Diet and Nutrition

Benefits of Barley Water to Drink Up

When you hear the words barley water, some people may make a connection to beer. But the main difference is that barley water hasn’t gone through a fermentation process, so there’s no alcohol content. It has been consumed by many cultures for centuries.

According to, barley water can be strained or unstrained, and the unstrained version is high in calories, but low in fat. The strained version has fewer calories but also less fiber content, so it’s a trade-off. Either way, let’s get to the 12 benefits of drinking barley water…

1. Internal Cleansing

Without getting into the some of the false promises of popular “cleanses” and diets too much, NDTV Food says that barley water can actually help aid in detoxification through the urinary tract.

The source claims this is made possible by a group of sugars called beta-glucans, which are present in the cell walls of barley. “It therefore helps in cleansing the internal system of the body,” it adds. Other sources note barley water can help your kidneys function optimally, which is the natural way your body “cleanses.”

2. Soothing UTIs is pretty careful about not painting barley water as a cure for a urinary tract infection (UTI), noting, “there is no real, hard scientific evidence that barley in particular is any more effective than any other healthy, naturally brewed tea.”

However, it does says that barley has many health benefits that go beyond its “possible ability” to fight off UTIs, and says it’s a “safe, cheap and healthy option” to help clear your urinary tract with there’s some minor irritation. If you’re dealing with a painful infection, you should see a doctor, it urges.

3. Keeping Things Moving Along lists barley water as a way to keep your digestive system working its finest. This is thanks to its high soluble and insoluble fiber content, and also being alkaline in nature, explains the source.

If you’re dealing with digestive issues such as constipation, hemorrhoids or gastritis, then perhaps barley water is worth a shot. If you’re suffering from diarrhea, barley water can help restore fluids and electrolytes, adds the source.

4. Helps Promote Weight Loss

While barley water can help your digestive system in good health, another benefit of this is that you may lose some weight in the process (if that’s your goal), according to

One way it does this is by making you feel fuller for longer periods of time as it slowly digests, it explains. As we mentioned before, barley water packs many calories, but minimal fat. “These factors can make drinking barley water an effective strategy to stave off hunger and keep you from snacking in between meals,” it adds.

5. Curbs Cholesterol says that drinking barley water or barley tea can “affect your cholesterol levels” – in this case for the better. It says the chemicals in barley (called tocols) apparently help suppress LDL cholesterol (also referred to as “bad” cholesterol).

This isn’t just rooted in pseudoscience; apparently the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has studied and reported on the benefits of barley beta fiber for heart disease and cholesterol, according to Healthline.

6. Boosting Immunity explains that drinking barley water may actually help you ward off illnesses by giving your immune system a helping hand. The source credits this to the high Vitamin C content of barley water – it “may contain double the amount of vitamin C as oranges,” it adds.

Vitamin C helps “buffer” the immune system and can reduce your risk of getting cold or flu, it adds. Barley water also contains iron, which can help ward off anemia (lowered red blood cell production), says the source.

7. A Rock Against Kidney Stones actually lists 8-ways barley water can help cure kidney stones, which has become a much more widespread problem in recent years, according to the source.

Some of the ways barley water apparently eliminates kidney stones is by increasing bladder pressure to flush them out easier, and by helping to regulate pH balance to help keep the stones from forming in the first place, it adds. It also says barley has sufficient Vitamin B6 to break down “the calcium oxalate masses formed inside our kidneys” – after all, kidney stones are basically calcium compounds that haven’t been broken down.

8. Loaded With Goodness

If anything, you could drink barley water just to maintain levels of certain essential vitamins and nutrients. NDTV Food explains barley water is “loaded with essential nutrients,” including the dietary fibers we noted earlier.

However, it says barley water also contains calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, and as was also mentioned earlier, vitamins C and B6. These are all important in maintaining optimal overall health.

9. Downsizes Diabetes

According to, it may be a good idea for those with Type 2 diabetes to consume barley water regularly. “The grain in barley water has all the essential vitamins and minerals, particularly beta-glucan soluble fiber, that slows down glucose absorption,” it explains.

It notes that research points to benefits for insulin-resistant men in lowering both glucose and insulin levels. Losing weight is also important for controlling diabetes, and we’ve already told you that barley water can help with that too.

10. Cancelling Cancer

We’ve notes the immunity boost you can get from regularly consuming barley water, but it turns out it may be effective for more than fighting off common colds and flu – it can aid in the battle against cancer. says “emerging cancer research” suggests barley water may be an ally against cancer, by protecting your colon and also from the ferulic acid content, which apparently can keep tumors from expanding. The source points to a study that found colon cancer cells were stopped from reproducing thanks to the antioxidant properties of barley.

12. Taking it To Heart

While lowering cholesterol is a good thing for your heart, barley water can also prevent a condition called atherosclerosis, which says is the thickening of arterial walls that increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.

The B vitamin that’s responsible for the prevention of this condition is niacin, “thanks to its anti-inflammatory and lipid-altering effects,” it notes. Barley water can also help reduce high blood pressure, which also takes strain off the heart and reduces risk of stroke.

13. Keeping Skin Tight

Can barley water help maintain your youthful appearance? suggests it can by promoting skin elasticity thanks to its selenium content. “This chemical element is known to help preserve skin elasticity which will prevent the skin from loosening,” it explains.

The source says barley water’s antioxidants will also fight free radical damage, “which can be devastating on the skin.” Aside from being a “skin stretcher,” adequate selenium levels can also help reduce risk of cancers of the skin, colon, prostate, stomach, and breasts, it adds.

Jeff Hayward

Jeff Hayward

Jeff has more than 15 years of experience writing professionally about health, travel and the arts among other subjects. He continuously looks to improve his own overall health through exercise, diet and mindfulness. He is also a proud stay-at-home dad that loves taking photographs both professionally and as a hobby.