Lemon water is renowned for enhancing health and beauty. So much that it’s become an internet joke, where one glass can contour your cheekbones, improve your waist-to-hip ratio, and fix your life!Although lemon water’s health benefits aren’t so transformative, they’re undoubtedly powerful.
In this article, we’ll investigate the truth behind the hype. We’ll look at lemon water’s health benefits, the nutritional content of drinking a glass, and how to get more lemon water in your diet. However, we’ll also look at why avoiding lemon water might be right for you.
Different health benefits of lemon water
Although lemon water’s health benefits are mostly anecdotal, scientific studies have found that frequent consumption of lemon water might:
- Improve skin. Lemon’s high vitamin C content makes it likely to improve skin appearance by encouraging collagen production.1
- Support weight loss. Lemons contain polyphenol antioxidants, which have been shown to suppress weight gain.2
- Encourage iron absorption. Vitamin C helps your body better absorb iron from vegetables3– which is especially useful for vegans or vegetarians, who are at risk for iron deficiency.4
Why you should avoid lemon waterExcessive consumption of lemon water does have some downsides. You may want to avoid lemon water and choose other healthy drinks if you’re concerned about:
Tooth enamel erosion. Lemon’s high acid content can reduce the hardness of enamel over time.5 However, drinking lemon water with a straw will decrease your risk.
Bacteria on lemon skins. Lemon skins hold illness-causing bacteria,6 including E. coli. Squeeze your lemon juice into your glass, instead of throwing in a slice, to minimise your chance of ingesting harmful bacteria.
Nutritional benefits of lemon waterA 60ml glass of lemon water contains:7
31% of your daily Vitamin C. Vitamin C contributes to the protection of your cells from oxidative stress.8
How to include more lemon water in your dietThe best way to enjoy lemon water health benefits is to have a glass in the morning with lukewarm water. Lemon water provides a much-needed hydration-hit after your overnight fast. Adequate hydration likely helps your body digest food better9, and lemon water’s acid content should improve how your body digests breakfast.10
Last updated: 9 October 2020