5 Lemon Water Benefits To Improve Skin, Weight and Well-Being
Want a nutritious and refreshing alternative to sugary sodas and energy drinks? Look no further than lemon water!
More often than not, it takes a lot of will power, discipline, energy and time to build healthy habits. Luckily, some healthy habits are real low-hanging fruits.
One super healthy drink in particular takes only 15 seconds of prep time, but features health benefits that can add years to your life: water with freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Lemon water is a potent vitamin C superdrink that is easy and quick to prepare, hydrating and flavorful.
It's so simple – it’s an absolute no-brainer addition to your arsenal of healthy drinks, complementing the healthy herbal teas, superfood smoothies and cleansing juices you may already drink.
In this guide, we discuss the evidence-based benefits of drinking lemon water. A word of caution: by the end of this article, you may want to run to the store and buy fresh, organic lemons, better start clearing your schedule. Jokes aside, read on and you’ll see why lemon water may be your new go-to drink.
1. Lemon water furthers hydration
Water, no surprises here, is the number one source of hydration. As the main element of your body, in particular your blood, you need a lot of water every day for your organs and bodily functions to perform at their best.
For example, without water your blood could not supply the millions of cells in your system with the oxygen and nutrients they need.
In hot weather, if you do not drink enough water your body will no longer be able to regulate your body temperature and keep you cool.
Finally, water has a host of other functions and health benefits, including lubricating your joints, increasing your metabolism and burning calories.
Water infused with lemon is a tasty and tangy alternative to plain water, making it a more refreshing and satisfying drink that helps you drink more.
For folks who don't like plain water, a lemon infusion makes it easier to meet the hydration goals set by the National Academies of Sciences: 15 glasses of water for a man and 11 glasses for a woman per day (one glass being 8 ounces).
2. Lemon water is full of Vitamin C
In the vitamin hall of fame, Vitamin C holds top status. It is a powerful antioxidant that neutralizes the negative effect of free radicals, which, if left unchecked, can cause damage to your cells all the way down to your DNA (!).
When doctors advise you to eat more veggies and fruit (like spinach, kale and oranges) during cold and flu season, it is because they know of Vitamin C’s powerful role in boosting your immune system. That's because Vitamin C stimulates the production of white blood cells, the so-called lymphocytes and phagocytes, which strengthen the body's internal defense system against infections.
Also, Vitamin C is no stranger to anyone who wants to have clear and glowing skin, as it stimulates the production of collagen, this mighty protein responsible for strong and springy skin. Vitamin C also has anti-aging effects that make your skin look young and fresh.
Other health benefits associated with Vitamin C include a reduction in the risk of stroke, heart disease and high blood pressure.
Even better, you can easily cover the majority of your daily Vitamin C needs from lemon water as the juice of just one lemon contains 31 mg or 51% of your recommended daily intake.
3. Lemon water supports healthy skin
Lemon water holds two of the five secrets to glowing skin:
Number one, it contains a potent amount of Vitamin C with its powerful anti-aging effects for your skin, reducing wrinkle formation and supporting the speedy recovery from cell damage.
Second, its hydrating properties help slow down the process of aging, keeping your skin cells elastic and fighting the formation of wrinkles.
Hydration further helps flush out toxins that otherwise would cause skin irritation and inflammation while at the same time moisturizing and nurturing your cells, giving your skin a plump and supple look.
4. Lemon water helps improve your gut health
Lemons are a superfood and water is the body's great detoxifier. Together, they support the kidneys in eliminating toxins from the body, making lemon water an excellent cleansing drink.
Skin experts actually recommend drinking two glasses of lemon-infused water as a daily detox and skin care routine in the morning.
Its laxative effects may also flush out and prevent the buildup of toxins, jumpstarting your digestive system.
Ayurvedic medicine claims that the lemon's tart, sour taste helps stimulate your "agni" which activates and sets your digestive system in motion.
What is for sure is that the lemon's pulp is full of fiber and a great source of pectin, a plant-based, soluble fiber.
