Water is the healthiest drink you can sip. It is not only calorie-free, but the USGS notes that up to 60% of the human body is composed of water. Our bodies need water for digestion, controlling body temperature, creating neurotransmitters, and easing joints, to mention only a few of its key functions.
But let’s face it: Basic water can be boring. One way to make a dish more exciting is to squeeze in some lemon juice. It is commonly believed that this has several health advantages as well. Unfortunately, looking directly at the scientific evidence, it is evident that many of these assertions are unsubstantiated.
No need to give up your lemon water, though. If you have a good time with it and it assists you in consuming more water, give it a try! Find out the facts concerning the advantages of putting lemon in water before you deceive yourself into believing it is a miracle remedy.
Potential Health Benefits of Lemon Water
Lemon water is not a curative drink. However, it does appear to have some health benefits. Here’s what the science shows.
Helps Prevent Dehydration
Water supports good hydration and therefore optimal health. The USGS reports that water is essential to the functioning of each organ in the body. It assists with eliminating toxins from the important organs, sending nutrients to the cells, and maintaining your body temperature.
There’s nothing especially hydrating about lemon water. Adding a bit of lemon can be helpful in meeting the daily hydration goal, which is 11 to 15 cups of water per day as recommended by the Mayo Clinic.
Purium products that support hydration:
Provides Some Nutrients
The USDA reveals that lemons are a powerful source of folate, potassium, and vitamin C.
Folate, a water-soluble B vitamin, has been linked to the prevention of neural tube defects during pregnancy. Additionally, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) claims that this vitamin is also involved in the production of red blood cells and DNA.
According to the National Institutes of Health, potassium is necessary for the contraction of muscles, the operation of the heart, and the sending of signals through the nerve system.
The NIH states that vitamin C helps the body maintain a healthy immunity and acts as an antioxidant to protect against damage brought on by free radicals, which could be connected to the emergence of cancer, heart illness, and arthritis.
However, since only a small amount of lemon juice is typically present in lemon water, its impact on nutrition is not particularly remarkable. That quantity does not contribute to even one percent of your day-to-day folate or potassium requirements, and only grants approximately three percent of your regular vitamin C intake, according to United States Department of Agriculture numbers. Although it’s not a reason to stay away from it, it still doesn’t provide enough folate for protecting against neural tube defects, and taking a prenatal vitamin is still essential.
May Aid Weight Loss
It should be noted from the beginning: There is no evidence that drinking lemon water can help you shed pounds or increase your metabolism, and there isn’t a particular drink involving lemons that will help with weight loss. Don’t be misled by the statements that consuming lemon infused water each morning or boiling lemons will lead to rapid weight loss.
It can be suggested that by increasing your water intake, it will likely aid in your attempt to lose weight. A February 2016 study in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics showed that people who drink more water tend to take in fewer calories from sugary drinks and fatty foods.
A January 2013 study in the International Journal of Obesity concluded that increasing water consumption is linked to stopping weight gain. Those who opted to have a glass of water in place of a sweet beverage or piece of fruit saw less gain in weight over a four-year period when compared to those who didn’t make the substitution.
However, you may have observed that lemons were not referred to at all in the last few sentences. It’s the water that’s responsible for the result we’re seeing, but the lemon adds a pleasant taste. In conclusion, if squeezing some lemon juice makes drinking water more bearable, then drinking lemon water may contribute to shedding pounds.
Claim 1: Lemon water detoxifies the body
There is much confusion surrounding statements about detoxification programs concerning how the human body works, and even when a certain way that these detoxification methods claim to work seems to make sense, there are usually no substantial proofs that these diets and supplements are truly useful.
It is true that substances like vitamins and minerals, as well as other biological substances found in food, can influence the detoxification enzymes in the liver. Rats and mice appear to be positively impacted by sulforaphane, which is found in a lot of cruciferous vegetables, and limonene, a prominent molecule present in lemons. It is yet unclear as to how much help consuming limonene and other pieces of lemon can provide a liver with the process of detoxifying a human body, and what larger health benefits come out of this.
