Whether it’s a detox green juice, a black coffee or a shot of apple cider vinegar, dietitian Melissa Meier reveals what’s worth a sip and what you should pass on first thing in the morning.
If you describe yourself as ‘health conscious’, you’d probably also admit to trying every health-giving elixir under the sun to revamp your morning routine. Green juice, apple cider vinegar, lemon water… you get the idea.
But are of these options *actually* worth it, or just a load of wellness wankery? Here’s your dietitian-approved answer.
What’s the best drink to have in the morning?
Tea and coffee
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The old faithful cuppa tea or coffee gets my tick of approval for a healthy morning sip. Yes, both options contain caffeine (coffee usually far more than tea) – but in small doses (i.e. one, maybe two, per day), that’s totally fine. Plus, black tea and coffee contribute towards your daily water intake.
If you’d prefer a milk-based cuppa, that’s a good thing, too, because it’ll give you a boost of calcium for strong bones and teeth.
There’s nothing wrong with a green juice every now and then, but – brace yourself – I wouldn’t recommend it every day. Why? Juices don’t contain the gut-loving fibre of the whole fruit and veggies that go into them. If there’s several pieces of fruit in one juice, they can pack a tonne of sugar, too.
Think of how many oranges or apples it takes to reap a glass of their juice – you’d never sit and eat that many in one go, would you?! A healthier option would be a green smoothie in which the whole fruit or vegetable goes into a blender. Think: one piece of fruit, a large handful of spinach and a cup of milk. Yummo.
Apple cider vinegar and/or lemon water
Your go-to influencer raves about downing ACV or lemon water as soon as they wake up, so you should too, right? Well, not really…
Although ACV is touted to do anything from whittle your waistline to improve digestion and even lower cholesterol, there’s not a lot of scientific research backing up these claims.
Ditto when it comes to lemon water – it will not detoxify your body (you’ve got a liver and kidneys for that!), clear up your skin or help you lose weight.
What’s more, both ACV and lemon juice are very acidic and could damage your tooth enamel. Stick to using them in cooking, but don’t feel the need to guzzle them down every morning.
As boring as it sounds, plain old water is the best thing you can drink first thing in the morning.
Water is absolutely essential in keeping your body working it’s best – it plays a key role in everything from temperature control to digestion, and is needed to keep your bloodstream fluid enough to transport nutrients and oxygen around your body.
Females are recommended to have 2.1L per day, and for males, that quota bumps up to 2.6L – and the morning is the perfect time to get a head start on this goal.
Tea and coffee are fine as well, but I’d encourage you to ignore the health halo of trendier options like green juice, ACV and lemon water.
Melissa Meier is a Sydney-based accredited practising dietitian. You can connect with her on Instagram @honest_nutrition.