Lemon water is simple and easy to make. All the ingredients you need are pure lemon juice and water.
Just what is so amazing about lemon water?
Well, we all know that lemons are full of vitamin C. But there is a lot more to it - as we go into in detail below.
1. Lemon water is an antioxidant
Wouldn’t it be great if you could have perfect skin without annoying skincare routines? Although basic skincare is still important, lemon water can help greatly.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant.
Antioxidants play a major role in keeping you healthy. We’ll get to all of them later. But another function is that antioxidants can remove skin blemishes and wrinkles.
Research was conducted analyzing data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The researchers looked at the relationship between nutrient intakes and skin aging in women (between 40 and 74 years old). Skin aging included characteristics such as wrinkles, dryness and skin atrophy.
They found that higher levels of vitamin C and linoleic led to better skin-aging. Also included were lower consumption of fats and carbs.
The antioxidants also help detox your body.
Without the toxins, your skin will be much brighter!
2. Lemon water gives you a potassium boost
Potassium is one of the seven essential macro-minerals. Others are calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium and sulfur.
The World Health Organization recommends a daily intake of 3,510 mg (but most of the world isn’t meeting the standard). The body requires 100 mg every day to function. According to Nutrition Data, raw lemon juice contains 303 mg of potassium.
Here are some of the many benefits of potassium:
· Reduce risk of high blood pressure
· Reduce risk of cardiovascular disease
· Increase bone density
· Maintain muscle health
3. Lemon water is a good source of folic acid
Folic acid is also known as vitamin B9. It is an essential vitamin in your diet.
Vitamin B9 is needed for building muscles, hemoglobin and cells. It helps prevent heart disorders and cancer. In some cases, it can even relieve symptoms from emotional and mental disorders.
When you don’t have enough folic acid, you can suffer from anemia, memory loss and feelings of paranoia. In extreme cases, there may be heart palpitations, birth defects during pregnancy, osteoporosis and even cancer.
4. Lemon water can reduce joint inflammation and pain
Lemons are acidic right?
But in your body, it actually becomes alkaline.
This makes it much better for the body. Alkaline foods have a pH over 7. It helps to decrease your body’s level of acidity. Through alkalization of urine, lemon water helps remove uric acid. This means it helps prevent joint inflammation.
This benefit is supported by research on lemon water and gout and hyperuricemia patients. There were 75 participants, between 25 and 95 years old.
The research went on for 6 weeks. At the end, all individuals saw a decrease in serum uric acid!
The researchers concluded that lemon water may be a useful treatment against gout.
More studies are needed, but it’s a good start!
5. Lemon water can help with digestion
In the morning, wake up your digestive system with a cup of warm lemon water. It can act like a laxative too. If you want to prevent constipation, this might help.
Ayurveda, a type of Indian medicine, believes that the lemony taste stimulates your agni. That is what starts up your digestive system.
A study posted in the International Journal of Molecular Medicine and Advanced Sciences found similar results.
Lemons contain citrus flavonoids.
They are found in pretty much every part of the fruit and carry a whole lot of health-promoting attributes.
Their functions include anti-inflammation, anti-allergy and anti-microbe.
The flavonoids are also believed to be a digestive tonic.
According to the study, it can stimulate the liver. It also promotes production of hydrochloric acid, which is needed for digestion.
6. Lemon water can help you absorb more nutrients
In addition to promoting digestion, the lemon acids also help process the food more slowly.
This draws out the absorption of nutrients. It can help you get more good stuff out of your food. You’ll also see steadier insulin levels.
Lemon juice is also mildly diuretic. This means it rids the body of extra fluid and salt. You might have to run to the bathroom more often. However, this helps detoxify your body and skin.
In addition, lemon water stimulates enzyme production in your liver. It makes it easier to release toxins. This also helps with the detox process for clearer skin!
7. Lemon water can protect against cardiovascular disease
Drinking lemon water daily can help reduce risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. It can also lower your blood pressure.
Taking vitamin C supplements can be just as beneficial as exercise. Research posted on the Stroke Journal looked at whether vitamin C levels had anything to do with risk of stroke. Of the 2,419 men studied, the ones with lowest levels of vitamin C had the highest risk. Especially among overweight men or those with high blood pressure.
As explained by the Linus Pauling Institute, vitamin C helps relax the blood vessels as well. Damage caused by heart attacks and strokes can be traced to the inability of blood vessels to relax.
In addition, the American Heart Journal showed that higher levels of vitamin C can reduce risk of heart failures.
For a healthy heart, lemon water seems to be the way to go!
8. Lemon water can help with acid reflux
Acid reflux is also known as heartburn.
This painful situation occurs when the valve of your stomach doesn’t close properly. Acid produced in your stomach for digestion then goes up into your throat. When this happens, you experience a burning pain in your chest.
People have long thought that lemons and other citrus fruits make the condition worse. It’s acid, right?
But as we now know, lemon juice becomes alkalized in our bodies. The key is to add a little bit of fresh lemon juice into a cup of warm water (hence, lemon water).
Make sure you find the right balance for yourself. Otherwise, the lemon juice can make your symptoms worse!
