How To Make Barley Water For Weight Loss – Benefits And Recipes

Written by , MSc (Nutrition), CDE Priyanka Sadhukhan MSc (Nutrition), CDE linkedin_icon Experience: 8 years
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Losing weight requires the determination to eat healthy and sacrifice processed foods. That is why you should start drinking barley water for weight loss.

Barley is a whole grain that is high in fiber and packed up with other essential micro nutrients (1). It is claimed to help in losing weight.

In this article, we will go through how to make barley water for weight loss and why you should include this pearl grain in your diet. Keep scrolling!

How Barley Water Helps In Losing Weight

1. Loaded With Fiber

100 g of barley contains 4g of fiber, which is important to add bulk to the diet (1).

Barley contains the soluble fiber, 𝜷-glucan, that absorbs water to form a gel-like substance. This, in turn, reduces cholesterol and fat absorption in the small intestine, resulting in weight loss (2), (3).

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that supplementation of isolated soluble fiber helps reduce body weight, BMI, and body fat (4).

2. Low In Fat

Barley contains a negligible amount of fat, which is important if you are planning to lose some pounds (1).

Multiple studies have shown that a low-fat diet is beneficial in losing weight (5).

3. Keeps You Away From Junk Foods

Barley is packed with fiber that provides satiety (the feeling of fullness) and curbs hunger (1), (6).

A full glass of barley water helps keep you away from processed, fried foods. You won’t feel like binging on greasy snacks after drinking barley water.

So, before heading to a party, drink a glass of barley water to continue on your weight loss journey.

4. May Improve Digestion

The 𝜷-glucan present in barley is prebiotic. Prebiotics digestion by regulating bowel movement (7).

The soluble fiber in barley holds water in the large intestine, making the stool soft and easing elimination (8).

Good digestion leads to the elimination of toxins, which may also aid weight loss.

Now that you know how barley water aids weight loss, let’s check out how you can prepare it at home.

How To Prepare Barley Water At Home For Weight Loss

How To Prepare Barley Water At Home For Weight Loss
Image: Shutterstock

It is best to drink homemade barley water as store-bought barley water is loaded with sugar and artificial preservatives.

Serves – 2, Preparation Time – 4 hrs, Cooking Time – 30 min, Total Time – 4 hrs 30 min


  • ¼ cup pearl barley
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon rock salt or Himalayan pink salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (or as per taste)

How To Prepare

  1. Wash barley thoroughly and soak it in water for at least 6-8 hours. Soaking not only softens the barley pearls but also helps in digestion and reduces bloating.
  2. Drain the soaked barley and wash it with fresh water.
  3. Pour the 3 cups of water in a saucepan and add the barley. Boil it until it becomes soft.
  4. Strain the barley water and let it cool. Add some lemon juice and a pinch of black salt as per your taste.

How To Use Barley Water For Weight Loss

You can drink barley water at any time of the day. Barley itself is a great substitute for rice as it is more flavorful than white rice. It also contains lots of fiber. It makes for a good side dish or salad accompaniment. Since it is a weight-loss super food, it can be used as a morning cereal with milk or fruit juices.

How Much Barley Water To Drink In A Day

You can drink 2 glasses (250-300 ml) of barley water in a day. Make sure that you also follow a healthy diet and exercise regularly to lose weight.

Besides barley water, there are plenty of other dishes that you can make with this grain. Check a few of them out below.

Barley Recipes For Weight Loss

1. Barley Soup

Barley Soup
Image: Shutterstock

Serves – 3, Preparation Time – 10 min, Cooking Time – 20 min, Total Time – 30 min


  • ¾ cup pearl barley
  • 1 celery stick, finely diced
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup carrots, finely diced
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 2-3 garlic pods, finely chopped
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup spring onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How To Prepare

  1. Heat oil in a pan and add the chopped ginger and garlic. Sauté it for 30-40 secondsuntil a pleasant aroma is released.
  2. Add the chopped onion and sauté it till it becomes translucent.
  3. Add all the other ingredients except spring onion.
  4. Add water and bring it to boil.
  5. Let the soup simmer on low heat for 30 minutes till the barley turns soft.
  6. Serve the barley soup hot and garnished with spring onion.

2. Barley Salad

Barley Salad
Image: Shutterstock

Serves – 2, Preparation Time – 10 min, Cooking Time – 10 min, Total Time – 20 min


  • 1 cup cooked barley
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 English cucumber, diced
  • ⅓ cup parsley leaves, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How To Prepare

  1. Toss the tomatoes, cucumber, and barley in a mixing bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  3. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss it well.

