Wheatgrass juice has become a popular health drink in recent years due to its nutritional benefits. But when is the best time to drink wheatgrass juice to maximize those benefits? There are a few factors to consider when determining the optimal timing for drinking wheatgrass juice.
What is Wheatgrass Juice?
Wheatgrass refers to the young grass shoots of the wheat plant, Triticum aestivum. It contains high amounts of chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals and enzymes. Wheatgrass juice is made by juicing these wheatgrass leaves.
Some of the nutrients found in wheatgrass juice include:
- Chlorophyll – Wheatgrass contains up to 70% chlorophyll, which gives it its bright green color. Chlorophyll has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Vitamins A, C and E – These vitamins act as antioxidants to protect cells from damage.
- B vitamins – Wheatgrass contains B vitamins like thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid and pyridoxine.
- Beta-carotene – This antioxidant is converted to vitamin A in the body.
- Iron – This mineral is needed for red blood cell production and energy.
- Calcium – Wheatgrass contains some calcium, which is essential for bone health.
- Magnesium – This mineral is required for over 300 enzyme reactions in the body.
- Amino acids – Wheatgrass contains 17 amino acids, the building blocks of proteins.
- Enzymes – Wheatgrass contains many enzymes that aid in digestion.
Some research shows that wheatgrass juice may provide health benefits like:
- Improving immunity
- Supplying antioxidants
- Reducing inflammation
- Detoxifying the liver
- Improving digestion
- Stabilizing blood sugar
The nutrients and plant compounds in wheatgrass can make it a simple yet powerful addition to a healthy diet.
Ideal Times to Drink Wheatgrass Juice
There are certain times of day that may be better than others when it comes to drinking wheatgrass juice. Here are some optimal times to drink wheatgrass juice and why:
1. First Thing in the Morning
Drinking wheatgrass juice first thing in the morning, even before breakfast, can be beneficial. Some reasons to consider drinking wheatgrass on an empty stomach include:
- Improves absorption – Drinking wheatgrass juice before eating allows the nutrients to be rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream without interference from other foods and beverages.
- Aids digestion – The enzymes in wheatgrass can stimulate digestion when consumed before meals.
- Detoxifies – Wheatgrass may help cleanse the digestive tract and liver when taken on an empty stomach due to its detoxifying properties.
- Energizes – The nutrients in wheatgrass can provide an energetic boost first thing in the morning.
- Burns fat – Some compounds in wheatgrass may promote fat burning when consumed before meals on an empty stomach.
Sipping 1-2 ounces of wheatgrass juice first thing in the morning can be a simple way to start the day feeling energized and nourished.
2. 30 Minutes Before Meals
It is also commonly recommended to drink wheatgrass juice about 30 minutes before meals. Here are some of the reasons this timing is beneficial:
- Aids digestion – Enzymes may help improve digestion when consumed before meals.
- Stabilizes blood sugar – B vitamins and antioxidants in wheatgrass can help regulate blood sugar when taken before meals.
- Detoxifies – Wheatgrass can help cleanse the liver to improve detoxification.
- Boosts immunity – The nutrients in wheatgrass support immune function when consumed before eating.
- Prevents overeating – Wheatgrass is low in calories, so can help satisfy hunger before meals.
Drinking a 1-2 ounce shot of wheatgrass half an hour before lunch or dinner allows you to take advantage of these benefits and may even help control portions at mealtime.
3. Mid-Morning or Mid-Afternoon
Some people may also find sipping wheatgrass juice mid-morning or mid-afternoon gives them an energy and nutrition boost. Reasons to drink wheatgrass at these times include:
- Increases energy – The nutrients in wheatgrass juice can provide an energy lift when you feel a mid-day lull.
- Curbs unhealthy cravings – Wheatgrass can satisfy cravings for unhealthy salty or sugary snacks.
- Improves focus – Compounds like chlorophyll may enhance cognitive function when consumed midday.
- Supports immunity – The antioxidants help fight oxidative stress from daily activities.
- Detoxifies – Wheatgrass can cleanse the liver and blood of toxins generated throughout the day.
