Lemon water is a popular folk medicine thought to promote weight loss, improve digestion and detox the body.
But is it true? How can a mixture so simple as water with lemon juice bring such health benefits to the body? To make it more potent, some people also add lemon rind, turmeric, honey, or mint leaf to the mix. Some people even start their day with lemon water instead of coffee or tea.
Table of Contents
- Lemon Water Benefits
- 1. It is a rich source of vitamin C
- 2. It helps with your digestion
- 3. It helps you keep a fresh breath
- 4. It helps maintain the mineral balance in the body
- 5. Rich in antioxidants and flavonoids
- 6. May prevent kidney stones
- 7. It hydrates and strengthens your skin
- 8. May support weight loss
- 9. It can boost your liver function
- 10. It boosts your mood
- 11. Provides an important dose of potassium
- 12. Improves heart health
Lemon Water Benefits
Let’s talk about the several health benefits that lemon water can provide to your body, backed by science.
1. It is a rich source of vitamin C
Lemon is a citrus fruit, and as citrus fruits go, it is rich in vitamin C – the primary antioxidant that helps protect our cells from the damaging effect of free radicals and powers our immune system (1,2)
More than that, vitamin C also helps our body absorb iron, synthesize collagen and produce hormones (3).
Vitamin C is an important ally in preventing infections, dry skin, fatigue, insomnia, or the loosening of teeth.
So, by drinking water lemon every day, you get most of the benefits of lemon. Squeezing a lemon into a glass of water will get you approximately 20% of the DV of vitamin C.
Summary:Lemon is a citrus fruit rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C plays several roles including being an antioxidant, aiding our immune system, and assisting with absorbing nutrients like iron
2. It helps with your digestion
You’ve probably heard already that drinking lemon water can help relieve constipation, especially if you use lukewarm water to make it and drink it every morning. But is it true? Let’s see what the studies say!
As part of a 2021 study, participants drank 300 mL of lemon water before every meal for 4 weeks. The researchers examined stool samples from the participants to analyze how their intestinal microbiota evolved during the test period. The results were promising, showing that a pre-meal intake of lemon water can boost peristalsis and help move food through the digestive tract more efficiently (4).
Moreover, lemons are rich in pectin – a soluble form of fiber that can have multiple benefits on your health, improving your gut health and slowing the digestion of sugars and other starches (5).
While the results so far are promising, more studies are needed to say for sure that lemon water aids digestion.
What you can do is drink one glass of lemon water every morning for 3-4 weeks and analyze how you feel. If you feel considerable benefits, keep doing it.
Summary:Some studies have suggested that drinking lemon water may help improve digestion, and some show that consuming lemon water before a meal may help boost peristalsis.
3. It helps you keep a fresh breath
Do a little experiment. Rub a lemon in your hands, and you will see how it neutralizes any odor (6). Lemons do have this fantastic property of removing foul smells. (7)
You can apply the same principle to keep a fresh breath at all times. So, make sure you drink a glass of lemon water before you go on your next romantic date. It might increase your chances of success.
Now, seriously, you can try having a glass of lemon water after a meal rich in onions, garlic or fish. It will help you feel better.
But is there a scientific fact behind this? Well, lemons can stimulate the production of saliva, preventing a dry mouth (8). What is more, the citric acid in the fruit can help break down the bacteria that induce bad breath (9).
So, drink a glass of lemon water whenever you struggle with bad breath. It can help you.
Summary:Due to the acidity of the lemon, it can neutralize odors, help break down mouth bacteria, and mitigate bad breath.
4. It helps maintain the mineral balance in the body
Although lemons are acidic, lemon water is an alkaline solution that you can drink to balance the effects of the acid-forming foods you eat (10).
When metabolized, lemon juice becomes alkaline, and it helps rehydrate the body.
Lemon water is a highly hydrating drink you can use to replenish your body, especially if you spend lots of time in the gym and lose essential minerals through perspiration.
It is believed that lemon water is a more efficient hydration drink than plain water. Plus, you also get the benefit of rebalancing the minerals in the body.
Did You Know?:Even though lemons are acidic, lemon water is actually an alkaline solution. This can help with hydration and rebalancing minerals in the body.
5. Rich in antioxidants and flavonoids
Lemons are rich in vitamin C, one of the mightiest antioxidants out there (11). But that’s not all that lemons can do. Besides vitamin C, they also contain flavonoids – plant compounds with potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects (12).
Antioxidants and free radicals should keep a fair balance in the body. Too many free radicals can lead to cell damage which can cause a series of serious conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and even cancer.
Various studies have found a correlation between increased inflammation markers, oxidative stress caused by free radicals and conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, autoimmune diseases or even cancer (13).
In a scientific review from 2019, the antioxidants and flavonoids from citrus fruits were found to improve heart health and other conditions such as insulin sensitivity, glucose tolerance or fat metabolism (14).
