Drink cranberry juice before bed to sleep better at night, lose weight, and protect your heart. In fact, cranberry juice is the best source of melatonin, it’s rich in vitamin C, and has an extremely high antioxidant content!
Can drinking cranberry juice at night make you gain weight?
Cranberry juice is mainly water and sugars. In fact, 87% of its calories come from sugars. Cranberry juice has 50 calories per 100g, or 100 calories per serving (1 juice box, or 200 mL).
As a rule of thumb, you should avoid drinking fruit juices, though. Most of them are packed with sugars. Even moderate amounts of homemade, fresh-squeezed fruit juices can make you gain weight.
High intake of sugar is a common reason for increased rates of obesity in the United States. Nowadays, we consume about 300% more sugar than the upper recommended dose.
Above all, fruit juices don’t reduce hunger, as they lack of dietary fiber. Fiber takes a lot of space in the stomach, sending satiating signals to the brain. On the contrary, whole foods are high in fiber. Prefer them, instead of drinking their juice. Especially, if you want to lose weight.
High daily intake of fiber significantly lowers the risk of obesity. We should get 28g of fiber per 2,000 calories. Unfortunately, most people who follow the standard Western diet consume fewer than 20g of fiber a day.
Actually, a serving of cranberry juice contains about 23g of sugars and no fiber.
Moreover, fiber prevents the spikes of blood sugar! The Glycemic Index of food shows how much it affects blood sugar. The lower, the better. For instance, cranberry juice has a moderate Glycemic Index of up to 68.
As a rule of thumb, you should prefer eating foods with a low Glycemic Index. They help maintain a healthy body weight, as they minimize insulin responses, maintain insulin sensitivity, control appetite, and promote fat burn.
Therefore, if you want to lose weight, you better consume whole cranberries at dinner. They won’t spike your blood sugar levels as much, and also, you’ll feel full, consuming fewer calories. After all, caloric deficit is crucial for weight loss.
Moreover, you could drink a glass of cranberry juice, along with a low-calorie meal, such as a salad, in order to lose weight. Fiber from vegetables will delay the absorption of sugars of the juice in the bloodstream.
Drinking cranberry juice before bed can help you sleep better at night
Most noteworthy, the best time to drink cranberry juice is before bed. It could help you sleep better at night, due to its extremely high amount of melatonin!
Melatonin is known as “the sleep hormone”. It’s the internal clock of the body. Cranberry juice contains extraordinary amounts of melatonin. It has up to 960 mcg of melatonin per 100g!
Besides the improvement on sleep duration and quality, melatonin promotes weight loss, protects from oxidative stress, boosts the immune system, and protects the heart.
You can see the richest common foods in melatonin here.
Drink cranberry juice to boost your daily intake of vitamin C
Furthermore, cranberry juice is particularly high in vitamin C. It has 28 mg of vitamin C per 100g, or about 60 mg per serving! This is 67% of the recommended daily intake.
Vitamin C aids weight loss and helps sleep better at night. We should get enough vitamin C throughout the day, in order to increase sleep duration, reduce sleep disturbances, relieve movement disorders, decrease the dangerous effects of sleep apnea, and even improve stress tolerance.[6,7]
Cranberry juice is a good source of potassium
Additionally, cranberry juice contains modest amounts of potassium. A cup of cranberry juice contains about 200 mg of potassium, or 6% Daily Value.
A diet high in potassium is good for a lower Body Weight Index (BMI), smaller waist circumference, and lower risk of obesity!
Potassium neutralizes sodium. Sodium comes mainly from salt. Therefore, it’s good to get enough potassium when you eat foods high in salt. The main sources of salt in the modern Western diet are processed products and fast food.
So, as a rule of thumb, try to eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. They’re the richest foods in potassium.
Health benefits of drinking cranberry juice
Most noteworthy, cranberry juice has a huge antioxidant content. It’s packed with phenols, anthocyanins and catechins. Hence, the daily consumption of cranberry juice could increase plasma antioxidant capacity. Antioxidants fight oxidative stress, which can lead to obesity.
A serving (200 mL) of cranberry juice has up to 46 mg proanthocyanidins, 26 mg anthocyanins, 12.8 mg hydroxybenzoic acids, 3.8 mg, hydroxycinnamic acids, and 11.6 mg flavonols.
Due to its exceptional antioxidant content, besides weight loss, cranberry juice has many health benefits.
For instance, regular drinking of cranberry juice may lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, lower total cholesterol, increase (“good”) HDL cholesterol, improve endothelial function, lower the risk of coronary heart disease, lower glycemic responses, have favorable effects on blood pressure, and protect against urinary tract infections.
In fact, polyphenols in cranberry juice have potent antibacterial, antiviral, antimutagenic, anticarcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties!
What’s the best time to drink cranberry juice?
Certainly, a great time to drink cranberry juice is before bed. As cranberry juice is the richest beverage in melatonin, it can improve sleep quality and increase sleep duration.
Moreover, you could drink cranberry juice at breakfast, to boost your daily intake of vitamin C as well as other antioxidants.
Last, but not least, consumption of cranberry juice is beneficial before or after exercise. Sugars in cranberry juice will give you extra energy before a workout, and promote glycogen replenishment after exercise. Additionally, polyphenols and vitamin C neutralize exercise-induced free radicals, promoting muscle recovery, while its excellent electrolyte content supports hydration.
How much cranberry juice should you drink a day?
As a rule of thumb, a daily dose of 8 oz of cranberry juice is enough. The daily recommended dose of 200 mL of cranberry juice has only 100 calories. But, it has about 60 mg of vitamin C, 200 mg of potassium, and above all, it’s packed with antioxidants. It’ll help you lose weight, burn fat, and boost your immune system!
Certainly, you could drink up to 2 cups a day (480 mL) to significantly increase your plasma antioxidant capacity and protect your heart.
This daily dose won’t make you fat. On the contrary, if you’re on a caloric deficit, you’ll lose weight.
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Keep in mind that the consumption of high amounts of cranberry juice (about 1-2 L a day), for an extended time period (over 3 weeks) may interact with certain medications, such as warfarin. You should consult your health care provider, if you take medications.
What’s the best beverage to drink before bed?
The best beverage to drink before bed to help you relax and improve sleep quality is chamomile tea. It’s packed with antioxidants and can help relieve stress and anxiety. Add lemon juice to further boost your vitamin C and total antioxidant intake, with only a few calories.
Moreover, you could drink beverages rich in melatonin before bed to sleep better at night. Red wine, apple juice, and tart cherry juice are common beverages high in melatonin. You should prefer the Merlot wine, though. It’s particularly high in melatonin.