Sugarcane juice, or ganne ka ras, is a refreshing drink made from the stalks of sugarcane. It is a popular beverage in many parts of the world, including Asia and South America.
Sugarcane juice is a delicious beverage not just in summer but winter as well as it helps to hydrate your body. In addition, a lot of traditional ayurvedic remedies use sugarcane and its derivatives. But did you know that this simple drink is also healthy and beneficial for weight loss?
People often criticise sugarcane juice for its high sugar content. Still, many need to realise it is also high in dietary fibre. The fibre makes sugarcane juice a viable choice for people looking to lose weight, as the fibre can keep you satiated for longer. However, you must be aware of certain things before adding sugarcane juice to your diet, especially if you have diabetes.
Advantages of Drinking Sugarcane Juice for Weight Loss
Sugarcane juice is a great option to add a sweet treat to your weight loss diet. Unlike most processed sugary drinks, sugarcane juice has no fattening added sugars or artificial flavourings with empty calories.
In its unprocessed form, sugarcane juice comprises the following.
- 70–75% water
- 10-15% fibre
- 13–15% natural sugar or sucrose
Even though it is unrefined natural sugar, it is best to consume the juice in controlled quantities.
Some other reasons for sugarcane juice in moderation can be a viable weight loss drink are:
1. Fat-Free Beverage
Gaining unwanted fat is a huge setback for anyone trying to shed those extra kilos. Sugarcane juice is a fat-free alternative to other sugary or bottled drinks. It has no accumulating saturated and trans fats.
2. Keeps You Satiated
Sugarcane juice is good for weight loss since it offers dietary fibre in high amounts. A study shows that dietary fibre intake can promote weight loss in overweight adults following a calorie-restricted diet.
Fibre makes you feel full, which prevents you from overeating or snacking especially between meals. Therefore, it can lead to weight loss because you consume fewer calories.
The HealthifyPRO Tip
Raw or fresh sugarcane juice contains up to 13 grams of fibre per cup (240 mL). However, packaged or bottled ones have varying amounts of fibre. Some may have negligible amounts of fibre but high added sugars. So, read the food label to check the fibre content.
If you want a beverage with fibre, it is best to make unrefined and fresh sugarcane juice at home.
3. A Good Detox Drink
Detoxifying your body is vital for weight loss and overall health. Sugarcane juice is one of the best ways to do it.
A study shows that sugarcane juice and its unrefined forms, such as molasses, brown sugar, and jaggery, are the richest source of flavonoids and other phenolic compounds.
These compounds have powerful detoxifying effects. Ayurveda also recommends drinking unsweetened fresh sugarcane juice to flush out toxins.
4. Post-Workout Drink
Not only is sugarcane good for weight loss, but it also contains vital minerals essential for post-workout hydration.
These minerals include calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese, zinc, iron and potassium. Therefore, sugarcane juice is an excellent alternative to artificial energy drinks and post-workout energy bars.
A study shows sugarcane juice is equally effective as commercial sports drinks during exercise. Moreover, it is a more effective rehydration drink than plain water or sports drinks.
5. Improves Your Digestion
Sugarcane juice has long been known for its ability to soothe the stomach and ease the digestive system. So if you suffer from acidity, irritable bowel syndrome, or poor digestion, adding sugarcane juice to your diet is a natural remedy.
The potassium and high dietary fibre in sugarcane juice aid in smoother digestion and bowel movement. By improving digestion, sugarcane juice indirectly helps prevent weight gain caused by the inability to absorb and assimilate nutrients properly. In addition, the improved elimination of waste from the body may also contribute to weight loss.
6. Natural Sugar
Sugarcane juice is sweet. But it contains unrefined sugar. Interestingly it has only a 10-15% sugar concentration. The rest is water, fibre, enzymes, vitamins, and minerals. Furthermore, sugarcane juice contains dietary fibre in reasonable amounts, which will keep you satiated for an extended period.
Good digestion ensures proper nutrient absorption and prevents mineral deficiencies. You will always feel hungry if your body needs to absorb more nutrients.
It is because, in that state, your body craves micro and macronutrients. As a result, you consume extra calories, leading to weight gain. Sugarcane juice can balance the pH levels in your stomach, keeping your digestive system healthy.
The HealthifyMe Note
On a weight loss journey, it is normal to have a few cravings. Sugarcane is rich in dietary fibre. It means you will have fewer cravings and become less likely to snack between meals or add extra calories to your daily intake. The juice is a healthy post-workout drink that offers an instant energy boost and improves digestion.
Ways to Consume Sugarcane Juice for Weight Loss
It is best to consume sugarcane juice immediately as it ferments quickly. However, experts recommend storing the juice for a short time in the refrigerator. When purchasing sugarcane juice from a vendor, make sure that the juice is fresh and prepared under hygienic conditions.
Here is a weight-loss-friendly recipe for sugarcane juice:
Preparation time: 10 minutes
- Sugarcane (finely chopped): 6 cups (1500g)
- Ginger: 2 inches
- Lemon Juice: 2 tbsp (50g)
- A small piece of jaggery (optional)
- Water: ½ cup (125 ml)
Method of Preparation
- Blend the chopped sugarcane and ginger. Do not add water.
