Lemon water has become an increasingly popular health beverage in recent years. Lemons contain high levels of vitamin C, fiber, antioxidants, and various beneficial plant compounds. The combination of these nutrients is thought to be responsible for several potential health benefits. Specifically, regularly consuming lemons may support weight management, metabolism, and digestive health.
Some individuals choose to start their day with lemon water instead of coffee or tea. Adding lemon juice to water provides vitamin C and antioxidants, which can boost overall nutrient intake. This beverage can also help reduce the consumption of sugary sports drinks and juices that are less healthy options.
There’s no doubt that lemons are excellent for infusing citrus flavor into foods and drinks. But what weight loss benefits might come from adding lemon juice specifically to water? We examined the latest scientific research on lemon water in order to understand in detail the potential health benefits of this beverage, specifically focusing on claims that it can promote weight loss and burn belly fat. Let’s find out.
What Is Lemon Water?
Lemon water is a drink made by squeezing fresh lemon juice into water. You can drink it hot or cold – whatever you prefer! A recommended mix is half a lemon’s juice poured into one glass of water. Sipping on lemon water throughout the day may actually help your health in a few ways. The vitamin C and antioxidants in lemon give your immune system a boost and help fight off diseases. The citric acid can prevent kidney stones from forming by making your urine less acidic. Since there’s usually a bit of pulp, you get some fiber that’s good for digestion and feeding the healthy bacteria in your gut. Plus, the refreshing lemon smell can help lower stress and improve your mood!
Lemonade can offer most of the same benefits, except all the added sugar isn’t great in large amounts.
Lots of people claim that starting a day with a glass of lemon water gives you loads of advantages, like better digestion, concentration, energy levels, and even weight loss. That’s why it’s become a staple morning drink for many health-focused diets and lifestyles.
What are the Benefits of Lemon Water?
Replacing higher calorie beverages with lemon water can promote weight loss and hydration. The vitamin C, plant compounds, and fiber in lemon water also offer additional health benefits.
1. Lemon Water Is a Low Calorie Beverage
Lemon water contains very few calories, making it a smart lower-calorie substitution for high-calorie beverages. Squeezing half a lemon into a glass of water only adds about 6 calories. Switching from something like a 16 oz soda with around 182 calories to lemon water could reduce your daily calorie intake by close to 200 calories! Research also demonstrates that having low-calorie drinks during meals is linked to consuming fewer calories overall. The key takeaway is that the extremely low calorie count of lemon water, compared to other high-calorie options, can potentially help with weight management aims when you choose it instead.
2. Lemon Water Can Help You Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated is key for health and may aid weight loss. Increased water intake can promote fat breakdown and reduction, while proper hydration decreases water retention and bloating. Lemon water hydrates since it’s mostly water. This high water content can minimize water retention and potentially encourage fat loss, though more research on lemon water is needed. Still, given its water composition, lemon water likely hydrates similarly to plain water. So its hydrating properties may complement weight management.
3. Lemon Water May Enhance Metabolic Rate
Some research shows that getting enough fluids might actually give your metabolism a bit of a boost. This is thought to be because your body burns extra calories, warming up and processing cold water. One study found that drinking about 2 cups of water increased people’s metabolism by 30% for up to an hour compared to not drinking any water. The minerals in water may also play a role here. Lemon water probably offers similar metabolism-revving benefits since it’s mostly water. The vitamin C and citric acid in the lemon juice might also help slightly crank up the calories burned after drinking it.
4. Lemon Water May Enhance Sensations of Fullness
Drinking water is an easy way to feel full between meals, which prevents overeating and mindless snacking. Several studies show water increases feelings of fullness and decreases the calories eaten during meals. This is likely because it fills up space in your stomach. The fiber in lemon pulp may also help slow digestion, making you feel more satiated. One study found women reported being more full when they ate lemon fiber with meals versus no lemon fiber. Drinking lemon water before mealtime can promote satiety and lead to eating fewer calories overall.
Does Lemon Water Burn Belly Fat?