9. Lemon water can dissolve kidney stones
Though not the best for touchy tummies, citric acid in lemons are great for other things!
Calcium kidney stones are the most common of all kidney stones. They are formed by chemicals in your urine when there’s not enough liquid.
UW Health reveals that citric acid can decrease the risk of forming new calcium stones. The citrate stops tiny crystals of calcium from joining together. In addition, the water from your lemon water helps hydrate your body. This takes care of the kidney stone problem’s other half.
Lemon water can dissolve other stones too! Such as gallstones and pancreatic stones.
To prevent kidney stones, you can also consider a diet with:
· Less oxalate
· Less salt and animal protein
· More water
10. Lemon water can help you lose weight
As a negative ion, a cup of lemon water in the morning can boost your energy and spirit. It can help motivate you to work out.
But lemon water can help you lose weight in other ways too!
The Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition published a study showing how lemon polyphenol antioxidants reduced weight gain in mice. The mice were fed a high fat diet. Polyphenols extracted from lemon peels supplemented the diet.
There was a significant decrease in weight gain. Insulin resistance was improved too. Though it was experimented on mice, it’s good news for humans too.
In addition, lemon juice contains very little saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium.
Not only will you feel fresh and hydrated, you’ll also be hungry less often!
11. Lemon water hydrates like an energy drink
We’ve been saying that lemon water can hydrate you. But other than being a beverage, it hydrates with electrolytes.
Electrolytes include minerals such as calcium, potassium (which lemons are full of), and sodium. When dissolved in water, they create a solution that conducts electricity. They regulate hydration, muscle and nerve functions and much, much more.
Post-workout drinks usually advertise that they’re full of electrolytes. But if you add lemon juice, sugar and salt to water, you get the same result. With less of a hit on your wallet!
Plus, that lemony scent will improve your mood too!
12. Lemon water can help you recover from breast cancer
Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers. It affects millions of people worldwide. The treatment and recovery process can be painful as well.
For recovery, less estrogen is required. Estrogen is a hormone that can stimulate the growth of breast cancer cells. To stop estrogen production, something called aromatase inhibitors are needed.
They are naturally produced by postmenopausal women. But for breast cancer patients, medicine is needed. To make things easier though, citrus flavonoids in lemons can help inhibit aromatase too! Flavonoids in citrus juices were found to have similar results as pharmaceutical inhibitors.
Lemon water shouldn’t replace your medicine. But it’s a tasty beverage that can help boost the effect. Just ask your doctor to double check!
13. Lemon water may help reduce risk of asthma
Asthma is a chronic disease. When you have asthma, the airways in your lungs are inflamed. They can become swollen when your symptoms are triggered. This makes it difficult to breathe.
The disease often limits what you can do. Physical activity often triggers symptoms.
It was noted by the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey that children with less vitamin C intake had higher risk of asthma.
As we know, lemon juice is rich in vitamin C. People often tout lemon water as a home remedy too. There haven’t been many scientific studies on exact effects on asthma. But it’ll never hurt to up your vitamin C intake!
14. Lemon water may help prevent scurvy
Scurvy? In our modern society?
This disease has been terrorizing people since the times of ancient Greece. It was usually associated with sailors.
And it has some horrible symptoms:
· Appetite loss
· Hemorrhaging (bleeding) of the gums, skin and eye
· Propotopsis (protruding) of the eye
· Hyperkeratosis (skin disorder)
· Sicca syndrome (connective tissue disease)
The unfortunate news is that scurvy is not gone from our lives. This sailor’s disease may be on the rise. It’s especially prevalent for those with low income and/or don’t eat well.
Blood tests show that many patients have low levels of vitamin C, B and D.
According to experts, 1000 mg of vitamin C every day for one week should restore levels of essential vitamin C. One or two cups of lemon water each day should do the trick in preventing scurvy too!
15. Lemon water can help freshen your breath
Do you love that tangy lemony scent? Lemons (peels or extract) are often used as home remedies for neutralizing odors.
The same can apply to bad breath caused by strong-smelling foods such as garlic and onions.
In addition, that lemon flavor helps stimulate saliva flow in your mouth. This is thanks to the fact that lemons are acidic.
And saliva is an interesting and useful liquid. In addition with helping to digest and swallow food, saliva can destroy bacteria. This is why animals lick their wounds! So when lemon water stimulates saliva production, it increases protection of your mouth. It can temporarily relieve dry mouth syndrome too.
Saliva can help prevent tooth decay as well. However, lemon juice is acidic enough to erode teeth enamel. Just remember to drink through a straw and you’ll welcome each day with fresh breath and great teeth!
16. Lemon water can help improve vision in diabetics
Type 2 diabetes usually only show mild symptoms. Though mild, there are a variety of symptoms that diabetics can suffer from:
· Often urination
· Feeling thirsty and/or hungry
· Extreme fatigue
· Numbness, pain or tingling in extremities
· Blurry vision
One of the earliest symptoms of diabetes is eye cataract disease. It is a degenerative condition that causes blurry vision. In extreme cases, it can lead to blindness.
