Nowadays, a lot of people have been drinking lemon water for weight loss. They use this for detoxification as well as a natural aid in the digestive system and fat burning. Several experts claim that lemon water helps in increasing metabolism, cleansing the liver, and improving the entire well-being (1). But the question is, "Does it really aid in losing weight?" This article will discuss whether or not lemon-water works and the tips on how to use it for optimal weight loss.
Does it Work?
Lemon water is a mixture of water and fresh lemon juice, as the name implies. This beverage can be enjoyed both hot and cold. Many studies claim that this kind of water provides a number of health benefits, including enhancing focus, improving digestion, and increasing energy levels. Of course, this is also a trend in losing weight; that is why it becomes part of many diets (2).
Here are the reasons why lemon-water works:
It is low in calories
In general, lemon water is considered as a low-calorie juice drink. Mixing half a lemon into the water makes only around six calories (3). This means that if you drink water lemon instead of soda and orange juice, which are high in calories, you can cut calories, thereby helping you lose weight.
Just come to think of the calories you get from 237 ml of orange juice. It typically contains 110 calories (4). On the other hand, drinking 16-ounce of soda will give you 182 calories (5). The number of calories you get from these beverages is high; that is why it is preferable to drink lemon water.
You can reduce your calorie intake by up to 200 calories if you replace high-calorie beverages to lemon water. Some studies also revealed that drinking low-calorie beverages, such as lemon water, can help in reducing the overall calories you consumed during meals (6).
It helps in hydration
One of the most important things to do to improve your health is to drink plenty of water. This allows you to feed nutrients to cells and get rid of wastes and toxins from your body. You also need to keep hydrated, as well as to regulate your body temperature to maintain your physical performance (7).
Several studies also show that keeping yourself hydrated can help you lose weight. This can be explained by the breakdown of fats resulting in fat loss as hydration is increased (8). Aside from that, it helps you reduce water retention, causing puffiness, bloating, and weight gain (9). Lemon water is mainly made of water, so this juice can help you keep hydrated.
It can boost metabolism
Many studies have shown that water can aid in increasing your metabolism. Having good hydration can improve the function of mitochondria. This is an organelle seen in cells that is capable of generating energy for you to perform various activities (10).
Increasing your metabolism aids in weight loss. Since water can increase metabolism, it is the best drink to consume if you want to lose weight. Metabolism is increased because drinking water helps in inducing thermogenesis. This means that calories are being burned for your body to produce heat. In one study, it was shown that the metabolic rate of a person who drinks water is increased by 30 percent (11).
Another study shows that overweight children who drink water increased their metabolism by 25 percent, and this means that they also experienced weight loss (12). As mentioned earlier, lemon water is mainly composed of water. So it means that drinking lemon water will most likely have the same effect as if you are drinking plain water.
It can make you feel full
Water is always part of the diet, even if your goal is not really to lose weight. But water is very beneficial if your aim is to lose weight because it can help in making you full and promoting satiety without the need to consume calories.
In one study, it was shown that those who drink water before breakfast reduced the number of calories they consumed during the meal by 13 percent (13). Another study shows that drinking water during meals can increase the satiety level and reduce hunger (14).
This situation can help you consume lesser calories that can help maintain your weight. Since lemon water is also low in calories and has the same effect as water when consumed, this will most likely help you feel full, thereby an effective way of reducing calorie consumption.
It helps in promoting weight loss
We already learned that water lemon helps in hydration, metabolism, and satiety. These reasons can help you achieve your weight loss goals. In one study, some participants drink water prior to every meal. At the end of the study, it was shown that those who drink water prior to every meal lose around 44 percent more weight compared to those who did not drink water prior to every meal (15).
Another study has shown that regardless of exercise or diet, people who drink more water experience greater weight loss (16). These studies use regular water, but it is assumed that lemon water has the same effect when it comes to weight loss.
Water is still better than lemon water
Indeed, lemon water may have the same effect as regular water when it comes to weight loss. But this does not necessarily mean that lemon water is better. Most of the benefits discussed above are mainly due to water.
And yes, lemon can provide nutritional benefits, such as antioxidants and vitamin C, but these do not have something to do with your weight although regular water is still better, the added benefits when drinking lemon water includes kidney stones prevention due to its acidic contents (17).
Other benefits of lemon
Water lemon is composed of lemon, of course. And lemons are rich in fiber, vitamin C, and other beneficial plant compounds that can promote your entire well-being. Lemons not only support weight control, but it also helps the heart and digestive health (18).
