Drinking lemon water is a tradition that has been around for many centuries. It can be served hot or cold, and it is a popular choice amongst several cultures. Beyond enhancing the flavor, adding a slice of lemon to your drinking water does have some positive health benefits. In this article, we’ll review the benefits of drinking lemon water, as well as debunk three common myths about lemon water that lack the scientific evidence to support them.
Benefits Of Drinking Lemon Water
To start, let’s look at how your body can benefit from drinking lemon water.
1. Lemon Water Promotes Hydration
The main benefit of drinking lemon water is that it promotes hydration. As I’m sure you know, the human body is made up of over 60% water. Amongst many other things, staying properly hydrated helps to transport nutrients throughout your body, dispose of waste, and regulate your temperature.
When you lose more liquid than you receive, you become dehydrated. Mild dehydration can impact many of the everyday bodily processes that require a sufficient amount of water to function.
The side effects of mild dehydration can leave you feeling thirsty, with a headache, a dry or sticky mouth, dark yellow urine, or more prone to muscle cramps.
For those that struggle to consume enough water in their diet, or find drinking water to be quite boring, lemon water can be a healthy way to increase your water intake.
Adding a slice of lemon to your water can be a refreshing way to brighten up what many consider to be a dull drink.
2. Lemon Water Is A Good Source Of Vitamin C
According to the U.S. Department Of Agriculture, the juice from one lemon consists of approximately 18.6 milligrams of Vitamin C. As the human body does not produce or store Vitamin C, it is important that you are receiving an adequate amount from your diet.
Vitamin C is necessary for repairing and maintaining body tissue. It also plays an important role in a number of other bodily functions, including the strengthing of your immune system. The MayoClinic recommends a daily amount of Vitamin C between 65 to 95 milligrams for adults.
Therefore, a good amount of your recommended daily intake of Vitamin C can be fulfilled by enjoying a glass of lemon water.
3. Lemon Water Helps Prevent Kidney Stones
Lemons contain citrate, known as citric acid, which is found in all citrus fruits. There is a lot of evidence that supports the fact that citrate can help prevent kidney stones formation.
In fact, a recent article: Medical and Dietary Therapy for Kidney Stone Prevention, states that consuming just 4oz (118 ml) of lemon juice a day has been shown to help increase urinary citrate levels. This can prevent kidney stones by helping to break up and flush out stones.
Myths About Drinking Lemon Water
Along with the benefits of drinking lemon water, there are quite a few false opinions that many believe are a result of lemon water. Below we review some of the more popular myths in regards to drinking lemon water.
Myth 1: Lemon Water Can Help You Heal Faster When Sick
Although lemon water can provide a good portion of Vitamin C to your diet, the amount of Vitamin C you consume when drinking lemon water isn’t enough to help you heal faster from sickness.
Studies have shown than while Vitamin C does help fight infections such as a common cold, consumption needs to be around the amount of one gram per day. This is an unrealistic amount to consume from drinking lemon water.
Myth 2: Lemon Water Can Help You Detox
A lot of people believe that lemon water or fruit infused water can help you detox and remove toxins from your body.
Water by itself helps the process of removing toxins and waste from your body in the form of urine and feces. However, there is no evidence to support the claim that lemon water improves this process.
Myth 3: Lemon Water Alkalizes Your Body
The Alkaline diet is a popular diet without much science to back it up.
The idea is that certain foods cause your body to produce more acid, which is bad for your body and can cause disease. Some believe (as a result of the diet being endorsed by celebrities) that eating an alkaline diet will reduce the acidic effects other foods have on your body. Some even believe it will help you lose weight.
As lemons are an alkalizing food, many believe that lemon water will reduce the pH levels in your body. However, as many experts have stated, eating certain types of food cannot significantly alter the pH levels of your body or in your blood.
Furthermore, your body regulates the pH in your blood and works to maintain constant levels. There would be fatal consequences if your body was unable to do so.
How To Make Lemon Water
Making lemon water is quite easy. Firstly, pick up some fresh lemons next time you go grocery shopping. Next, you’ll want to squeeze half a lemon into an 8 oz glass of water.
