Drinking a sweet and spicy beverage may warm you up and satisfy a need for something honeyed, but it may not detox your body of harmful substances or promote weight loss as claimed. Hot water mixed with honey and cinnamon is not a diet per se but a cleanse you drink at certain times of the day in addition to your usual diet. Like most fad diets, the hot water, honey and cinnamon cleanse makes big promises without any proof. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your usual eating habits.
To make the drink, steep cinnamon in 1 cup of hot water for 30 minutes. Once the water has cooled, add the honey. According to the directions to make the cleanse, adding the honey when the water is hot inactivates the natural enzymes in the honey. The recipe suggests the honey and cinnamon be in a 1-to-2 ratio, or 1 part honey to 2 parts cinnamon. You drink half the mixture before bed, put the leftover in the refrigerator and drink the rest when you wake up in the morning. The drink should be consumed on an empty stomach. Proponents of the drink claim it not only cleanses your body but also helps you lose weight without making any changes to your diet.
Honey, Cinnamon and Weight Loss
There is a small amount of truth behind the claims for the hot water, honey and cinnamon cleanse. A 2008 study published in "The Scientific World Journal" investigated the effects of honey when compared to sugar on cardiovascular risk factors, which included weight, on a group of overweight and obese people. The study found that the group taking honey lost 1.3 percent of their body weight, which the researchers referred to as a mild reduction. Cinnamon has been studied for its effect on meal satiety, which may be helpful to those trying to lose weight. Unfortunately, researchers have not been able to prove that cinnamon increases satiety. While this information sounds promising for honey, more research is needed before claims can be made.
Pros and Cons
Drinking a mixture of cinnamon and honey before bed and when you wake up may be a good way for you to get more fluids in your diet, but it's doubtful that it will help you lose weight. Additionally, cinnamon affects an enzyme that metabolizes certain medications such as calcium-channel blockers and cyclosporin, which may increase levels of these types of drugs in your blood. Cinnamon may also interact with blood-thinning medication. Honey is relatively safe but should not be given to infants due to the risk of botulism.
About Diet Cleanses
In addition to claiming to help you lose weight, the hot water, honey and cinnamon drink is also supposed to help cleanse your body. But there is very little evidence to support claims that any food or special drink can help improve upon your body's ability to rid itself of toxic substances, according to dietitian Juliette Kellow. As long as your body is healthy, your lungs, kidneys, liver and skin help "detox" your body through urine, feces and sweat.
- Almost Exactly: Honey and Cinnamon Cleanse ... Facts to Back It Up?
- The World Scientific Journal: Natural Honey and Cardiovascular Risk Factors; Effects on Blood Glucose, Cholesterol, Triacylglycerole, RP, and Body Weight Compared With Sucrose
- Aemrican Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Effect of Cinnamon on Postprandial Blood Glucose, Gastric Emptying and Satiety in Healthy Subjects
- American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Effects of 1 and 3 Gram Cinnamon on Gastric Emptying, Satiety, and Postprandial Blood Glucose, Insulin, Glucose-Dependent Insulinotropic Polypeptide, Glucagon-Like Peptide 1, and Ghrelin Concentrations in Healthy Subjects
- Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: Cinnamon
- KidsHealth: Infant Botulism
- Weightlossresources.co.uk: Detox Diets Under the Spotlight
- KidsHealth: Are Detox Diets Safe?
- Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin: Effects of Mace and Nutmeg on Human Cytochrome P450 3A4 and 2C9 Activity