The jury is still out on whether or not lemon water has the ability to cleanse the body, and if so, the extent to which it can do so. At best, it is reasonable to assert that lemon water could potentially aid your liver in flushing out toxins from the body.
Claim 2: Lemon water perks you up
Lemon water feels refreshing. But does it actually, physiologically, perk you up? Is the invigoration from drinking lemon water merely a result of its taste and perception of being good for your health?
The assertion that is brought up repeatedly is that the citrate present in lemon juice is made up of a significant amount of negative ions, and that these negative ions can counterbalance a surfeit of positive ions in the atmosphere. It is commonly thought (particularly by those who sell items that create negative ions) that too much of this can result in feelings of fatigue and grimness.
In human studies controlled by a placebo, depression was the lone feeling measure which revealed a statistically considerable amelioration from negative-ion exposure. The subpar quality of research and the potential for prejudice in studies restrict our trust in the potential advantage. Although there are some negative ions existent in lemons, it does not necessarily mean that drinking lemon water will act as a boost to one’s mood or help alleviate any cases of depression. There is some evidence to suggest that inhaling lemon oil may be beneficial, but it is inconclusive. Even if the supposed benefit is genuine, there is no way to determine if the same result will manifest itself if one chooses to drink lemon water.
Drinking lemon water might improve one’s mood if it helps to resolve a lack of Vitamin C. Severe deficiency in vitamin C, otherwise referred to as scurvy, results in considerable mental issues. To prevent its development in sailors during lengthy excursions, limes or lemons were taken as a precaution.
Early indications appear to point to the fact that Vitamin C can help to lift the spirits of people who have a lack of it in their system, even if they don’t have scurvy. Vitamin C can be obtained from many sources, not just lemon water; consuming these should also be a part of your diet. Furthermore, the taste of lemon juice is quite sour, which makes it difficult to consume a significant amount of vitamin C.
It was determined that there is no proof that consuming lemon water can improve one’s demeanor or level of energy. All assertions that stem from research done on vitamin C, lemon-scented aromatherapy, and air ionizers have little credible backing.
Claim 3: Lemon water fights cancer and CVD
Lemons are loaded with various phytochemicals that could potentially have an impact on the mechanisms connected to diseases like cancer and CVD. It is attractive to go from mechanistic proof to disease prevention, however, most of the time, compounds that appear promising from a mechanistic point-of-view end up being unsuccessful in trials involving humans – just like with vitamin C for Cardiovascular Disease.
In addition, even when a combination of components has potential in human studies, the advantages may not apply to the foods that contain that compound. A randomized clinical trial revealed that a daily intake of 500 mg of hesperidin could achieve a decrease in blood pressure and ward off detrimental inflammatory markers related to heart issues. However, due to the fact that an average 100 ml of lemon juice contains only 20.5 mg of hesperidin, it’s understandable that another clinical trial determined that 1 tablespoon (equal to 15 ml) of lemon juice did not influence lipids or blood pressure. It might be useful to increase the amount of lemon juice, but by how much? We don’t know.
Likewise, all plant-based foods contain phytochemicals that can have positive effects on diverse cancer cells, and this holds true for lemons as well. However, randomized clinical trials on applicable medical results are necessary to determine what effects a particular dosage of a given plant component or food has.
The ruling is that drinking lemon water does not contain a sufficient amount of lemon to have any possible preventive or healing powers.
READ MORE: 16 Foods That Can Lower Risk Of Cancer
Claim 4: Lemon water prevents colds
This assertion is largely due to the high concentration of Vitamin C found in lemons. It has been observed that Vitamin C does not decrease the frequency of colds. Taking Vitamin C regularly, even before you fall ill, can reduce the length of a cold, though you would have to consume a much larger amount than simply what can be obtained from lemons – so much that it would make your face scrunch up into a continuous sour expression.
Although not all components of lemon are good for the body, some substances contained in the citrus fruit may be beneficial for one’s immune system. A rat study uncovered that limonene had the capability to upgrade the capacity of phagocytes to play out their activity, and lemons likewise contain different synthetic substances that could potentially help, such as hesperidin.