A quick wheatgrass shot when your energy starts lagging around mid-morning or during a mid-afternoon break can recharge you. It may help provide steady energy levels all day long.
|Time of Day||Benefits|
|Early Morning||Improves nutrient absorption, aids digestion, detoxifies, energizes, burns fat|
|30 Minutes Before Meals||Aids digestion, stabilizes blood sugar, detoxifies, boosts immunity, prevents overeating|
|Mid-Morning or Mid-Afternoon||Increases energy, curbs unhealthy cravings, improves focus, supports immunity, detoxifies|
How Much to Drink
When it comes to the amount of wheatgrass juice to drink, moderation is key. Here are some general recommendations for how much to consume:
- 1-2 ounces (30-60 ml) per serving
- 1-3 servings at different times per day
- Begin with 1 ounce per day and gradually increase over 2 weeks
- Drink no more than 6-8 ounces (180-240 ml) total per day
Wheatgrass juice is very concentrated with a strong flavor. Drinking small amounts will allow you to enjoy the benefits without overdoing it. People who aren’t used to wheatgrass may want to start with just 1 ounce per day in the recommended optimal times.
How to Make Wheatgrass Juice
While you can buy pre-made wheatgrass juice, making it fresh at home is simple too. Here are some tips for juicing wheatgrass at home:
- Use young wheatgrass shoots within 2 weeks of sprouting.
- Cut the blades close to the soil using clean kitchen shears or scissors.
- Rinse the wheatgrass thoroughly under cool water.
- Use a masticating juicer for best extraction and minimal oxidation.
- Alternatively, blend with a little water then strain the pulp through a nut milk bag or cheesecloth.
- Drink the wheatgrass juice immediately for maximum freshness and nutrients.
- Store any leftover juice in a sealed glass container in the fridge up to 3 days.
With a little practice, it is easy to harvest and juice fresh wheatgrass at home. This allows you to enjoy its health benefits at the optimal times.
Potential Side Effects
When consumed in reasonable amounts, wheatgrass juice is generally considered safe for most people. However, some potential side effects may include:
- Nausea – Some people may experience nausea, especially when starting out.
- Headaches – Rarely, wheatgrass may contribute to headaches in sensitive individuals.
- Constipation – The fiber in wheatgrass can cause constipation if intake is excessive.
- Allergic reactions – Wheatgrass could trigger reactions in those allergic to wheat products.
- Blood sugar issues – Wheatgrass may lower blood sugar, requiring diabetic medication adjustments.
- Fatigue – High doses may cause fatigue, likely due to detoxification effects.
Starting slowly and consuming wheatgrass juice in moderation can help minimize adverse effects. Speak with your healthcare provider if you experience concerning symptoms.
Certain individuals should exercise caution with wheatgrass juice:
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding – Not enough research exists to confirm its safety.
- Hypoglycemia – Wheatgrass may lower blood sugar levels further.
- Thyroid disorders – Wheatgrass contains goitrogens that could interfere with thyroid function when consumed in excess.
- Digestive problems – The high fiber content of wheatgrass may worsen conditions like ulcerative colitis.
- Food allergies – Wheatgrass could cause allergic reactions in those with wheat/grass allergies.
- Upcoming surgery – Due to potential effects on blood sugar levels, it is best to stop wheatgrass intake 2 weeks before surgery.
If you have any medical conditions or take medications, check with your healthcare provider before adding wheatgrass juice to your routine.
The Bottom Line
Drinking wheatgrass juice at strategic times during the day can help you maximize the nutritional benefits of this green superfood. The ideal times to drink wheatgrass juice include first thing in the morning, around 30 minutes before meals, and during the mid-morning or mid-afternoon slump. Sipping 1-2 ounces at a time and gradually increasing intake allows your body to get used to wheatgrass.
Make sure to consult your healthcare provider before adding wheatgrass juice to your diet, especially if you have any medical conditions or take medications. Drink wheatgrass juice in moderation as part of an overall healthy lifestyle to take advantage of its natural health-promoting compounds.