Lemon water has become a popular home remedy in recent years, and for good reason. Lemons are rich in vitamin A and vitamin C, they’re great sources of calcium, potassium, and beta-carotene. In short, they’re something of a superfood. But how does this benefit you and your health? In what ways can lemons (and lemon water) improve your life? From weight loss and indigestion to boosts to your immune system, here are 10 benefits of lemon water.
Benefits of lemon water
1. Lemon water promotes hydration
Everyone knows how important it is to stay hydrated. In fact, drinking water is essential to your health. But it can be hard to get the recommended amount. According to the Food and Nutrition Board, women should consume 91 ounces a day while men should get at least 125. The good thing about adding lemon to water is that it enhances its flavor, which may help you drink more.
2. Lemon water may aid in weight loss
Research has shown that the antioxidants found in lemons can significantly reduce weight gain. In fact, several studies have found lemons can reduce obesity in animals, particularly mice. But that’s not all. “When you start your day with a glass of lemon water—hot or cold—you balance out your blood sugar and help reduce cravings throughout the day,” Lynell Ross, a certified health and wellness coach, nutritionist and personal trainer, tells Parade.com. “Provided you lay off the sugary foods in the morning, and eat a healthy breakfast with some protein, you give yourself a better chance of reducing your hunger pangs and sweet cravings by drinking lemon water.”
3. Lemon water improves the quality of your skin
Improve your skin from the inside out with hot (or cold) lemon water. “Vitamin C helps reduce skin wrinkling, dry skin, and sun damage,” says immunologist Dr. Lina Velikova, MD, Ph.D. “And drinking lemon water might help in slowing down signs of aging.”
4. Lemon water may aid in digestion
Some people drink lemon water because it soothes their stomach, and others use it as a laxative. “Drinking lemon water activates our digestive system and gets things moving,” Ross explains. But there are numerous digestive benefits to lemon water. “The acid in the lemons helps break down food,” Ross says. “As we age, our stomach acid tends to decline, so getting the added benefit from drinking lemon water can help improve our digestive process.”
5. Lemon water can give your immune system a boost
Vitamin C is an amazing thing. It aids in collagen formation, iron absorption, wound healing, and the maintenance of our cartilage, bones, and teeth. But it also boosts our immune system, according to Bansari Acharya, registered dietitian and nutritionist. “The vitamin C in lemons may enhance our immunity, providing numerous benefits around the body such as improving heart health by helping to reduce cholesterol.”
Related: What Is Your Immune System?
6. Lemon water cleanses the liver and helps flush out toxins
In addition to aiding in indigestion, boosting your immune system, and improving the overall quality of your skin, lemon water can improve liver function. In fact, according to a 2014 study, a compound found in lemons called naringenin calms and soothes liver inflammation. But that’s not all: Lemon water can cleanse the liver and help flush out toxins.
Related: What Do I Have, a Cold or the Flu?
7. Lemon water helps prevent kidney stones
Lemons are rich in citric acid, and while this may seem relatively unimportant, citric acid may help prevent the formation of kidney stones. “Kidney stones are extremely painful,” Ross tells Parade. “But drinking lemon water can prevent those stones from forming, especially since stones are caused by a deficiency in urinary citrate.” It may also help with the management or reduction of stones, as many medications use citric acid to treat stones.
8. Lemon water can help with the common cold
In addition to boosting your immunity, lemon water can help combat the common cold. How? Drinking fluids—like warm water with lemon and honey—can help loosen congestion. It can also soothe your throat.
How to prepare lemon water
The best way to reap the benefits of lemons (and lemon water) is to drink it consistently and regularly. You need half a lemon per 8 ounces of water, but you don’t have to drink lemon water by itself. Some people like warm lemon water with cayenne pepper and mint. Others prefer lemon water infused with rosemary or a sprinkle of turmeric, and others make lemon ice cubes. To do so: Simply squeeze lemons into ice cube trays and freeze. However, regardless of your preference, the benefits are clear. Lemon water is helpful and healthful.
Check out our favorite hot lemon water recipe below:
Easy candied ginger lemon water
- 1 lemon
- 1 cup of warm or hot water
- Finely chopped candied ginger, to taste
- Combine chopped candied ginger slices and hot water in a heat-resistant cup or mug.
- Steep for 20 minutes.
- Remove candied ginger.
- Add the juice from half a lemon.
- Serve warm or cold.
Next up, here’s how gargling with salt water could help with a sore throat.
- The National Academy of Sciences Engineering Medicine: “Dietary Reference Intakes for Water, Potassium, Chloride, and Sulfate”
- Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition:”Lemon Polyphenols Suppress Diet-induced Obesity by Up-Regulation of mRNA Levels of the Enzymes Involved in beta-Oxidation in Mouse White Adipose Tissue”
- Advances in Nutrition: Effect of Citrus Flavonoids, Naringin and Naringenin, on Metabolic Syndrome and Their Mechanisms of Action.”
- Lynell Ross, a certified health and wellness coach, nutritionist and personal trainer.
- Dr. Lina Velikova, MD, Ph.D. and immunologist.
- Bansari Acharya, registered dietitian and nutritionist