Health Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water

Health Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water

Lemon water is claimed to have powerful health and weight loss benefits. In fact, many celebrities swear by it and there are even diets based entirely on lemons.

But does it live up to the hype?

Lemon water is claimed to have powerful health and weight loss benefits.

This article uses scientific evidence to explore the benefits and myths of lemon water.

What is Lemon Water?

Lemon water is simply the juice from lemons mixed with water.

The amount of lemon you use depends on your personal preference and this drink can be enjoyed either cold or hot.

Some people also choose to add lemon rind, mint leaf or other ingredients.

Lemon water has become a popular morning beverage, since it’s been claimed to help improve your mood, energy levels, immune system and metabolic health.

This is what a glass of lemon water looks like:

Bottom Line: Lemon water is simply water mixed with fresh lemon juice. Additional ingredients can be added.

Lemon Water Nutrition Facts

For the purpose of this article, the definition of lemon water is one glass of water mixed with the juice from half a lemon (1).

This is the nutrient breakdown for one glass:

  • Calories: 9.
  • Sugars: Less than 1 gram.
  • Vitamin C: 25 percent of the RDI.
  • Folate: 1 percent of the RDI.
  • Potassium: 1 percent of the RDI.

One glass does not seem to provide a lot of nutrients, but drinking lemon water is a low-calorie and low-sugar beverage that can boost your vitamin C intake.

For comparison, if you replaced half a lemon with half an orange, it would double the calories and sugar in your drink (2).

Additionally, remember that the exact nutritional value depends on how much lemon juice you add, as well as any other ingredients.

Bottom Line: Lemon water is high in vitamin C, relative to its calorie and sugar content. It also contains trace amounts of folate and potassium.

Lemon Water Contains Antioxidants

Lemon water contains other beneficial substances and is a source of plant compounds called flavonoids.

Many have antioxidant properties that appear to help protect your cells from damage.

Flavonoids from citrus fruits are often linked with benefits for blood circulation, insulin sensitivity and other aspects of metabolic health (3, 4, 5, 6).

Lemon flavonoids also have the potential to reduce oxidative stress and damage, at least in rats (7, 8, 9).

All that said, there are no human studies to support these findings, so they may not be as useful in real life.

Bottom Line: Lemon water contains compounds that may protect your cells and improve metabolic health. However, human studies are needed.

Lemon Water May Help Treat Kidney Stones

Kidney stones are solid mineral formations that collect in the kidneys.

The most common type is made of a substance called calcium oxalate and is typically treated with a compound called citrate.

Increasing the amount of citrate in your urine is thought to prevent calcium from binding with other compounds and forming stones.

In short, citrate restores the urine’s ability to prevent kidney stone formation.

Lemon water contains high amounts of citrate and numerous human studies have found it can successfully help treat kidney stones (10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15).

It appears to be most effective when used alongside potassium citrate, the supplement form of citrate. However, lemon water may also be a good alternative for those who don’t tolerate potassium citrate as a first-line treatment (10, 13).

Bottom Line: Studies show that lemon water can help treat kidney stones. It appears most effective alongside conventional therapy, but may also be a useful alternative treatment.

Lemon Water has the Benefits of Regular Water

Lemon water is water with a bit of lemon added, which means it has all the benefits of regular water.

Drinking plenty of water is known to have benefits for:

  • Mental health: Optimizes mood and memory.
  • Digestive health: Helps relieve constipation.
  • Exercise performance: Improves athletic performance.

Here’s more information: 7 Science-Based Health Benefits of Drinking Enough Water.

Bottom Line: Drinking enough water has many health benefits. It can help you lose weight, feel great and improve your athletic performance.

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