Diosmin, a flavonoid found in citrus fruits, has been found to decrease diabetic complications.
Research found that citrus flavonoids are associated with lower risk of developing cataracts.
If you choose to eat the lemon rinds as well, you can benefit from the flavonoid tangeretin too.
In an experiment done on rats, tangeretin stimulated insulin production. The inability of producing insulin is a key factor of diabetes type 1 and 2. This finding may help humans too.
17. Lemon water can help you fight off cancer
We all know cancer can take a toll on our lives. Wouldn’t it be great if something as simple as lemon water can prevent it?
Sadly, that is just a myth. But all is not lost! Your cup of lemon water can still boost your body’s fortifications against cancer.
A report by the University of Florida on the medicinal use of citrus fruits noted that they contain lycopene and limonoids. Lycopene can help reduce risk of prostate and mammary cancer. In addition, limonoids can inhibit spread of breast cancer cells and reduce cholesterol.
This anti-cancerous effect of lycopene and limonoids was further supported by a study from the University of California Davis.
So, conclusion? Lemon water is definitely helpful in fighting off cancer.
But it is definitely not going to substitute actual treatment! You must visit the doctor as needed. (But you can still enjoy lemon juice every day for the other benefits!)
Any negative side effects?
As mentioned before, most side effects of lemon water are mild. And most are caused by adding too much lemon. If you experience any odd or serious side effects, do not hesitate to contact your doctor!
· Tooth erosion
Like we said, the citrus acid can cause tooth erosion. The easiest way to protect yourself is to drink through a straw. You can also ask your dentist about getting teeth sealers or other treatments.
Lemon water has been said to reduce heartburn. However, if you don’t have enough water, the lemon juice won’t be able to alkalize. And that can aggravate acid reflux and heartburn symptoms.
Lemon water is diuretic. It will make you use the bathroom more often.
Letting out wastes is helpful with cleansing your body. But if the urination is too frequent, it can lead to dehydration.
If you start to feel dehydrated, consider tweaking the balance between the ingredients. Cut back on the lemon juice and add more water.
How do you make lemon water?
It’s actually quite simple. And you can personalize it for your own tastes.
· The day before
If you’d like ice cold lemon juice, place a glass pitcher in the freezer the day before. This can make a nice cooling drink. However, most people recommend warm lemon water.
Warm water (especially in the morning) is full of <a href=“http://www.lifehack.org/412483/7-surprising-benefits-of-drinking-warm-water-in-the-morning”>health benefits</a> too. It may help with digestion and blood circulation. Some also say it’s better for your body, as it’s closer to your internal temperature.
· For the lemon
You’ll be throwing in the rinds for the extra fiber and flavonoids. So before cutting the fruit, wash it carefully.
Cut the lemon however you wish. The easiest would probably be to slice across its width. It would create perfect circles.
As always, be careful of cutting your fingers! In addition, you may consider throwing out seeds to prevent choking hazards.
· Into the pitcher
Throw the sliced lemon pieces into the pitcher. You can lightly squeeze them over the pitcher to release some juices.
If you’re preparing a cold drink, pour the ice over the lemon. This will help anchor the pieces of fruit.
· Fill with water
Fill the pitcher with water and place in the fridge to steep. The longer you let it sit, the stronger the infusion will be.
In fact, you can perform the entire process the night before (for a morning drink). Otherwise, around three hours is enough.
This will also make the drink even colder and more refreshing. However, if you would like a warm drink, consider heating it up before consuming.
· Sit back and enjoy
Pour out a glass for yourself and enjoy!
Any side effects of lemon water are benign. However, the acid can eat away the enamel on your teeth. Remember to use a straw for best protection.
· Reuse and recycle
You can reuse the pieces of lemon multiple times. Simply refill the pitcher as needed and let it sit.
The flavor will be diluted after several batches. When that happens, it’s time for a fresh new batch!
· Spice it up
Add some variation to your lemon water by adding other healthy ingredients. They can add to the health boost. They can also give extra taste without using additives such as sugar.
· Other fruits (lime, strawberries, apples, peaches etc.)
· Sparkling water
The bottom line is, lemon water isn’t the magic potion that some make it to be. However, it still does quite a lot of good for your health!
But just one cup every blue moon won’t work. Make it a habit of drinking lemon water when you wake up, and before going to bed.
Lemons are a great fruit with many benefits and functions. Use the juice as part of a spritz for a natural deodorizer. Use the rinds as a natural facial and skin scrub. The entire fruit can be used in your cooking and baking for an extra zing too!
The benefits of lemons are really just endless. Make sure to try one or two and make your life that much brighter!
Jen Miller is a former electrical engineer and product specialist with more than 20 years of product design and testing experience. She has designed more than 200 products for Fortune 500 companies, in fields ranging from home appliances to sports gear and outdoor equipment. She founded Jen Reviews to share her knowledge and critical eye for what makes consumers tick, and adopts a strict no-BS approach to help the reader filter through the maze of products and marketing hype out there. She writes regularly and has been featured on Forbes, Fast Company, The Muse, The Huffington Post, Tiny Buddha and MindBodyGreen.