Simple nature of drinking water with lemon for weight loss makes it one of the most effective and frugal ways to lose weight. Drinking enough water is essential for losing weight. However, drinking plain water without any other taste gets boring too quickly. Lemon takes the flavor of plain water to a whole new level. It is one of the certain ways you can take from our list to increase your consumption of plain water. If you’re looking forward to lose your belly fat and keep it off, then start drinking lemon water religiously every early morning.
Lemon Water And Weight Loss
Lemon water has a minimal impact on weight loss. Weight loss is defined as a reduction in total body weight induced by either voluntary or involuntary circumstances. Consumption of dietary soluble fibers has been associated with weight loss. While it will not make a large difference, the 0.3g of total dietary fiber in 100g of lemon juice can give a small contribution to the recommended daily fiber intake of 40 g. Perhaps more importantly, if lemon juice helps one to drink more water, increased water consumption has been shown to reduce calorie intake throughout the day.
Lemon Water And Detox Effect For Health
Lemon water’s detox impact is unsubstantiated. Detox diets are popular eating regimens that claim to help with toxin clearance. They are based on the notion that the organs may become auto intoxicated and that cleaning them is important.
The majority of claims that foods or beverages may cleanse or detoxify the organs are not supported by scientific evidence. In a critical review of the evidence, Klein and Kiat from Sydney, Australia indicate in their article published in the official journal of the British Dietetic Association that there are no well-designed studies to assess the effectiveness of detox programs. While science has not ruled the existence of detox benefits for health from lemon water, evidence will need to come in the form of proper studies.
Lemon Water And Kidney Stones
Lemon water is beneficial for kidney stones. Kidney stones (called renal calculi, nephrolithiasis, or urolithiasis) are defined as hard deposits made of minerals and salts that form inside the kidneys.
Citrate, potassium, and magnesium are known to be anti-lithogenic (preventing stone formation) solutes. According to an article published by CLU Working Group, citrus such as lemons, oranges, grapefruit, and lime, as well as non-citrus fruits such as melon, are natural sources of dietary citrate. Several studies have shown the potential of these fruits and/or their juices to raise urine citrate levels. The chart below comparatively displays the levels of citrate found in fresh lemon, lime, and orange fruits, as recorded by Kristina L. Penniston et al. in the Journal of Endourology.
How Much Lemon Water Should You Drink in a Day?
Two glasses of lemon water daily are considered safe for all. For this, mix 1 litre of water with 4 slices of lemon in it. Lemon water provides better hydration. You can take warm lemon water and add honey, mint leaves, or ginger to it for added health benefits. A glass of lemon water early in the morning will also help get rid of toxins from the body.
Several factors like age, health status, and other conditions affect the daily intake of lemon water. There is no scientific evidence regarding the optimal amount of lemon water daily. If you take processed or packed lemon water products, consult a healthcare professional before using them.
Do Lemons Interact With Medications?
Lemon does not interact severely with any medicines. However, as per a study, citrus juice can affect the medications that affect calcium movement. These medications are used to treat high blood pressure. However, the studies were conducted on grapefruit juice and orange juice containing citrus.
Lime juice can affect the rate of breakdown of certain medicines, like Triazolam (Halcion), Lovastatin (Mevacor), Itraconazole (Sporanox), Ketoconazole (Nizoral), Fexofenadine (Allegra). In addition, it may increase or decrease their side effects. Therefore, it is advised to consult a physician before taking lime or lemon juice daily while on these medications.
What are the benefits?
1. Rejuvenates your Skin
Lemons have loads of vitamin C, which assists in decreasing the production of wrinkles, and defends your skin against free-radical damage. Water also helps carry nutrients to your cells, so staying properly hydrates is important!
2. Boosts Energy and Alertness
The potassium in lemons helps with brain and nerve function, which can increase your alertness. Plus, according to Natural Health Magazine, scientist found that just a whiff of lemon can boost your feel-good hormones and reduce stress levels. Drinking water also helps in this area, as dehydration can drain your body’s energy and make you feel sluggish.
3. Hydrates your Body
When your body is dehydrated, it holds on to fat cells, and dehydration can also make you feel hungry. Staying hydrated is crucial for your overall body health, so starting your day with a glass of water is a no-brainer. Plus, the lemon gives it a flavor boost.
4. Helps your Immune System
The ascorbic acid (vitamin C) found in lemons is necessary for healing wounds. Lemon water is also touted as helping break up phlegm during a cold and soothing sore throats. Drinking water during illness is crucial, as your body’s defenses are working overtime to fight off sickness. Consuming lemon in order to tackle and prevent illnesses like the common cold hasn’t been proven, however, unless you live in severe climates.
5. Eliminates Toxins
The liver responds to fresh lemon juice more than any other food source because it amps up its enzyme production, according to Dr. Alexander F. Beddoe. This boosts the liver’s efficiency in secreting bile for digestion and releasing toxins. Lemon juice is known as being a diuretic, which means it helps your kidneys eliminate water and some toxins by increasing the frequency of urination. This could potentially help people who suffer form UTI’s.
6. Could Aid in Weight Loss
In addition to helping regulate your metabolism, lemons also contain pectin fiber. This fiber makes you feel full, and therefore can help starve off hunger and prevent cravings. Drinking plenty of water also contributes to this full feeling. By combining two natural ingredients, lemon and water, your already starting your day on a healthy note and this can lead to better eating habits throughout the day.
7. Improves Digestion
The acidity of lemons stimulates your digestive system and liver. This can help regulate your metabolism and bowel movements, thus helping your body absorb nutrients and potential leading to weight loss.
