Guide: Grape Juice – All Facts, Benefits & Side Effects
Can grape juice really help you lose weight? You may have heard that grape juice is a “superfood” and that you can drop your BMI by drinking a certain amount of the stuff each day. Is it true? Can you really enhance your weight loss with grape juice?
In this guide, we’re going to talk about:
- The benefits of grape juice for your weight loss
- Whether you can really drop weight by drinking this juice
- What, if anything, grape juice can do to improve your health
Ready to explore this “superfood?” Here’s everything you need to know about grape juice and weight loss.
Grape juice facts
First things first, let’s cover the basics of grape juice. Here are the plain and simple facts about the purple juice drink you love.
Sugar: 36 grams per 1 cup
Vitamins: Vitamin C, lycopene, vitamin K, thiamine
Dangerous to overdose: Possibly could cause iron deficiency
Burns fat: Studies suggest so
Discovered: Pasteurized first in 1869
Country of origin: United States
Calories: 152 calories per 1 cup
Side effects: Possible
Other ways to prepare grape juice: raw grapes, wine, smoothies, concentrate
So there you have it – the straight and simple facts about grape juice. Now, let’s take a closer look at glorious grape juice, and whether it’s going to help you lose weight and lower your BMI.
What is Grape Juice?
We’ll put it simply. If you don’t know what grape juice is, you never had a childhood! Grape juice is the drink of choice of toddlers worldwide. It’s sweet, it’s tangy and in most cases it’s all natural!
Unfortunately, grape juice has an imposter. Have you ever heard the phrase “tastes like purple?” Well, there’s this nasty stuff out there called “grape flavoring” which is used in such delicacies as frozen popsicles, grape flavored drink, candy and grape soda. There’s no juice in that stuff, so don’t be fooled.
When we talk about grape juice, we’re talking about the good stuff. Grape juice can help to lower your BMI, help you lose weight and serve as a tasty part of your weight loss program – in moderation. It comes from actual grapes – whether they be purple, red, green or white – and it’s packed with nutrients.
In a cup of grape juice, you’ll find some vitamins that are super good for you. Vitamins C and K are the most well known; vitamin C helps boost your immunity and makes your skin look great while vitamin K is important for blood and bone health.
Lycopene is another nutrient in grape juice that’s great for your health, helping to fight cancer and keep your heart healthy. Lutein, beta carotene and ellagic acid are also in grape juice.
Nutritional content of grape juice
You may be curious as to the nutritional content of grape juice, and whether the drink can help you lose weight and lower your BMI. The answer is that, in moderation, it sure can! Studies suggest that dark skinned grapes are higher in antioxidants than light skinned grapes, so opt for the “purple” type of grape juice.
One half cup of grape juice has no fat at all, and it’s very low in sodium at only around 5 milligrams. There’s no protein in grape juice but it’s also low in carbs, with about 19 grams per serving. You’ll also find a bit of calcium and iron in grape juice.
Put simply, grape juice is a great and tasty way to get some vitamins into your daily routine. Again, though, be sure you’re drinking real grape juice, not “grape drink” or artificially flavored punch.
Benefits of Grape Juice
Let’s take a moment to summarize the benefits of grape juice, and how the drink can help you lose weight and lower your BMI, among other things.
- Grape juice can help keep your heart healthy
- It’s got antioxidants, so may even help fight certain types of cancer
- Grape juice can help you regulate your blood pressure
- You’ll get a healthy dose of vitamins C and K
- Grape juice may be effective in reducing high cholesterol levels
- It may have the same benefits to your health that wine offers
It’s recommended that you occasionally substitute your grape juice with actual grapes. You’ll get the same benefits, but grapes contain trace amounts of dietary fiber that can further help you lower your BMI and aid in weight loss.
Side Effects of Grape Juice
There aren’t too many side effects of grape juice, but let’s look at just a few things you should keep an eye out for.
- If you’re allergic to grapes, you can have a reaction
- Drinking too much grape juice may actually lead to allergy
- If you’re sensitive, grapes can cause belly discomfort, nausea, headaches and other effects
- Too many grapes can actually cause sort throat
With those potential side effects in mind, know that they’re very rare and most people won’t suffer any ill effects at all from eating grapes. The key is moderation, so stick to a cup or so of grape juice each day.
How to Make Grape Juice
If you’ve only had grape juice that comes from the supermarket, you don’t know what you’re missing. Homemade grape juice is absolutely delicious, and it’s easy to make, too. The taste of your homemade grape juice will remind you of your childhood, and we think that once you make your own, you’ll never buy the store brand again.
To make one to two quarts of grape juice, you’ll need 4 to 8 pounds of grapes. That may seem like a lot but when you get them in-season grapes are relatively inexpensive. And that’s it! That’s the only ingredient you’ll need – fresh grapes. You’ll have to have a colander, a stock pot and cheesecloth to make grape juice, too. Don’t have cheesecloth? A fine mesh strainer will do just fine.
