What’s the deal with lemon water?

detox, hydration, lemon, Olumia Life, vitamins, water

lemon water

 

Especially online, it can be hard to separate a health fad from a legitimately beneficial way to be healthier: enter lemon water. The breathless way that a lot of health blogs talk about lemon water, you’d think it could be the answer to all your problems. With that in mind, let’s look a little closer into the fact and fiction on lemon water.

Lemon water, a definition

If you’re new to the lemon water discussion, it’s worth noting that this is not lemonade. Lemon water is simply squeezing lemon juice into water. Usually a half lemon is the suggested amount, but you might find other places advocating a different amount. Some advise zesting the lemon and adding that to the water as well. Finally, the temperature varies, with some people enjoying hot water with lemon, others cold. One of the most common suggestions is for taking hot lemon water first thing in the morning.

What are the actual benefits?

Let’s go through some of the claims you might see out there:

  1. It helps you drink more water. The easiest reason to say lemon water is good is simply because it’s water. Water is good for you, duh. That said, if drinking lemon water allows you to increase the amount of water you drink, especially in place of more sugary selections, then that’s a definite good. The amount of water you need each day may be more than you expect. Water is far and away the most important beverage to drink every day. This one’s confirmed, at least in terms of drinking more water is good.
  2. It detoxifies your body. This is suspect from the get go. What exactly does “detoxify” mean? It’s really more of a generic marketing term at this point than anything tangible. If it removes toxins, what specific toxins does it remove and why wouldn’t they be removed otherwise? It’s true that lemons have antioxidants in them, but this isn’t about eating a whole lemon for breakfast. Squeezing out some lemon juice is vastly different. It’s why Olumia Life recommends whole fruit over fruit juice.
  3. It improves mineral absorption. This is another statement that banks more on the idea that lemon water is the same as actually eating a lemon. It’s true that lemons contain lots of vitamin C and that vitamin helps mineral absorption. That said, the amount present in lemon water is vastly less and is nothing you would want to rely on for getting enough vitamin C in your diet.
  4. Lemon water reduces hunger. It’d be better to say than water reduces hunger, not lemon water. We often mistake dehydration for being hungry. Drinking water curbs that, allowing us to reduce the temptation for snacking. The other part of this is dietary fiber, which is present in all fruit, primarily in the pulp. Like vitamin C, squeezing lemon juice isn’t going to give you the same amount of fiber as actually eating the fruit.
  5. Drinking lemon water in the morning boosts your metabolism. Like the last entry, this applies more to water in general than to lemon water. It’s a good idea to have a glass of water when you wake up, adding lemon juice will be a bit more for taste purposes than anything else, though, hot or cold.

Final conclusion?

We love lemon water! Hyperbolic internet claims aside, lemon water is still a great way to improve the taste of water, which can help you drink more water. Lemon in and of itself isn’t going to magically change your life, eating healthy and maintaining an active lifestyle will.

The real goal here is drinking plenty of water each day.

Why lemons?

Since whatever helps you drink enough water is good for you, there are plenty of other alternatives to adding something to your water. In fact, because of the citric acid in lemon juice, drinking lots of lemon water could potentially cause a little corrosion in your teeth. Using another fruit or vegetable helps avoid that risk.

Instead of adding juice, why not add slices or the whole fruit instead? Cucumber slices are a tasty addition to water and can be eaten as well. Whole berries are a great idea too. Raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries are all great options.

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