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Lemon Water Benefits: How To Make It, When To Drink It, And Side Effects

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The Truth About Drinking Lemon Water Everyday

On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, I’m diving into the research to uncover the true benefits of lemon water, by answering the most frequently asked questions including how to make it, when to drink it, side effects, and more.

Is lemon water truly the miraculous weight loss and detox beverage it’s often hailed to be?

In recent years, the surge in social media content discussing the potential benefits of lemon water has skyrocketed.

Usually, with viral topics like this, numerous health claims are exaggerated and misleading, while others may be backed by science.

The goal of this post is to cut through all the marketing BS and quickly answer the most frequently asked questions about lemon water.

To do this, I’ll dive into the research, then articulate the findings in an easy to understand format.

The Most Frequently Asked Questions About Lemon Water Include:

At the end of this post, I’ll share the science backed evidence on the real benefits of drinking lemon water.

Is lemon water good for you?

Let’s jump into it and find out.

Is Lemon Water Good For Weight Loss?

Here is why drinking lemon water is often associated with burning belly fat and losing weight.

Having a healthy liver plays a major role in metabolizing fat, thus leading to fat loss.

Some people, including myself back in this 2011 post, have claimed drinking lemon water on an empty stomach in the morning may help detoxify and cleanse the liver.

Lemon Water Benefits And How To Make Lemon Water

Although it was a common belief, it’s not entirely accurate since there is not substantial scientific evidence to support the claim that lemon water alone, has a significant detoxifying effect on the liver.

Therefore, the scientific evidence regarding the direct role of lemon water in weight loss is limited.

However, here are 3 ways drinking lemon water may indirectly help you lose weight:

  1. Adding lemon to your water can make water taste better, which helps you drink more, thus helping improve your metabolism and fat breakdown.
  2. Drinking lemon water is a flavorful, low calorie alternate to sugary soda and fruit juices, thus potentially helping reduce overall calorie intake.
  3. Drinking water, including lemon water, before meals helps promote a feeling of fullness, which may lead to consuming fewer calories during the meal.

Even though drinking water alone will also accomplish all of this, if adding lemon to your water makes you drink more, do it.

Ultimately, drinking lemon water alone is unlikely to cause significant weight loss.

Does Lemon Water Detox Body?

The concept of “detoxing” the body by drinking lemon water is often based more on popular belief rather than scientific evidence.

I admit, I mentioned this in my lemon water post back in 2011.

However, to date, there is limited scientific support for the idea that lemon water has specific detoxifying effects on the body.

The liver and kidneys are the primary organs responsible for detoxification in the body, as they naturally filter and eliminate toxins and waste products.

Even though drinking water with lemon, can support the function of the liver and kidneys, there is no conclusive evidence to suggest that the lemon water alone has unique detoxifying properties beyond what plain water offers.

Does Lemon Water Alkalize The Body?

If a lemon is acidic, how would it help alkalize the body?

Even though lemons contain citric acid, it gets metabolized into bicarbonate, which is an alkaline substance.

While some studies suggest drinking lemon water may have alkalizing effects on urine, the body’s overall pH balance is tightly regulated by mechanisms primarily involving the kidneys and lungs.

These mechanisms work to maintain a slightly alkaline pH in the blood.

Ultimately, drinking lemon water may have some minor effects on urine pH, it’s unlikely to significantly alter the body’s overall pH balance by shifting the body into an alkaline state.

Is Lemon Water Good For Your Skin?

Lemon water is often touted as beneficial for skin health due to its vitamin C content and potential antioxidant properties.

Vitamin C is known to play a role in collagen synthesis, which is essential for maintaining skin health and elasticity.

Antioxidants, including those found in lemon juice, may also help protect the skin from oxidative stress and damage caused by free radicals.

However, research specifically examining the effects of drinking lemon water on skin health is scarce.

Most studies focus on the topical application of vitamin C, or other antioxidants, rather than internal consumption through lemon water.

Based on this, scientific evidence directly supporting the effect of drinking lemon water on skin health, is limited.

Does Lemon Water Break Your Fast?

I’m often asked if lemon water breaks your fast.

Technically, yes.

If you’re following a strict intermittent fasting protocol that requires complete abstinence from any caloric intake during the fasting window, then technically, even the 6 calories in the juice of 1/2 lemon, could disrupt your fast.

However, if you’re primarily fasting for metabolic benefits like autophagy or insulin sensitivity, small amounts of lemon water are unlikely to significantly impact your fast.

When Is The Best Time To Drink Lemon Water: In The Morning vs Before A Meal vs At Night Before Bed?

I’m often asked, when is the best time to drink lemon water?

Many people enjoy starting their day with a glass of lemon water because it’s a quick, flavorful, and low calorie way to kickstart hydration after a night of fasting.

Drinking lemon water before a carbohydrate rich meal may also help slow the conversion of starch to sugar.

According to this study, drinking lemon water before a carbohydrate rich meal may lower the glycemic index of a meal, similar to vinegar and other acidic foods.

The acid in lemon water before a meal may also help your body break down and digest food.