Lemon water is a lower calorie, low sugar drink that can aid in reducing belly fat and promoting weight loss. Sugary drinks can cause belly fat accumulation. One study showed people with type 2 diabetes who drank at least one high-sugar beverage a week had more belly fat than people who drank less than one a week. Our bodies don’t process liquid calories in a similar way as calories from solid food. So drinking sugary drinks can lead us to consume too many calories overall, which gets stored as fat. To lose belly fat, it helps to limit sweetened sodas, fruit punches, sweet teas, and sugar-filled alcohol mixers. Drinking lemon water instead can assist with weight loss. Drinking less sugary beverages means fewer liquid calories and less belly fat buildup over time.
How to Make Lemon Water?
It’s super easy to make your own lemon water at home! Just squeeze the fresh juice from half a lemon (or a whole lemon if you like extra tartness) into 8-12 oz of water. You can drink it chilled or at room temperature.
For maximum benefits, use fresh lemons rather than bottled juice. The vitamin C in lemon water breaks down quickly with light and heat exposure. To add more flavor and nutrients, try infusing your lemon water with the following:
- Sliced fruit like strawberries, limes, oranges, cucumber
- Herbs like mint, lavender, basil
- Spices like cinnamon, turmeric, ginger
There’s no standard for how much lemon water to drink every day. Many people aim for 16 oz, often first thing in the morning to hydrate. Listen to your body and drink based on thirst, activity level, and the weather. The more lemon water, the better, as long as you’re tolerating it well!
Nutrition Facts of Lemons
Lemons are a good source of various nutrients and plant compounds that contribute to several of their health benefits. The main active components in lemons include:
Vitamin C – One lemon has over 30 mg of vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that protects your cells from damage and keeps your immune system strong.
Citric Acid – This is the sour stuff that gives lemons their zing. Citric Acid can help prevent kidney stones by making you pee more.
Plant Compounds – There are antioxidants in lemons like hesperidin, diosmin, and naringenin that lower inflammation in your body.
D-limonene – This gives lemons their lemony smell, and it is an antioxidant.
Lemons themselves are low in calories, with only around 17 calories in a medium-sized fruit. The nutritional breakdown for half a cup of lemon includes 89% water content. There are also 2.5 grams of natural sugar, 2.8 grams of fiber, 0.3 grams of fat, and 1.1 grams of protein in half a cup of lemon. Given the high percentage of water and low-calorie count, lemons make a great addition to water for a low-calorie, nutrient-dense beverage. The fiber and water content provide satiety as well, making lemon water an excellent option if you’re looking to manage your weight. Adding just half a lemon to your water gives you some nutritional benefits, without a significant calorie impact.
So lemons give you vitamins, antioxidants, fiber, and hydration without many calories. Now, let’s get into why lemon water specifically can be so good for you!
How Lemon Helps Weight Loss?
Lemon water is extremely low in calories, so substituting it for higher calorie options like juice or soda reduces calorie consumption. Additionally, the water and fiber in lemon water provide feelings of fullness. This satisfaction from lemon water leads to lower overall food intake. Some studies also indicate proper hydration and adequate daily water intake can slightly boost metabolism. Since it is low calorie, drinking lemon water rather than high-calorie beverages decreases total calorie intake.
Furthermore, the water and fiber in lemon water induce feelings of fullness, while staying hydrated may also mildly increase metabolism – both of which can potentially promote weight loss. More research is still needed specifically on lemon water, but its high water content means it likely supplies comparable benefits to plain water for weight management. Overall, regularly drinking low-calorie lemon water instead of sugary drinks, especially before meals, can support healthy, sustainable weight loss in a promising way based on current research, though more studies are warranted.
The Bottom Line
Lemon water, made with fresh lemon, and water gives you vitamin C, plant compounds, and fiber with barely any calories. Swapping it for higher calorie drinks may help with weight loss and hydration.
Drinking lemon water, especially before eating, could potentially lower calorie intake at meals and make you feel fuller. This is thanks to the low calories, fiber, and water that fills you up. But more research is still needed, specifically on lemon water.
The vitamin C and antioxidants in lemon water can also boost immunity and reduce oxidative stress. Just remember to drink it fresh right after squeezing since the vitamin C breaks down fast once exposed to air and light.
Lemon is “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the USA. Overall, lemon water is a healthy, low-calorie beverage that can add a bit of flavor and variety compared to regular water. Incorporating it into your daily routine is an easy way to hydrate, boost nutrient intake, and potentially enhance weight loss.