29 Health Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water (Particularly in the Morning)

A glass of lemon water to start your day could keep the doctor away…

Benefits of Lemon Water

Why do I say that?

Because according to Hippocrates “All disease begins in the gut.”

And modern research has been conclusive that an unhealthy gut leads to a myriad of diseases like diabetes and obesity.

Drinking this in the morning helps your gut by stimulating the production of hydrochloric acid, a critical ingredient that our stomach needs to digest and expel waste because it is rich in vitamin C.

And guess what?

There are 28 more health benefits of lemon water that I want to share with you.

As recently as a few years ago, I would start my day by drinking a cup of coffee to “wake myself up.”

It was a habit that lasted around seven years until I replaced coffee with juice this year.

I did not know that too much caffeine can lead to an early death, so I had to cut it off my regular diet.

The idea of drinking lemon water was something I heard from my wife’s friend who’s also into juicing. She told us that it was good for our digestive system.

I did my research that lemon water had a lot more benefits.

I do still drink coffee, but I had to limit the consumption to a minimum.

Anyway back to the topic.

Why Drink Lemon Water?

A lot of experts that includes doctors and nutritionists encourage people to drink lemon juice. Or use it as a sweetener in their green juices. This fruit is rich in vitamin C that is known to neutralize free radicals in our body.

It has an alkalizing effect which helps significantly in balancing our body’s pH levels (more on that below). Experts call this “Alkalizing Superstar.”

Rich in antioxidants

Overall, this little yellow fruit packs a lot of nutritional punch. It is rich in antioxidants that will neutralize free radicals from oxidizing cells. And it stimulates our digestive system to flush out toxins from the body.

Here’s the nutrition you’ll get from 100 grams of lemon juice

VitaminsAmount / Serving
Vitamin A20.0IU
Vitamin C46.0mg
Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol)0.2mg
Niacin0.1mg
Vitamin B60.1mg
Folate13.0mcg
Pantothenic Acid0.1mg
Choline5.1mg
Minerals
Calcium7.0mg
Magnesium6.0mg
Phosphorus6.0mg
Potassium124mg
Sodium1.0mg
Zinc0.1mg
Selenium0.1mcg

Source: Nutrition Data

The most significant benefit in my book is the very low sugar levels. According to ThePaleoDiet, per 100 grams it only has 0.2 grams of fructose and 0.2 of glucose.

The low sugar content makes this fruit suitable for almost anyone looking for a quick nutritional boost every morning.

Plus it has virtually zero calories so you won’t gain any weight.

You could sweeten it up, naturally

The most straightforward recipe would be squeezing half-a-lemon on a glass of warm water. But if you think this is too sour for your taste, sweeten it up a bit by adding a teaspoon or two of pure honey. You do this not only for added flavor but also to help you.

Pick up your energy level

If you find yourself low on energy in the afternoon why not drink lemon water with some honey? Honey and lemon are known as natural energy boosters minus the calories.

Drinking honey with lemon water certainly beats drinking artificial energy drinks like Red Bull.

Treat sore throat

This combination works well together in treating sore throat.

Lemon helps dissolve mucus and lemon acts as a lubricant that coats the backside of your throat providing some relief.

Treat coughs

This is my personal home remedy. When I have a cough, I’ll mix in honey plus half a lemon in a mug of hot water and will feel relieved afterward.

According to the Mayo Clinic, honey contains dextromethorphan an ingredient found in over-the-counter cough medications that work well as a home remedy to suppress coughs and even sore throat.

But

Adding honey (or any sugar for that matter) to lemon water could turn it into an acidic concoction that could lower your body’s pH levels.

According to Ross Bridgeford, if your body’s pH levels go down, the red blood cells turn into mold, bacteria, and yeast which in turn excrete acid waste.

In short, sugar, whether it be honey or processed sugar combined with citrus makes the body highly acidic – a breeding ground for a lot of ailments.

Tip: If you are drinking lemon water every day, avoid adding any sweeteners in it because it makes this drink acidic. Only add honey when you need to treat sore throat or coughs.

Should I drink it hot or cold?

As much as I like to drink it hot in the morning to wake me up, nutritionists and health experts say that using lukewarm water is better.
Using boiling water will kill the enzymes and cold water will disrupt the digestive benefits of lemon water because it will need more energy to absorb the nutrients.

The only time to drink it hot will be if you want to relieve constipation, nausea, and heartburn.

To sum it all up here are 29 reasons why you should drink this magical drink

Health Benefits of Lemon Water

1. A Post-Workout Drink

If you are tired of spending a fortune on Gatorade, this recipe that includes lemon, lime, water, sea salt, and honey/natural sugar could be a good and more affordable alternative.

