35 Science-Backed Health Benefits of Lemon Water

If you enjoy the tangy, cleansing, and refreshing taste of lemon water every day, you’re already well on the way to good health.

If you haven’t tried this incredibly detoxifying and revitalizing drink yet, it might be a good time to start.

As you will see in this article, there are a number of worthwhile benefits to drinking lemon water every day.

Drinking lemon water first thing in the morning is a stimulating way to kick-start and cleanse out the digestive system in preparation for the day ahead.

Lemon water gets to work on your insides right away, producing beneficial effects throughout your whole body for digestive function, immune support, and energy levels.

 

Why Choose Lemon Water?

 

Lemon water is a simple, refreshing, alkalizing, and restorative drink which is ideal to be taken first thing in the morning, throughout the day, or during times of illness.

It offers a healthy alternative to caffeine-packed tea and coffee or sugary drinks like soda and juice.

The vitamins and antioxidants in lemon water can add a light but revitalizing boost of energy, whereas the alkalizing and detoxifying elements help to keep your body functioning smoothly.

All it takes to make this cleansing tonic is lemon and water; it’s simple and easy to prepare.


Lemons, naturally, are high in Vitamin C, which is an antioxidant and co-factor for the absorption of other nutrients such as iron.

Lemon juice is a source of other vital nutrients as well, including: folate, potassium, magnesium, Vitamin B6, and thiamin.

Lemons are also naturally low in sugar, both glucose and fructose, and have a low glycemic index.

 

apples-lemons-drink-glass

 

The Simplest Recipe

 

The easiest way to make lemon water would be to squeeze half a lemon into a glass of lukewarm or room-temperature water.

However, if this recipe seems a bit too bitter, you can add a spoonful or two of honey to boost the sweetness.

Although, you have to keep in mind that this will also boost the sugar and fructose content of your lemon water.

In addition to adding sweetness, lemon water with honey is also helpful for:

  • Adding a boost of carbohydrates for energy – for when you are stuck in that 3 pm slump and need a pick-me-up.
  • Helping with coughs – adding honey can help provide a natural cough suppressant that acts like dextromethorphan, which can reduce coughing and improve sleep.
  • Soothing sore throat – lemon can help to clear the throat while honey soothes and coats it to ease scratchiness.

Lemon water has a whole host of amazing benefits for many aspects of our health; it’s a great idea to enjoy this drink every day.

Read on to find out the 35 amazing health benefits of lemon water and how you can use this beverage to achieve a healthier you.

 

ginger-lemon-tea

 

Health Benefits of Lemon Water

 

Replaces Unhealthy Drinks

 

Got a soda-sipping addiction you just can’t shake?

Need 3 cups of coffee to get through the day?

The good news is that you can use the delicious refreshing taste of lemon water to replace unhealthy beverages that you would normally drink.


Water with pure lemon juice contains almost no calories.

Drinks such as juice and soda, which are high in fructose, or coffee and tea, which contain cream and sugar, are high in calories.

A study has shown that replacing caloric drinks (like soda, juice and coffee/tea) with non-caloric drinks like lemon water can produce a loss of 2-2.5% of body weight (1).

 

Healthy Electrolyte Drink

 

If you want a refreshing and replenishing post-workout drink that doesn’t have the fructose or price tag of a commercial electrolyte drink, then lemon water is for you.

Simply mix together your own basic electrolyte drink which includes lemon, water, sugar, and salt for the perfect post-workout hydration that’s healthy and natural.

Any reputable sports source will tell you that proper hydration ensures top performance and good health during activity, which is what we all want (2).

 

ginger-tea-lemon

 

Helps to Deal with Asthma

 

Lemon juice is rich in the essential Vitamin C, which has been linked in affecting asthma in children.

Research found that a low intake of Vitamin C produced an increased risk of asthma during childhood.

Keeping up a good intake of Vitamin C, which is found in lemon water and other citrus fruits, can help to supplement a medically-arranged asthma treatment plan (3).

 

Improves Eye Health in Diabetics

Diabetics face many challenges to their health, one of the most significant being damage to the eyes and vision, which can often lead to blindness.

