7 Best Drinks For Arthritis

If you could sip a beverage that relieves the symptoms of arthritis with no side effects, would you do it? Of course! Not only is arthritis extremely uncomfortable, it also puts you at greater risk for things like heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes.

We tend to think of food as the critical component in naturally reducing the inflammation pain that plagues arthritis sufferers, but what you drink is actually just as relevant as what you eat.

For starters, hydration is super important for keeping joints lubricated and allowing for adequate blood flow. The drinks on our list also have also added nutritional benefits that make them great for reducing inflammation.

Feeling thirsty yet? Here are the 7 best drinks to chug regularly if you have arthritis.

1. Red Wine

Surprise! You thought we were going to tell you to stay away from alcohol, but red wine can actually be good for people with arthritis. The reason is a compound called resveratrol that has been shown to have strong anti-inflammatory properties. Drinking a glass or two on the regular can actually reduce the risk of developing osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis in the first place.

However, too much wine or alcohol of any kind will cause rather than prevent inflammation. It is also quite dehydrating, so you need to follow up with water whenever you consume alcohol.

Stick to one glass per day if you’re a woman and two if you’re a man (no fair). And, be aware that resveratrol is also present in red grapes – they don’t need to be fermented to be beneficial.

2. Water

Since we mentioned needing to up your water intake when you drink alcohol, let’s look a little deeper at how water helps all on its own. Our bodies are approximately 70% water, and it is necessary for every bodily process.

If you are dehydrated, your body isn’t as effective at flushing out toxins that can fuel inflammation. Water also helps cushion your joints; in fact, some types of arthritis are related to inadequate cushioning where two bones meet.

Try to drink around 2 liters per day of freshly filtered tap water. Skip the fancy vitamin waters as they can’t deliver nutrients as effectively as food, and often have added sugar. Bottled waters are not worth the markup and are often pulled from municipal sources, the same as your tap.

3. Tart Cherry Juice

Your doctor may advise against drinking much juice if you have arthritis because it is full of sugar, which is inflammatory, and has no fiber to slow the absorption of that sugar into your bloodstream. There is an exception however. Tart cherry juice has been shown in studies to both reduce osteoarthritis symptoms and the symptoms of gout.

Don’t worry about eating whole fruit, as it has plenty of fiber and nutrients to go along with the natural sugars. Incidentally, a fruit (and its juice) that you might want to avoid is grapefruit. It alters the effects of several different medications, including those commonly prescribed for arthritis.

4. Smoothies

One good way to drink your fruit without negative effects is to blend it into a smoothie. Smoothies tend to be healthier than juice because they retain the fiber of the whole fruit. You can also sneak some vegetables into your smoothie – it’s a great way to disguise the taste.

We recommend eating several servings of fruit each day because it is loaded with antioxidants that can prevent free radical damage, which in turn leads to the dreaded inflammation.

Stay away from adding too much pure juice to your smoothie, but feel free to throw in some yogurt. The probiotics in yogurt help maintain digestive health, also a factor in inflammation.

5. Coffee

This one has some debate around it, but we are comfortable saying that if you already drink coffee, there is no reason to quit. Some studies seem to suggest that coffee increases the risk of osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis, but others find no such link. However, there is evidence that drinking coffee can help you avoid gout.

We also know that coffee contains polyphenols, which are antioxidants that fight inflammation. So if you do enjoy coffee, just drink it in moderation. Most studies indicate that the risks don’t kick in until after 4 cups per day.

6. Tea

Tea, on the other hand, has a sterling reputation. You can drink black, green, or white tea and reap the benefit of inflammation-busting polyphenols. If you are drinking tea specifically for arthritis, the green variety has the most antioxidant power. (White tea leaves come in second place.)

The specific polyphenol in green tea is called epigallocatechin 3-gallate (EGCG), and it is known to protect your cartilage and bones, both crucial elements of joint structure. EGCG is also an astonishing 100x times more powerful than vitamins C and E in terms of antioxidant ability.

7. Milk

There is some question as to whether grown humans should drink milk at all, and it’s true we don’t strictly need it after infancy. But it is quite nutrient rich and offers a good amount of calcium to strengthen bones.

If you have a sensitivity to dairy, it will most likely trouble your arthritis. If not, certain studies indicate that drinking milk can slow the progression of osteoarthritis and prevent gout altogether.

Each of these drinks plays a notable role in reducing inflammation, which is the hallmark of arthritis as well as many other diseases. Incorporating them into your daily diet can help reduce your flare-ups and relieve pain when you do have one.

Simply having enough fluid in your body also plays a part in keeping you limber. The more you can move, the less stiffness you’ll experience as a result of arthritis. So don’t get locked up, get topped up – on healthy beverages – all day long.