Lemon Water – Miracle Cure or Hyped Up Fad?

Every day after lunch I add a hearty squeeze of fresh lemon juice to a steaming mug of water. Even on a warm summer’s day this ritual brings me comfort, but I wanted to find out if my daily habit has benefits that go beyond peace of mind. So I did a little digging.

After parsing through several studies on the health benefits of drinking water with lemon juice, I’ve got the good, the bad and the in-between on how this acidulated quaff can affect your body. Is there any truth to those articles promising weight loss, improved skin conditions and better digestion? Let’s find out.

Claim #1 – It Promotes Weight Loss

Unfortunately, there is no science that I found to back this up. Drinking water has shown to help with weight loss, but the addition of lemon is inconsequential. If, however, you are swapping sugary sodas or other highly caloric beverages for a glass of lemon water, of course that could lead to weight loss.

Claim #2 – It Improves Skin Appearance

There is a grain of truth to this one. Staying hydrated definitely affects the look and feel of your skin, plus lemons contain vitamin C, an antioxidant and which helps with collagen production to keep skin elastic. The combination of adequate hydration, plus vitamin C it appears, can help the appearance of your skin.

Claim #3 – It Boosts Metabolism

The research is iffy on this one. There may be a slight increase in metabolism, however, it’s most likely due to the water on it’s own, and not the addition of lemon. 

Claim #4 – It Aids in Digestion

According to Healthline.com, lemon juice boosts a digestive liquid known as gastric acid. Drinking lemon water before a meal can help with digestion.

Claim #5 – It Prevents Kidney Stones

“Kidney stones develop when certain substances, such as calcium, oxalate, and uric acid, become concentrated enough to form crystals in your kidneys,” according to Harvard Medical School Publishing. They suggest that a vast majority of kidney stones are made up of calcium, and that “drinking ½ cup of lemon juice concentrate diluted in water each day, or the juice of two lemons, can increase urine citrate and likely reduce kidney stone risk,” for those afflicted with calcium-related kidney stones. General hydration is an important factor in reducing the risk, as well, so the water itself in lemon water additionally plays an important role.

Are There Potential Concerns?

Experts suggest drinking lemon water through a straw to mitigate the effects on the enamel of your teeth, and/or rinsing with plain water after you’ve finished your glass. Brushing 20 minutes after finishing your drink might not be a bad idea, too, if you are able to do it.

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