A study has shown that flavonoids, which are found in lemon and other fruits and vegetables, help prevent the development of cataracts in diabetics.


This is of great benefit because cataracts are a degenerative eye condition causing blurry vision and blindness over time (4).

 

lemon-cucumber-drink

 

Lowers Blood Sugar

 

The bioflavonoids in lemon are a type of antioxidant that have many other benefits.

Research shows that two citrus bioflavonoids found in lemon significantly help reduce blood sugar levels.

They can also help to manage blood sugar in other ways, such as how it is stored in the muscles and liver.

This can really help in the case of diabetics and people with impaired blood sugar levels who need to control blood glucose levels (5).

 

Helps Prevent Kidney Stones

Ever had kidney stones?

They’re extremely painful; unfortunately, some of us are at a higher risk of getting them than others.

Diosmin, a flavanone antioxidant found in lemon, was found to have very positive effects on decreasing the incidence of kidney stones.

Its effect was as powerful for this illness as that of popular drugs.

Diosmin helps to decrease urinary calcium and phosphorus in kidneys, as well as helping to increase urinary volume and serum calcium levels, all of which help to ease pressure on the kidneys and stop the development of stones (6).

 

lemon-drink-diet-benefits

 

Good For Your Heart

 

Lemon water is also a source of potassium, a vital mineral that is essential and helpful in a variety of body functions.


Potassium is good for the heart because it plays an important role in helping its muscles (as well as those in the rest of the body) to function properly and pump blood around the body (7).

 

Supports Breast Cancer Treatment

If you’re undergoing treatment for breast cancer, refreshing lemon water can help you in your recovery.

Inhibiting an enzyme called aromatase is a major strategy in treating breast cancer patients.

Dietary flavones and flavanones, as found in lemon juice, have been shown to inhibit aromatase too, which helps support medical management of breast cancer (8).

 

lemon-juice

 

Good Source of Antioxidants

 

Many of the positive effects produced by lemon water are through the action of powerful antioxidants, which lemon water is rich in.

Both Vitamin C and the other bioflavonoids that are found in lemon juice are antioxidants that help to target free radicals and reduce harmful oxidation (9).

 

Helps to Soothe a Sore Throat

 

Lemon water mixed with honey is a great way to soothe a sore throat.


If your throat is congested, lemon water can help to clear out mucus and bacteria, while honey soothes scratchy, dry throats, while being antibacterial as well (10).

 

lemon-juice-in-glass

 

Fights Your Cold or Flu

 

Don’t forget about the great benefits that lemon water and honey can bring if you have a cold.

Firstly, lemon water is rich in Vitamin C, which supports the immune system and helps to battle the illness.

Secondly, lemon water is a great way to stay hydrated when ill.

Honey helps to give a boost of energy and vitality when you’re not feeling well (11).

 

Helps Prevent Weight Gain

 

If preventing weight gain and fat build up is a priority to you, throw the lemon peel into your warm lemon water along with the juice.

A study found that lemon polyphenols in lemon peel prevented fat gain and weight increase in mice when tested over a 12-week period.

The lemon polyphenols particularly targeted the white adipose tissue, which is the less beneficial kind of fat in our bodies.

Now that’s a benefit of lemon water we can definitely appreciate (12)!

 

lemon-peel-benefits

 

Fights Cancer Cells

 

A number of scientific studies have shown the cancer preventive action of flavonoids such as those found in lemon water.


This research has suggested that dietary intake of flavonoids may reduce the risk of tumors in the breast, colon, lung, prostate, and pancreas.

A glass or two of lemon water each day along with a good intake of a variety of fruits and vegetables can provide great defense against cancer (13).

 

Cleanses the Digestive System

 

Citric acid is a component of lemon juice and other citrus fruits that provides that sour tang.

It’s also one of the effective ingredients in a solution used to clear out the bowels prior to a colonoscopy.

This suggests that citric acid plays a role in cleansing the digestive system and bowels in particular to help keep your system clear and running smoothly (14).

 

lemons-benefits

 

Prevents and Treats Scurvy

 

While scurvy is a disease that we associate with sailors who traveled the seas for long periods over a hundred years ago, the frightening reality is that scurvy still appears in our modern society.

