Clean Eating

lemon benefits in water

lemon benefits in water provides a large amount of vitamin C – involved in the production of collagen -, potassium and smaller amounts of other vitamins and minerals. In addition, drinking lemon water has the property to improve healing and the function of the immune system; and a great antioxidant capacity helps to neutralize carcinogenic substances such as nitrosamines.

Although it sounds like a trola, the truth is that a friend of a friend told me: as soon as you get up you should drink a glass of warm water with a quarter of a lemon squeezed. Theoretically, the benefits are: preparing the digestive system to receive breakfast foods, rehydrating the body, preventing weight gain, improving the quality of the skin and others. Is there really any benefit in this practice? What does science say about this myth that is more widespread than it seems? “

lemon benefits in water
lemon benefits in water

The recurring myth that a glass of warm water with some lemon juice on an empty stomach is one of the healthiest practices that exists is widespread. According to him, warm water prepares our stomach to eat food , as well as stimulates the intestines to improve compliance with their physiological functions. The glass of water would also rehydrate us after the loss of liquid due to perspiration during the night, especially if we sleep in very dry environments due to heating or air conditioning.

Another benefit that is used, in this case of the lemon, is that it “cleanses the body” and “alkalinizes it” , as it is part of the alkaline diet , and also provides the necessary vitamin C for good daily functioning. Additionally, it is attributed satiating power by the dietary fiber  of the lemon, as well as a contribution rich in polyphenols that prevent weight gain from meals of the day by acting as a fat burner  and even improve the skin and prevent cancer.

The only benefit

But in reality, the only demonstrable benefit, obviously, of having a glass of warm water just raised is the hydration that the water brings, with or without lemon, although that same contribution can come from the cup of coffee with milk, tea or any other infusion we take. The rest of the alleged benefits are either trickery or have not been scientifically proven. An example of trickery is saying that lemon juice “cleanses the body”, not only because it is false but also because of the vagueness of talking about “body cleansing”.

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It is also false that it contributes to raising body pH in accordance with the extravagant alkaline diet , since it implies a supply of ascorbic acid that in the first instance presents a low pH. Likewise, it is not satiating -that is, it will not take away the desire to eat much- beyond the power of the water itself because the juice squeezed from a lemon lacks vegetable fiber unless we later eat the pulp.

And as for the polyphenols, which are found mainly in the pores of the lemon peel and that produce the characteristic strong smell when we scratch it, it is true that there is a study that certifies that these substances help mice to control weight by inhibiting the formation of fat, but in the same animals were given large amounts of them, which would be disproportionate to us.

In addition, if we squeeze a lemon, these oils will not stop the juice unless we include zest as in cocktails … Finally, it has not been shown that they improve the quality of our skin or that they stimulate the synthesis of dermal collagen; As for the vitamin C contribution, although it is correct, the amounts they provide do not cover the daily minimum : 90 mg / day in men and 75 mg / day in women. Yes they do other products like kiwis, red pepper or parsley.

Reasons not to take it

On the contrary, there are several more or less powerful reasons for not drinking a glass of warm water with lemon juice on an empty stomach. The first is that as it is a clearly acidic product, if we have a tendency to suffer from acidity problems or suffer from a gastric ulcer principle, we can accentuate these problems, given the low pH of the juice. The recommended thing in these cases is to make products that no longer acidify the mucosa.

On the other hand, what we drink is, after all, a more or less diluted fruit juice, but with free sugars and no vegetable fiber at all. It is possible that the amount of sugars is low and insignificant, but if we think that the contribution of vitamins from it is sufficient at least for the morning, we will refrain from eating one or more pieces of fruit with its pulp, which are equal or richer in vitamins -and other substances-, they have satiating fiber and they also hydrate us.

In other words, we will move away from what is considered a healthy diet and reduce the contribution of fiber in it, especially depriving our intestinal flora of its food, which is surely impoverished. Finally, by drinking an acidic juice on an empty stomach, we will affect our teeth, since lemon acids are especially corrosive to the enamel . Additionally, it is possible that the sugars in the juice serve as food for our cavities. 

lemon benefits in water


Anna is a registered dietitian with a bachelor’s degree and a certificate in general nutrition. she is started as a nutritionist clerk in 2017 and moved to buzzrecipes in 2018. she is now manages author communications, topic selection, and medical review of all nutrition content.

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