- Strain the juice using a sieve or cotton cloth.
- Add water to the juice and blend it again.
- Add the lemon juice and jaggery to the juice and strain it well.
- Serve fresh with or without ice cubes.
Things to Keep in Mind
Extra sugar is never a good thing, even if it comes from natural sources like sugarcane. Although sugarcane juice contains some nutrients, limiting yourself to a small glass a day is essential if you are on a sugar-free diet. However, having sugarcane juice two-three times a week is ideal.
Introducing a new food or drink to your diet can be a challenge. Everyone responds to different foods in different ways. For example, some people might have a spike in their blood sugar levels after consuming sugarcane juice. In contrast, others might not see any change.
On a broader level, everyone has their unique carbohydrate tolerance, meaning how much carbs they can comfortably eat daily. The HealthifyPRO CGM can give you “real-time” feedback on how your blood sugar reacts to specific foods. As a result, you can make informed decisions about what to eat and avoid.
Sugarcane juice has multiple benefits but always check with your doctor or nutritionist before consuming any new food or drink. It is especially relevant if you have any underlying health conditions like diabetes. The Pro Coaches at HealthifyMe use real-time glucose tracking and Smart Scale to help you understand your lifestyle. They guide you and determine which habits support or hinder your weight loss goals. This way, you can make the necessary changes.
The humble and affordable sugarcane juice is more than just a refreshing drink for hot summer days. Raw sugarcane juice aids in weight loss and is a natural, healthy substitute for sugary drinks or soda in your diet.
In addition, the fibre in sugarcane juice increases feelings of fullness, so you eat less food. As a result, you may have less space or desire to eat processed junk foods.
The high-fibre, fat-free sugarcane juice is a pick-me-up on-the-go drink. It is ideal for those days when you crave something healthy and sweet.
However, the benefits of sugarcane juice will only remain when you drink it in moderation. Also, please follow an active lifestyle and eat a balanced meal devoid of sugar. Only then, include sugarcane juice occasionally.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. Can I drink sugarcane juice during weight loss?
A. Yes, you can drink sugarcane juice during weight loss. The fibre in sugarcane juice keeps you fuller for a more extended period and helps prevent cravings. Sugarcane juice is also a drink with natural sweetness, so there is no need to add empty-calorie sweeteners. Plus, the juice contains no fats.
Q. What happens if I drink sugar sugarcane juice every day?
A. Sugarcane juice has many benefits for your health. However, it is important not to overindulge. It can lead to weight gain, upset stomach, and spike blood sugar levels. Therefore, it is advisable to have sugarcane juice two-three times a week.
Q. What is the best time to drink sugarcane juice?
A. You can have it as a post-workout drink for refreshment and mineral replenishment. Nutritionists suggest drinking sugarcane juice before noon. But if you live in a hot and humid place, the ideal time to drink sugarcane juice is in the afternoon when you feel drained.
Q. Is sugarcane juice high in calories?
A. 240 ml or nearly 8-ounce serving of sugarcane juice with no additives contains 250 calories. Therefore, it is best to drink sugarcane juice in moderation. Ensure not to pair the juice with other calorie-dense foods .
Q. Is sugarcane juice cold or hot for the body?
A. Sugarcane juice provides a cooling effect for your body. As per Ayurveda, it is a pitta shamak. That means it manages your body’s heat response and provides a cooling effect. As a result, sugarcane juice is an unparalleled drink for the summer season.
Q. Can I gain weight by drinking sugarcane juice?
A. Drinking unsweetened, fresh sugarcane juice in moderation will not cause weight gain. However, it is high in calories and natural sugar. So, excess consumption can cause a caloric surplus and blood sugar fluctuations. These two factors, in combination, can trigger weight gain. Also, eating more calories than you burn will make you gain weight.
Q. Can we drink sugarcane juice on an empty stomach?
A. You can drink sugarcane juice on an empty stomach, but it should not have added sugars. However, the best time to consume sugarcane juice is after a workout to compensate for the lost body salts. You can also drink it as an afternoon drink to rehydrate the body and shake off fatigue.
The Supporting Sources
1. Miketinas DC, Bray GA, Beyl RA, Ryan DH, Sacks FM, Champagne CM. Fibre Intake Predicts Weight Loss and Dietary Adherence in Adults Consuming Calorie-Restricted Diets: The POUNDS Lost (Preventing Overweight Using Novel Dietary Strategies) Study. J Nutr. 2019;149(10):1742-1748. doi:10.1093/jn/nxz117
2. Singh A, Lal UR, Mukhtar HM, Singh PS, Shah G, Dhawan RK. Phytochemical profile of sugarcane and its potential health aspects. Pharmacogn Rev. 2015;9(17):45-54. doi:10.4103/0973-7847.156340
3. Kalpana K, Lal PR, Kusuma DL, Khanna GL. The effects of ingestion of sugarcane juice and commercial sports drinks on cycling performance of athletes in comparison to plain water. Asian J Sports Med. 2013;4(3):181-189. doi:10.5812/asjsm.34256