This illness mostly occurs in those who don’t have access to fresh fruits and vegetables rich with Vitamin C such as oranges and lemons.


Low-income individuals, those who live in the open sea, and college students are particularly at risk.

A serving of citrus each day, such as 1-2 glasses of lemon water, should keep this nasty disease at bay (15).

 

Reduces Age-Related Vision Loss

 

As we age, our bodies, unfortunately, start to lose function in various ways.

For many people, this can include a loss of basic functions such as vision.

The good news is that Vitamin C reduces age-related opacity of the eyes, which means it keeps vision clearer for longer.

Vitamin C supplementation is effective, but lemon water, which you can include every day in your diet for eye health, is also a rich source (16).

 

lemons-cut-table

 

Reduces Incidence of Infections

 

If you find yourself susceptible to frequent infections and are getting sick a lot, you may be suffering from a low intake of Vitamin C.

A study has shown that insufficient Vitamin C intake increases the risk of succumbing to infections such as pneumonia, diarrhea, and malaria.


By having a healthy dose of Vitamin C each day in your lemon water, you can help your body  to defend yourself from these infections in the best way(17).

 

May Help with Depression

 

If you enjoy waking up to the revitalizing scent of freshly squeezed lemon in the morning, you might already know how it can boost your mood as well.

Research has revealed that citrus fragrance can help ease depression and prevent the wakening of immune function that occurs with this illness.

When we feel stressed or depressed, our immune function is affected and loses capability of fending off disease.

Citrus fragrance was found to be even more effective than anti-depressants at relieving stress and improving immune function – an even better reason to enjoy the smell of your fresh lemon water in the morning (18).

 

lemon-table-blue

 

Supports Your Immune System

 

Citrus fruits have long been recommended for supporting the immune system and lemon is no exception.

A spritz of lemon juice in your water each morning is a great dose of Vitamin C and antioxidants which we need for good health and strong immune defense.

Along with a range of colorful fruits and vegetables, this is a great way of using your diet to keep yourself healthy (19).

 

Helps with Healthy Hydration

There’s no doubt that a good fluid intake and healthy hydration levels are important factors that contribute to good health.

However, many people struggle to drink the recommended 8 glasses of plain water each day.


Lemon water provides the added benefits of taste, vitamins and antioxidants of lemon juice and makes the water more appealing to drink.

As a result, you may find it easier to reach your daily hydration goal while enjoying the beverage (20).

 

Boosts Metabolism and Weight Loss

A study has found that non-caloric fluid intake (i.e. drinking lemon water or plain water with no sugar) of at least 17 ounces of water was enough to increase metabolism by 30%.

Chilled water with lemon was found to be the most useful drink for this effect.

Over the course of a year, this could result in an extra 5 pounds of weight loss, all from just drinking more fluids.

When you’re fighting the battle of the bulge, every bit of help counts; a good amount of fluid intake is the perfect method to use towards losing weight (21).

 

lemon-water-benefits

 

Helps Decrease High Blood Pressure

 

Vitamin C, that powerful component of lemon juice, was found to help relax blood vessels and, therefore, help reduce blood pressure.

This is particularly useful for blood pressure called “essential hypertension” because it doesn’t have a known cause (22).

 

Neutralizes Free Radicals

 

While most people have heard of antioxidants, as well as their benefits, not many know why they are good for you.

Antioxidants help neutralize free radicals – compounds that can damage the body’s tissue causing heart disease, cancer, and other illnesses.

Lemon water contains Vitamin C and other antioxidants that are effective at targeting free radicals and preventing the diseases they cause (23).

 

lemon-water-benefits-table

 

Helps Repair Cartilage, Bones and Teeth

 

Along with being an important antioxidant and immune system helper, Vitamin C also plays a vital role in keeping cartilage and bones healthy and strong.


Although you might not expect it, your body relies on Vitamin C to help keep your bones and teeth strong.

Vitamin C also keeps cartilage in your nose, ears, and other areas all around the body healthy (24).

 

Keeps Skin Younger-Looking and Smooth

 

Lemon water is also great if you want clear, younger-looking, and smooth skin.