The results of tests on animals suggest that certain components of lemons could potentially combat colds; however, it is not known if these advantages are applicable to humans or if sufficient amounts can be attained through the drinking of lemon water.
READ MORE: Common Cold Fast Facts
Claim 5: Lemon water helps against kidney stones
Citric acid can be found in relatively high amounts in lemons, compared to many other fruits. Citrate (which is derived from citric acid) can stop and decrease the growth of calcium oxalate and calcium phosphate by binding with calcium in the kidneys. Having hypocitraturia (a state in which your urine contains low levels of citrate) puts you in the danger of getting kidney stones.
It appears that taking potassium citrate can be an efficient way to prevent and treat calcium-oxalate stones, and research has revealed that ingesting 85 ml of lemon juice is similarly effective in raising urinary citrate levels as taking a medical dosage of potassium citrate. It is currently uncertain what the least amount of lemon juice needed is to prevent kidney stones, and studies have not been conducted to examine its ability to influence the size or severity of them. Nevertheless, the principle is supported.
The conclusion is that lemons, due to their citric acid, are capable of decreasing the development and hindering the enlargement of kidney stones. There has not been any concrete research done on this phenomenon, unlike the results seen from potassium-citrate supplementation.
Lemon Water Warnings
In general, drinking lemon water is beneficial for one’s health. Take care to keep in mind the possible drawbacks of drinking too much lemon water before consuming large amounts.
Poses a Risk of Food Poisoning
Be sure to clean your lemons before utilizing them in lemon water preparation. If you put citrus slices in your water, it is recommended to store it in the fridge.
Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences warn against consuming infused water that has been left out for more than two hours, because it has a greater chance of containing bacteria.
Can Damage Tooth Enamel
Lemon juice is acidic. When taken in large amounts, this can lead to problems with your teeth.
A study conducted in June 2015 and published in PLOS One looked into the effects of sodas, energy drinks, tap water, and apple, orange and lemon juice on cow’s teeth. Lemon juice demonstrated much more dental erosion than all other beverages, with the exception of Sprite and apple juice.
The American Dental Association has reported that enamel erosion could result in sensitive and discolored teeth, as well as a heightened chance of cavities and tooth loss.
It is essential to mix your lemon juice with a lot of water and to ensure you also have some regular water to drink. Drinking an adequate amount of water can safeguard your teeth and oral hygiene in its entirety, as per the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.
May Make You Urinate More
The potential impact of this side effect varies depending on one’s overall health and lifestyle. If drinking lemon water causes you to consume more liquid than usual, this could lead to you having to make more frequent trips to the restroom.
Warm Lemon Water vs. Cold Lemon Water
There is no variation nutritionally between drinking warm or cold lemon water. The difference in health benefits between consuming lemon juice in ice water as opposed to warm water is minimal.
An investigation published in 2006 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism suggested that compared to drinking tepid water, consuming cold water may increase calorie burning by up to 8 extra calories. It is recommended to consume eight cups of fluids each day, which is equal to 64 calories – a number lower than the amount of calories in a single Oreo cookie. It appears that if you are looking to shed weight, the “burn” likely won’t be of great help. Yet, more research needs to be conducted to understand better the link between the two.
In addition, according to a small study in September 2012 from the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, drinking icy water during an extended workout could possibly enhance performance; however, it may not be valid for strength coaching given the fact that the cold water decreased performance when performing bench presses.
Try Health Surgeon’s Calories Burned Calculator to find out how many calories you are burning doing over 100 different activities.
Lemons are Just Fruits, and Fruits are Healthy
Lemons have their own special mix of chemical compounds. It stands out due to its sourness, high concentration of citric acid, and low amount of sugar. The number of micronutrients obtained from an acceptable amount of lemon juice is low, and too many health claims are built on studies of concentrated phytochemicals, which are only present in trace amounts in lemons.
Despite the small size of lemons, there are still phytochemicals present which work together with the same chemicals in other plant sources to make lemons a beneficial addition to a nutritious diet.
Purium’s Bio Fruit contains an impressive variety of nutrient-dense, organic fruits to support total body nutrition.