But what does the science say about the benefits of drinking lemon water for your health and weight loss?
Lemon water is a popular home cure, with internet sources stating that it can aid with digestive improvement, detoxification of the body, and weight loss among other things.
This article examines the benefits of lemon water, as well as the myths that surround it, using scientific data.
Lemon water is just the juice of lemons blended with a glass of water.
The amount of lemon juice used in lemon water is determined by the individual’s preferences. It can be consumed either cold or hot.
As a refreshing pick-me-up in the morning, lemon water has become increasingly popular, with some claiming that it can increase energy levels and metabolic rate.
Lemons are a good source of vitamin C, which is an excellent antioxidant. In fact, one freshly squeezed lemon supplies around 21 percent of a person’s daily nutritional requirements .
Lemons, like other citrous fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, and limes, are high in flavonoids, as are other types of citrous fruits. These are substances that aid in the promotion of health and the prevention of sickness.
Aside from that, lemons are low in nutritional value. It contains only trace amounts of other vitamins and minerals, including potassium, folate, vitamin C, and some B vitamins. Lemon water is extremely low in calories and low in protein, fat, carbohydrates, and sugar, and it contains only trace amounts of other nutrients.
It is estimated that one 48 gramme (g) squeezed lemon has the following nutrients, according to a database maintained by the United States Department of Agriculture:
- 10.6 calories
- 18.6 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C, or 21% DV
- 9.6 micrograms (mcg) of folate, or 2% DV
- 49.4 mg of potassium, or 1% DV
- 0.01 mg of vitamin B-1, or 1% DV
- 0.01 mg of vitamin B-2, or 1% DV
- 0.06 mg of vitamin B-5, or 1% DV
Despite the fact that a single glass of lemon water does not appear to contain a significant amount of nutrients, lemon water is a nutritious, low-calorie, and low-sugar beverage that can help people increase their vitamin C intake.
For contrast, substituting the juice of half an orange (weighing 43 g) for the lemon juice would result in about twice as many calories, around three times as much sugar, and 24 percent of the Daily Value (DV) of vitamin C.
The nutritional value of a glass of lemon water is determined by the amount of lemon juice in it, as well as any additional components that are included.
Drinking lemon water may provide a number of health benefits due to its high vitamin C concentration, flavonoid content, and acidic nature.
These will be discussed in further depth in the following sections.
Antioxidants and flavonoids
Lemons include vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant, as well as flavonoids, which are plant components that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, both of which are found in abundance in lemons.
Antioxidants are chemicals that aid in the protection of the body’s cells against oxidative stress. Antioxidants lower the risk of a wide range of health disorders, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and cancer, by lowering cell damage in the body.
Antioxidants accomplish this by removing free radicals from the body, which are toxic, disease-causing molecules that are produced as a result of oxidative stress.
Citrus flavonoids have also been shown to lessen inflammation in the human body.
Chronic inflammation has been related to increased oxidative stress and an increased chance of developing certain health diseases, such as arthritis, diabetes, autoimmune conditions, and cancer, according to research.
According to a 2019 study, the antioxidants and flavonoids found in citrous fruits can help to enhance heart health as well as metabolic health markers such as glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity, and fat metabolism, among others.
Vitamin C is also essential for the proper functioning of the immune system, the healing of wounds, and the absorption of iron from meals.
According to some research, drinking lemon water may be beneficial in the treatment of kidney stones. It appears to be most beneficial when used in conjunction with conventional therapy, although it may also be a useful alternative therapeutic option in some cases.
Kidney stones are formed as a result of the accumulation of minerals in the kidneys. Calcium oxate is the most common component of these compounds. The most commonly used therapy is a chemical substance known as citrate.
By increasing the amount of citrate in the body, kidney stones are prevented from developing because calcium is prevented from establishing bonds with other chemicals.
Citrate is found in high concentrations in lemon water. According to a 2015 study, multiple research have discovered that citrous fruits, such as lemon, can raise citrate levels in the urine, which may be beneficial in the treatment of kidney stones.
Kidney stones are frequently caused by a deficiency of water in the body. Drinking more water, regardless of whether or not it contains lemon, can therefore assist to prevent kidney stones from developing.
The advantages of drinking water
Lemon water is simply water with lemon juice added, which means it has all of the benefits of conventional water without any of the drawbacks.