Here are some of the benefits of lemon:
It promotes heart health
Since it is a good source of vitamin C, it can help reduce your risk of stroke and heart disease (19). So it is logical that lemon water promotes heart health too. Lemon is also a good source of fiber. Fiber is also known to lower the risk of various heart diseases (20).
It prevents kidney stones
The citric acid found in lemons can increase urine pH and urine volume that aids in preventing kidney stones. Drinking lemon water every day is enough to provide your body with citric acid that helps in preventing the formation of kidney stones (21).
It helps fight anemia
Anemia is very common for those who lack iron. The good news is that drinking lemon water can help increase iron, thereby preventing anemia. This is because it improves the absorption of iron in your body (22). Some foods containing iron cannot be absorbed by your body easily, so lemon serves as an aid for you to absorb iron from these foods.
It helps reduce the risk of cancer
A diet, including fruits and vegetables, can help reduce the risk of some cancers. A study has shown that people who eat fruits that contain citrus, such as lemon, have lower risks of cancer (23).
It improves digestive health
Around 10 percent of lemons are made of carbs- usually simple sugars and soluble fibers. Pectin, the main fiber found in lemons, is known to provide for various health benefits, including the improvement of gut health and digestion (24). Including the pulp in your lemon juice can provide more fiber in your body.
Tips on How to Use it For Optimal Weight Loss
You can actually customize lemon water according to your personal preference. You can use at least half of the lemon mixed with water. Aside from lemon, you can try adding other ingredients such as a sprinkle of turmeric or fresh mint leaves. These ingredients can spice up your lemon water.
Most people love to drink lemon water in the mornings. But this can actually be consumed at any time of day. There is no limitation. Furthermore, you can serve it hot or cold, depending on your mood, weather, or preference.
Here is a lemon water diet plan:
There are actually numbers of diet plans such as lemon water detox, 14-day lemon water challenge, and many more. But it is noteworthy that not all diets are applicable to everyone. That means that it depends. And there is no such fix and easy way to lose weight.
You can include lemon water as part of your diet. To obtain your goal of losing weight, you need to get rid of junk foods, sweetened beverages, sugary desserts, and other processed foods. You should also be cautious about hidden sugars usually found in granola bars, protein bars, and breakfast cereals. Other sugars in disguise include sucrose, dextrose, high-fructose corn syrup, carob syrup, cane juice, glucose, and caramel (25).
It is also noteworthy that almost 74 percent of all processed foods contain sugar, which can be detrimental to your health. Even breakfast bars have around 15 grams of added sugar, and some yogurts have around seven teaspoons of sugar per serving.
Furthermore, drinking water lemon alone is not enough for you to achieve your ultimate weight loss goal. You also need to change your eating habits and practice a healthy lifestyle in the long term. The first thing that you can do is to swap your commercial smoothies, coke, cocktails, and other sweetened-beverages into the lemon water. You can drink lemon water during workouts, in the morning, and any time as long as you want to (26).
Since you already know the health benefits of lemon water when it comes to weight loss, you can now cut the lemon into half and squeeze it in your water bottle. Try to add more flavors by including turmeric, ginger, and other spices.
If you have sensitive teeth, the best choice to use in warm water. But if you want something that can refresh your mood, especially during hot weather, try to mix lemon with ice-cold water. Or maybe, you just need to put some ice in your lemon water.
How much lemon to use?
Do you know that incorporating the whole lemon can give you the utmost health benefits? And yes, it means that you also need to include the peel when you mix lemon with water. According to studies, lemon peel contains polyphenols that aids in losing weight. The lemon also contains vitamin C that can boost your immune system, produce collagen, and regenerate glutathione. Hala lemon mixed with 10 ounces of water is enough (27).
Hot, cold, or warm water lemon?
Although water lemon can be taken hot or cold, some experts believe that it is best to drink it with warm water. This is because warm water can help extract polyphenols and vitamin C both from the lemon and its peel. And it is ideal, especially if you want to drink water lemon in large quantities.
What is the best time to drink lemon water?
As mentioned earlier, you can drink water lemon at any time of day. But every time you wake up, your body experiences extreme dehydration. That is why most experts suggest that lemon water should be consumed from the moment you wake up. It will help replenish those fluids you lost during sleep. But then, there are also risks of drinking water lemon all day, such that it can result in the thinning of your tooth’s enamel.
Water lemon can promote hydration, support metabolism, boost fullness, and improve body weight. It is noteworthy that drinking regular water is still the best way to lose weight, especially that it does not come with calories. But then, don't worry because water lemon has various health benefits that you cannot obtain from drinking water alone. If you want to improve the taste of your water lemon, you can add other ingredients such as turmeric or mint to improve its taste.