Lemon water is an easy drink made by mixing lemon juice with water. Most people start their day with lemon water daily as it is healthy and refreshing. It can be served cold or warm. It is popular because of its health benefits, including healthy glowing skin, improved immunity and weight loss. But have you ever wondered about the disadvantages of drinking lemon water daily?
How Much Lemon Water Should You Drink in a Day?
Two glasses of lemon water daily are considered safe for all. For this, mix 1 litre of water with 4 slices of lemon in it. Lemon water provides better hydration. You can take warm lemon water and add honey, mint leaves, or ginger to it for added health benefits. A glass of lemon water early in the morning will also help get rid of toxins from the body.
Several factors like age, health status, and other conditions affect the daily intake of lemon water. There is no scientific evidence regarding the optimal amount of lemon water daily. If you take processed or packed lemon water products, consult a healthcare professional before using them.
Do Lemons Interact With Medications?
Lemon does not interact severely with any medicines. However, as per a study, citrus juice can affect the medications that affect calcium movement. These medications are used to treat high blood pressure. However, the studies were conducted on grapefruit juice and orange juice containing citrus.
Lime juice can affect the rate of breakdown of certain medicines, like Triazolam (Halcion), Lovastatin (Mevacor), Itraconazole (Sporanox), Ketoconazole (Nizoral), Fexofenadine (Allegra). In addition, it may increase or decrease their side effects. Therefore, it is advised to consult a physician before taking lime or lemon juice daily while on these medications.
Benefits of Lemon Water
Having lemon water is the easiest way to refresh. In addition, it has numerous health benefits that include:
1. Increased Immunity of the Body
As lemon water has a high quantity of vitamin C, it strengthens the immune system. It helps in fighting viral infections like cold and congestion. It also helps in relieving their symptoms. Lemon water also builds resistance against seasonal sinus flu and cures sore throats.
2. Refreshing and Hydrating
A glass of lemon water provides fresh breath instant energy and boosts the mood. Taking a glass of lemon water enhances flavour and helps you drink more water. It can keep you hydrated all day and replenish nutrients from the body.
3. Aids in Weight loss
As per a study in mice, the antioxidants found in lemon aid in reducing weight gain in overly fed mice. But there is no clear scientific evidence of lemon in weight loss in humans. But it was found drinking more lemon water makes you feel full for a long time. The fullness prevents you from frequent snacking that prevents weight gain. Lemon also contains fibres that aid in weight loss and can curb hunger. It is also low on calories.
4. Boosts Metabolism
The flavonoids in lemon water can boost metabolism without adding more calories to the diet. It further helps in weight loss. Drinking lemon water also reduces inflammation in the body and promotes the healthy functioning of muscles, the brain, and the heart.
5. Improves Skin Health
Lemon water is rich in antioxidants and vitamins. It brings a healthy skin glow by removing toxins from the body. Also, it helps in skin pigmentation, improves texture, and rejuvenates the skin. As per a study, citrus food drinks, including lemon water, prevent wrinkles.
6. Aids in Gut health and Digestion
The citric acid present in lemon can destroy harmful gut bacteria and improve digestive health. The pectin fibres present in lemon also lead to slow absorption of sugar, thus preventing sugar spikes and increased blood sugar levels.
7. Helps in Liver Function
Lemon water helps in liver function. It promotes the production of bile juice which helps digestion. It detoxifies and removes harmful chemicals from the body.
8. Provides Essential Minerals
Lemon water is rich in vitamin C and minerals. The high quantity of potassium in lemon helps balance the electrolytes and pH of the body. It provides essential minerals like calcium, iron, and selenium. It helps
- Strengthen bones
- Help in iron deficiency anaemia
- Prevent kidney stone
- Reduce the risk of stroke
- Lower blood pressure
- Improve kidney functions
- Boost brain and heart health
- Improve eyesight
Disadvantages of Drinking Lemon Water Daily
Drinking lemon water in moderation is good, but it can cause many health issues in excess. Here are ten disadvantages of drinking lemon water daily:
1. Tooth Decay
Lemon has a high amount of acids. As per a study, excess lemon water can cause the dissolution of enamel or the outer layer of the teeth, leading to the removal of minerals. As per American Dental Association, teeth erosion makes teeth susceptible to decay over a period. It can also lead to sensitivity and pain. As per a study, lemon juice can have the same erosive effect on teeth as that of cold drinks.
You can use a straw to reduce direct exposure of acid present in lemon water with teeth. You should also avoid brushing your teeth just after having lemon water. Instead, try drinking lots of plain water along with lemon water. It will reduce the chances of having sensitivity.