For best results, use the Zulay Kitchen Lemon Squeezer found on Amazon. It is easy-to-use, quick to clean, can squeeze half a lemon at a time, and best of all, it doesn’t allow any seeds to end up in your water.
Depending on your preference, lemon water can be enjoyed with cold, luke-warm, or boiling water. Cold lemon water with a few ice cubes is a refreshing drink on a warm summer day.
Furthermore, you can even freeze the lemon-juice in your ice cube tray. That way you always have lemon juice ice cubes to add flavor to your glass of water.
The warm water alternative may be better suited on a cold, snowy day, or to start your morning as a replacement to a cup of coffee. It can be paired with honey, ginger, or other spices for added taste.
Side Effects Of Drinking Lemon Water
Lemon and water are two natural ingredients and, when paired together, are a healthy way to increase your water intake. One concern brought about by Dentists in regards to lemon water is the damage it can have on your tooth enamel.
As lemons are acidic, they can cause the enamel of your teeth to erode over time which could lead to cavities.
If you drink lemon water on a daily basis, consider drinking it with a reusable straw (link takes you to Amazon) to limit the contact with your teeth. Or rinse your mouth with plain water afterward to help wash away and remove acid buildup from the lemon.
Benefits Of Drinking Water
While there are many sources, including celebrities, that claim lemon water can solve a number of your health problems, there is little scientific evidence that backs this up.
The importance of drinking water for your body has long been a fascination for scientists and doctors. Over the years, many studies have been able to prove the advantages of drinking water. However, there is little evidence to support that adding a wedge of lemon to your glass provides any additional health benefits.
As mentioned above, adequate hydration is important for your regular bodily functions to perform as required. Below we review some more specific ways that drinking water can benefit you.
Drinking Water Helps You Lose Weight
Drinking water can help you lose weight by reducing muscle cramps and enabling you to exercise for longer periods of time. Additionally, drinking water is recommended by most weight loss plans because it is a healthier alternative than sugary filled drinks that you might usually consume.
Drinking a glass of water before each meal can also suppress your appetite and therefore help you reduce your calorie intake.
Drinking Water Helps You Fight Acne
While drinking water will not cure your acne once and for all, staying adequately hydrated helps your body fight acne.
Drinking water helps to reduce skin from feeling tight and itchy. When your skin feels tight and itchy, you are more likely to scratch your face. Scratching can transfer dirt from your hands to your face and further clog your pores.
Additionally, drinking water can reduce acne inflammation, and help to remove dead skin cells that can build up and also clog your pores.
Drinking Water Helps Relieve Back Pain
Many people aren’t aware, but dehydration can cause lower back pain. Spinal discs that sit between your vertebrae have an inner and outer ring. The inner ring is composed primarily of water and works to absorb shock, torsion, and compression forces.
Throughout the day, your spinal discs naturally begin to lose water. As the discs lose water, the forces acting on your back aren’t absorbed or cushioned nearly as well as when the discs are filled with water.
This results in discomfort and pain in your lower back, especially during high impact activities such as sports, and jobs that require physical labor.
By drinking more water throughout the day, you can keep your spinal discs hydrated and reduce back pain.
In this article, we discuss the benefits of drinking lemon water, which include promoting hydration, providing a good source of vitamin c, and helping to prevent kidney stones.
Depending on your preference, lemon water can be enjoyed with cold, warm, or hot water and still offer the same benefits.
There are a lot of myths in regards to the positive effects that drinking lemon water can have on your body. However, many are not supported by scientific evidence.
The three myths debunked in this article are that lemon water helps you detox, it alkalizes your body, and that it can help you heal faster when sick.
Regardless of the benefits or myths associated with lemon water, it is a healthy alternative to sugar-filled flavored beverages and helps many individuals increase their water intake.
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Facts for this article are referenced from credible sources. For further information, please read these referenced articles from the following organizations:
- U.S. Department Of Agriculture – FoodData Central: Lemon Juice
- Mayo Clinic – Is it possible to take too much vitamin C?
- U.S. National Library of Medicine – Medical and Dietary Therapy for Kidney Stone Prevention
- U.S. National Library of Medicine – Vitamin C and Infections
- Healthline – The Alkaline Diet: An Evidence-Based Review