Pectin is linked to a whole host of health benefits, including aiding the gut with both diarrhea and constipation issues and slowing down your body's sugar absorption.
5. Lemon water aids weight loss
Lemon water is good news for you if you are looking for an easy way to both shed pounds and tone your body. In partnership with exercise and a healthy diet, it can really help fast track your weight loss efforts. How?
Your stomach uses a grid of sensors that constantly process information about the type and amount of food you eat. When the stomach senses it is full, it sends a signal to the brain informing it that it is time to stop eating.
What water does is that it somewhat rigs your stomach's data processing in your favor, by filling up space and causing the stomach to believe it is full.
In other words, water acts as a potent, but 100% natural appetite suppressant.
To benefit from this property, you can incorporate lemon water into your weight loss routine by drinking two glasses of water 30 minutes before meals in order to promote fullness and reduce hunger.
A study actually tested this natural weight loss technique with 50 obese women and found that they all lost body weight and body fat and reduced their overall body mass index, after only 8 weeks.
To be fair, while studies show that lemon juice is associated with weight loss and weight maintenance in different ways, pure and plain water would also do.
You can get similar results without the lemon. But, incorporating it is likely to make drinking water much more satisfying which in turn will go a long way in helping you stick with the new-found healthy hydration habit.
Bonus: Lemon water helps prevent iron-deficiency
As a bonus benefit, lemon water protects you from iron-deficiency or anemia, which causes sufferers to experience tiredness, low energy and difficulty focusing.
Iron helps your red blood cells supply your muscles and tissues with oxygen. Lack of iron literally means the body is being deprived of oxygen.
Iron deficiency is actually more common than you would think: 20% of all women, 50% of pregnant women and 3% of all men are iron-deficient.
Lemons don't hold a lot of iron, but are important iron absorption facilitators. This is particularly relevant for vegetarians, vegans and those who eat other plant-based diets.
The human body can easily absorb iron contained in meat, chicken or fish, but needs a little more support when trying to do the same with iron contained in plants.
The Vitamin C and citric acids contained in lemons capture plant-based iron and store it in a way that your body can more readily access and incorporate it into its system.
A study showed that 100 mg of Vitamin C consumed during a meal increases the iron absorption rate by 67%. In a nutshell, lemon water helps your body more effectively use the iron you consume, thus preventing anemia.
How to make lemon water at home
Making your own lemon water at home is incredibly quick and easy. When preparing healthy lemon water at home, give preference to the fresh fruit rather than taking your lemon juice from a bottle.
Buy fresh, organic lemons at your local farmer's market or organic grocer to ensure they are free of pesticides.
Otherwise, you may offset the benefits of cleansing your system with toxic residue on the fruit's peel.
Cut the fruit in half and squeeze half the lemon's juice into an 8 oz. glass of cool or room temperature filtered water. If you throw the entire lemon in the glass be sure you clean the skin well.
Don't strain out the pulp. It is rich in fiber and a very important part of the fruit. Moreover, opt to drink your lemon water unsweetened, so you won't turn it into a high-calorie sugar bomb.
Depending on your palate, you may also enjoy adding one of these other superfoods to your infusion:
a few leaves of fresh mint
a 1/2 inch slice of fresh ginger root
a dash of turmeric
a few slices of fresh cucumber
two or three sliced and peeled limes
the wedges of one full orange
As with any healthy drink, it is important that you find a concoction that you thoroughly enjoy as this is the best guarantee that you will drink it consistently so to over time reap the full spectrum of its specific health benefits.
Ready for the next step?
If you your skin needs more than a lemon water-induced Vitamin C boost, start tackling your skincare today with our 100% natural, holistic, science-backed, step-by-step 7-day skincare and skin health program for clear, healthy and glowing skin.
For a full list of powerful superfoods to incorporate in your diet, including your healthy smoothies, cleansing juices or infused waters, browse our superfoods directory.
Need some extra inspiration for more infused waters and other healthy drinks, check out our free collection of 60+ healthy drink recipes here.