2. Upset Stomach and Ulcers
If taken daily and in high quantities, it can cause damage to the stomach. Because of the acidity, it can cause heartburn, nausea, and vomiting. The disadvantage of drinking lemon water daily is that it can trigger ulcers. The acidic content of lemon can harm the inner linings of the stomach and intestine, leading to ulcers. If you are already vulnerable to it, avoid taking lemon water daily.
3. GERD and Acid Reflux
As per a study, acidic food can cause gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) and acid reflux. It occurs because the acid in lemon irritates the inner linings of the food pipe. It worsens when you drink lemon water on an empty stomach, and people who are prone to acid reflux should avoid drinking lemon water daily. The regurgitation of food in acid reflux can cause difficulty in swelling, worse asthma, cough, sour taste in the mouth and also, if it happens at night, it affects sleep.
4. Frequent Urination and Dehydration
As per studies, lemon water is rich in ascorbic acid or Vitamin C. It is diuretic in nature, which can lead to more urine production in the kidneys. Along with water, frequent urination will flush out electrolytes from the body. It can lead to dehydration, tiredness, dry lips, and excess thirst.
Also, the acidic content of lemon can irritate the bladder causing more urge to urinate. In this case, try balancing lemon water intake with the advice of a consulting physician.
5. Cause or Worse Canker Sores
Canker sores are ulcers inside the mouth, usually under the tongue or inside of the cheeks. As per a study, they are caused by acidic or spicy food, vitamin deficiency, or wearing braces. As per American Dental Association, over-consumption of lemon water can worsen the existing canker sores.
It can make eating and talking uncomfortable. If you find canker sores after consuming lemon water, you should stop consuming them.
6. Trigger Migraine
The disadvantage of drinking lemon water daily includes migraines and headaches. As per a study, citrus fruits like lemon can trigger headaches and migraines. Lemon and citrus fruits are high in tyramine. As per a study, tyramine is linked to migraines and headaches. So people who have long-term migraine can get frequent migraine attacks because of lemon water daily.
7. Risk of Cancer
Citrus fruits like lemon have psoralens. They are carcinogenic and can cause cancers. As per a study, increased consumption of lemon water (psoralens) can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer like melanoma. In this, different sizes and shades of mole appear on the skin. They can even ooze blood but are painless. If you notice such symptoms, consult a doctor.
8. Adverse Effect on Bones
Some researchers claim that lemon water is linked with bone health. Lemon can reduce the lubricants present in between the joints and bones over time.
9. Excess Iron
Any mineral that exceeds more than the normal level in our body is harmful. A normal iron level is important for energy production, haemoglobin formation and the function of certain enzymes in the body. As per a study, the vitamin C present in lemon water can increase iron absorption.
It can be beneficial for people with low Iron levels but can also lead to hemochromatosis. It is an excess storage of iron in the body that can damage organs over a period. It can also lead to weakness, fatigue, high sugar level, and skin pigmentation.
10. Trigger Sunburn
Lemon and other citrus fruits have psoralens. It is a chemical compound that can make skin sensitive to UV-A rays. The increase in the light sensitivity of the skin can cause excessive sunburn. It can worsen sunburn and cause phytophotodermatitis. It is a type of skin inflammation because of certain plant-based chemicals that occur when exposed to sun rays. It can lead to
- Burning sensation
If you drink a hot or normal glass of lemon water daily in the morning or before bedtime, you don’t have to worry. It is beneficial if taken in moderate quantities. You can even add honey or ginger in lemon water to soothe an upset stomach. However, it can do more harm than good when you overconsume lemon water. The disadvantages of drinking lemon water daily include tooth decay, upset stomach, acid reflux, migraine, and increased risk of cancer.
If you observe any adverse side effects of lemon water on your body, reduce the quantity of lemon water or stop taking it. Consult a doctor to seek advice regarding lemon water intake.
- Shaowei Wu, Jiali Han, August 2015; Citrus Consumption and Risk of Cutaneous Malignant Melanoma - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4979231/
- Mirosław Jarosz, October 2014; Risk factors for gastroesophageal reflux disease: the role of diet - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4223119/
- Giovanna Mosaico, July 2018; Particular dental erosion - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6235510/
- Masanori Hiramitsu, Miki Okada, November 2008; Lemon Polyphenols Suppress Diet-induced Obesity by Up-Regulation of mRNA Levels of the Enzymes Involved in beta-Oxidation in Mouse White Adipose Tissue - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19015756/