Does Orange Juice make you fat?

An 8 oz glass of homemade orange juice a day won’t make you fat, as it has only 110 calories. Especially if consumed in the morning or around exercise.

But we should be very mindful of portion sizes. Drinking too much can make you gain weight. Sugar in orange juice can lead to overeating.

Orange Juice can make you Gain Weight

An 8 oz glass of orange juice has about 110 calories. Hence, it won’t make you fat if consumed as part of a well-balanced diet. Even a large 12 oz glass of orange juice has fewer than 170 calories.

On the other hand, commercial juices may have significantly more calories. So, people who follow a sedentary life and drink more than two glasses of orange juice a day could gain weight.

Orange juice is high in Sugar

Orange juice contains only 0.2 grams of fat and 0.7 grams of protein per 100g. Its calories come mainly from sugars. It contains about 8.4 grams of sugar per 100g. A glass of orange juice has about 21 grams of sugar! This dose is 84% of the maximum safe daily intake.

Sugar naturally present in fruit juices is considered “added sugar”. High amounts of added sugar increase the risk of obesity![1]

Even a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice contains too much sugar. Commercial orange juice may contain a higher sugar content.

Sugar may lead to overeating because it affects the reward system of the brain. It makes us constantly seek more.

100g8 oz
water (g)88.3219
protein (g)0.71.74
fat (g)0.20.5
carbs (g)10.426
sugars (g)8.421
calcium (mg)1127.3
iron (mg)0.20.5
magnesium (mg)1127
phosphorus (mg)1742
potassium (mg)200500
zinc (mg)0.050.12
copper (mg)0.040.1
selenium (mcg)0.10.25
vitamin C (mg)50124
lutein &
zeaxanthin (mcg)
Nutritional value of Orange Juice.[2]

Despite its relatively high calorie and sugar content, drinking orange juice in moderation supports weight loss. It has a great nutritional value.

Can I drink orange juice if I'm dieting?Pin

It has a medium Glycemic Load

Furthermore, according to the University of Sydney, a serving size of orange juice (8 oz glass) has a glycemic load of 12. It means that a glass of orange juice won’t spike your blood sugar. On the other hand, eating foods with a high glycemic load (more than 20) has been linked to a high risk of obesity![3]

Even so, we should avoid consuming orange juice with other sugar-rich foods if we want to lose weight.

But drinking orange juice while enjoying your favorite candy may have detrimental effects on your body weight.

If you want to lose weight, prefer consuming foods with a low glycemic load (less than 10), such as whole oranges. They have a glycemic load of 5.

Orange juice or whole orange for weight loss?


In any case, a glass of orange juice won’t keep you full for a long time, as it’s poor in fiber.

Fiber supports weight loss. It expands in the stomach, promoting satiety. Also, fiber slows down digestion. Hence, fiber controls appetite and prevents cravings for fattening foods.

On the other hand, whole oranges have a decent amount of fiber. They contain 2.4 grams of fiber per 100g. A medium orange provides 3.6 grams of fiber or 10% DV.

Fiber is essential for good health. High fiber intake has been linked to a significantly lower risk of developing coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, certain gastrointestinal diseases, high blood pressure and serum cholesterol levels. It improves insulin sensitivity and enhances immune function![4]

Moreover, fiber contributes to healthy gut microbiota, which is crucial for good health. Gut microbiota protects the body from chronic inflammations, improves metabolic processes, and promotes weight loss, due to the regulation of appetite![5]

Benefits of drinking orange juice for weight loss

Drinking reasonable amounts of orange juice, as part of a hypocaloric diet for weight loss, is actually good for maintaining a lean body! It doesn’t make you gain weight, even if it’s packed in sugar.

Vitamin C

Above all, orange juice is the richest fruit juice in vitamin C. An 8 oz glass contains more vitamin C than the recommended daily intake! Vitamin C is vital for weight loss, though.[6]

Hydrates the body

Additionally, drinking a glass of orange juice in the morning is a great way to hydrate the body. It contains about 220 grams of water and many electrolytes. You need to stay well-hydrated to burn belly fat.


Orange juice has only 0.2 mg of iron per 100g. A glass of freshly squeezed orange juice contains about 0.5 mg of iron or almost 3% DV.

Although orange juice is low in iron, it substantially contributes to maintaining high iron levels. Vitamin C is vital for maintaining high levels of iron. It significantly increases iron absorption! Especially from plant-based sources.[7]

There are other fruit juices naturally high in iron that you could combine with orange juice.


Furthermore, orange juice is a great source of antioxidants. Vitamin C and carotenoids, such as lutein and zeaxanthin have a powerful antioxidant action. Actually, orange juice has 72 mg of antioxidants per 100g. It’s one of the richest common foods in antioxidants.

Eating foods high in antioxidants is important for weight loss. Above all, antioxidants fight chronic low-grade inflammation, which may lead to obesity. A well-balanced diet with plenty of antioxidant-rich foods prevents obesity and helps lose weight.[8]

Orange juice contains alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin. A glass of freshly squeezed orange juice contains about 420 mcg beta-cryptoxanthin, 82 mcg beta-carotene, and only 15 mcg alpha-carotene.[9]

Carotenoids in a glass of orange juice are equivalent to 25 mcg of vitamin A. A glass can provide us with only 3% DV.

Drink Orange with Carrot Juice

Vitamin A is well-known for protecting your vision and skin. Although orange juice contains low amounts of vitamin A, it’s beneficial for the eyes, as they’re particularly high in vitamin C.

