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​​Lemon Water Benefits 2024: Science-Backed Reasons To Start Your Day With It

Lemon Water Benefits
Lemon water has potential benefits for human health. Photo: Nghi Tran

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The humble lemon needs to get more credit for the health benefits it provides. This versatile citrus fruit can not only add flavor to salads, soups, and other foods but it can also be used as a natural biocide[1] in water. Lemon juice can also help to prevent bacterial growth on raw meats, chicken, and fish, especially when used as a marinade.

It can be used as a natural disinfectant, too, especially in the kitchen and bathroom, without the need for harsh cleaning chemicals.

Taken internally as lemon water, this beverage can boost our health. Here is a look at the potential lemon water benefits on the human body.

Lemon Water Health Benefits

  • Promotes hydration.
  • Good source of Vitamin C.
  • May support weight loss.
  • Easy alternative to sugary drinks.
  • Citric acid helps prevent kidney stones.
  • May aid digestion.
  • Banish acne.
  • Reduce inflammation.
  • Freshens your breath.
  • Boosts your heart health.
  • Prevents allergies.
  • Revitalizes your eyes.
  • Gives you an energy boost.

13 Health Benefits Of Lemon Water

Promotes Hydration 

During hot weather or after some vigorous exercise, it is very tempting to grab a sugar-laden sports drink to aid rehydration. However, lemon water is a healthy and more effective alternative for keeping us hydrated. It contains electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium, which are often lost in hot/humid conditions or after physical activity.

Replacing these electrolytes from the lemon, along with the water content, helps to quickly replenish lost fluids and prevent dehydration symptoms, which can include headaches, nausea, and fatigue.

Good Source Of Vitamin C

Vitamin C is abundant in citrus fruits, including lemons and lemon water. Drinking lemon water is an efficient way of quickly boosting vitamin C levels in the body. Vitamin C, which is also known as ascorbic acid,[2] is water-soluble. It helps to prevent scurvy and is also an effective free radical scavenger, thanks to its antioxidant activity. This vitamin also boosts immunity, helps the body fight infections, aids wound healing, and is vital in the manufacturing of collagen,[3] which is the most abundant protein in the body.

May Support Weight Loss

It is thought that lemon water can help boost our metabolism and help the body burn fat. This could be down to the acid content of lemons, which can help improve digestion by breaking down fats, protein, and carbohydrates more efficiently.

Easy Alternative To Sugary Drinks

As already mentioned, sugary drinks are not the best option for those who need an energy boost or rehydration. These drinks cause spikes in our blood sugar levels and are often accompanied by a list of chemical ingredients that are best avoided.

Lemon water, on the other hand, contains no preservatives, colors, or added sugar, provides nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and offers a quick hydration boost.

Citric Acid Helps Prevent Kidney Stones

Citric acid is abundant in citrus fruits, and citrate is thought to be beneficial in preventing some forms of kidney stones. These stones form when high levels of waste products such as calcium oxalate[4] build up in the urine and form crystals, which eventually become kidney stones. 

Lemon water has been used as a natural preventative remedy to combat some forms of kidney stones for years. Furthermore, the citric acid concentration in lemon juice can help prevent the formation and break up small kidney stones.

May Aid Digestion

Lemon water can be made with warm or cold water. Hot lemon water can benefit the stomach during the winter months instead of drinking morning tea or coffee. Lemon water is usually ingested on an empty stomach in the mornings, especially by those who want to use it as a digestive aid.

The citric acid in lemons can increase the acidity of the stomach, allowing for the more efficient digestion of fats and proteins. The trick here is to get the concentrations right. Digesting lemon juice, especially hard lemon juice, with no dilution can tip the balance and create too much stomach acidity.

The knock-on effect of this is heartburn, indigestion, nausea, and in extreme cases, acid reflux or even vomiting. Using half a lemon and diluting it in a full glass of water is the way forward.

Banish Acne

Acne can affect anyone but is more common in younger adults. Causes include hormonal changes,[5] stress, blocked pores, and bacterial infections. It can be mild or severe and can cause physiological problems especially if the face is affected.

The antibacterial properties of lemon water and the high vitamin C and flavonoid content can help improve this skin condition. In addition, vitamin C promotes wound healing, and this can help with skin healing and prevent scarring.

Reduce Inflammation

Lemon water can help reduce inflammation in the body mostly because of the high vitamin C  and flavonoid content. When combined, these two form powerful antioxidant activity in the body, preventing cell damage and promoting healing. This, in turn, can help reduce inflammation in the body or prevent it from developing altogether.

Freshens Your Breath

Mouthwashes are full of artificial ingredients such as colors, preservatives, flavors, and chemical antibacterials. Lemons, on the other hand, have a natural aroma and natural antibacterial properties that can kill the germs that cause bad breath. Drinking well-diluted lemon water or even using it as a mouthwash can help prevent halitosis and quickly freshen the breath.

Boosts Your Heart Health

The phytonutrients and vitamin C content of lemon water help to prevent cell damage from oxidation occurring in the body. This action also helps to keep significant arteries that the heart uses to pump blood around the body healthy. 

Lemon water has also been linked to lowering harmful cholesterol levels in the blood and controlling blood pressure. Both lower the chances of individuals developing heart disease, suffering a heart attack, or becoming victims of strokes.

Prevents Allergies

Vitamin C’s antioxidant, immune-boosting, and anti-inflammatory properties can help lessen the impact of allergy symptoms. It is also believed that other compounds in citrus fruits inhibit the release of histamine[6] in the body, which can cause allergy symptoms to occur.