Drinking plenty of water has numerous advantages, including:
- Weight loss: It can increase feelings of fullness and boost metabolism slightly, which can help with weight loss.
- Mental health: It can optimize mood and memory.
- Digestive health: It can help relieve constipation.
- Exercise performance: It can improve athletic performance.
Although there are numerous other health benefits associated with drinking lemon water, the majority of them are not backed up by scientific evidence. Some of them have even been proven false by research.
The following are six common misconceptions about the health benefits of drinking lemon water.
Lemon water is beneficial for weight loss.
Lemons contain a type of fibre known as pectin, which may be beneficial in lowering appetite and calorie intake.
Lemon water, on the other hand, is essentially diluted lemon juice, which means it contains only trace amounts of pectin. To be more specific, the juice of a whole lemon contains less than 1 g of fibre.
There is no evidence to suggest that lemon water is any more effective at aiding weight loss than plain water in terms of weight loss.
Having said that, lemon juice has a naturally low calorie count. Drinking fresh lemon water in place of sugary soda is a healthy way to reduce calorie intake, which is a positive step towards achieving and maintaining healthy weight management.
Lemon water alkalizes the body
According to proponents of the alkaline diet, foods leave a “ash” in the system that affects the pH of a person’s body — that is, how acidic or alkaline it becomes — as a result of their consumption.
Some believe that lemon water has alkalizing properties. What a person eats or drinks, on the other hand, has no effect on the acidity of their blood or cells in their body.
Although increasing the consumption of alkaline foods, which include fruits and vegetables, can be beneficial to one’s health, the health benefits are unlikely to be derived from their effects on the body’s acidity levels.
Lemon water fights cancer
According to some reports, lemon water may be beneficial in the prevention of cancer. According to the alkaline diet theory, certain cancer cells are unable to thrive in an alkaline environment, which is supported by research.
According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, this is a bogus myth because the foods a person consumes have no effect on the acidity of their blood or body cells, as previously stated.
Lemon water cleanses and detoxes
When you drink enough water, you can eliminate waste from your body through urine and regular bowel movements. While there is no evidence to show that lemon water is superior to plain water in this regard, there is some evidence to imply that it is.
As a matter of fact, scientific evidence does not support the majority of claims that certain foods or beverages can cleanse or detoxify the organs. This includes claims made about the lemon water detox diet, among other things.
Lemon water raises IQ
Drinking water, whether plain or with lemon added, can help you focus and concentrate more effectively, but it will not increase your intelligence.
Lemon water is a diuretic
Water is an effective diuretic, which is a substance that causes the body to produce more urine. Furthermore, any diet that contains potassium has the potential to boost urine output. This includes virtually all fruits, vegetables, meat, and dairy products, as well as lemons, among other things.
Lemon water is completely safe to consume. However, the acid in lemons has the potential to destroy tooth enamel over time, increasing the likelihood of cavities developing in the teeth.
Drinking acidic beverages with a straw can help to keep your teeth healthy. Afterward, rinsing the mouth with water will be beneficial.
It may be preferable to postpone cleaning the teeth immediately after drinking lemon water because the enamel may be in a weakened state due to the acidity of the liquid. For those who enjoy drinking lemon water in the morning, it is recommended that they brush their teeth before breakfast.
Hot vs. cold lemon water
The ideal temperature at which to drink lemon water is a hotly debated topic. Here are some suggestions.
According to some sources, sipping cold water can help you burn calories more effectively. Others believe that drinking warm water is beneficial to digestive health.
There is relatively little evidence to support either side, and it is unlikely that the temperature makes a significant difference in the outcome. A person can simply choose the temperature that they prefer.
Instructions on how to produce lemon water
The juice of a full lemon or half a lemon, combined with a glass of water, is recommended in most recipes.
Based on their preferences, people can make adjustments to the quantities or include additional components.
Lemon water is a refreshing beverage that can provide a significant quantity of vitamin C to the diet. But there are a lot of health claims that aren’t backed up by evidence.
In the case of a person who already consumes a large amount of fruits and vegetables as well as plenty of fluids, lemon is unlikely to provide any substantial nutritional benefits. Having said that, it is a refreshing and healthy alternative to a variety of other flavoured beverages.