Benefits (and myths) of lemon water

The water with lemon it’s not about any medicinal plant or anything like that. It is a cheap and easy way to prepare to introduce into our body a very effective and healthy clash of vitamins and minerals.

Something that many people have already introduced as a routine and that is checking its benefits. We wanted to get a little more scientific and break down the effects of lemon water that it produces in our body.

More specifically the lemon, since its content of citric acid, polyphenols and vitamin C can be a support in our diet, whose easiest way to introduce it into our body is to dilute it in water and take it.

Just in case we already advance that if you do not like the taste of water with lemon we have alternatives and complements to add that add a different touch to the final mixture and can also improve its medicinal properties.

Lemon, along with orange, is one of the most popular and versatile citrus fruits. Its use is standardized around the world and adds an acidic touch to meats, fish and vegetables that we love.

It is even used as a dressing in drinks, infusions and cocktails. However, science tells us that it contains elements that can be interesting to introduce into our diet, based on incorporating a high vitamin index, less fat and fewer “trans” compounds.

In addition to the nutritional content, we also want to study what phytocompounds lemon contains and whether they are interesting or can be harmful in moderate concentrations.

What does a glass of water with lemon contain?

properties of water with lemon

This is the breakdown of nutrients per 100 grams of lemon (without skin)

Energy: 21 kcal

Proteins: 1.10 grams

Carbohydrates: 9.3 grams

  • Sugars: 2.5 grams
  • Fiber: 2.8 grams

Fats: 0.3 grams

Vitamins per 100 grams (3 glasses approximately):

VitaminsConcentration% recommended daily
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.04 mg3,0%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.02 mg1,0%
Vitamin B3 (niacin)0.1 mg1,0%
Vitamin B50.19 mg4,0%
Vitamin B60.08 mg6,0%
Vitamin C53 mg88%

Minerals per 100 grams

  • Potassium: 138 mg (3 % RDA)
  • Phosphorus: 16 mg (2% RDA)
  • Calcium: 26 mg (3% RDA)
  • Magnesium: 8 mg (2% RDA)
  • Iron: 0.6MG (5% RDA)
  • Zinc: 0.06 mg (1% RDA)
  • Manganese: 0.03 mg (2% RDA)

Benefits of lemon water

Promotes hydration

There is nothing more obvious in this article, and in this case the lemon does not help at all.

Water is what produces hydration, however, we have had the need to include it because not always (especially in older people) the recommended amount of water is drunk.

With fruit juices and water with lemon you can complement or “deceive” with the contribution of water that, added to the daily amount of liquids that the person drinks, the total sum will be higher than drinking only water.

Therefore, for children or the elderly, it is especially advisable to use alternatives such as water with lemon to increase water intake through additives such as this citrus.

Richness in antioxidants

The compendium of antioxidants As vitamins and plant compounds known as flavonoids is high in lemon juice.

The effect of antioxidants on the body has been widely studied and many effects on cellular activity, protection from oxidation and complexation of free radicals are known.

Such flavonoids are being linked to the ability to produce insulin in diabetic patients and other studies related to metabolic capacity and cardiovascular endurance.

Effect on insulin sensitivity: STUDIO 1

Antioxidant effect of lemon: STUDIO 2

Many of these effects are in an early stage and being tested in mice, so it is necessary to extrapolate these benefits toThe human being to check how far its antioxidant potential can go in relation to diabetic processes.

May reduce kidney stones

Lemon contains between 5 and 6% citric acid, an organic substance with an acidic pH.

By drinking water with lemon, we are causing an increase in gastric secretions and salivary juices to counteract this acidity and improve its dilution.

More than for its acidity is for the presence of citric acid or citrate where the natural alternative may be to reduce the formation of calcium oxalate (insoluble precipitate) and kidney stones.

It has been investigated whether increasing the amount of citrate or citric acid in the body, for example through lemon water, can have a reducing effect on the formation of calcium oxalate, replaced by calcium citrate (a more soluble compound).

The results concluded that there was a significant reduction in the levels of calcium in the urine, the same of oxalates and less uric acid in the urine.

Therefore, water with lemon can be a supplement in people susceptible to kidney stones.

It is a good source of vitamin C

uses of water with lemon

As we have seen in the concentration per 100 grams of lemon (without skin), one of the most present vitamins in lemon water is, without a doubt, vitamin C.

This vitamin is an antioxidant that we do not always take in the amounts that our body and the World Health Organization request.

