits.[12, 13, 14]
Aloe Vera Juice
You can buy aloe vera juice (note, this is different from aloe gel) at health stores and drink a four-ounce glass of it. If the taste is too strong, dilute it with water in a larger glass. Make sure your aloe juice does not contain more than five ppm (parts per million) aloin from the outer leaf, as this can irritate the gut. You can also buy aloe in capsule form, and some people like to release the contents into a glass of water rather than drinking aloe juice.
Detox Drinks for Whole Body Detox
There are several ways to do a whole body cleanse. If you want an overall body detox drink, I recommend green juice. You will need a juicer. Wash all items before juicing. Although organic farmers don’t use as many chemical pesticides, laws allow them to use some — so even organic produce may have chemical remnants.
Dr. Group’s Morning Green Detox Juice
Add the following items to your juicer, and then store in a glass jar.
- 2 stalks of organic celery
- 2 organic green apples
- 1 organic lemon, peeled
- 1 bunch of organic kale
- 2 organic cucumbers, peeled
- 1 head of romaine lettuce
Detox Drinks for Kidney Cleansing
Kidneys perform critical detoxifying functions for the body, including excreting waste into the urinary system. To keep kidneys functioning well, you can consume kidney cleansing drinks.
You may know of the benefits of cranberry juice for helping improve kidney function during a urinary tract infection (UTI). Pomegranate juice, beet juice, and lemon water can also help clean the kidneys. Lemon has been shown to deter kidney stones and protect liver and kidney tissue.[1, 2]
Kidney Cleanse Detox
I recommend trying this homemade kidney cleanse beverage that contains lemon, ACV, and a blend of kidney-cleansing herbs.
You will need:
- 2 gallons of distilled water (1 gallon for the kidney cleanse drink and 1 gallon for the lemon-ACV drink)
- 2 ounces (1 full bottle) of Plant-Based Kidney Health
- 1 bottle (8 ounces) of organic raw apple cider vinegar (Braggs or Spectrum brands, available at most health food stores)
How to Make the Kidney Cleanse Drink
- Start with 1 gallon of distilled water
- Pour out 5 ounces of water to make room for the other ingredients
- Add the whole bottle of Plant-Based Kidney Health
- Add 2 tablespoons of organic raw apple cider vinegar
- Add the juice of one organic lemon
- Shake and refrigerate
Drink this gallon over the next four days. If you need to work or run errands during the day, bring it with you in a large water bottle. Drink as much as you like throughout the day. The more you drink, the more successful your kidney cleanse.
Kidney Stones Detox Drink
If you have kidney stones, drinking lemon, olive oil, and apple cider vinegar is a natural remedy that can help. Follow these instructions:
- At the first symptom of stone pain, mix 2 ounces of organic olive oil with 2 ounces of organic lemon juice.
- Drink it straight and follow with a 12-ounce glass of purified water.
- Wait 30 minutes.
- Next, squeeze the juice of half a lemon into 12 ounces of purified water, add 1 tablespoon of organic raw apple cider vinegar and drink.
- Repeat the lemon juice, water, and apple cider vinegar recipe every hour until symptoms improve.
Detox Drinks for Liver Cleansing
Many foods have liver-cleansing properties, but beets, lemons, grapefruit, turmeric, peppermint, and apple cider vinegar are among the best. Peppermint is one of several herbs with strong liver-cleansing properties. Not only does peppermint stimulate liver bile production, but it has also been found to protect the liver against toxic metals. Not only that, peppermint relieves stress.
Beets, carrots, and apples are a few liver cleansing foods that can be juiced to create a delicious juice. My ACV-lemon water that’s described in the Best Detox Drink section is also great for the liver.
Dr. Group’s Liver Cleanse Juice
- 3 organic carrots (peeled and washed)
- 1 organic beet (peeled and washed)
- 2 organic red apples (washed and cut)
- 6 organic kale leaves
- ½-inch ginger root
- ½ organic lemon, peeled
Wash and peel all the items, and then add them to a juicer. If you prefer a thicker juice, you can blend them in a blender. Add ice if you prefer a cold drink.
Turmeric has liver-protecting effects and can defend against many types of toxins. It also has antioxidant activity and reduces the body’s production of cytokines, which cause systemic irritation. You can make a delicious turmeric drink for your liver.
Golden milk is a drink made from milk (I recommend vegan milk like almond milk, rice milk, or coconut milk) and turmeric, with other spices added for flavor and additional health benefits.
- 2 cups milk of your choice
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric powder or 1 tablespoon grated fresh turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger or 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 4 teaspoons ground black pepper
- Dash cinnamon or 1 cinnamon stick
- Honey (optional)
Whisk all ingredients together in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer to combine the flavors, and then strain through cheesecloth (you can skip this step if desired). Drink warm as a golden milk latte, or refrigerate and drink it cold.
Detox Drinks for Gut & Digestive Health
If you want to improve your digestion, try a detox smoothie. As opposed to juice, where the pulp is discarded, a smoothie retains the natural fiber from the fruits and vegetables. Ginger has excellent digestive benefits, including reducing nausea and vomiting. It also helps other digestive issues, including gas, bloating, and constipation.
Here’s a delicious and soothing drink that will ease digestive complaints and start your day off great.