Disadvantages of Drinking Lemon Water Daily
Drinking lemon water in moderation is good, but it can cause many health issues in excess. Here are ten disadvantages of drinking lemon water daily:
1. Tooth Decay
Lemon has a high amount of acids. As per a study, excess lemon water can cause the dissolution of enamel or the outer layer of the teeth, leading to the removal of minerals. As per American Dental Association, teeth erosion makes teeth susceptible to decay over a period. It can also lead to sensitivity and pain. As per a study, lemon juice can have the same erosive effect on teeth as that of cold drinks.
You can use a straw to reduce direct exposure of acid present in lemon water with teeth. You should also avoid brushing your teeth just after having lemon water. Instead, try drinking lots of plain water along with lemon water. It will reduce the chances of having sensitivity.
2. Upset Stomach and Ulcers
If taken daily and in high quantities, it can cause damage to the stomach. Because of the acidity, it can cause heartburn, nausea, and vomiting. The disadvantage of drinking lemon water daily is that it can trigger ulcers. The acidic content of lemon can harm the inner linings of the stomach and intestine, leading to ulcers. If you are already vulnerable to it, avoid taking lemon water daily.
3. GERD and Acid Reflux
As per a study, acidic food can cause gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) and acid reflux. It occurs because the acid in lemon irritates the inner linings of the food pipe. It worsens when you drink lemon water on an empty stomach, and people who are prone to acid reflux should avoid drinking lemon water daily. The regurgitation of food in acid reflux can cause difficulty in swelling, worse asthma, cough, sour taste in the mouth and also, if it happens at night, it affects sleep.
4. Frequent Urination and Dehydration
As per studies, lemon water is rich in ascorbic acid or Vitamin C. It is diuretic in nature, which can lead to more urine production in the kidneys. Along with water, frequent urination will flush out electrolytes from the body. It can lead to dehydration, tiredness, dry lips, and excess thirst.
Also, the acidic content of lemon can irritate the bladder causing more urge to urinate. In this case, try balancing lemon water intake with the advice of a consulting physician.
5. Cause or Worse Canker Sores
Canker sores are ulcers inside the mouth, usually under the tongue or inside of the cheeks. As per a study, they are caused by acidic or spicy food, vitamin deficiency, or wearing braces. As per American Dental Association, over-consumption of lemon water can worsen the existing canker sores.
It can make eating and talking uncomfortable. If you find canker sores after consuming lemon water, you should stop consuming them.
6. Trigger Migraine
The disadvantage of drinking lemon water daily includes migraines and headaches.As per a study, citrus fruits like lemon can trigger headaches and migraines. Lemon and citrus fruits are high in tyramine. As per a study, tyramine is linked to migraines and headaches. So people who have long-term migraine can get frequent migraine attacks because of lemon water daily.
7. Risk of Cancer
Citrus fruits like lemon have psoralens. They are carcinogenic and can cause cancers. As per a study, increased consumption of lemon water (psoralens) can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer like melanoma. In this, different sizes and shades of mole appear on the skin. They can even ooze blood but are painless. If you notice such symptoms, consult a doctor.
8. Adverse Effect on Bones
Some researchers claim that lemon water is linked with bone health. Lemon can reduce the lubricants present in between the joints and bones over time.
9. Excess Iron
Any mineral that exceeds more than the normal level in our body is harmful. A normal iron level is important for energy production, haemoglobin formation and the function of certain enzymes in the body. As per a study, the vitamin C present in lemon water can increase iron absorption.
It can be beneficial for people with low Iron levels but can also lead to hemochromatosis. It is an excess storage of iron in the body that can damage organs over a period. It can also lead to weakness, fatigue, high sugar level, and skin pigmentation.
10. Trigger Sunburn
Lemon and other citrus fruits have psoralens. It is a chemical compound that can make skin sensitive to UV-A rays. The increase in the light sensitivity of the skin can cause excessive sunburn. It can worsen sunburn and cause phytophotodermatitis. It is a type of skin inflammation because of certain plant-based chemicals that occur when exposed to sun rays. It can lead to
- Burning sensation
Things Lemon Water Won’t Do
Drinking enough water and adding a little vitamin C boost are good ideas, but they aren’t magic and there is no scientific backing to some of the claims made online about the benefits of lemon water:
- Balances pH Levels: There is a theory that certain foods can leave an acid or alkaline ash in the body. This is true, but this only affects the pH of the urine and not the pH of the blood. Chris Kresser explains the acid/alkaline myth in-depth here.
- Flushes Toxins: Drinking water is important to help the body naturally eliminate cellular waste (a process that it does naturally), but claims that lemon water has a special ability to flush “toxins” without defining what they are or how this process works are overblown.
- Prevents Cancer: Many of the same articles that claim that lemon water alkalizes the body claim that it promotes an alkaline environment where cancer cells cannot thrive. See the article from Chris Kresser above about why this theory doesn’t make sense.
- Increases IQ: While drinking water or lemon water in the morning can help with alertness and focus, there is no evidence that water with lemon actually increases the IQ over the long term.
The Bottom Line
It is always important to support our bodies by drinking enough water, especially in the morning. Lemon water won’t be a miracle cure but it might be a better alternative to caffeinated drinks, especially for those with adrenal problems.
One caution: I’ve found that starting to drink water first thing in the morning when you aren’t used to it can cause a few minutes of nausea, so it might be a good idea to start slowly and not used to drinking this much.