Drinking lemon water has been in the media touting many health benefits such as weight loss and detox. With so much information out there about food and nutrition, it can be confusing. As dietitians, we help consumers and clients make sense of the facts and fiction.
The truth is that there is little research that adding lemon juice to water causes weight loss. While both lemon and water have benefits on their own, putting them together does not exponentially improve their health impact. Here’s what you need to know.
- Drinking water is important to your health. It quenches thirst and helps you stay hydrated without adding calories. In a day, aim for 9 cups of fluid for women and 12 cups for men. This can include fluids from a variety of sources such as water, 100% fruit juice, milk / plant-based beverages, coffee, tea and fluids found in fruits / vegetables.
- Any hot liquid can help people feel better when they have a cold. Drinking warm liquids will improve symptoms of a cold, but it’s not a cure.
- Your body does an excellent job detoxing itself. Kidney, liver and other organs contribute to this process. When you go to the bathroom, urine and feces are the evidence of body detoxing.
- Steer clear of claims that suggest lemon water (or any one food or drink) helps you lose weight. Be mindful of ‘diet culture’ and look at developing sustainable habits to reach your health goal.
- Lemon is acidic and too much could wear away tooth enamel and increase tooth sensitivity. If your teeth are sensitive use a straw to drink and rinse your mouth with fresh water after drinking lemon water.
Bottom line: If you love the astringent taste of lemon in warm or cold water, go for it. But remember that lemon and hot water are not going to deliver a host of superfood benefits.
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Written by Lucia Weiler, BSc, RD, PHEc – Award-winning dietitian and Owner, Nutrition For NON-Nutritionists (n4nn)
 Dietitians of Canada (2021) Facts on Fluids – How to Stay Hydrated, Unlock Food. ca