One thing that people don’t realize when they exercise is that the body becomes acidic after an intense workout.

Lemon is a great neutralizer of that high acidity inside your body. [1]

Update (Nov. 12, 2014): I just read in FoodBabe’s site that lemon is rich in electrolytes and can be used in combination with apple and celery to replace a store bought energy drink like Gatorade.

Tip: You can also replenish lost fluids during workouts by drinking lemon water instead of just plain water to improve muscle endurance (particularly for running).

2. Alkalizes the Body

Nutritionists like Gareth Edwards say that has a tremendous alkalizing effect on the body because “minerals in it disassociate to make it alkaline” as the body absorbs it.

Here’s a video explaining this in detail.

Lemon is acidic by nature. But as it enters the bloodstream, “the alkalizing salts override the presence of acids” during the metabolic process [2].

Tip: Avoid adding honey, maple syrup or any sweetener because doing so will have the opposite effect which is to raise the body’s acidity levels.

3. Asthma Treatment

Lemon has been listed in countless home remedies lists as one of the best natural treatments for asthma that’s because it is rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant that fights free radicals which cause smooth muscle contraction and airway constriction, both symptoms of asthma. It also helps clear out mucus from air vessels. [3]

Tip: Don’t just rely on a lemon for treatment, if your doctor prescribes an inhaler, by all means, use it just in case you have asthma attacks. Lemon is only meant to provide you with the dietary supplement you need to fight this condition.

4. Balances Blood Sugar Levels

Lemon is rich in a compound called Bioflavonoids which gives this fruit its yellow color. This same compound also naturally stimulates the production of insulin in our body that in turn balances our blood sugar levels which can help people who have diabetes. [4]

Tip: If you juice using lemon as the only sweetener in your recipes, it has very little sugar and calories. It will take some time to acclimate to the flavor, but the results are worth it. If it’s too bitter or sour, add one apple to the mix.

5. Balances pH levels

When the pH level increases inside the body, the more acidic, it becomes. High acidic levels in the body make it more prone to diseases such as high cholesterol and diabetes.

A great way of balancing pH levels is drinking water infused with fresh lemon juice to alkalize the body and lowering acidity levels. [5]

6. Brain Food

This little yellow fruit is rich in potassium which is considered brain food. [6]

7. Caffeine Replacement

Lemon is a natural energy booster, even more so if you add honey to it.

I’ve said earlier in this article that I was a chain coffee drinker who gulps down two large mugs a day. And I’ve replaced it lemon water with no regrets whatsoever. [7]

8. Detoxifies

If you haven’t heard about “The Master Cleanse.” This is a diet that consists of only drinking lemon water mixed with honey, cayenne pepper or maple syrup for an extended period.

This method will not work for everyone. But I want to point out that this technique takes advantage of the citric acid content in lemon. Citric acid helps flush toxins from the colon, gallbladder, and liver. Without detoxing, these toxins will remain inside the body.

A similar effect can be had by drinking this first thing in the morning before any meals. [8]

9. Dissolves Phlegm

Citric acid present in the lemon will dissolve phlegm. In addition to that, it is rich in antioxidants like Vitamin C and K that help fight off cough and colds.

Warm water helps soothe irritation brought about by coughing. It also acts as a decongestant.

William Sears says that honey is very effective at dissolving phlegm, more effective than cough syrups. [9]

Tip: Remember that if your cough does not improve a few days after drinking this mixture, consult a physician and take proper medication. It only serves as a natural first aid alternative.

10. Fights Cancer Cells

The Bioflavonoid content in lemon also works as an antioxidant that fights against cell oxidation and free radical damage. Both are the main culprits of cancer.

Theresa Chung who wrote “The Lemon Juice Diet” went as far as saying that it can help prevent cancer.

It also contains pectin that according to Vijaya Kumar have been known to protect the intestines from cancer.

11. Heart Food

Potassium found in lemon is vital for the function of our heart, it does not treat any ailment, but it helps in preventing heart-related illnesses like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and irregular heartbeat.

12. Helps Hydrate Our Lymphatic System

According to Dr. John Douillard, the lymph system largest circulatory system in our body, twice as large as the arterial system, it is responsible for flushing out waste and toxins out of our system. Keeping it hydrated is essential to our overall health.

Water alone is enough to hydrate the lymph system, but I added lemon here because it helps in alkalizing thus balancing acidity levels.