While vitamin C has been scientifically proven to be unrelated to colds, ascorbic acid (as it is also known) is intimately linked to the following benefits:

  • Activation of the immune system (disease prevention)
  • Reduction of cellular aging
  • Regulation of cholesterol and lipoproteins
  • Promotes iron absorption

The U.S. National Academy of Sciences recommends a minimum intake of 90 mg for men and 75 mg for women.

Something to keep in mind is that lemon or other citrus fruits do not have the highest concentration of vitamin C. This is part of a widespread myth.

There are numerous foods that contain higher amounts of Vitamin C compared to lemon, but without a doubt lemon water is a very comfortable alternative to increase the amount of this element in our body.

May reduce wrinkles on the skin

Although clinical studies have initially been conducted in mice, it has been proven how the antioxidant effect of vitamin C in lemon water increases epidermal tension and reduces the formation of wrinkles.

This element is incorporated naturally in many creams and cosmetics focused on the prevention of wrinkles in the skin, so the intake of this vitamin from lemon water can contribute to improving the firmness of the skin.

Highly digestive drink

It is not due to its fiber content or other elements its digestive effect nor is this true in people sensitive to gastroenteritis (after all, we are introducing an acid to our stomach).

The proven effect on improving digestive properties is due to the activation of gastric juices and salivary glands that improve digestive movement and reduce constipation.

Medical recommendations advise drinking water as soon as we wake up to promote digestive activity and activate the body.

It may be a good idea to supplement with citrus juices this water that we drink first thing in the morning looking for a nutritional increase (vitamin C, particularly) and the activation of gastric juices.

Although, this is discouraged in people who commonly suffer from gastric problems, due to the excess acidity caused by drinking water with lemon.

Improves breath and reduces the effect of dry mouth

The citric acid It has been widely used in many cosmetic products, toothpastes, cleaning products and a long etcetera.

Its application is also recommended to improve breath and reduce dry mouth.

First, citric acid and some of its phytocomponents, such as limonene, improve breath by their characteristic and penetrating smell. Secondly, the acid effect of lemon water activates the salivary glands and improves the hydration of the mouth, reducing bad breath caused by dry mouth and the volume of bacteria stored in it.

Complements to prepare water with lemon

If you are not a fan of the acidic taste of lemon water, we present some effective alternatives to modify its flavor and sweeten it a little more.

Although, we do not recommend adding sugar directly (because we would add harmful properties to the intake), if there are healthier and more efficient alternatives to these added sugars.

  • Water with lemon and mint or peppermint leaves.
  • Add honey or syrup (occasionally, as it contains a lot of sugar).
  • Add a little ginger to give a spicy touch to the mixture.
  • Add turmeric or exotic spices.
  • A pinch of cinnamon to sweeten the final result.

Is it better to drink the water with hot lemon?

Although in many information points we see that when preparing water with lemon they recommend heating the water previously, there is no scientific evidence that this supposes an improvement of its medicinal properties.

In fact, due to the acidity of lemon and the concentration of citric acid, the mixture itself is already very soluble in water, so we do not need to improve it with the increase in temperature.

Myths of lemon water

myths of lemon water

There are many myths that collaborate in diluting the properties actually attributed to water with lemon.

This is given because it has been advertised in many media of famous people fasting water with lemon and talking about many properties that today have not been scientifically proven.

Water with lemon on an empty stomach

There is no direct reference to the fact that it is more beneficial to consume water with lemon on an empty stomach or on an empty stomach. The interest sought is the contribution of a natural element that significantly increases the content of vitamin C of our body.

While it is not the food with more vitamin C, it is much easier to take than others with higher content, such as red pepper, broccoli, parsley, kiwi, etc.

For people suffering from gastric problems or heartburn, it is less advisable to take this drink on an empty stomach, since there is no basis nor are the gastric juices prepared or at sufficient levels compared to taking it after eating or with the stomach with food.

Reduces body fat

The acidity of lemon has been commonly associated with its ability to dilute fat. Nothing could be further from the truth, since the pH of lemon water will never be so acidic as for it, in which case it would cause more harm than good.

This claim has been flatly denied by the scientific community, in the absence of greater rigor in research.

Detox formula

Foods or detox juices that eliminate toxins and elements that can harm the body have become fashionable.

After all, the contribution of water with lemon is a high concentration of vitamin C and minerals, easy to ingest, with some phytocomponents that have been shown to have antioxidant capacity and, today, their implications in different diseases are being studied.

However, the concept of detox is far from scientifically rigorous.