We all know someone who does it, but is drinking lemon water actually good for you?

Starting your day with a glass of lemon water is a common practice these days and it can seem like every single health and wellness blogger/influencer is encouraging you to start.

It’s a simple way to spruce up your usual water intake, but does it really have any health benefits?

Mamamia spoke with accredited practising dietitian and spokesperson for Nutrition Australia Aloysa Hourigan to find out if the morning ritual is actually good for you.

What is lemon water?

Well, it’s all in the name really.

Lemon water is just standard H2O with lemon added to it – whether this is the juice, zest or in slices.

What are the proven health benefits of drinking lemon water?

When you drink lemon water, you will naturally get the benefits of lemon. Lemons are a great source of vitamin C, potassium and other nutrients that support health and wellbeing, Aloysa said.

Vitamin C supports our immunity and potassium is key to helping to effectively regulate our blood pressure.

You’re also getting the benefits of the water, of course, which helps to ensure you are well hydrated.

Aloysa said there has been some research related to lemon and the Glycaemic Index and blood glucose control.

The research found “that consuming one tablespoon of lemon juice in a glass of water with a meal, can lower the pH of the gut and this has been associated with reducing the GI of the meal – this also applies to other acidic foods e.g. limes, and vinegars.

“Improving glycaemic control can be especially important if you have diabetes,” she said.

How much lemon water do you need to drink to see these benefits?

How much benefit you receive from your daily lemon water will depend on how concentrated your drink is.

“Is it just one slice of lemon in a cup of water? If that’s the case, then the water is offering probably most of the benefit – the amount of vitamin C and potassium would be quite small,” Aloysa said.


But hey, staying hydrated is extremely important, so if lemon water helps you up your daily water intake that is a big positive.

As mentioned above, research suggests that one tablespoon of lemon juice in water with a meal can also lower the pH level of the gut.

Are there any issues or risks associated with drinking lemon water?

Drinking lemon water won’t do any harm – except possibly to your teeth.

Aloysa said there is a downside to consuming any drink that is acidic, e.g water with added lemon or lime, fruit juices, cola, and other commercially prepared drinks.

“They can all erode tooth enamel – especially if you consume them when you are a bit dehydrated, and your mouth is dry and there is little saliva in your mouth,” she said.

Dentist Dr Gamer Verdian told Mamamia the best way to enjoy lemon water or juice while limiting erosion is to always drink it with a meal and to wash your wash out once you are finished.

“It would be best to have a glass of water, swirled around to wash the juice off your teeth, directly afterward,” he said.

Aloysa also recommends drinking some plain water beforehand to ensure you mouth is not dry and the enamel is not as prone to erosion.

What are the myths surrounding drinking lemon water?

We’ve all heard this one: “The biggest myth is that drinking lemon water in the morning first thing, will make you lose weight,” Aloysa said.

“There is not strong evidence to support this – although you might hear otherwise from friends or family or on social media. Drinking lemon water first thing might improve your hydration and that can help metabolism, but you could most likely achieve the same effect just from drinking more water.”

She said using lemons – both the juice and the zest – in your meals can add great nutrients to your diet and help your overall nutritional balance – “but lemon water has not been shown to be a weight loss remedy all by itself.”

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