3. Barley Kanji

Barley Kanji
Image: IStock

Serves – 2, Preparation Time – 6-8 hours, Cooking Time – 20 min, Total Time – 8 hrs 20 min


  • 1 cup pearl barley (soaked overnight)
  • 4-5 cups water
  • Salt or brown sugar as per taste

How To Prepare

  1. Wash the soaked barley under running water and drained off the excess liquid.
  2. Boil the barley in 3-4 cups of water until it becomes soft.
  3. Grind the soft-cooked barley and let it cool.
  4. In a saucepan, add some more water and the barley paste.
  5. Stir it well until there are no lumps. Bring it to a boil for a few minutes.
  6. Serve cool or hot barley kanji for weight loss.

Yes, barley water is great for weight loss. However, it also provides some other great health benefits. Check them out below!

Other Health Benefits Of Barley Water

  1. Barley water helps lower cholesterol levels and improve heart health (9), (10).
  2. Whole-grain barley water helps lower blood pressure (11).
  3. Barley has a low glycemic index. Thus, barley extract or water helps lower blood glucose levels (12), (13).
  4. It prevents the formation of gallstones (14).


Barley water is a great option to kick start your weight loss journey. Drink it between meals to stay hydrated and satisfy your stomach. But, remember – you still need to maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly to lose weight the healthy way and sustain the weight loss.


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  1. US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. “Nutritive value of Barley, pearled, cooked.”
  2. Drozdowski, Laurie A., et al. “β-Glucan extracts inhibit the in vitro intestinal uptake of long-chain fatty acids and cholesterol and down-regulate genes involved in lipogenesis and lipid transport in rats.” The Journal of nutritional biochemistry 21.8 (2010): 695-701.
  3. Bozzetto, Lutgarda, et al. “Dietary fibre as a unifying remedy for the whole spectrum of obesity-associated cardiovascular risk.” Nutrients 10.7 (2018): 943.
  4. Thompson, Sharon V., et al. “Effects of isolated soluble fiber supplementation on body weight, glycemia, and insulinemia in adults with overweight and obesity: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 106.6 (2017): 1514-1528.
  5. Astrup, A., et al. “The role of low-fat diets in body weight control: a meta-analysis of ad libitum dietary intervention studies.” International journal of obesity 24.12 (2000): 1545-1552.
  6. Poutanen, Kaisa S., et al. “A review of the characteristics of dietary fibers relevant to appetite and energy intake outcomes in human intervention trials.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 106.3 (2017): 747-754.
  7. Cummings, John H., George T. Macfarlane, and Hans N. Englyst. “Prebiotic digestion and fermentation.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 73.2 (2001): 415s-420s.
  8. McRorie Jr, Johnson W., and Nicola M. McKeown. “Understanding the physics of functional fibers in the gastrointestinal tract: an evidence-based approach to resolving enduring misconceptions about insoluble and soluble fiber.” Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 117.2 (2017): 251-264.
  9. Talati, Ripple, et al. “The effects of barley-derived soluble fiber on serum lipids.” The Annals of Family Medicine 7.2 (2009): 157-163.
  10. Shimizu, Chikako, et al. “Association of lifelong intake of barley diet with healthy aging: Changes in physical and cognitive functions and intestinal microbiome in senescence-accelerated mouse-prone 8 (samp8).” Nutrients 11.8 (2019): 1770.
  11. Behall, Kay M., Daniel J. Scholfield, and Judith Hallfrisch. “Whole-grain diets reduce blood pressure in mildly hypercholesterolemic men and women.” Journal of the American Dietetic Association 106.9 (2006): 1445-1449.
  12. Minaiyan, M., et al. “Effect of Hordeum vulgare L.(Barley) on blood glucose levels of normal and STZ-induced diabetic rats.” Research in pharmaceutical sciences 9.3 (2014): 173.
  13. Tosh, S. M. “Review of human studies investigating the post-prandial blood-glucose lowering ability of oat and barley food products.” European journal of clinical nutrition 67.4 (2013): 310-317.
  14. Zhang, JIE‐XIAN, et al. “The influence of barley fibre on bile composition, gallstone formation, serum cholesterol and intestinal morphology in hamsters.” Apmis 98.1‐6 (1990): 568-574.

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Priyanka Sadhukhan
Priyanka SadhukhanNutritionist, CDE
Priyanka is a nutritionist and a Certified Diabetes Educator. She has over 8 years of experience in nutrition and dietetics with a strong research background. She is passionate about science and how it can be applied to one’s daily lifestyle.

Read full bio of Priyanka Sadhukhan