Aloe vera is a popular plant that has been used for centuries for its health, beauty, medicinal and skin care benefits. It is a succulent plant species that stores water in its leaves, which are thick and fleshy. The gel from the leaves is used topically to treat burns, wounds and various skin conditions. Aloe vera can also be consumed orally for its potential health benefits. Some proponents claim that drinking aloe vera juice on an empty stomach can provide better absorption and utilization of the nutrients in the plant. However, there are also some potential risks and side effects to be aware of. In this article, we’ll explore the proposed benefits and drawbacks of consuming aloe vera juice first thing in the morning.
Potential Benefits of Drinking Aloe Vera on an Empty Stomach
Here are some of the ways that drinking aloe vera juice on an empty stomach may be advantageous:
May Improve Nutrient Absorption
Consuming aloe vera juice before eating anything else means there is no other food or drink in the stomach that could prevent optimal absorption of the nutrients. Proponents believe drinking aloe vera on an empty stomach allows key compounds like vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes and antioxidants to be more bioavailable.
May Aid Digestion
Some research indicates that compounds in aloe vera, like polysaccharides, have beneficial effects on digestion. Drinking aloe vera first thing in the morning may support healthy digestion and regularity throughout the day.
Inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract can contribute to numerous digestive issues. The anti-inflammatory properties of aloe vera could help ease this inflammation when consumed on an empty stomach.
May Support Immune Function
Aloe vera has antioxidant and antimicrobial properties that could help strengthen immune defenses. Drinking aloe vera juice may give the immune system an extra boost first thing in the morning.
Due to its laxative effects, some believe that aloe vera juice can help remove toxins from the digestive tract when consumed before anything else. This may lead to better overall detoxification.
May Aid Weight Loss
Some research has found that aloe vera juice may have beneficial effects on weight loss and body fat reduction, especially when consumed early in the day. The mechanisms are unclear but may be related to aloe vera’s impacts on metabolism and digestion.
Potential Risks and Side Effects
Despite the potential upsides, there are also some possible risks and downsides to keep in mind when drinking aloe vera juice on an empty stomach:
One of the most common side effects of aloe vera juice is gastrointestinal distress, cramps and diarrhea due to its laxative effects. For some people, drinking aloe vera first thing in the morning may exacerbate these issues.
Aloe vera may impact the absorption and efficacy of certain oral medications if taken at the same time. It’s best to take prescription drugs at least two hours before or after consuming aloe vera juice.
The laxative effects of aloe vera could potentially lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalances when consumed regularly on an empty stomach. It may disrupt levels of important minerals like potassium.
Low Blood Sugar
There is some evidence that aloe vera juice may lower blood glucose levels. People who take medications for diabetes or hypoglycemia should use caution with aloe vera juice due to risks of blood sugar dropping too low.
Abdominal Cramps and Discomfort
Drinking aloe vera first thing in the morning may irritate some people’s gastrointestinal tract and cause abdominal cramps, pain or discomfort due to its purgative effects.
Dosage and Preparation
If you choose to drink aloe vera on an empty stomach, here are some tips on dosages and preparing it properly:
– Start with a low dose such as 2-4 oz to assess tolerance. Gradually increase to no more than 8 oz at a time.
– Look for a high-quality, food-grade aloe vera juice that is free of additives and preservatives. Make sure it is certified by the International Aloe Science Council.
– Avoid whole leaf aloe vera juice as it contains aloin, the compound responsible for side effects like cramping and diarrhea. Instead, choose inner leaf aloe vera juice.
-Consider diluting the aloe vera juice in water or another beverage. Mixing it with citrus juice may enhance absorption.
– Drink soon after opening. The nutrients in aloe vera degrade quickly after cutting the plant open.
-Wait at least 30 minutes after drinking before eating or taking medications or supplements.
-Start slowly and monitor body’s response. Stop use if diarrhea, cramping or other side effects develop.
The Bottom Line
Drinking pure aloe vera juice on an empty stomach may aid digestion, nutrient absorption, detoxification, immunity and more. However, it also comes with the risk of side effects like diarrhea for some people. Those with digestive issues or who take certain medications may want to avoid drinking aloe vera juice first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. As with any supplement, it’s best to start slowly, pay attention to your body’s response, and consult a doctor, especially if you take medications or have a medical condition. Moderation and caution are key when consuming aloe vera juice to maximize potential upsides while minimizing adverse effects.
|Study||Findings on Aloe Vera Consumption|
|Randomized trial in Phytomedicine||Aloe vera juice twice daily significantly reduced symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome compared to placebo|
|Clinical trial in Journal of Research in Medical Sciences||8 weeks of aloe vera juice intake decreased body fat mass and abdominal obesity|
|Review in Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine||Aloe vera exhibits anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, immune-boosting, and hypoglycemic effects|
|Animal study in Nutrition Research||Aloe vera gel given before breakfast increased vitamin C absorption in oral vitamin C tolerance test|
|In vitro study in Pharmaceutical Biology||Aloe vera improved bioavailability of vitamins B1, B2, B6 and C|
Research suggests aloe vera juice may provide certain benefits when consumed on an empty stomach, such as improving nutrient absorption and aiding digestion. However, it can also cause side effects like diarrhea or cramps. Doing so may not be suitable for everyone, especially those with gastrointestinal conditions or taking certain medications. As with any supplement, start slowly, watch for side effects, and consult a healthcare provider before making aloe vera juice part of your regular morning routine.