Other people opt to drink a warm lemon water tea in the evening to curb cravings or before bed as part of a healthy nighttime routine to relax and unwind before sleep.

Ultimately, the best time to drink lemon water is dependent on your goals and when you can consistently fit into your daily routine.

How Much Lemon Water Should You Drink A Day?

There isn’t a specific limit on how much lemon water you can safely drink per day.

Consuming 1-2 glasses spread throughout the day, is generally considered safe for most people.

Excessive consumption of lemon water could potentially lead to tooth enamel erosion due to the acidic nature of lemon juice, or even heartburn for some individuals

Even though lemons are alkaline once they are metabolized, the immediate impact of acidic foods or beverages can lead to heartburn.

How To Make Lemon Water Recipe

Print Recipe
Lemon Water Recipe
28 DAY LEMON WATER CHALLENGE | Lemon Water Benefits | How To Make Lemon Water
Course Drinks
Prep Time 1 minute
  • 1/2 juice of lemon
  • 1 cup Water
Course Drinks
Prep Time 1 minute
  • 1/2 juice of lemon
  • 1 cup Water
28 DAY LEMON WATER CHALLENGE | Lemon Water Benefits | How To Make Lemon Water
  1. Take a lemon and chop it in half.
  2. Add half a lemon to a lemon squeezer and use your forearms to squeeze all the lemon juice into a glass. If you don't have a contraption to squeeze the lemon, all you have to do is squeeze the lemon with your hand, to get all the lemon juice out.
  3. Add a cup of water to the lemon juice.
  4. Enjoy.
Recipe Notes

Nutrition Facts (per serving):

Calories: 8

Protein: 0g

Carbohydrates: 2g

Fat: 0g

When making lemon water, it doesn’t matter if the water is hot, warm, or cold.

It’s also important to use real lemons, not bottled lemon juice.

Bottled lemon juice is often pasteurized, which causes loss of nutrients, including vitamin C.

They also may contain sulfites and other preservatives.

You can also squeeze the juice of 2-3 fresh lemons into ice cube trays with water, then freeze, to make lemon ice cubes.

This is a quick and easy way to add a lemon water ice cubes to a glass of water, any time of the day.

Is Drinking Lemon Water Everyday Good For You?

Drinking lemon water every day can be beneficial for people who:

  • Enjoy the taste
  • Need help drinking more water
  • Are looking for a healthy and sweet alternative to sugary sodas and juices
  • Need an extra boost in vitamin C

However, if you don’t enjoy the taste of lemon water, and you already drink enough water and consume sufficient amounts of vitamin C, drinking lemon water everyday is not a health requirement.

Does The Lemon Water Diet Work And Is It Safe?

The Lemon Water Diet, often called the Master Cleanse or Lemon Detox Diet, typically involves drinking a mixture of lemon juice, water, and sometimes other ingredients like maple syrup or cayenne pepper for a specific duration.

What Is The Master Cleanse Diet?

It’s promoted as a way to cleanse the body, boost metabolism, and aid in weight loss.

Since the lemon diet is very low in calories, it can lead to weight loss in the short term, due to putting your body in a significant calorie deficit.

However, it’s important to note that the Lemon Water Diet is not a sustainable long term diet plan since it lacks essential nutrients for an optimal body composition.

Additionally, extreme or prolonged calorie restriction, can lead to nutrient deficiencies, muscle loss, and other health issues.

Its effectiveness for detoxification is also debated, since the scientific evidence supporting its benefits is limited.

What Are The Side Effects Of Lemon Water?

Since lemons contain acid, it’s important to note excessive lemon water could potentially cause damage to your tooth enamel.

Even though drinking lemon water every day has benefits, according to this study, it can also potentially have adverse effects on dental health due to its acidic nature.

The acidity in lemon water can erode tooth enamel over time, leading to tooth sensitivity, enamel erosion, and increased risk of cavities.

To minimize the risk to your teeth, it’s recommended to:

  • Consume lemon water in moderation.
  • Rinse your mouth with plain water after drinking it.
  • Wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth to avoid brushing, while the enamel is softened by acid.
  • Using a straw to drink acidic beverages can help reduce contact with teeth.

Lastly, in certain individuals, consuming citrus fruits can lead to heightened gastric acid production and potentially trigger heartburn.

What Are The Benefits Of Lemon Water?

Drinking lemon water is not a magical hack to detox your body, lose weight, or have amazing skin.

However, drinking lemon water is a quick, easy, affordable, and delicious way to drink more water, while also increasing your daily vitamin C and antioxidants intake.

In fact, the juice from 1/2 a lemon provides you with approximately 20-25% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C, while only containing 6 calories.

Since lemons contain high amounts of citrate, a component of citric acid, lemon water may also help prevent kidney stones.

Even though more research is needed, a few studies do report lemon water may also help improve digestion.

However, it’s essential to note that lemon water alone is not a magical solution and should be combined with a balanced diet and regular physical activity for optimal results.

That’s it for today’s quick overview on lemon water.

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Question Of The Day:

  • Have you ever tried drinking lemon water?
  • If so, what was the reason why you started drinking lemon water?

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