Like apple cider vinegar, some have called hot lemon water a beauty and wellness “miracle food”.1
The purported health benefits range from positive effects on skin, digestion, and even weight loss. So what are the actual hot lemon water benefits, and do the claims hold any…water? Let’s find out.
Nutritional Value of Lemon Water
Here’s the nutrient breakdown for one glass of water, mixed with the juice of half a lemon.
Sugars: Less than 1 gram
Vitamin C: 21% DV
Folate: 1% DV
Potassium: 1% DV2
Lemons are high in vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps protect cells from free radicals. They also contain flavonoids, plant compounds that are linked to a host of blood, digestive, and metabolic health benefits.3-5
The health benefits of lemon water go way beyond the vitamin and mineral content, though. Lemon juice has properties that may help support your health and well-being in a variety of ways.
Potential Benefits of Drinking Hot Lemon Water
It Supports Your Immune System
Lemons are high in vitamin C, an antioxidant that shows potential for fighting the common cold.6If you feel a sore throat coming on, you may already be in the habit of reaching for warm water with lemon.7
It May Help You Maintain A Healthy Weight
Can drinking water with lemon juice help you lose weight and cut down belly fat? A few theories say that lemon water can support weight loss. However, it is smarter to focus on a healthy overall diet and exercise for weight loss than relying on lemon water.
Drinking water by itself – with or without lemon – has been shown to temporarily increase the number of calories that your body burns.8 So, it naturally follows that water with lemon added would do the same.
Another theory states that the plant compounds in lemons, specifically a substance called naringin, may help support a healthy body weight.9
And lastly, plain lemon water has just 7 calories.10
Swapping out soda or a sugary drink in exchange for a glass of lemon water can be an easy way to cut calories and help with weight loss.
It Supports Healthy Skin
Vitamin C, which is found in lemons, may contribute to the appearance of younger-looking skin. This may be because vitamin C can support natural collagen production, which helps make up connective tissue under the skin.15
Drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated throughout the day can also do wonders for your skin.16 So if adding lemon to your water convinces you to add more water to your diet, you’ll reap the benefits of hydration.
It Supports Your Digestive Health
There’s evidence that diets rich in vitamin C can help protect the stomach from damage.19
Some people swear by drinking lemon water as a gentle morning laxative. The vitamin C content of can support normal bowel movements.21
A Natural Diuretic?
Drinking hot lemon water (or any water, for that matter) throughout the day may increase your rate of urination, which can help your body detox. Detoxing can help reduce the amount of salt your body is holding on to, which may help ease bloating.22
Potential Side Effects of Drinking Hot Lemon Water
Drinking hot lemon water is generally safe, but there are a few potential side effects to watch out for.
- Lemons are a highly acidic food, so lemon water may erode tooth enamel over time.33 To minimize contact, drink it out of a straw and rinse your mouth out afterward.
- While some experience relief from heartburn when they drink hot lemon water, others may feel these symptoms get worse.23
- It may irritate sores or skin irritation in or around the mouth.24
If you suffer from heartburn, check with your doctor before adding lemon water to your diet.
How To Make Hot Lemon Water At Home
To make hot water with lemon, start by boiling water. Warming water helps extract vitamin C and polyphenols. Pour it into a glass, and mix in fresh lemon juice from half a lemon.
Try experimenting with flavors by adding some sprigs of mint, a green tea bag, lemon ginger tea, or even cayenne pepper.
Add It To Your Morning Ritual
If you drink lemon water every morning on an empty stomach when you first wake up, you may get the most benefits. Your body is at its most dehydrated first thing in the morning.
Like most new habits, you will likely have the most success if you incorporate it into your daily routine. In the beginning, you may want to leave out a few lemons by your coffee maker so you remember to make it. Who knows, after a few weeks, you may even start replacing your coffee with lemon water.