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Does ginger in smoothies help weight loss?

Smoothies have become an increasingly popular way to boost nutrition and promote weight loss. Many smoothie recipes contain ginger, a spice that offers several potential health benefits. This article explores whether adding ginger to smoothies helps with weight loss.

What is ginger?

Ginger is a flowering plant native to Asia. The rhizome, or underground stem, is the part commonly used as a spice and natural remedy.

Ginger contains bioactive compounds like gingerol, shogaol, zingerone and paradol. These compounds give ginger its unique flavor and are responsible for many of its therapeutic effects (1).

Studies show that ginger possesses anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anticancer, anti-nausea and blood sugar lowering properties (2).

Ginger for weight loss

Research suggests that ginger may aid weight loss in several ways:

Suppressing appetite

Some studies indicate that ginger may help suppress appetite. One study found that consuming ginger powder mixed into a beverage reduced appetite and increased fullness over a period of several hours compared to a placebo (3).

Ginger also appears to influence levels of certain hormones tied to appetite, like leptin and ghrelin. Leptin instructs the brain to feel full while ghrelin stimulates hunger (4).

Increasing calories burned

Ginger may temporarily increase metabolism and fat burning. One study gave participants 2 grams of ginger powder and found it increased their metabolic rate by 5%, compared to those given a placebo (5).

Another study observed similar effects when individuals took capsules with ginger compounds twice per day. Their resting metabolic rate increased by 8% over a 12-hour period (6).

Supporting fat loss

Some research indicates ginger may promote fat loss, especially around the abdominal area.

One 8-week study in 91 overweight adults found that 2 grams of ginger taken daily led to significant reductions in body weight, waist circumference and hip ratio compared to a placebo (7).

What’s more, participants lost 3.6% more total body fat. However, more high quality studies are needed.

Regulating blood sugar

Maintaining steady blood sugar levels is important for appetite control and weight management. Some evidence suggests ginger helps with glycemic control.

In one study, people with type 2 diabetes who took 3 grams of ginger powder daily for 30 days experienced reductions in fasting blood sugar by 12% and HbA1c (a measure of long-term blood sugar control) by 10% (8).

When blood sugar levels are kept in check, sharp dips and spikes in hunger and energy levels may be avoided.

Other potential ginger benefits

Aside from possibly promoting weight loss, ginger boasts several other health benefits:

  • May reduce nausea, vomiting and ease motion sickness
  • Contains potent anti-inflammatory properties
  • May decrease pain and improve mobility for those with osteoarthritis
  • May lower cholesterol and blood pressure

Thus, adding ginger to your diet provides health perks beyond just potential effects on your waistline.

Do ginger smoothies help you lose weight?

Smoothies allow you to reap the benefits of ginger in a tasty, nutrient-packed drink. But does adding ginger actually lead to weight loss?

Unfortunately, no studies have looked specifically at ginger smoothies for weight loss. However, since research shows ginger may promote fullness, increase metabolism and fat burning, and help control blood sugar, it’s reasonable to expect it may encourage weight loss when added to smoothies.

Keep in mind that no single food, ingredient or drink alone will make you shed pounds – an overall healthy diet and lifestyle are critical.

Best practices for ginger smoothies

To get the most out of ginger for weight loss, keep these tips in mind:

  • Use fresh ginger – It has the most robust flavor and nutritional content compared to ground ginger.
  • Peel before blending – The skin may be tough to digest for some.
  • Add juice or milk – For a smooth, creamy texture.
  • Include protein – Such as yogurt, milk or protein powder to help you feel fuller.
  • Use nutrient-dense ingredients – Like fruits, veggies, seeds and nuts to boost nutrition.
  • Limit added sugars – To avoid blood sugar spikes; use natural sweeteners if needed.
  • Watch your portion – A 12-16 ounce smoothie is a healthy portion.
  • Consume mindfully – Drink your smoothie slowly and focus on how it makes your body feel.

Sample ginger smoothie recipes

Here are a few delicious ginger smoothie options to help you get started:

Metabolism-boosting ginger green smoothie

Packed with greens like kale and spinach, this smoothie provides a big dose of nutrients to energize your morning. The ginger may temporarily rev up your metabolism.


  • 1 cup kale
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed

Anti-inflammatory ginger berry smoothie

This vibrant purple smoothie delivers a powerful punch of antioxidants from blueberries, tart cherry juice and ginger. It provides compounds to help reduce inflammation.


  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup tart cherry juice
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp ground chia seeds

Ginger peach morning shake

Peaches add a touch of sweetness and ginger gives this shake a zing. It’s creamy, satisfying and may help control your appetite until lunchtime.


  • 1 peach, pitted
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp honey (optional)

Precautions with ginger

Ginger is considered very safe for most people. However, there are some precautions to keep in mind (9):

  • Avoid large amounts if you have gallstones or are taking blood thinners
  • Use cautiously if you have diabetes or heart conditions
  • Stop using if you experience side effects like heartburn, gas or mouth irritation
  • Always talk to your healthcare provider before using ginger supplements

Additionally, start with small amounts of fresh ginger like 1/4-1/2 teaspoon and gradually increase as tolerated when adding it to smoothies.

The bottom line

Smoothies represent a healthy, convenient way to incorporate ginger into your diet. Early research suggests ginger may help promote weight loss in several ways, including curbing appetite, increasing metabolism and fat burning, regulating blood sugar, and aiding fat loss, especially around the stomach area.

While specific research is lacking, it’s logical that ginger may encourage weight loss when added to smoothies, provided they are formulated with nutrient-dense whole foods and don’t rely solely on ginger. For optimal effects, use fresh ginger and follow healthy smoothie habits.

As with any supplement, talk to your healthcare practitioner before using ginger for weight loss, especially if you take medications or have any health conditions.