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Rice water for weight loss: Does it work?

Drinking rice water for weight loss might a good idea as this drink is low in calories and helps boost digestion. Read on to know more
A glass of rice water with some rice around it to make rice-zempic
Rice water is a good low-calorie-drink that will keep your hydrated and energised during the day. Image courtesy: Freepik
Anjuri Nayar Singh Published: 17 Jun 2024, 08:59 am IST
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If you are on a weight-loss journey, including rice water in your diet may be helpful. Drinking rice water for weight loss can help you reach your goal sooner as it promotes a feeling of fullness, which results in lesser calorie consumption in a day. It can help in a variety of ways such as aiding better digestion, building your immunity as well as detoxification and respiration. Rice water also happens to be great for your skin and hair. Read on to learn more about the benefits of rice water for weight loss and the right way to consume rice water.

What is rice water?

Rice water is the white starch that is left in the vessel while boiling rice. You can drain this water and consume it. Not only does it contain starch, but it also has a variety of other nutrients which are great for our body. It is rich in vitamin E, magnesium, fibre as well as zinc and manganese. It also has healthy carbohydrates and can give your body the required energy that it needs to get through the day.

Benefits of rice water

Many benefits of rice water will prove useful for our body. According to a study published in Processes, rice water is referred to as a food processing waste that is usually discarded during raw rice preparation. However, this waste has many useful benefits. It is used as a medicine and works as a digestible healthy drink for patients who have diarrhoea. The study adds that rice water helps to make our skin fair, smooth, and even-toned skin. When it comes to hair care, it protects against dandruff. Read here to learn more about the benefits of rice water. Using rice water for weight loss is also a great idea

Rice water for weight loss

Using rice water for weight loss is a great way to shed some extra kilos. Here is why it is a great option:

1. Low in calories

If you are on the lookout for a healthy, but also non-fattening drink to have in your weight-loss journey, then rice water can be a great option for you. This is a low-calorie alternative to sugary drinks or even sugar-free beverages that are often touted to have other side effects. The amount of calories depends on the kind of rice used, whether it was boiled or not, and also for how long the rice was boiled. On an average, 100 ml of rice water contains about 40-50 calories, provided no sugar is added.

A glass of raw rice
The number of calories in a glass of rice water depends on the kind of rice used, and how long it was soaked or cooked in water for. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

2. May help in better digestion

A study published in Frontiers in Microbiology, states that the starch present in rice water helps to relieve digestive issues. The starch also helps in reducing fat accumulation and promoting fat metabolism. When we take steps to improve our digestion, our bodies can utilise the nutrients present in the food that we consume more effectively. This helps us to lose weight as well as keep us healthy.

3. May improve gut health

Improving the health of your gut goes a long way in your weight-loss goals. A study published in Natural Product Research suggests that the probiotics present in fermented rice water can have beneficial and therapeutic effects on our gastrointestinal tract. The study adds that rice water provides intestinal flora with beneficial enzymes as well as bacteria. Therefore, it promotes gut microbiome health, builds immunity and can help prevent chronic diseases as well.

4. Keeps you full

Drinking a glass of rice water, in between your meals, can help keep you full for longer. This reduces the possibility of you bingeing on unhealthy snacks between meals. It also has a healthy amount of carbohydrates and gives you that required boost of energy when you are on your weight loss journey.

5. Keeps you hydrated

Rice water has important electrolytes such as potassium and magnesium that are required by our body. This makes this drink a natural hydrating agent. Hydration helps to suppress appetite, as well as boost your metabolism, states this study, published in Frontiers in Nutrition. This is what makes drinking rice water for weight loss a great idea.

How to make rice water?

If you’re thinking how to prepare rice water at home, here’s a very simple recipe!

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  • All you need is a pot of rice and water to boil it.
  • Take three tablespoons of white rice and two cups of water. You can increase this quantity based on this proportion.
  • Let this mixture cook on the gas for a period of 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Strain the milky water and let it cool down.
  • Rice water can be stored in the refrigerator for one week, and not more.

Daily dosage

If you are looking to include rice water for weight loss in your diet, make sure to follow the right dosage. It is advisable to drink 1-2 cups a day. But before you make this a part of your daily routine, it is best advised to check with your healthcare provider.

Some rice soaked in water
Rice water can be made by soaking or cooking rice for a period of 20-30 minutes in water. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

What is the best time to have rice water for weight loss?

While rice water can be had at any time of the day, having it 30 to 40 minutes prior to your lunch and dinner is a great idea. This helps to keep you full, and you end up consuming fewer calories.

Are there side effects of drinking rice water

While rice water is healthy, it comes with its share of side effects as well. Rice water is used to treat diarrhoea, and drinking it in excess can lead to constipation. Besides this, drinking more than the recommended amount can also lead to bloating, as well as gas.


If you are on your weight loss journey, drinking rice water can be a great solution. Not only is it healthy, but it’s a low-calorie drink that comes with a wide range of benefits such as building immunity and helping with digestive ailments. However, it is important to not drink more than the required amount as it can lead to constipation as well as gas and bloating.

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About the Author

Anjuri Nayar Singh has over 12 years of experience in writing for various topics including lifestyle, films, television and OTT. She also writes on art and culture, education and human interest stories. ...Read More

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