Vitamin C is crucial for your eyesight. Vitamin C regenerates other potent antioxidants, like vitamin E. Also, it may prevent or delay eye diseases, such as cataracts.[10,11]

Moreover, getting high doses of both vitamin A and vitamin C is more beneficial for the eye. So, you could drink fruit juices high in vitamin A, like carrot juice with fruit juices high in vitamin C, like orange juice to protect your eyesight.[12]

May protect against Saggy skin

Rapid or significant weight loss in a short period can have negative effects on skin elasticity and collagen.

During weight gain, the skin stretches to accommodate the increased body size. Collagen and elastin fibers, which provide skin structure and elasticity, are also stretched. When weight loss happens too quickly, these fibers don’t have enough time to retract and shrink back to their original size. This can lead to loose, sagging skin, especially in areas that have lost a significant amount of fat.

Collagen is a protein that gives skin its structure, firmness, and youthful appearance. The body naturally produces collagen, but this production decreases with age. It’s the most abundant protein in the body.

Orange juice helps the body synthesize more collagen. Vitamin C is a key factor for collagen synthesis. Besides vitamin C, many other vitamins and minerals are necessary for the natural production of collagen.

May relieve Constipation

Being constipated means stool accumulates in your intestines. This can lead to bloating and a feeling of being heavier, even if you haven’t actually gained weight.

When stool sits in your intestines for a long time, your body might not absorb nutrients as efficiently. This can lead to feelings of fatigue and hinder your ability to exercise effectively, potentially impacting weight loss efforts.

Chronic constipation can be uncomfortable and frustrating. It might affect your motivation to stick to a healthy diet and exercise routine, which are crucial for weight loss.

Chronic constipation affects up to 20% of the population![13]

There are 3 types of constipation:

  • slow-transit constipation
  • dysfunctional constipation that is treated with biofeedback and medications
  • constipation-predominant irritable bowel syndrome or IBS

Fiber in orange could relieve constipation. High fiber intake is vital for proper bowel movement and it’s beneficial for a number of gastrointestinal disorders, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, duodenal ulcer, hemorrhoids, diverticulitis, and constipation.[14]

There are 2 types of dietary fiber: insoluble and soluble. Oranges contain both types of fiber: 40% is insoluble fiber and 60% is soluble fiber. Soluble fiber dissolves in the water. It makes stools gelatinous. It makes the passage of stools easier. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to the stool, alleviating constipation.[15]

Moreover, vitamin C may play a role in relieving constipation. According to a study, constipated children had significantly lower intakes of dietary fiber as well as vitamin C![16]

It’s better to take vitamin C from food rather than dietary supplements. Vitamin C supplements may cause gastrointestinal disturbances due to the osmotic effect of unabsorbed vitamin C in the gastrointestinal tract.[17]

Dehydration is another common reason for constipation. People who have a hard time drinking water could consume fruits.

What’s the best time to drink orange juice for weight loss?

At Breakfast

The best time to drink a glass of orange juice for weight loss is in the morning. Orange juice hydrates and increases the antioxidant status of the body. Vitamin C and other antioxidant compounds fight oxidative stress in the body due to air pollution, sun radiation, smoking etc.[18,19,20]

However, you shouldn’t only drink orange juice at breakfast. You have to drink orange juice only after consuming a fiber-rich meal, such as oatmeal or whole cereals, to keep your cravings under control. You could add some protein to your oatmeal for increased satiety. Foods high in protein, fiber, and water are the most filling.[21]

After the Gym

Another great time to drink orange juice for weight loss is before, during, or after strenuous exercise. Sugar provides energy to the body or replenishes muscle glycogen stores! The muscles need high amounts of sugar to function properly.

Orange juice is about 30% glucose, 30% fructose, and 40% sucrose.[22]

Glucose can instantly be used for energy by muscle cells. On the other hand, fructose has to be metabolized in the liver. Therefore, it’ll be used for energy. So, drinking orange juice before a workout provides steady levels of energy during exercise.

Furthermore, orange juice is a great post-workout beverage. Sugars in orange juice can quickly replenish the depleted glycogen stores, accelerating muscle recovery.

In addition, vitamin C in orange juice can neutralize exercise-induced free radicals. Vitamin C is beneficial for muscle recovery.

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What’s the worst time to drink orange juice?

Certainly, the worst time of the day to drink orange juice is in the evening or late at night. The human body can’t store sugar as muscle glycogen as efficiently in the evening. Thus, a high percentage of sugars in orange juice is stored as body fat when consumed at night! Especially, if we drink orange juice with a fatty meal.[23]

You could drink up a glass of orange juice a couple of hours before bedtime, though. It supports a good night’s sleep.

Is Orange the healthiest fruit for a Lean Body?

All fruits have beneficial effects on your weight-loss journey. Consuming a variety of fruits is good for weight loss and health.

Vitamin C

Orange has the least vitamin C compared to other citrus fruits. Pomelo has the highest vitamin C content among citrus fruits with 61 mg per 100g. Lime, lemon, grapefruit, and mandarine contain more vitamin C than orange as well.


Oranges have a moderate fiber content as compared to other favorite fruits. Bananas and apples have a similar fiber content as oranges!

Avocado is the richest common fruit in fiber and plays a beneficial role in weight management.

(grams per 100g)
Fiber in favorite fruits.

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