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Oatmeal has always been the breakfast choice of health nuts everywhere. Recently, it seems to also want to jump into the beverage market. Oat milk burst on the scene around 2015 and has become nearly as common as soy or almond milk.
But now another oat beverage is trending- oat water. Oat water, also known as oatmeal water, has gained significant attention in recent years as a healthy, low-calorie drink that some claim can help you “lose weight” or “lower cholesterol”.
So, should you turn your oatmeal into oat water? I looked into this trend to see what is real and if you should add it to your beverage list.
What is Oat Water?
Oat water is a drink made by soaking oats in water for a few hours or overnight. Fans say this allows the nutrients from the oats to be absorbed into the water. After soaking, the solid oatmeal is strained from the liquid. It’s sort of like overnight oats, but without the solid oatmeal.
In one recipe I found, the solid oats are blended and added back to the water then more water is added. Oat water is similar to Mexican horchata, which is made with rice and not oatmeal. In Spanish, oat water is called Agua de Avena.
Oat water is a way to enjoy a nutritious, milky liquid while retaining some of the nutrients and fiber of consuming oatmeal. Since it is watered-down oatmeal, it would be lower in calories than eating solid oatmeal, while still being high in fiber.
Benefits of Oatmeal Water
Oatmeal water has some potential health benefits, but also a few downsides. Keep in mind that the purported oat water benefits are actually those of raw oats, as there isn’t any research on the water itself.
Some of the potential health benefits include:
Good source of fiber and micronutrients
Oats are a good source of many nutrients, including fiber, magnesium, potassium, and iron. But since the oat water is strained and then blended, it is hard to say how much of these nutrients remain once the liquid is discarded. Some nutrients are water soluble and may dissolve once the oats are soaked and the liquid removed.
The soluble fiber in oat water may contribute to digestive health. This type of fiber acts as a prebiotic, feeding the beneficial bacteria in the gut and promoting a healthy gut environment. Eating foods high in soluble fiber, like oats, can help with improving overall digestive health which may relieve common digestive issues such as constipation.
But the amount of fiber that will be left in the oat water can vary on the way it is prepared, therefore it will be hard to gauge how much fiber you are actually getting in the drink. Also, since the oats are diluted by water, the drink will contain less fiber than a cup of oatmeal would.
Drinking more fluids can also help with digestion. Oat water is a tasty way to get in a bit more hydration. Dehydration has been linked to an increased risk of constipation, as fluid is needed to help fiber move through the digestive system.
Oats are a source of both soluble fiber and another type of fiber called beta-glucan that has been shown to lower cholesterol. The beta-glucan in oats helps lower LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol) and prevent plaque build-up in the arteries.
Eating oatmeal may also translate to lower oxidative stress in the body, a risk factor for heart disease.
But do these benefits also pertain to oat water? While many of the benefits of oats likely also apply to oat water, it is hard to say exactly how adding this beverage to your daily routine would improve your heart health.
One of the reasons why oat water is “trending” is because of the potential weight loss benefits. Mixing oatmeal with water does lower the overall calorie content. If you chose to drink oat water instead of eating a bowl of oatmeal, this could lead to weight loss.
Additionally, foods high in fiber and water help you feel full longer. The soluble fiber, beta-glucan, forms a gel-like substance in the stomach, slowing down digestion and the absorption of nutrients, which in turn helps to control blood sugar levels and prevent cravings. Adding a glass of oat water to a meal may help you eat less at meals.
Drinking oat water instead of sugar or juice can help reduce calories as well. But, many recipes online add in a bunch of sweeteners to make it more palatable. If you are looking to lose weight with oatmeal water, consider using stevia, cinnamon, or nutmeg to add flavor instead of sugar.
Should you try oat water?
Is oatmeal water a trend you should try? While it is a versatile and nutrient-dense drink that offers a plethora of possible health benefits, including weight loss support, improved digestion, and heart health, many of the claims should be taken lightly. The research on the health benefits of raw oats may not apply to drinking diluted oats.
That being said, if you like the taste or just want a beverage that is lower in sugar, it is worth trying. Just be aware if you add honey, sugar, or condensed milk the calories will add up quickly and it will turn into a dessert instead of a health drink.
Want to learn more about the hottest food trends for 2023? Check out our food trend roundup.