Lemon water has become the internet’s newest favorite morning drink. But is it really as beneficial as some people claim?
One videoviewed more than 14 million times, promises that within a week of drinking lemon water, people will see “an increase in calorie burning, which could help with weight management,” as well as better concentration, more energy and a strengthened immune system.
In addition to its simplicity, it has also been endorsed by celebrities such as Gwenyth Paltrow and Miranda Kerr. As a result, lemon water has become popular as a must-have drink for those interested in losing weight or improving their health.
But should lemon water really be your drink of choice if you want to control your weight? Or is it another pseudo-wellness trend that isn’t worth it?
Starting the day with a glass of lemon water has become a popular morning ritual for many people, even before the first sip of coffee.
“It’s not entirely clear where this trick originated, but drinking lemon water is an ancient folk remedy that is believed to have evolved over time.” Melissa Mitrisaid a Connecticut-based registered dietitian and nutrition writer Health.
Making lemon water is relatively simple: cut and squeeze a lemon and add it to a glass of water. Served hot, cold, or at room temperature, lemon water is also a great way to get a citrus flavor without added sugar.
Although lemon water isn’t necessarily a new trend, it has become especially popular in the last decade.
“When a 2008 Japanese study linked antioxidants in lemon to less weight gain (in mice), public interest in this practice increased,” Mitri explained. Some believe that the acid in lemons “breaks down” fat cells. However, there is little evidence to support this theory.
Drinking lemon water is a great way to add more hydration to your day, and lemon can be a good source of antioxidants, vitamin C, and small amounts of magnesium, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, and more. However, experts agree that the concoction won’t help everyone lose weight.
“Lemon water is not necessarily better than regular water for weight control.” Samantha Turner, MPH, RDNsaid the registered dietitian and owner of OakStone Health and Nutrition. Health.
“There is no research to show that lemon water is superior to plain water for weight loss,” Mitri added. “Drinking more water, in general, is linked to greater satiety, weight loss, and a healthier metabolism.”
Research has shown that drinking more water is associated with greater fat breakdown and lower food intake. Increasing hydration has also been linked to healthier body composition: A 2019 study found that as water consumption increased, body weight, body fat mass, and waist circumference decreased.
While lemon water specifically has no research to support the purported benefits, lemon juice itself may be beneficial.
The acidity of lemon juice has been linked to a positive effect on the body’s glycemic response, or how the body’s blood glucose levels fluctuate after eating carbohydrates.
A 2021 study found that participants who drank 250 milliliters of lemon juice (about a cup) had a lower blood sugar spike after eating a piece of bread compared to people who drank the same amount of tea or water.
The results of this study also showed that lemon juice increased both gastric secretions and emptying rate, which may promote weight loss. This could indicate that lemon water is a healthy after-meal drink, but more data is needed.
In addition to its acidity, lemon also contains vitamin C, and depending on the amount you add it could provide certain benefits.
In studies in humans and mice, higher vitamin C intake has been linked to a lower risk of metabolic syndrome, which refers to elevated waist circumference, higher blood sugar, blood pressure, triglycerides and/or “good” cholesterol. low. According to the researchers, this suggests that supplementing with vitamin C or ingesting an adequate amount through food may help reverse some of these symptoms.
The bottom line is that, for now, there is a lack of solid data to support the idea that water with lemon can cause greater weight loss than water alone.
However, drinking enough water is crucial, so adopting the lemon water trend should be generally safe and healthy.
“(Lemon water) can help add additional flavor to the water and can help reduce the amount of sugary drinks consumed, which can help with better weight management,” Turner said.
Lemons aren’t the only way to get vitamin C or add flavor to water, either; People can also turn to other fruits high in vitamin C, such as strawberries, kiwis, and oranges, if they don’t like (or don’t) lemon water. you don’t have a lemon on hand).
And drinking water with lemon to lose or control weight should be combined with other healthy habits. “When consumed, in addition to developing better nutritional habits full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, nuts and seeds, plus regular exercise, it can help support better weight management,” Turner said.
If you are interested in trying lemon water, it is also important to keep a few things in mind. The high acidity of lemons could erode tooth enamel if consumed in large quantities. To minimize this risk, consider drinking lemon water through a straw and then rinsing it under running water.
Additionally, people with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or a similar condition may find that consuming citrus fruits such as lemons worsens their symptoms such as heartburn or chest pain.
As with any dietary change, it is always advisable to consult with a health professional to ensure you are making decisions that support your individual health needs.