Lemon Ginger Detox Tea
- About 2 cups of water
- 1 organic lemon, cut into slices
- 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced thin
- 1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric (or ½ teaspoon grated fresh)
Bring all ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan. Keep a close watch or the water will evaporate! You can double the recipe if you want to drink more the next day. Do not use a microwave as they negatively affect nutrients.
Kickin’ Ginger Lemon Water
If you want a cold drink for digestion, try this delicious and spicy detox water recipe.
- Pour 1 gallon of purified water in a glass pitcher (for best results)
- Squeeze fresh juice from 2 whole lemons into the water
- Cut the third lemon into wedges and add
- Mince about 1 inch fresh ginger root (peeled)
- Add 1 tablespoon (or to taste) of fresh ground red chili powder
Stir together and enjoy!
Drinks for Toxic Metal Detox
Toxic metals can accumulate in our bodies from the foods we eat, the air we breathe, and the water we drink. Mercury, lead, cadmium, and other metals are common in the environment, and even low levels have harmful effects on the body.
Dr. Group’s Toxin-Free Super Water
I love to drink super water regularly, and it works particularly well for removing toxic metals.
Calculate half your body weight; drink that amount in ounces of super water every day of the cleansing process. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should drink 75 ounces of super water daily. Cleanse regularly and drink this water often to maintain overall health.
- Start with 1 gallon of purified water, preferably in a glass bottle. Pour out some so that you can add the ingredients below. You can add water back in to suit your taste.
- Add 2 tablespoons of raw, unpasteurized organic apple cider vinegar to the gallon of water. Shake well. If the taste is too strong for you to handle, reduce to 1 tablespoon per gallon until you become accustomed to the taste.
- Optional: Add the juice of ½ an organic lemon and 1 to 2 ounces organic aloe vera juice per gallon of super water. These additions will improve your cleansing results.
To really boost your toxic metal cleansing effort, try Heavy Metal & Chemical Cleanse. The formula is an integral component of the 30-day toxic metal cleanse. Add 20 drops of Heavy Metal & Chemical Cleanse to one-quarter cup of distilled water and drink this first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach. Repeat 20 minutes before your evening meal. Repeat this for 30 days, and drink the super water throughout the day.
Answers to Common Questions
Are you wondering what you should expect when drinking detox drinks? I’ve gathered some of the most common questions and provided answers.
Do I need to stay close to a toilet?
No, for the most part, these drinks in and of themselves will not affect your digestion so strongly that you’ll need to rush off to the bathroom. The exception is aloe vera juice, which can have strong digestive-stimulating properties. With that drink, I recommend starting with a small amount and seeing how your body responds before drinking larger amounts.
How often or over how many days should I drink the detox drinks?
These drinks can be added to your healthy daily diet plan on a regular basis. If you are consuming most of these recipes, like golden milk or mint tea, have them as often as you like! Or you may want to try detoxing your body for a certain period by eliminating processed foods, meat, dairy, and other foods. In that case, if you want to replace a meal with a drink, consume your drink of choice as a replacement for breakfast or 30 minutes before lunch or dinner. If you are doing a full liver, colon, or kidney cleanse, I recommend a five-day plan.
When I make detox water, do I squeeze the fruit or vegetables into the water or just put them into the water to infuse?
If you squeeze the fruits and veggies, it gives more flavor to your water and also infuses your water with more of the antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals from the produce. After squeezing the juice into the water, you can add them to the pitcher or jug, which will allow the flavors to deepen.
What do I do with the leftover fruit once the water is consumed?
Most people throw it away, but you can freeze it and add it to smoothies!
Should I drink these refrigerated or at room temperature?
Your body needs more energy to metabolize cold water, so if you are cleansing, room temperature drinks will help your body process the water more efficiently. If making detox water, keep it at room temp in a pitcher for at least 24 hours, but if you do not drink all of it, you can refrigerate it for longer preservation.
Will detox drinks make me lose weight?
Not necessarily. Some ingredients do kick-start metabolism, but if you want to lose weight, you need a balanced diet with physical exercise as well. Try to eat a healthful, plant-based diet. Detoxing your body systems can help with weight loss, and healthy drinks are a great accompaniment to any type of cleanse.
Boosting Your Detox Regimen
In summary, detox drinks are not only delicious and nutritious, but they can also help your body cleanse itself of all the toxins you are exposed to daily. Choosing ingredients that target the organs that you have trouble with can make a world of difference.
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Originally published at Global Healing Center and reproduced here with permission.
About the author:
Dr. Edward F. Group III (DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM) founded Global Healing Center in 1998 with the goal of providing the highest quality natural health information and products. He is world-renowned for his research on the root cause of disease. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center earned recognition as one of the largest natural and organic health resources in the world. Dr. Group is a veteran of the United States Army and has attended both Harvard and MIT business schools. He is a best-selling author and a frequent guest on radio and television programs, documentary films, and in major publications.
Dr. Group centers his philosophy around the understanding that the root cause of disease stems from the accumulation of toxins in the body and is exacerbated by daily exposure to a toxic living environment. He believes it is his personal mission to teach and promote philosophies that produce good health, a clean environment, and positive thinking. This, he believes, can restore happiness and love to the world.
For more, please visit Global Healing Center.