Benefits of Lemon water

benefits of lemon water

Starting your day with a glass of lemon water is one of the latest nutritions trends out there. Supporters claim that drinking lemon water can help you lose weight, improve digestion, improve your skin, detoxify your body and have 'alkalising' effects on the body.

The effects of lemon water, however, will remain the same regardless of the time you drink it, and although there is no evidence to suggest that lemon water has an 'alkalising' effect on the body, there are many other ways your body may benefit from lemon water.


Although water is the best beverage for hydration, many of us don't like the taste of it on its own. Some people find drinking lemon water easier than plain water, which helps us stay hydrated and comply with NHS recommendations - drinking 6 to 8 glass of fluids, preferably water, a day. Drinking water first thing in the morning can also help you battle early morning dehydration, particularly after drinking alcohol or eating salty meals the evening before.

Vitamin C

Lemons, like other citrus fruits, are high in vitamin C, which is a primary antioxidant that is used to prevent and treat scurvy and the common cold. Vitamin C helps protect cells from damaging free radicals. This antioxidant is also an essential nutrient that helps to repair the tissue and enzymatic production of neurotransmitters, and may reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and strokes.

Weight loss

The lemon water hype started back in 2008 when a Japanese study linked lemon's polyphenol antioxidants to less weight gain and improved fat metabolism in mice who were overfed with a high-fat diet in order to induce obesity. Although this could work in humans, there's no current research that can make that claim directly. Another issue is that while lemon uses the juice instead of the rind, mice in the study were eating the lemon rind, where most of the polyphenols can be found.

Drinking lemon water, however, can promote weight loss in humans indirectly. People tend to mistake thirst for hunger, and if they don't like water, they might end up overeating or drinking sugary drinks that can lead to weight loss. If people substitute these drinks and snacks with lemon water, they will more likely stay hydrated and reduce the empty calories they consume throughout the day. Dehydration, in turn, can also slow down metabolism, which can lead to weight gain. Drinking lemon water or citrus fruits can also have a satiating effect and help suppress appetite.

It helps digestion

Although there's no research that can back this up, some people find that drinking a glass of lemon, particularly first thing in the morning, aids in digestion. This may be due to the acid in lemons which help supplement stomach acid levels, which helps break down food.

While indigestion can make you feel bloated and constipated, some people believe that drinking lemon water in the morning acts as a laxative. Others also claim that drinking hot lemon water helps you jump-start your digestive system, facilitating the digestion of food and preventing the buildup of toxins.

Improves your skin

Lemon water keeps you hydrated, which helps to keep your skin moisturized, and the vitamin C found in lemons may help reduce skin wrinkling, dry skin from aging, and damage from the sun.

It keeps your breath fresh

Drinking hot lemon water after a meal can help remedy bad breath, particularly after a meal rich in garlic, onions, or fish. Apart from its freshness, lemon stimulates saliva and helps prevent a dry mouth, which can cause bad breath due to bacteria.

It helps prevent kidney stones

Citrate, a component of citric acid which is found in lemons, makes urine less acidic and may break up small stones. Lemon water is also a source of liquid that can help you flush out stones.

Drink it hot or cold

Squeeze half a lemon into 8 ounces of warm or cold water. If you'd like to add more flavour, add mint, honey, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, cucumber, or slices of other citrus fruits like orange.

The downside of drinking lemon water is that the citric acid may erode tooth enamel. The damage is not dramatic as it's already diluted in water, but if you want to reduce the risk, drink lemon water through a straw, and rinse your mouth afterwards.