Although it does contain sugar and a considerable amount of calories, honey is a rich source of nutrients, including enzymes, vitamins and minerals. That’s why you may want to add honey water to your beverage selection.
Of course, honey can be used to add a sweet, unique flavor to things like tea, yogurt or oatmeal, and it’s also capable of providing some impressive health benefits due to its unique compounds.
If you’re looking to support your immune system and digestion, why should you drink honey with water? High-quality honey, such as raw honey and Manuka honey, is known to possess anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, according to studies.
This explains why honey water benefits — especially when you add some fresh lemon juice, turmeric or cinnamon — can include soothing an upset stomach, sore throat and much more.
Benefits of Drinking Honey Water
Honey is a sweet, viscous substance that is created by certain types of honeybees that extract nutrient-rich nectar from flowers.
Raw honey is a crude form of honey immediately taken out of the cells of the honeycombs within a beehive. It isn’t pasteurized or heated to very high temperatures, keeping its enzymes and pollen intact.
Additionally, it provides vitamin B6, thiamine, riboflavin, pantothenic acid and niacin.
For even more benefits, Manuka honey (sourced from New Zealand) is a great choice, since it’s very high in antimicrobial compounds, including methylglyoxal.
Potential benefits of drinking honey water include:
- Assisting in weight loss, especially if you consume it in place of sugary drinks such as high-calorie energy or coffee drinks
- Keeping you hydrated
- Supporting digestion, such as by combating constipation or acid reflux symptoms
- Easing a sore throat or cough — try it as a natural alternative to cough syrups and cough medications
- Promoting restful sleep thanks to honey carbs, which can release the calming neurotransmitter serotonin
- Decreasing a bloated stomach
- Reducing nausea (especially if you add ginger)
- Aiding in immune system function and fighting oxidative stress, particularly if you use Manuka or raw honey, which have antioxidant and antimicrobial properties
- Reducing allergies — honey (especially locally produced types) contains enzymes and other compounds that help your body acclimate to allergens, including pollens
- Giving you energy, such a before a workout, thanks to its sugar and carbohydrates — some studies show honey even improves exercise recovery and promotes bone formation
- Possibly helping normalize cholesterol levels, such as by increasing levels of HDL or “good” cholesterol
Does honey water reduce belly fat? Or is the sugar actually likely to contribute to weight gain?
When consumed in moderate amounts, honey water may help you maintain a healthy weight or even lose weight. For sake of comparison, one serving of honey water contains about six to 12 grams of sugar and 25 to 50 calories, while a can of soda typically contains about 30 grams of sugar and over 100 calories.
In general, drinking enough water and staying hydrated can also help manage your appetite and potentially reduce cravings. Some people find that drinking lots of water makes them feel fuller — plus it can help reduce bloating by assisting in elimination.
When combined, benefits of cinnamon and honey can also include supporting healthy blood sugar levels and fighting allergies, since cinnamon is rich in polyphenols and other antioxidants. Additionally, cinnamon has anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, antimicrobial, anticancer and lipid-lowering effects.
How to Make
Many people like to drink honey water on an empty stomach first thing the morning to get their digestive systems working, but honey water with cinnamon, turmeric and milk can also make a good bedtime treat. (This concoction is also called moon milk.)
Other good times to have a cup include pre-workout (the carbs can help fuel your muscles boost your energy) or when your’e feeling sick, such as with a stomachache or soar throat.
How much honey water should you drink each day? Because of the sugar content, limit your daily intake of honey to about one tablespoon daily. You might choose to have one to three cups of honey water daily with about one teaspoon of honey in each cup.
To make honey water at home:
- Stir about one teaspoon of honey (preferably organic, raw or Manuka types) into 8 ounces of warm water, but avoid boiling water, which can ruin some of the honey’s delicate nutrients.
- You might also try adding a half teaspoon of powdered cinnamon and/or the same amount of turmeric.
- Other ingredients to try using in order to make a “secret detox drink” include apple cider vinegar, cayenne pepper and fresh lemon juice, which can all support digestion and a healthy metabolism.
Risks and Side Effects
Honey is safe for internal and topical use, but like all foods, some people may react adversely. If you experience skin irritation, stomach pain, sweating, diarrhea or nausea after using it, stop consuming it right away.
Infants under one should not be given honey due to potential allergic reactions.
If you plan to use honey as part of your daily health regime and you already take medications, talk to your doctor about possible interactions.
- Honey, especially organic, raw and Manuka honey, is high in vitamins, minerals, enzymes, bee pollen, antioxidants and antimicrobial compounds.
- Honey water benefits include reducing bloating, constipation and acid reflux; easing a sore throat, cough and colds; supporting a healthy immune response; decreasing allergies; fighting free radical damage; and beating cravings for sweets.
- Consume about one to three cups daily, with about one teaspoon of high-quality honey per serving. Try some first thing in the morning, before a workout or before bed with some warm milk.
- Other healthy additions include turmeric, cinnamon and apple cider vinegar.