Revitalizes Your Eyes

While it is never advisable to allow lemon water anywhere near your eyes, drinking it is a different matter altogether, and it can boost your eye health. Lemon water contains zeaxanthin and lutein, which help to improve eye health and prevent certain eye conditions, such as macular degeneration and cataracts, from developing.

Gives You An Energy Boost

Since lemon water aids hydration and replaces lost electrolytes, it should come as no surprise to learn that it can help boost energy levels because of these two actions.

Furthermore, vitamin C aids iron absorption, and an adequate supply of iron can help prevent tiredness, low energy levels, fatigue, and even anemia.

What Is Lemon Water?

lemon water benefits
Lemon water is water with pure lemon juice. Photo: Alexander Prokopenko/Shutterstock

Lemon water is water with pure lemon juice that contains enough lemon to change the acidity of the water. Even the flesh can be added to lemon water. It is best when diluted with still mineral water because this lowers the acidity of the lemon content and is delicious when served chilled. However, warm lemon water benefits our bodies by keeping us warm during the winter months.

The Nutritional Value Of Lemon Water

Lemons, including zest, contain nutrients that can boost health. Lemons, including lemon water, contain high levels of vitamin C,[7] which is an antioxidant.

Lemon water also has vitamin B6, potassium, sodium, magnesium, calcium, iron, flavonoids, and pectin, a form of soluble fiber.

How To Drink Lemon Water For Better Health

Cucumber Lemon Water

Cucumber lemon water is great served chilled when the sun is blazing outside. The easiest way to make this drink is by first juicing lemons and then adding water to the juice. Secondly, pour the lemon water into a jug containing sliced cucumber. Finally, allow the concoction to infuse overnight.

All the benefits of lemon water but with additional nutrients such as vitamin K and manganese from the cucumber make for a healthy start to the day.

Honey Lemon Water

Energy boosts lemon juice by adding some honey to the lemon water. This can also improve the taste. Most types of honey have anti-microbial properties, so adding some honey also boosts the antibacterial power of this beverage. Of course, how much honey you add depends on how sweet you like your drinks to be.

Ginger, Turmeric, And Lemon Water

lemon water benefits
You can add some turmeric and ginger to lemonade. Photo: j.chizhe/Shutterstock

Lemon water can be spiced up by adding some turmeric and ginger to the lemon juice. Both ginger and turmeric have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Ginger is also an antiviral; it aids digestion and helps to speed up metabolism, which can help with weight loss.

Add hot water to a jug containing sliced lemon, chopped ginger, and a sprinkling of turmeric to create a rich and warming spicy tea.

Strawberry-Infused Lemon Water

Strawberries are rich in vitamins and flavonoids, such as quercetin and anthocyanins, that protect our bodies from disease. Like lemons, they are also rich in vitamin C and potassium. 

Pour water over some sliced strawberries and lemon, and add some mint for extra taste. Leave the concoction in the fridge for a few hours before serving.

Cantaloupe and Mint-Infused Lemon Water

Cantaloupe contains the antioxidant beta carotene, and mint contains chlorophyll which helps to detox the body and improve digestion. Add both to some lemon water and allow to infuse overnight before serving.

Side Effects Of Lemon Water

Due to the acidic nature of lemons, the most common side effects lemon water drinkers are most likely to suffer are heartburn and indigestion. Tooth enamel erosion can also occur if the water is particularly concentrated. Drinking lemon water through a straw can minimize the contact the water has with teeth.


The benefits of drinking lemon water are numerous because it is packed with vitamins, minerals, and flavonoids. Additional ingredients such as cucumber and strawberries only add further nutritional value to this quick and easy-to-make beverage.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the best time to drink lemon water?

Lemon water is an excellent way to start the day and is best taken before breakfast on an empty stomach.

Should I drink lemon water if I have a sensitive stomach?

If you suffer from heartburn, indigestion, or reflux, lemon water should be taken with a meal, heavily diluted, and as far away from bedtime as possible.

Should I drink lemon water every day?

If you want to drink lemon water every day, it is best to stick to a glass or two a day and drink it through a straw.

+ 7 Sources

EHproject has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We work mostly with peer-reviewed studies to ensure accurate information. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

  1. D’Aquino M;Teves SA (2022). Lemon juice as a natural biocide for disinfecting drinking water. Bulletin of the Pan American Health Organization, [online] 28(4). Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7858646/ 
  2. Abdullah (2023). Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid). [online] Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29763052/ 
  3. Wu, M., Cronin, K. and Crane, J.S. (2022). Biochemistry, Collagen Synthesis. [online] Nih.gov. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK507709/ 
  4. Tilahun Alelign and Petros, B. (2018). Kidney Stone Disease: An Update on Current Concepts. Advances in Urology, [online] 2018, pp.1–12. doi:https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/3068365.
  5. Sutaria, A.H., Masood, S., Saleh, H.M. and Schlessinger, J. (2023). Acne Vulgaris. [online] Nih.gov. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK459173/ 
  6. Vazouras, K.G., Partheniou, J. and Dimoliatis, I.D. (2009). Alleviation and prevention of severe allergic rhinitis and conjunctivitis following long-term lemon juice use: a case report. Cases Journal, [online] 2(1), p.8971. doi:10.4076/1757-1626-2-8971.
  7. Sir, A., Randa and Hassan, A.B. (2018). Content of phenolic compounds and vitamin C and antioxidant activity in wasted parts of Sudanese citrus fruits. Food Science and Nutrition, [online] 6(5), pp.1214–1219. doi:https://doi.org/10.1002/fsn3.660.


Christine is a certified personal trainer and nutritionist with an undergraduate degree from Missouri State University. Her passion is helping others learn how strong and healthy they can become by transforming their daily habits. Christine spends… See More