13. Helps Treat Constipation

This combo is great as a home remedy for constipation. Water helps lubricate the digestive system and soften stool. Citric acid found in lemon induces bowel movement that will flush out undigested waste from the colon. [10]

14. Helps Treat Scurvy

Scurvy for those who don’t know is a disease that is a direct result of vitamin C deficiency. Sailors are most prone to this disease because of their extended mission trips on the sea that often outlast their produce supply. Lemon water is the treatment of choice for this ailment because it is rich in vitamin C. Water is excellent as masking the sharp flavor thus allowing them to drink this concoction in large amounts.

15. Improves Digestive Health

A cup of warm water before any meal in the morning will help break down waste and flush out to toxins from the gut. That’s because, at a molecular level, lemon is similar to your saliva that encourages the liver to produce bile – a fluid needed by our intestines to dispose of waste and toxins. [11]

Tip: Warm lemon water should be the first thing that goes in your stomach in the morning, before having breakfast or any other liquid.

16. Improves Eyesight

Being rich in vitamin C also has a positive effect on your eyesight as this will help prevent eye conditions like macular degeneration and cataract. [12]

It also contains a tiny bit of vitamin A (1% per 244 grams), another critical nutrient for good vision.

17. Improves Our Immune System

Lemons are rich in nutrients like bioflavonoids, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, citric acid, folate and pectin that boost our body’s immune system and immobilize free radicals – the cause of most ailments.

18. Increases Metabolism and Promotes Weight Loss

It is a little known fact that drinking eight glasses of water (8 ounces per glass) each day boosts your metabolism or how much your body burns calories by 30%.

It is based on a study done by Michael Boschmann of the Franz Volhard Research Center. Lemon adds some flavor to water which will help you drink more plus it has pectin which suppresses appetite. [13]

Tip: Pectic and dietary fiber is in the pithy white part under the skin. Try to juice this part as well.

19. Keeps Our Body Hydrated

If drinking water is a chore for you consider adding a few slices of lemon in there to add a bit of flavor and sharpness to it.

It’ll help hydrate your body and replenish lost vitamin and minerals you lose when you get stressed. [14]

20. Kills Free Radicals

Per 100grams of lemon juice, you’ll get 77% of your daily vitamin C requirements which is known to neutralize free radicals in our body.

21. Kills Worms

Parasites like worms thrive in an acidic environment by drinking something bitter like lemon mixed in water helps in flushing them out.

22. Lowers High Blood Pressure

A citrus fruit, like lemon, is rich in vitamin C that helps in thinning the blood, in addition to its antioxidant properties.

Another mineral found in this fruit that helps lower blood pressure is potassium that flushes out excess sodium. [15]

Tip: If you have high blood pressure, it is essential to keep yourself hydrated throughout the day. The lack of water tells your body to go into preservation mode. This means that it will hang on to every last drop of water your body has. The effect of this is the thickening of the blood – another cause of high blood pressure.

23. Lowers Stress Levels

One thing that gets depleted when you’re stressed is vitamin C. So the next time your stress levels go up, take a break and replenish that lost vitamin C with a cup of warm lemon water. [16]

24. Prevents Bad Breath

It helps two ways here. First by killing the bad-breath-causing bacteria in your mouth and second, by flushing away toxins in your liver that when overworked releases bad smelling substances to the bloodstream, lungs then out the mouth. [17]

25. Radiant Skin

Its antioxidant properties help you get more radiant skin from the inside out by repairing damaged cells, flushing out toxins and killing free radicals that can ruin our skin. [18]

26. Reduces Uric Acid and Inflammation

Lemon is rich in potassium and citrate that prevent the crystallization and buildup of uric acid inside the body which also causes swelling.

Since it is a diuretic, it will help flush out excess fluid from the body, and that includes the uric acid thus reducing inflammation. [19]

Tip: To get the maximum benefit, drink one glass after every meal and avoid adding any sweeteners in there like honey because this is a byproduct of fructose metabolism. [20]

27. Treats Kidney Stones (and Prevent It)

Dr. Hoffman said in this article that the citrate present in lemon help inhibit oxalate crystals from forming, one of the most common kidney stones. He recommends mixing 4 ounces of lemon juice to two liters of water to increase urinary citrate levels. Oh, avoid adding any sugar or honey for the maximum benefit.

28. UTI Prevention

My wife has had her battles with UTI and a recent bout with it left her weak and unable to work for almost a week.

Her friend’s sister had it much worst, the UTI she had led to septic shock which almost took her life, fortunately, she was able to overcome it.

Antiseptic properties help prevent sepsis

Studies have shown that lemon has antiseptic properties that prevent sepsis – a condition when left untreated may lead to septic shock.