The beverage helps to flush out toxins and keep skin looking hydrated and fresh, while Vitamin C assists in promoting healthy collagen production.

Collagen is a vital part of the skin matrix which keeps it taut and springy and prevents the formation of wrinkles and sagging.

Sip on lemon water every day for younger, brighter skin! (25)

 

lemon-water-bottles-benefits

 

Assists in Wound Healing

 

Because Vitamin C helps with collagen production, it’s also an important vitamin to help wound healing.

Rapid wound healing is vital to prevent infections and scarring; Vitamin C can help promote better healing in a huge number of ways.


This includes preventing free radical damage, supplementing collagen synthesis, and stimulating the formation of the skin barrier.

Vitamin C gets used up quickly at a wound site, so it’s important to increase its intake if you have a number of wounds to heal (25).

 

Reduces Uric Acid Level

 

If you happen to be a sufferer of gout, the benefit of drinking lemon water is especially important for you.

Gout is an incredibly painful condition, contributed to by an excess of uric acid in the body.

A study has shown that lemon juice helps to reduce serum uric acid levels and is a useful addition to other uric acid and gout treatments that a patient may be taking.

So try out the natural gout-soothing properties of lemon juice along with your normal treatment (26).

 

Can Protect Skin from UV Damage

 

Sun cancer is one of the leading killers for those of us who live in sunny areas near the equator, which means protection from the sun is a big priority in those areas.

As well as using SPF sunscreen, hats, and shelter to protect ourselves, we can use our food and drink intake, too.


Research has shown that antioxidants such as Vitamin C found in lemon water can help protect the skin from damage to skin cells caused by UVB radiation – the most dangerous variety.

Not only does this help defend against cancer, but aging and wrinkles caused by the sun too (27).

 

lemon-water-glass

 

Prevents Overeating

 

Do you feel like you can never get full?

Does it seem as if you’re always eating and snacking?

Sipping on lemon water could help you feel fuller and prevent weight gain by providing an alternative to snacking.

A study proved that drinking beverages with no calories like lemon water can help you consume less calories overall during a meal.

This is in comparison to drinking high-calorie beverages, which would not prevent overeating and weight gain (28).

 

May Decrease Risk of Fatal Heart Disease

 

Dehydration can increase the risk of a heart attack or heart disease because your blood gets thicker and makes it easier for blockages in the heart to occur.

Drinking lemon water each day helps to increase your fluid intake, which prevents dehydration and, therefore, helps to defend against fatal heart disease (29).

 

May Reduce Risk of Cancer

 

There’s no doubt that a daily drink of lemon water helps to structure fluid intake into your diet, which means you will drink more water.

There is evidence that this may help reduce bladder, bowel, and other forms of cancer, by increasing urine output and reducing constipation.

If you are constipated or have a low urine output, there’s more chance that carcinogenic substances will be in contact with the bladder or colon for a longer period.

That’s why keeping up your fluid intake helps to flush out those toxins and keep you healthier (30).

 

lemon-wedges-slices

 

Your Liver Will Love It

 

The liver is one of the most important organs and plays a vital role in processing toxins in the body and detoxifying the blood.


The Vitamin C in lemon water helps promote glutathione, which plays a key role within the liver in the detoxification process (31).

 

Supplements Potassium Intake for Better Health

 

Lemon water is also a source of potassium, which is a vital mineral for proper bodily function.

Low potassium has been linked with high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, cancer, digestive disorders, and infertility, so it’s important to maintain your intake of this element.

A daily glass of refreshing lemon water is the ideal way to help you achieve this (32)!

 

Reduces Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary tract infections can not only be uncomfortable and irritating, but they can also progress to a life-threatening kidney infection if left untreated.

Frequent consumption of fresh juices and a good amount of fluid intake are two factors that help to prevent urinary tract infection.

With a glass of lemon water, you can get both of these factors at once in a delicious drink (33).

 

Helps to Manage Diabetes

 

This is another great reason to throw the lemon peel into your glass of lemon water.

Lemon peel exhibits aldose reductase inhibitory potential.

While this sounds complicated, what it means is that compounds in lemon peel reduce glucose levels in body parts such as eyes, nerves, and areas of the kidney.


