Health Benefits of Lemon Water
Does drinking lemon water first thing in the morning have major health benefits? Find out on this episode of The Sitch!
On today’s episode of The Sitch, we’re squeezing the truth out of very popular wellness practice – starting your day with a warm glass of lemon water.
Many people claim that slurping down a cup of lemon water first thing in the morning helps “detoxify” your system, and promotes weight loss, clear skin, and keeping the body “alkaline” so-to-speak.
I love staying hydrated as much as the next person but these claims seem a little overblown, so I decided to dig into the research.
First off, there are absolutely no studies on lemon water health benefits, specifically. But there is plenty of research on hydration and vitamin C and their effects on health.
So let’s see how those studies stack up to the wild claims about lemon water!
CLAIMS ABOUT LEMON WATER
Claim #1: Lemon water supports weight loss.
While there aren’t any studies specifically on lemon water and weight loss, we do know that hydration is important during dieting.
Many studies show that dieters with a higher total water intake have greater weight loss.
Additionally, randomized control trials have shown that people who consume water before a meal are better able to regulate their hunger and satiety.
Over time, this can result in greater weight loss than those who don’t consume water before meals.
As for vitamin C, one study found that individuals with poor vitamin c status don’t oxidize fat as efficiently and have poorer metabolic rates.
Claim #2: Lemon water improves skin quality.
Proper hydration is important for skin quality, but there is no evidence to suggest that drinking lemon water specifically is the answer to perpetual youthfulness.
Some of the warning signs of dehydration include thirst, flushed skin, and premature fatigue.
Claim #3. Lemon water aids in digestion.
While there is no evidence to suggest unique benefits of lemon water for digestion, staying hydrated is undoubtedly important for proper gi functioning, especially for those with conditions like IBS and constipation.
Water helps with GI transit, stool frequency, and decreases the need for medications, such as laxatives.
It’s recommended that people with IBS consume 1.5-3 L per day of fluids, mainly from water.
If lemon water helps you increase your intake, then I say, drink up!
Claim #4: Lemon water helps keep your blood “alkaline.”
Though lemons are very acidic citrus, there is no evidence to suggest that eating them significantly alters the body’s pH – and thank god for that!
Our body maintains a tightly regulated blood pH of 7.35-7.45.
If the food we eat easily shifted our pH, we’d be in constant danger of a life-threatening medical emergency.
When we eat food, though it may be acidic or alkaline (basic) outside of the body, once digested, the body balances out any ionic contributions in a homeostatic process known as acid-base balance.
Claim #5: Lemon water helps with detoxification.
One of lemon water’s biggest claims to fame is its ability to detoxify the body.
Detoxification is the physiological process of removing toxic substances from the body – largely carried out by our liver and kidneys.
Our liver has many enzymes that help us “detox” on a daily basis, while the kidneys help filter out waste through our urine.
While there’s no research showing lemon water has the ability to help with detoxification, staying hydrated certainly helps the process by assisting the liver and kidneys in their ability to get rid of waste by creating more urine.
LEMON WATER HEALTH BENEFITS
So does lemon water have any unique health benefits?
Well, one study showed that lemon tea may assist with cognitive functioning post-exercise.
This may be due to the fact that hydration helps replenish electrolytes post-exercise, which you do with plain old water.
Additionally, lemon juice may have the potential to reduce kidney stones.
Bottom Line: The benefits of lemon water are likely due to hydration and vitamin C. It’s no magic elixir.
If you like it — great, bottoms up!
If you find a super sour beverage a little off-putting in the AM, stick to plain old water and enjoy some lemon vinaigrette on your salad later in the day.
HARMS OF LEMON WATER
Finally, while lemon water is generally harmless, it could cause issues for people with certain medical conditions, such as acid reflux.
I’ve suffered from GERD for most of my life and I can tell you that a glass of lemon water on an empty stomach is a nightmare for me.
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Looking for more info on healthy beverages? Check out these posts! >>
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