If you have UTI, drink lots of water to flush out toxins and facilitate the healing process. Lemon juice is a natural antibiotic that kills the bacteria inside the bladder and urethra so adding this to water will help in naturally relieving the pain. [21][22]

29. Your Liver Will Love It

Lemon contains lots of vitamin C that our body needs to produce glutathione which in turn detoxes the liver.

Also, its antiseptic properties stimulate the liver in flushing out uric acid and other impurities. [23]

Some tips

  1. The best time to drink lemon water would be in the morning 15 to 30 minutes before having any meal because your body will be able to absorb more nutrients on an empty stomach.
  2. Avoid any store bought lemon juice as these are already pasteurized and contain artificial sweeteners that we don’t want. Remember adding sugar to a citrus fruit raises the body’s pH level. Using fresh lemon is always the best.
  3. I’ve read some articles that go as far as saying to drink this even before brushing your teeth, I mean that’s going overboard, but it’s worth a shot
  4. Lifehack recommends that you use half a lemon if you weigh 150 pounds or less and a whole lemon if you weigh over 150 pounds
  5. You can use a straw for drinking this since the acids found in lemon can eat away at the teeth’s protective enamel coating
  6. You could follow up with a glass of water to wash away those acids

Looking to add more lemon to your diet?

  1. You could squeeze lemon on meat, seafood or salad dishes to add a contrasting flavor to these dishes
  2. Add lemon zest on drinks or desserts
  3. It could be used as a base for cakes, cookies, and other desserts

Don’t throw away the skin

Don’t throw away the skin as it is a rich source of nutrients like potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin A and C, calcium, beta carotene, and iron.

It’s a known anti-cancer agent that flushes away carcinogenic stuff from the body.

Lemon Zest

You could eat the skin, but I’d prefer to grate it on your desserts, food or drinks. It will all boil down on your preference.

Remember if you’re planning on eating the skin make sure that you are using organic, that way you don’t have to worry about pesticides going into your system.

But

Avoid eating the rind if you have kidney or gallbladder stones avoid eating the skin as it contains high amounts of oxalates that can crystallize and become stones.

How to prepare?

You can do what I do and squeeze it on a cup of warm water but that’s messy, and you’ll need to exert some effort. To get more juice out of the lemon that you could use on lemon water or as a part of juice recipes you can use a lemon squeezer or juicer.

Another way to prepare lemon water is chopping them off in slices and soaking them in a pitcher of water. It will help add to the flavor of water and help you drink more. Just make sure to wash it thoroughly and scrub the rind.

Lemon Slices

If possible, avoid using the microwave

I’d avoid using the microwave to heat this because of the radiation that could kill the nutrients in this drink, if possible use a thermos and fill up 3/4’s of the cup with water (at room temp) and the other 1/4 with hot water, that should do the trick. If you need to use the microwave cover the cup with a small ceramic (not plastic) plate, so it shields the drink from radiation

Can pregnant women drink this?

Dietitian Julie Redfern says that drinking lemon water can provide some relief from dizziness, headaches, edema, and cramps. The American Pregnancy Association says that even lemon scent helps give relief to morning sickness. Only avoid this when you have allergies to citrus or if you have an ulcer. Make sure to consult with your gynecologist before making any diet changes during pregnancy.

Finally, avoid lemon if

You have an ulcer or if you’re by chance allergic to it. It would be best to consult your physician before consuming lemon if you think you may have these conditions.

The Bottom Line: It Promotes Healing and Improves Our Health

This magical fruit from the rind to its juices is a rich source of nutrients, antioxidants and enzymes that help flush out toxins, prevent diseases and promote healing in our bodies.

You’ll notice that all the benefits listed may be redundant, but that’s I’m trying to point out – they are related to one another.

Adding this drink to your diet will do a great deal in balancing your body’s pH levels that prevent it from being too acidic. It’s in an acidic environment where bacteria, parasites, and cancer cells thrive.

Remember to drink at least eight glasses of water every day to keep your body hydrated.

This post has been shared in Urban Naturale Blog Hop #44.