These are all body parts that are susceptible to damage in diabetes.

This means that these compounds in lemon peel can help to reduce diabetic complications in the eye, nerves, and kidney, as well as better protecting the health of diabetics (34).

Pretty amazing list, isn’t it?

The many benefits and advantages of drinking lemon water produce protection, prevention, and healing in many areas of the body.

It tastes great too!

 

sliced-lemons

 

How to Make Lemon Water

 

As previously discussed, the simplest basic recipe for lemon water is to add the juice of half a lemon to an 8 oz glass of water.

For adjustments or added benefits, check out the tips below.

Tips

  • If you’re under 150 pounds, half a lemon’s worth of juice should be perfect for you daily needs; if you’re over 150 pounds, you may benefit from using a whole lemon’s worth of juice.
  • If you want to receive the benefits of the polyphenols in the lemon skin, either add the peel whole into your glass of lemon water or use a zester to scrape some peel into the drink, thought this will remove some of the beneficial compounds.
  • For a comforting, cleansing drink first thing in the morning or late at night, use lukewarm water to mix with your lemon juice. Make sure the water is not too hot as this can destroy some of the nutrients and enzymes in the fresh lemon juice.
  • If you want to receive the appetite-suppressing and metabolism-boosting benefits of lemon water, mix your lemon juice with chilled water and drink before or during meals.
  • Lemon juice naturally contains a lot of acids, so try sipping your lemon water through a straw to prevent damage to teeth.

 

How to Store Lemon Water

 

Lemon water is best prepared from 100% natural and freshly squeezed lemon juice from whole lemons.


Bottled lemon juice or lemon juice concentrate should be avoided as it has often been heat-treated or had chemicals added to prolong shelf life.

If you absolutely have to, you could juice your lemons one day ahead and add to water just before serving, but, as always, fresh is best.

 

How to Choose the Best Lemons for Lemon Water

 

When it comes to picking the best lemons for lemon water, you want the freshest, cleanest, juiciest fruit you can find.

But how do you find that special lemon?

The secret is in gently squeezing the lemons with your hands – the easiest ones to squeeze are likely to be the juiciest.

However, you want to avoid lemons that are too soft because they could be overripe or worse – rotten.

Choose regular lemons over Meyer lemons because Meyer lemons are a bit sweeter.

And, of course, if you can, choose organic, especially if you plan on including the skin as well.

When preparing your water, choose filtered and freshly warmed or chilled water to mix with your lemon juice.

This produces the best taste and is better for you.

 

Who Can’t Drink Lemon Water?

 

You may be thinking that lemon water possesses many benefits, but is there anyone who can’t enjoy it?

Lemon water can be beneficial for pregnant women because dietitians suggest that drinking lemon water can provide some relief from dizziness, headaches, edema, and cramps.


The American Pregnancy Association also says that even lemon scent helps provide relief to morning sickness, so breathe in that scent deeply with your morning lemon water!

Lemon water might not be helpful for anyone who has a stomach ulcer because the cleansing acid content in lemon juice can irritate stomach ulcers when they are active.

Lemon juice might also worsen heartburn, but this is not necessarily true for everyone; if you do suffer heartburn, the best idea is to give lemon water a try and see if it works for you.

 

Conclusion

 

There is a wonderful and vast selection of benefits to drinking lemon water every day.

From the juice to the peel, this sour fruit is packed with vitamins, antioxidants, and disease-fighting compounds that help you look and feel great.

From the eyes to the skin, as well as the kidneys, liver, and heart, these nutrients help to protect and nurture almost every part of the body, which makes lemon water the ideal daily drink for better overall health.


The best way to find out the benefits for yourself is to experience the refreshing and cleansing effects of a glass of lukewarm lemon water first thing in the morning.

You may quickly find that you not only enjoy the invigorating taste, but that you are able to eat healthier, stay slim, and that your skin is glowing; and that’s just the external effects.

Not to mention the wonders that lemon water is doing for your insides as well.

Remember to keep your fluid intake up with at least 8 glasses of water a day (your glass of lemon water included) to help promote your best health yet.

Lemon water is your simple, tasty solution for looking and feeling better and living a happier and healthier day-to-day life.

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