Rice Water For Weight Loss Hack From TikTok Legit? Hell No

Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT
Published by Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer
Last updated: March 19, 2024
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I've worked as a fitness consultant for many years researching and trying various weight loss programs, practices and techniques.

The rice water diet has gone completely viral online recently, and l took time to find out if the substance really affected weight management.

Digested rice is essentially starch, which can affect blood sugar levels and lead to weight gain.

So how can rice water have the opposite effect?

Before trying the remedy yourself, find out if the hype is real. Read on, you might be surprised.

Quick Summary

  • Drinking rice water might aid in weight loss by enhancing metabolism, but it's not a magic hack for belly fat you might be led to believe.
  • Rice water's potential to improve digestion and metabolic rates may contribute to an increase in calorie burning, and is a source of B vitamins and magnesium.
  • Research published in PubMed suggests that rice water can improve digestion and increase calorie burning, potentially contributing to weight management.
  • In my opinion, adding rice water into your diet can provide a subtle energy boost and support weight loss efforts, but only if prepared the right way.

Does Rice Water Help With Weight Loss?

Rice water in a glass

Rice water may help with weight loss because it contains essential vitamins and minerals, such as iron, magnesium, zinc, and B vitamins, which promote a more efficient metabolism [1].

I've tried it myself and, let me tell you, it subtly revved up my energy levels.

A peppy metabolism means more energy for better workouts, which could help you shed pounds and keep them off. Plus, it's a staple in Asian diets, where it's teamed up with fruits, veggies, soy, and green tea to keep weight in check.

Now, making rice water? You've got two ways: soak the dry grains and use that water, or boil the rice and use the leftover starchy water. Each method brings its own nutritional punch to your weight loss arsenal.

How Does Rice Water Promote Weight Loss?

Rice water in bowl

Having experimented with rice water, I found it to potentially promote weight loss by enhancing digestion, boosting metabolism, and improving performance.

Improves Digestion

From my experience, rice water has aided my digestion, especially during times of stomach upset.

According to the study in PubMed, the essential minerals like zinc and magnesium it contains are crucial for breaking down food into smaller molecules for easier absorption [2].

By efficiently breaking down carbohydrates, fats, and proteins into simpler constituents, the body expends energy, resulting in more calorie burning or a higher thermic effect of food [3]. 

Increases Metabolism

Having consumed rice water regularly, I believe it may have enhanced my metabolism, thanks to the B vitamins such as thiamine, which, according to PubMed, are essential for nutrient absorption and utilization [4].

During this process, the cells use calories from food intake to generate and release energy for normal bodily functions, ultimately resulting in weight loss.

Boosts Physical Performance

Rice water can improve physical performance by providing more energy, allowing you to work out with more stamina and endurance, which enables you to further lose weight faster.

Also, it can maintain hydration and electrolyte balance. It has been shown that hydration plays a vital role in enhancing the mental and muscular coordination needed during exercise for weight loss [5].

Are There Any Other Health Benefits to Drinking It?

Drinking cooked rice water has been a game-changer for me, especially for easing upset stomachs, nausea, and vomiting. I've seen its effects myself.

"The leftover starch after making rice is full of nutrients. It has Vitamin B, Vitamin C and a whole lot of minerals which are beneficial for your body. So, it's not sensible to throw away the liquid which is so nourishing."

- Shilpa Arora, Macrobiotic Health Coach & Nutritionist

PubMed research shows it's also great for tackling diarrhea, as it cuts down on bowel movements and fights dehydration by restoring essential minerals [6].

Moreover, this weight loss tool has been proven to promote healthy skin and hair by providing amino acids, minerals, and antioxidants which slow down cell aging [7].

Plus, rice water isn't just about losing weight. It's a powerhouse of energy, loaded with carbs and fiber, which are key for keeping your digestion smooth and maintaining overall health and a balanced weight.

What About Side Effects?

Woman drinking on a glass of fruit juice

While I didn’t experience any adverse effects, it's worth noting that due to its arsenic content, excessive consumption of cooked rice water may lead to side effects like heart issues and nerve damage.

The arsenic is believed to originate from farming chemicals and irrigation supplies used in rice cultivation [8].

Additionally, the starchy nature and high carbohydrate content of rice water may increase blood sugar levels, potentially worsening diabetes in some individuals [9].


How to Make Rice Water to Drink?

You need to boil one cup of rice in four to five cups of water to make rice water to drink. First, bring rice and water to a boil over medium to high heat. Then, cook for another 20 minutes on low heat. When the water turns milky white, strain it and allow it to cool before drinking.

Can You Drink Rice Water Every Day?

You can drink cooked rice water every day because it contains carbs, vitamins to lose belly fat and minerals that will keep you going all day. Also, drinking a cup of rice water as part of a weight loss plan can keep you hydrated and help your muscles work more efficiently.


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6814158/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2411204/
  3. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07315724.2018.1552544 
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30074168/
  5. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/03/210318101536.htm
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12290546/
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21449379/
  8. https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2021/10/15/rice-arsenic-risk-children-amount/
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4579564/
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About The Author

Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer
Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Holistic Nutrition from Clayton College of Natural Health and is the owner of Taylor Made Fitness. Her philosophy centers on cutting through the hype and misinformation surrounding dietary supplements, focusing instead on practical, science-backed strategies for health and weight loss.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Kristy June Dayanan, BS, MD is an author with a BS degree from University of the Philippines and an MD from University of Perpetual Help System. Her ability to simplify medical science complexities and dietary supplement jargon for the average reader makes her a valued medical fact checker and reviewer.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD is a published peer-reviewed author and renowned physician from India with over a decade of experience. With her MBBS from Bharati Vidyapeeth and an MD from Rajiv Gandhi University, she actively ensures the accuracy of online dietary supplement and medical information by reviewing and fact-checking health publications.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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