To make your juice, you’ll first want to wash and rinse your grapes. Then, mash them with a potato masher. Then, place your mashed grapes into a large stock pot. Simmer them on medium heat for about ten minutes or so – just long enough to break up the remaining material.
You can continue to mash your grapes until you feel your masher has done its work. Then, cool the grapes and strain into a large container through cheesecloth. You can do this overnight in the fridge, so it’s very hands-off.
The result? The best grape juice you’ve ever had – we promise. And if contains all of the nutrients of store bought juice, but with no additional ingredients.
Where to Buy Grape Juice
Don’t have the energy or the time (or the desire) to make your own grape juice? That’s okay – you can buy grape juice too. If you’re trying to lose weight and lower your BMI, you’re probably already pretty familiar with the layout of your grocery store.
You’ll find grape juice in three primary places. Of course, it will be with the shelf juices. You can find bottles of grape juice in all sorts of sizes on the shelf. Secondly, you can check the refrigerated section. There are chilled and ready to drink juices in single serve and family sized containers there.
The third place you can buy grape juice is in the freezer section. Grape juice concentrate can be found there – you’ll just mix the concentrate with water and “make” your own grape juice. You’ll have to be very careful, though. Many of these concentrates contain tons of added sugar, so be sure you read the label.
It’s unclear as to whether freezing grape juice will lessen the potency of the vitamins and nutrients in the product. For that reason, it’s probably best to buy juice chilled or from the shelf. Can’t find it in the grocery store? You can actually buy grape juice online!
Grape Juice Recipes
We’ve already given you a recipe for making your own grape juice. But grape juice is a super versatile ingredient, and you can actually use it in other recipes. For instance, as a special treat (there’s lots of sugar) you can make natural grape jelly or jam.
But you can cook with juice, too. Caramelize onions in your grape juice, or marinate your chicken in a mixture of grape juice, thyme and garlic. Make a smoothie, homemade fruit pops or put a splash of grape juice in your yogurt and stir.
You can add sparkling water to your grape juice for a virgin treat on New Year’s or splash a bit into your green tea for an antioxidant-rich morning pick-me-up. You get the picture, right? There are countless possibilities. Don’t believe us? Just Google “recipes with grape juice” and find a few you love.
Grape Juice Powder
There are two types of grape juice powder: the type that’s good for you and the type you need to watch out for. Let’s look at them both.
Grape juice powder can be sold in grocery stores as a quick, shelf-stable way to make grape juice. Look out. These mixtures can be extremely high in sugar. Plus, all the processing that those poor grapes undergo rob them of quite a bit of their natural nutrient content.
It’s always best to choose fresh grape juice from the grocery store or, better yet, make your own grape juice. Grape juice powder is a quick way to get a refreshing drink, but there’s a good chance it won’t carry the same nutritional benefits as real grape juice.
The second kind is grape powder. Grape powder is different, as it’s typically made in a plant that manufactures other supplements. The purpose of freeze-dried grape powder is to give you a daily dose of polyphenols and other “good stuff” that’s in grapes – without the calories.
If you’re serious about dropping your BMI and losing weight, and you don’t want to risk adding the calories of grape juice, consider grape powder. You can get the same health benefits of grape juice by taking a grape powder supplement, without the added calories.
Is Grape Juice Healthy?
When you’re trying to lower BMI and lose weight, there’s really nothing that you can’t eat. In fact, it’s good for your body to get a variety of foods, rather than relying on the same foods to sustain you over and over again.
That having been said, grape juice absolutely is healthy – in moderation. Just as with any other food or drink, an excessive amount may cause some side effects and interfere with your weight loss. When you add grape juice to your daily routine, you can experience some great benefits to your health. Improved heart health, lower cholesterol and a reduced BMI are possible.
But too much grape juice can have side effects and consequences you may not enjoy. As we mentioned, the nausea, sore throat, belly discomfort and headaches are a possibility, though rare. Not to mention the fact that those calories can add up!
So, the long story short is that you can lose weight and lower your BMI drinking grape juice – in moderation. Keep it in check and you can enjoy grape juice and its benefits in a healthy way.
Grape Juice and Training
A recent study of runners showed that grape juice is actually a good treat to sip on if you’re training. Runners showed an increase in time to exhaustion of 15% when they were given grape juice before training, so it may be that your everyday workouts can be enhanced by drinking grape juice.
Not many other studies on grape juice and training have been done, but we do know this: if you’re trying to lose weight and lower your BMI grape juice is certainly a healthier alternative than those sports drinks that are packed with sugars or chemical sweeteners.
If you have questions about whether grape juice is right for your training routine, talk to your doctor or your personal trainer for guidance. Only you can identify what will work best for your health considerations and your lifestyle.
Grape juice isn’t going to automatically melt your body fat and lower your BMI. However, it can have significant positive effects on your health. High in nutrients and vitamins, grape juice is a delicious way to enhance your daily menu. So why not try it out and drink a cup or so of grape juice each day to see how it impacts your unique weight loss?