Article sources

[1] http://www.nomeatathlete.com/post-workout-recovery/
[2] http://www.vitalitylink.com/article-holistic-health-2055-lemon-juice-acidic-alkaline-body-water
[3] https://www.organicfacts.net/home-remedies/home-remedies-for-asthma.html
[4] http://www.diabeticseniors.com/lemon-juice-and-vinegar/
[5] http://www.chatelaine.com/health/diet/tired-overweight-you-might-be-too-acidic/
[6] http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/potassium-sources-and-benefits
[7] http://www.drfranklipman.com/coffee-substitutes/
[8] http://www.ivillage.com/detox-these-cleansing-foods/4-a-537021
[9] http://www.readersdigest.co.uk/health/health-a-z/sore-throat/sore-throats-cures-and-remedies
[10] https://www.amoils.com/health-blog/how-to-treat-constipation-the-natural-way/
[11] http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/does-lemon-juice-detox-the-liver/
[12] http://www.rd.com/health/wellness/eye-health-easy-ways-to-improve-your-vision/
[13] http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/9-tips-to-increase-metabolism.htm
[14] http://kimberlysnyder.net/blog/2011/07/07/15-hydrating-foods-and-drinks-for-summer/
[15] http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jnme/2014/912684/
[16] http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200304/vitamin-c-stress-buster
[17] http://www.naturalhealthmag.com/expert-advice/how-can-i-prevent-bad-breath
[18] http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/acne/features/skin-foods?page=2
[19] http://drhoffman.com/article/gout-an-overview-2/
[20] http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/01/27/gout-uric-acid.aspx
[21] http://www.waterbenefitshealth.com/lemon-water-and-cystitis.html
[22] http://www.tbyil.com/Urinary_Tract_Infections.htm
[23] http://www.liversupport.com/wordpress/2010/11/love-your-liver-with-lemon-water/

40 thoughts on “29 Health Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water (Particularly in the Morning)”

  1. Wow! Thank you for such a comprehensive, detailed post! I used to drink lemon water in the mornings before eating but felt it was eating away at my teeth enamel. I like your suggestion to drink it with a straw – I will have to start drinking it again, it is so beneficial to our bodies!

    1. I’m glad you liked it Kyra, a cup of warm lemon water every morning has helped with my gut movement everyday. I’m pushing my wife to drink it since she is prone to UTI (she forgets to drink lots of water)

  2. Hi Garrick,
    I am so glad you focused on the amazing benefits of lemon water. I drink this every morning so I am delighted that you shared 29 Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water with us at the Healthy, Happy, Green and Natural Party Blog Hop. I appreciate it!

    1. Thanks Deborah,

      Yes, a glass of lemon water is a great way to start your day. Thanks for sharing this in your blog hop party. It’s always an honor.

  3. I know that lemon is very good for you especially in detoxing, Very good information you have provided. I also never use a microwave – got rid of mine and never want to get another. Twitted and pinned. Visiting from Healthy Happy Green & Natural blog hop.

  4. This is such a thorough and informative article! I love how drinking such simple things that nature provides for us has such huge health benefits for our bodies! Thank you so much for sharing!

  5. Excellent article. It has a lot of good information on this little zesty zing! I do practice the lemon water detox in the morning. I feel much healthier and less lethargic in the morning.

  6. You have contradicted yourself in the article. At multiples places you point out adding honey helps, yet in many other places you recommend to clearly avoid it. What’s the go here?

  7. Mc sure you are clear..
    Acid is low and alkaline is high numbers
    Ex.
    2.2 is acidic
    7.5 is alkaline..
    Runs a spectrum….1.0…………….9.0
    1.0…acid
    9.0..alkaline

  8. Thank you so much for sharing your News. it will be very helpful for Us! Very nice and Informative blog. I will keep all the tips in my mind which you mention in your post.Just Bookmark your site and waiting for the next post!

  9. Thanks Dee for dis article, i think it’s an eye opener, yeah.
    I just started my own today & i do wish it could flush some fat from my body n give me a flat tummy.
    Thanks once more.

  10. My research lead me to this blog and am happy i was able to pick something today, ie the using of a strew so it wont affect the tooth.
    Thanks alot.
    I have been taking it for quite some time now and am seeing the results like a more radiant skin, easy digestion of food, etc

  11. My small question is that should i squeez half a lemon or full lemon in a glass of warm water. and how much the quantity of the water should in a half lemon? thanx

    1. I don’t really measure, I would normally put in half a lemon in one large cup (more or less 500 to 700ml). If the lemon doesn’t have too much juice inside it, then I’d squeeze the whole thing.

  12. I thought an apple a day can keep the doctor away. But I guess I’m definitely wrong about it because lemon can keep the doctor away too. Great post! That nutrition facts inside this post is a rock star. Genius!

  13. Thank you,You are very informative.I have heard of the master cleanse.I do the Dr.Hulda Clark kidney cleanse,bowel cleanse and liver cleanse.Twenty years+-works exactly as stated if you follow the logic.God bless America.

  14. When I first started drinking lemon water, I noticed a strange, almost burning sensation, in my neck for a few days. Maybe this was unrelated, but I felt like it was my lymph nodes detoxing. Anyone else experience anything similar?

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