Whether you’re looking for clearer skin or a boost of energy in the morning, diet, exercise, and environmental factors all play a role. But one change you can make without difficulty or sacrifice is adding lemon water into your diet. For me, this trending “food fad” is all about the ritual of waking up with lemon water — slicing the lemon, squeezing its juice, enjoying its citrusy zip as I prepare for my day. It gives me that “good for you” glowy skin and extra energy everyone is talking about, and it just makes me feel like I’m doing something good for my body, spirit, and soul. Here are some of the other health benefits of drinking lemon water.
What are the benefits of drinking lemon water?
Easy and Effective Hydration
Proper hydration via plain water is essential to overall health and wellness. But our bodies require a lot of it throughout the day, and getting enough water can prove challenging if you’re someone who needs a little flavor in their drinks. That means it’s easy to become dehydrated without even realizing it. Dehydration can cause discomfort when left unaddressed and can even lead to more extreme symptoms like mood changes, overheating, difficulty concentrating, and more. Lemon water helps prevent dehydration with every sip. When you know you have a treat to reach for, it’s easier to meet your body’s hydration requirements, which gives you a greater chance of getting all the benefits of proper hydration, including an increase in energy and supported heart health.
Increased Vitamin C Levels
Hot lemon water is a great source of vitamin C, which is essential to your overall health and wellness. Vitamin C helps to support a strong and healthy immune system, which can protect you from colds and viruses; it supports cartilage, bones, and teeth; and it helps your body form collagen, ensures skin wounds heal safely, and absorbs essential vitamins and minerals like iron. Just half a lemon in a few ounces of water can fulfill as much as one-sixth of your daily recommended dose of vitamin C. Adding fresh lemon juice to your cold water (or even filling some ice cube trays with lemon water) is a small step that can make a big difference.
Reduced Risk of Kidney Stones
Kidney stones can be extremely painful. At the most basic level, they are formations of minerals and salts that develop in the kidney and affect the urinary tract system. There are many reasons kidney stones occur, including medications and genetics, but dehydration plays a large role in the formation of kidney stones. To start, drinking more water throughout the day can help reduce your risk of dehydration and associated kidney stones — but lemon water takes it one step further. The citric acid in lemon water contains citrate, which helps support a healthy pH in your urine. Of course, the best source of medical advice is a nutritionist or doctor, so be sure to speak with your dietitian or healthcare provider before trying to treat kidney stones with lemon water and/or other citrus fruits.
Greater Potassium Intake
Regulating and maintaining healthy potassium levels in the body is important for several reasons. That’s because potassium contributes to the health of several essential systems, including your heart and muscles. Early signs of low potassium include cramping and abnormal heartbeats, and those symptoms can increase and become more concerning if left unaddressed. That’s just one more reason why you’ll want to add lemon to your water. Lemons are rich in potassium, and lemon water will bolster and supplement your potassium levels.
Aided Weight Loss
On its own, lemon water won’t help you lose weight. That said, it’s a healthy swap for the sugary drinks that often contribute to obesity. By substituting your morning juice or afternoon sweet coffee for lemon water, you’ll reduce sugar intake and help to support your body in healthy and sustainable weight loss. (If you’re a midday soda or drive-through frappuccino gal, you’ll also save some money!)
Enhances Skin Clarity
There are many ways in which lemon water can promote clear, blemish-free skin. Proper hydration keeps skin healthy and yields a happy dermis by regulating sebum production levels and detoxifying your skin’s natural microbiome. Sebum is the waxy secretion produced by the skin that helps to hydrate and protect the skin’s surface. During hormonal or environmental changes, your skin may overproduce sebum, which can contribute to the appearance of oily skin and clogged pores. When you drink enough water, you help to balance your sebum production. As mentioned above, lemon water also contains vitamin C, which helps to protect the body from germs and viruses, both on the surface and below. It also supports collagen production and is an antioxidant, so it can ward off free radicals and help to protect the surface of the skin from the appearance of fine lines or wrinkles.
Heightened Energy Levels
Hydration helps you to feel more energized (without the midday crash and other harmful side effects of sweet and caffeinated drinks). The vitamin C in lemon water takes hydration one step further in several ways: it’s packed with flavonoids; it’s full of B vitamins, which can enhance the body’s energy production; and it helps the body absorb iron. (When iron levels are low, you may experience fatigue, so iron absorption is vital to fueling your energy throughout the day.)
Squeeze, Sip, Smile
When it comes to high-impact, low-effort changes that support full-body health, a glass of lemon water really can’t be beat. Not only is it refreshing and delicious, but it helps to clear skin; it adds essential vitamins to your diet; and it reduces the risk of kidney stones. Better still, it provides a healthy alternative to sugary juices and sodas, which means that it might even spur weight loss. So go ahead and squeeze, sip, and smile. You’re doing your body good.