This article is reviewed by a team of registered dietitians and medical doctors with extensive, practical clinical and public health experience.
Does Lemon Water Help You Lose Weight? Here’s The Answer [UK] 2023
The touted benefits of lemon water are numerous, from aiding in weight loss to improving digestion and more. But is there strong scientific evidence to support these claims? In particular, does lemon water help you lose weight? Is it an effective fat burner?
Short answer: maybe.
While lemon water, or any so-called detox water, may not be a magic solution for weight loss, it can still be a healthy addition to a weight-loss diet.
This article discusses the potential benefits of lemon water for weight loss and examines what the current scientific research says about this popular claim. It also discusses how to incorporate lemon water into your diet, as well as potential risks and side effects to keep in mind.
Does Lemon Water Help You Lose Weight?
While drinking lemon water alone is unlikely to result in significant weight loss, incorporating it into a reduced-calorie diet may boost your weight-loss efforts.
Lemon water is a healthy substitute for high-calorie, sugary drinks, and some evidence suggests that it can improve satiety, boost metabolism, and enhance hydration, potentially leading to weight loss.
What Is Lemon Water?
Lemon water is a beverage made by mixing fresh lemon juice with water. It can be enjoyed hot or cold and is often consumed early in the morning to start the day on a healthy note.
Lemon Nutrition Facts
One glass of lemon water containing one small squeezed lemon contains:
- Energy: 10.6 kilocalories
- Protein: 0.1 gram
- Carbohydrates: 3.3 grams
- Sugar: 1 gram
- Vitamin C: 18.6 milligrams, or 21% of the Daily Value
- Folate: 9.6 micrograms, or 2% of the DV
How Does Lemon Water Help You Lose Weight?
Low In Calories
Lemon water is low in calories and can serve as a healthy alternative to sugary drinks like soda or juice.
A 16-ounce bottle of cola has approximately 207 calories. Replacing sugary beverages with lemon water can reduce your daily calorie intake, potentially promoting weight loss. And if you’re not keen on plain water, lemon water can be a healthful alternative to encourage you to drink more water.
Minimizes Water Weight
Lemon juice is also a diuretic that helps increase urine output and reduce water weight gain and bloating. When your body holds on to excess water, it can make you feel heavier than you actually are.
May Enhance Satiety
In addition, lemon water before meals may help promote satiety. According to a 2018 study, pre-meal water consumption is linked to a significant reduction in young adults’ total calorie intake.
May Increase Calories Burned
Lastly, drinking water can increase the number of calories your body burns each day by inducing thermogenesis, or the process of heat generation.
So does drinking lemon water help you lose weight?
We aren’t saying lemon water is the magic solution for weight loss. However, when paired with a healthy diet that includes foods for weight loss, it may be helpful to get the scale moving in the right direction.
How To Make Lemon Water For Weight Loss
Lemon water is fairly simple to make. Here are the steps to follow:
- Squeeze fresh lemon juice: Cut a lemon in half and squeeze the juice into a glass. You can use a citrus juicer or your hands to extract the juice.
- Add water: Fill the glass with warm, room temperature, or cold water, depending on your preference.
- Stir and enjoy.
Does warm lemon water help you lose weight faster? There is currently no solid evidence to suggest that warm lemon water is better than cold lemon water for weight loss. It is entirely up to you to choose the temperature of your water.
If you dislike plain lemon water’s taste, add a bit of turmeric or a few fresh mint leaves for added flavor.
Other Health Benefits Of Lemon Water
In addition to its potential weight loss benefits, lemon water has several other health benefits.
Supports Healthy Digestion
Enjoying a glass of lemon water before meals may help support healthy digestion. This is because lemons contain citric acid, which increases gastric acid secretion. This can help your body break down and digest food more quickly.
One 2021 study found that consuming 300 milliliters of lemon water before meals promoted peristalsis, or the contraction of muscles in the digestive tract that helps move food through the digestive system.
Many of us struggle to consume enough water each day. Dehydration can cause symptoms such as dry mouth, thirst, headache, and lethargy.
Lemon juice can help enhance the flavor of plain water, making it easier to meet your daily water intake and prevent dehydration.
Furthermore, some animal research suggests that increased hydration is associated with a loss of body weight, potentially through an increase in metabolism.
High In Vitamin C
One glass of lemon water contains 18.6 milligrams or about 21% of the DV for vitamin C.
Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that can help protect the body from damage caused by free radicals. It plays a crucial role in supporting the immune system’s health, which helps protect us from becoming ill.
Vitamin C is also important for producing collagen, a structural protein found in your connective tissues, tendons, skin, bones, and cartilage.
Lastly, vitamin C can help improve the absorption of non-heme iron found in plant-based foods.
May Help Prevent Kidney Stones
Lemon water is believed to be protective against kidney stones because it contains citric acid, which can help prevent the formation of calcium oxalate stones.
A 2022 study found that adding fresh lemon juice to a diet with reduced amounts of animal proteins and sodium may be more protective against calcium oxalate stone recurrence than the same diet without lemon juice supplementation.
The National Kidney Foundation recommends mixing 4 ounces of lemon juice concentrate with water daily as a complementary dietary remedy for kidney stone prevention.
Potential Side Effects
Lemon water is generally considered safe for most healthy individuals. However, it may cause some side effects in certain people.
Fresh lemon juice is highly acidic. Drinking lemon juice can erode tooth enamel, causing tooth sensitivity, decay, and discoloration. Mix your lemon juice with water to prevent dental erosion, and drink lemon water through a straw. Rinse your mouth with plain water after consuming lemon water.
Furthermore, due to its high acidity, lemon water may worsen symptoms in people with gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD.
There is some evidence that lemon water may help increase satiety, boost metabolism, and support your weight loss efforts when combined with a healthy diet. However, it’s unlikely that you will lose a significant amount of weight or burn fat solely from incorporating more lemon juice into your diet.
Additionally, lemon water can boost your daily vitamin C intake, which can help support a healthy immune system and improve iron absorption from plant sources. Regular lemon water consumption can also help increase hydration, support healthy digestion, and protect against kidney stones.
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