As a fruit juice, you’d think orange juice would be healthy, after all it does provide a generous helping of vitamin C.
However, if you’re not careful orange juice might mess with your diet and have an effect on your weight.
While orange juice in moderation shouldn’t lead to weight gain, you have to be careful about drinking too much. The potential problem with orange juice is the high sugar content, which spikes blood sugar levels and increase sugary food cravings.
When you’re trying to maintain or even lose weight, it can be hard to know which foods and drinks you should avoid.
Generally speaking, it rings true that everything is fine in moderation.
With that said, not all calories are equal, as a stem of broccoli is much better for you than a candy can even if they were to contain a similar number of calories.
With regards to fruit juice like orange juice, you wouldn’t think that it would have much effect on your weight either way. While this might be true for the most part, you still have to be careful.
The problem with fruit juices is that they can be high in calories and sugar.
Orange juice in particular is especially high in sugar, with around 2.6g of sugar in every fluid ounce of liquid.
In most cases, for a diet it’s best to stick to the raw fruit than opting for the store-bought fruit juice.
Because the raw fruit will have a lower sugar content, and will also contain more fiber. Fiber is great for maintaining or losing weight because it will keep you fuller for longer and keep your digestion system working well.
Sure, you get similar benefits from drinking a glass of orange juice, and it is undeniably more convenient, but there’s also the extra helping of sugar to consider.
In this guide we’ll address the relationship between orange juice and weight gain to see if there’s anything you need to worry about.
The most concerning aspect of orange juice when it comes to diet is the sugar content.
While in most cases the sugar in a glass of orange juice will be naturally-occurring, this still doesn’t mean it’s ok.
For one, orange juice is incredibly easy to drink in large quantities which is a problem you shouldn’t have with the fruit.
Plus, you don’t have the same fiber content as you would with the raw fruit, which is another factor we’ll get to shortly.
Sugar isn’t just bad for your teeth, it raises your blood sugar or blood glucose levels rapidly.
What effect does this have on the body?
The increase in blood sugar causes your body to try and expel the sugar as soon as possible, since it can be potentially dangerous for your organs and the tissue in the body.
The sudden spike in blood glucose sets alarm bells ringing in the pancreas, which reacts by releasing a large amount of insulin in the body. This influx of insulin will allow the body to transport the sugar in the blood to the cells, which means you will be able to use it for energy.
So where’s the problem?
Well, the extra energy boost comes at a cost. If your body doesn’t need to expend a lot of the energy because you aren’t engaging in physical activity (which you probably won’t be as you down a glass of orange juice) then you will store the excess sugar as fat.
Needless to say, if you do this often enough, you could end up gaining weight since you will be storing a lot of fat which you aren’t burning unless you do a lot of exercise to counteract the process.
As you might have already figured, this problem can largely be averted if you can stick to a strict exercise routine, or if you only drink orange juice from time to time so as not to make it a problem.
Another key issue with orange juice is the lack of a core macronutrient: fiber.
You might be wondering what fiber has to do with weight gain and orange juice, but the answer is relatively straightforward.
Orange juice retains all of the naturally occurring sugar that comes from the fruit, but barely any of the fiber because this comes from the skin.
Fiber is great for preventing excess weight gain because it will make you feel more full, and perhaps more importantly, help your body to sufficiently digest the sugar.
That’s why eating an orange is much better for you than drinking a glass of orange juice, because it has everything in it that nature intended while the juice has a core component removed from it.
The body metabolizes fruit juice incredibly quickly, and as we’ve already seen the sugar isn’t always put to good use which can lead to unwanted weight gain.
Again, this problem can largely be resolved by consumption in moderation, or by choosing the orange over orange juice whenever possible.
Now that we’ve established that orange juice could be loosely correlated to weight gain, let’s take a look at some of the alternatives which should satisfy your cravings.
One of the best ways to successfully stick to a diet is by choosing the healthy option whenever possible, so here are some examples:
Water with Orange
While it will taste bland to those who are used to the sugary sweet taste of store-bought orange juice, if you’re serious about losing weight try drinking water with a squeeze of orange juice in it.
We don’t mean a drop of store-bought orange juice either, but juice from a fresh orange.
You can even garnish the water with a wedge of orange for a drink that looks the part. Or, if you prefer, you can switch out the orange for lemon juice which comes with its own benefits.
Ok, definitely not the same thing, but hear us out.
Green tea has been proven to help with weight loss across countless studies, so if you’re in it for the long term it might be worth considering.
If you enjoy tea then it should be a no-brainer, but if you’re not a fan of the hot drink you might like to try flavored green tea as there are so many options available.
Frequently Asked Questions About OJ and Weight Gain
Does drinking orange juice make you gain weight?
While drinking a glass of orange juice a day isn’t likely to cause you to put on pounds, if you don’t consume it in moderation you could run into some issues with weight gain.
The problem with orange juice isn’t that it’s full of calories like beer, but that it comes with an extraordinarily high amount of sugar.
Sugar isn’t just bad for your teeth, it can also contribute to high blood sugar levels and lead to weight gain in the long term.
Is Orange Juice Good for Weight Loss?
If you’re actively trying to limit your calorie intake, then orange juice isn’t the worst drink to consume to help with your weight loss goals.
The one thing you have to be careful with is drinking the juice in moderation, due to the high amount of sugar in it.
If you drink too much orange juice it can spike your blood sugar and might even contribute to unwanted weight gain.
Is it bad to drink orange juice everyday?
As every doctor and nutritionist will tell you, most foods and drinks are fine when consumed in moderation.
Orange juice is no exception.
While it can be a great source of vitamin C, it can also contain a lot of sugar, so no you shouldn’t really be drinking more than a glass of orange juice a day.
A Final Word From Energetic Lifestyle
Orange juice can cause you to gain weight or help you lose weight, it all depends on you.
If you consume it in moderation, you don’t have anything to worry about, but if you can it’s best to eat the fruit rather than the juice to avoid the extra sugar.