In this era of health blogs and diet trends, there is a constant flow of new healthy food combinations, dietary supplements, and weight loss routines being promoted all over the internet. Images of people with clear skin, slim figures, and toned muscles are paired with catchy headlines promising that by following a certain trend, you too can look just like the models in these photos.
Among the latest of these trends is drinking lemon water, a popular practice that numerous health blogs preach as a way to “detox” the body and aid in weight loss. However, there isn’t strong scientific evidence that this approach actual delivers the benefits promised. Here, we explore the pros and cons of drinking lemon water.
The main health benefit of drinking lemon water likely comes from Vitamin C, which improves the body’s absorption of iron and helps the immune system work properly. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant, which helps protect the body’s cells from damage. Reducing cell damage means lower risk for many conditions like diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. Lemons also include citrus flavonoids, which are plant compounds that also help reduce inflammation. One 2019 review reports that antioxidants and flavonoids in citrus can improve glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity.
Another pro of drinking lemon water: it tastes good! Lemon is a great flavor additive, and lemon water can act as a beverage substitute for people who are trying to cut sugary drinks out of their diet. If you have trouble staying hydrated throughout the day or you don’t like the flavor of plain water, drinking any kind of fruit-infused water is an easy way to enjoy getting your daily intake.
Is it OK to drink lemon water every day? The main risk of regularly drinking lemon water is the potential damage it may cause to your teeth. Lemon water is safe to drink, but because of the acidity of lemons, regularly consuming it can corrode tooth enamel over time. This makes the teeth more sensitive to hard textures and extreme temperatures and make them more prone to cavities. Luckily, lemon-water lovers can avoid damaging their teeth by using a straw when drinking it and brushing their teeth immediately after consuming.
No. The idea of detoxing is to flush out harmful toxins from the body, but the human body already naturally rids itself of waste through digestion. There is no evidence that any kind of “detox diet” removes toxins from the body or has any notable health benefits. In fact, the lemon water detox diet might hinder the body’s natural toxin removing process.
Lemon water does not contain any fiber, so if a person is limiting their caloric intake on this diet, the large intestine cannot effectively remove toxins and waste products through the digestive process. Drinking water helps to eliminate waste from the body, but there is no evidence that lemon water is any better than plain water for this. There is also no evidence that lemon water is any better than regular water at aiding in weight loss. Enjoying lemon water for the Vitamin C and the flavor is a great option, but consuming it with the intent of “detoxing” or trying to lose weight is ineffective.
Staying well hydrated is the best way to keep your body running efficiently and in shape. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends a daily water intake of about 91 ounces (11.5 cups) of water for women and about 125 ounces (15.5 cups) for men. Making sure that you have fresh, great-tasting water available is a great way to stay hydrated. Consider investing in a Culligan water filtration system for cleaner, safer water straight from your tap.