Ginger Water: Weight Loss, Digestive Health, and More

By: Michael Lam, MD, MPH; Justin Lam, ABAAHP, FMNM


Improving your health with ginger waterLosing weight is a difficult task. Making lifestyle changes isn’t easy, finding the time to exercise as often as you’d like is a challenge, and having an underlying health condition can make things even more difficult. Whatever your weight loss battle involves, do not give up hope. There is a powerful and easy option using ginger water that you may not have tried yet. It works differently than most weight-loss plans and offers a tremendous amount of benefits along with it. The best thing? Ginger water is as delicious as it is nutritious, so adding it to your daily diet is a pleasure.

Where Does Ginger Come From?

Ginger is a tropical, flowering plant native to Southeast Asia. It is a herbaceous perennial whose gnarled and knotted roots have been used in foods and for medicinal purposes worldwide for over 4,400 years. Ayurvedic practitioners call it the “universal great medicine”. Traditional Chinese healers say ginger “restores devastated yang”, and an old Indian proverb states “everything good is found in ginger.”

The root, or rhizome, is slightly pungent with a spicy-sweet aroma and flavor, containing natural chemicals that work amazingly to promote wellness. The ginger root sprouts shoots that can grow up to 3 feet and produces 2-5 sections of ginger roots. After a ginger root is broken off, it is washed and dried, and can then be used for cooking or healing medicinally.

Ginger Water for Weight Loss

There are many reasons why ginger water works so great for weight loss. Ginger is a natural appetite suppressant, which in itself is one of the best ways to lose weight. Using ginger water as a natural suppressant is safe and has no rebound effect. It also helps with satiety, helping you consume less food and feel fuller for longer time periods.

Ginger water, often also referred to as ginger tea, is also calorie-free.

Ginger is also known as a thermogenic food. It raises the body’s temperature and boosts metabolism along with it, helping burn more fat than by dieting alone. The benefits of ginger water for weight loss are amazing. They allow you to easily burn fat from the thighs, hips, and waist. However, ginger water has many more benefits.

Additional Benefits of Drinking Ginger Water

The benefits of ginger waterGinger water is powerful drink. Aside from aiding in weight loss, it can improve health conditions and proactively help keep the body in optimal working condition. Studies of herbs are often inconclusive as to their effectiveness, but ginger is time-tested and also has several studies backing it up. It has been used for:

  • Indigestion, vomiting, and nausea. Cultures worldwide use ginger for easing stomach issues. It is even safe during pregnancy for morning sickness.
  • Regulating cholesterol. Ginger water is great for combating high levels of cholesterol and regulating any associated problems. It has properties that inhibit bad cholesterol from settling in the liver.
  • Hypertension. Ginger is also good for regulating blood pressure, preventing blood clots, and improving blood circulation.
  • Inflammation. It acts as a natural anti-inflammatory and successfully helps reduce inflammation, joint issues, and related conditions such as rheumatism or osteoarthritis.
  • Antioxidant. Ginger is successful at fighting the free radicals and is one of the most powerful natural remedies for preventing and fighting cancer. It is known to slow tumor growths.
  • Allergies. Studies have also shown ginger to aid in reducing allergic reactions.
  • Muscle relief. People who take daily ginger supplements are known to have less muscle pain after workouts.
  • Kidney damage. Ginger can prevent and slow down kidney failure.

In addition to the above benefits, ginger can also help:

  • Prevent colds, flu, and fevers
  • Excessive sweating problems
  • Improve nutrient absorption
  • Prevent constipation
  • Reduce intestinal gas
  • Improve digestion
  • Fight against intestinal bacterial infections
  • Relieve pain in the joints

What’s The Best Way to Consume Ginger?

In the advanced health food scene today, a multitude of ways to consume ginger has arisen. Some people eat ginger candies, some use it to cook, and some take ginger in capsule form. A simple, inexpensive, and low-calorie way to consume ginger and get all of its nutritional benefits is by making ginger water, or ginger tea.

Ginger Water Recipe

Ingredients

  • roughly 3 tablespoons of ginger root, thinly sliced
  • 1.5 liters of water
  • the juice of a lemon to taste (optional)
  • honey or brown sugar to taste (optional)

Method

  1. Boil the water in a pan.
  2. Add ginger slices.
  3. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Remove the liquid from the heat and let it cool.
  5. Strain the ginger out.
  6. Add optional flavorings.

To get the full benefits of ginger water, it is recommended that you drink a glass every day before breakfast and one before dinner. Do not consume more than 4 cups of steeped ginger tea per day, or more than 3-4 grams of ginger extract per day. Having too much can make you sick. 1 gram of ginger is equivalent to of ½ teaspoons of powdered ginger, or 1 teaspoon of grated raw ginger. Pregnant women may need to keep to a lower dose. Ginger is not recommended for children under two.

Ginger and Your Stress Response System

How Ginger water affects the bodyGinger can help with many issues that involve the NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress Response System. The NEM is a model that shows how both physical and emotional stressors work together to affect the human body. The main control center for stress relief is the endocrine system. If the major highway the that runs through this system, called the HPA hormonal axis, is not working properly, the adrenals do not produce enough cortisol. In turn, this repeated and downward spiraling trend causes Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS).

AFS is an adrenal gland disorder that occurs when the body has low levels of cortisol. The adrenals are the primary organs that handle stress, and when they are overworked and become unable to regulate cortisol levels, the body begins malfunctioning causing a wide array of symptoms.

Ginger is great for sufferers of AFS. In addition to all the aforementioned benefits, it helps control cortisol levels in the body. Consuming ginger water or ginger in any form can help manage many AFS symptoms. It also helps decrease fatigue and increase energy levels, the primary complaint of AFS.

However, if the stress continues to aggravate the body in large doses, adrenal fatigue sufferers may have a hard time regulating cortisol levels even with ginger. It is best to talk to a specialist who understands AFS.

Risks and Side Effects

There are some warnings that come with using ginger as a natural supplement. Ginger can cause problems for some people, especially if you take any medication that slows blood clotting.

Side effects from ginger are rare, but consuming ginger in excess can produce the following:

  • Burning sensation in the mouth
  • Gas
  • Heartburn
  • Stomach ache

Ginger should never be consumed in doses larger than 4 grams of ginger a day.

Always consult a specialist, a dietician or your physician before starting any new herbal regime, especially if you preparing for surgery, have heart conditions, diabetes, are diabetic, have gallstones, kidney, liver or urinary diseases, are alcohol dependent, or are pregnant or breastfeeding.

 
© Copyright 2018 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.


Dr. Lam’s Key Question

Many people with adrenal fatigue also suffer from low energy and an inability to lose weight. Ginger water can help with both of those conditions, plus much more including improved digestion, lowered cholesterol, and reduced joint pain and inflammation.


Ginger water