Did You Know?:In addition to antioxidants like vitamin C, lemons are rich in flavonoids. Flavonoids can help to improve inflammation and reduce the amounts of free radicals in the body.
6. May prevent kidney stones
Kidney stones are an accumulation of minerals that build up in the kidneys. One of the most common forms of treatment is made of a compound called citrate. This compound can stop calcium from binding with other minerals and form kidney stones.
Preliminary research suggests that lemon water can help treat kidney stones. A study review from 2015 has shown that citrus fruits can increase the citrate levels in the urine and may help prevent kidney stones.
In case you are already struggling with this condition, water and lemon water can help break up and flush out small kidney stones. But don’t stop there.
You know you need to keep your body hydrated at all times to prevent any other complications further down the road, including kidney stones. If you get rid of them once, it doesn’t mean they won’t come back. If you drink enough water and lemon water daily, you will also flush out all the toxic waste in the body, keeping it healthy and clean.
Summary:Due to the amount of citrate in lemons, lemon water has been a suggested beverage to consume to help prevent kidney stones.
7. It hydrates and strengthens your skin
Due to the vitamin C content in lemons, drinking lemon water may also boost collagen production (15).
Collagen is the main structural protein that helps strengthen the skin and prevent any damage from the effect of free radicals. It may make your skin more elastic and shinier, so you can glow with joy and confidence.
Summary:Lemon water contains vitamin C, which may help with collagen production in the skin
8. May support weight loss
We know many people have been saying this, and there might be some truth in them saying it. However, don’t think that drinking lemon water will solve all your weight loss battles.
Weight loss is a difficult fight with yourself and your body, and it requires lots of discipline and tough choices. But let’s see what science says about lemon water for weight loss.
First of all, adding lemon juice to your water will probably make drinking water less boring. So, you’ll end up increasing your daily water intake, which is often recommended as part of a weight-loss strategy.
Secondly, some studies show that lemon water can boost your metabolism, helping you burn more calories.
Thirdly, lemons are rich in antioxidants, and research showed that the polyphenol antioxidants found in lemons could significantly reduce the weight gain caused by a fat diet in mice (16).
In one study from 2018, participants were instructed to drink water before eating. Researchers found that drinking water before eating a meal will significantly decrease the amount of food you eat without negatively impacting satiation (17). So, pre-meal lemon water consumption can be an effective trick to help you in your weight loss journey!
Summary:Studies show that you may be more likely to lose weight when drinking lemon water on a regular basis.
9. It can boost your liver function
When was the last time you thought about your liver and the hard work it does to keep your body clean from toxins and waste?
Lemon water has a positive diuretic effect on the body, encouraging urination and increasing urine output.
So, drink more lemon water to help your liver flush out the toxins from your body by improving enzyme function. The citric acid in lemons supports the liver in dispersing harmful bacteria.
10. It boosts your mood
Do you feel stressed, anxious, tense, like a big deadline is hanging over your head? Take a deep breath and sip on a glass of lemon water.
There is a certain psychological benefit of drinking water. First of all, it hydrates and detoxes your body and can help you see things clearly. Secondly, you get a chance to take your mind off whatever it is you’re doing and enjoy the sheer simplicity and brilliance of a glass of lemon water. It’s as simple as that.
And it’s not just speculation. Research suggests that the combination of sour and sweet in lemons may trigger endorphins and thus make us feel happier.
Besides, keeping hydrated is crucial to how well our brain functions. So, you should never underestimate that glass of water or lemon water. It might help you get the best idea ever.
Summary:The citrus in lemon water helps to support liver health and may increase urine output.
11. Provides an important dose of potassium
Lemons contain an essential dose of vitamins and nutrients, making them perfect for brain function. Moreover, they provide your body with potassium – an essential mineral for nerve-muscle communication, waste and blood pressure regulation.
The DV for potassium is 4,700 mg for adults and children aged 4 or older. From 100 grams of lemon, you get about 138 mg of potassium (18). It’s not that much, but drinking lemon water will definitely bring you closer to achieving the daily recommended dose.
Summary:Citrus is in general a great source of potassium which you can get from drinking lemon water.
12. Improves heart health
Take care of your hearts, folks! Drinking lemon water can get you closer to that goal.
Research suggests that high vitamin C intake could reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, including stroke and coronary heart disease (19). The antioxidant content of lemons can undo some of the damage done by oxidative stress (20).
A large-scale study review concluded that vitamin C deficiency could lead to a higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease (21). The actual studies are not enough to prove that the widespread use of vitamin C could drastically reduce cardiovascular risk, but they offer an optimistic assumption.
Summary:Research suggests that consuming vitamin C, like lemon water, can help decrease risk of cardiovascular disease and promote heart health.
Lemon Water does offer several health benefits. You should keep hydrated and active. Adding a little bit of lemon juice to your water will spice things up, and you will also reap some of the healthy benefits of lemons. As you can see, all sorts of good things could happen from drinking lemon water. You should try it.