Drinking lemon water every day has become one of the more popular practices among people who want to keep fit and healthy. But what’s with lemon water anyway? What are the health benefits of drinking lemon water?
In this post, we will look at 5 things that lemon water can do for you and why you should start drinking it every day.
Lemon Water & How to Prepare It
Lemon water is basically the juice of a lemon mixed with water. But how do we prepare it? Lemon water preparation is not complicated at all; you will need only two ingredients: lemon and water.
Simply cut one fresh lemon into two, squeeze all the juice (with your hand or with the use of a juicer) and add it to a glass or two of warm or cold water. If you find lemon juice too strong for you, you can cut the lemon into slices, drop them into a pitcher of water (1 liter) and leave them for a few hours before drinking.
Fresh lemons are recommended for maximum results. Do not get those little squeeze bottles from the stores because they not only contain preservatives and chemicals that are harmful; they also have no nutritional value.
5 Reasons To Drink Lemon Water
1. Good Source of Vitamin C
Citrus fruits like lemons are rich in vitamin C; a water-soluble vitamin and powerful antioxidant that helps to boost the immune system by neutralizing free radicals associated with aging and disease.
Although lemons do not contain as much vitamin C as oranges, they are still a good source. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration one medium lemon (approx. 58 grams), contains 30.07 mg of vitamin C.
By the way, do you know that you’ll get more vitamin C from lemon peel than from a whole peeled lemon? One whole lemon contains just 53 grams of vitamin C while there are 129 mg of vitamin C per 100 grams of peel.
We all know that water is the key ingredient of any detox plan and lemon water cleanse is a great way to make sure you drink lots of it. When waste and toxins accumulate in the body, particularly in the colon, it puts pressure on the liver and kidneys.
Although the body is equipped with the means to eliminate toxins naturally (liver), drinking water on a daily basis will revitalize your liver allowing it to perform its function at an optimal level. Lemon juice or lemon water is a powerful way to cleanse toxins from the body.
3. Aids in digestion and Metabolism
Aside from being a good source of vitamin C, lemons also contain the dietary fiber pectin that supports digestion. Several studies have shown fiber to improve digestion and gut health. Drinking lemon water will keep your digestive system healthy and enable it to process food more efficiently.
The acid present in lemons is also shown to help digest food. Aiding digestion is especially important as we get older because the amount of acid in our stomach decreases with age.
4. Beautiful Skin
The vitamin C in lemons might actually help reduce skin wrinkling, dry skin from aging and damage from the sun. Also, the antioxidants in lemons not only help to reduce blemishes, they also help with collagen production, improving skin elasticity.
5. Assists in Weight Loss
Drinking warm lemon water every day will pave the way toward weight loss goals. Lemon water suppresses your appetite, naturally enabling you to eat less. You can drink as much lemon water as you want since it contains essentially no calories.
For best results, drink the juice of one lemon in one cup of warm water first thing in the morning, that is, on an empty stomach.
Are there Negative Side Effects?
We all know that anything in excess is bad. While drinking lemon water gives many health benefits, drinking too much of it also has negative side effects.
a. Frequent urination and dehydration
Lemon water might have a diuretic effect in some rare cases. As mentioned earlier, lemons are a good source of vitamin C or ascorbic acid known for its diuretic properties, which means it increases urine production in the kidneys causing the body to eliminate excess fluid and sodium more quickly.
So if you start to feel dehydrated after drinking too much lemon water, you might consider cutting back the amount of lemon juice you add to your drink.
b. Increase Iron Content
Vitamin C in lemons increases non-heme iron absorption in the body. And if you happen to suffer from hemochromatosis, a rare inherited condition in which your body stores excess iron, your organs are in danger of getting damaged.
*Note: Excess iron can damage your organs.
Drinking excessive lemon water may trigger heartburn or if you’re used to experiencing it, it could make this condition worse. Heartburn also referred to as acid reflux is a condition that occurs when the esophageal sphincter does not function properly.
When this happens, acid from the stomach moves back up into the esophagus thereby causing severe burning and pain in the chest. In order to prevent and relieve heartburn symptoms, cutting back on acidic foods and drinks including lemon water is strongly advised.
d. Tooth Erosion
Overconsumption of acidic foods and drinks, such as many glasses of lemon water per day, can cause your teeth to have a constant amount of acid washing over them. This will not only erode your tooth enamel, but it will also make your teeth super sensitive to hot or cold foods and drinks.
Drinking acidic beverages through a straw is a good way to protect your teeth. And if you’re already experiencing tooth erosion, you must consult your dentist.
When is the Best Time to Drink Lemon Water?
According to registered dietitian and weight loss expert Paul Salter, the benefits of drinking lemon water first thing in the morning may be more related to drinking water than the lemon itself. Salter further explained that drinking 2 large glasses of water can help rehydrate you after an extended period of not consuming any fluid.
*Related Article: The Importance of Water to the Body
Drinking a full glass of lemon water is also a good way to jump-start your day because when you wake up in the morning your body is in a state of dehydration. Since you’ve gone roughly 8 hours overnight without food and water, your gastrointestinal tract is on a clean slate. Drinking a warm glass of lemon water helps to replenish the water that was lost overnight through breathing.