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3 Disadvantages of Drinking Lemon Water Daily 

6 min read
a couple of jars with lemon water and fresh lemons it them, disadvantages of drinking lemon water daily
Melissa Mitri post Reviewer Melissa Mitri post Reviewer
Verified by Melissa Mitri
MS, Registered Dietitian, Former President of CT Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics

Lemon water is usually associated with a healthy lifestyle but are there disadvantages of drinking lemon water daily? Read on to find out!

Table of Contents

Drinking water and lemon juice is a popular trend many include in their daily routine because of the many proposed health benefits. However, are there side effects of lemon water? Is it okay to drink lemon water every day? 

This article will dive deeper into the effects of lemon water every day. 

Why Add Lemon Juice to Water? The Benefits

Water and lemon juice is a trendy beverage that has gained popularity for its potential health benefits. Many drink lemon water right after waking up, but there are actually no specific rules for consuming lemon water.

While very few reliable studies exist on the health benefits of water and lemon juice combined, there is strong evidence of the benefits of each ingredient individually. 

According to the journal Medicinal Chemistry, lemons have the following potential benefits [1]:

  • High in vitamin C
  • Source of antioxidants 
  • May have anti-cancer properties
  • Anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects

Lemon Water & Kidney Health

Many wonder if lemon water has side effects on the kidneys. However, it is quite the opposite – lemon juice and water may benefit kidney health. According to Advances in Nutrition, dietary citrate (which is present in lemons in high amounts) can help prevent kidney stone reoccurrence in individuals who have experienced them in the past [2].

Additionally, social media often claims that drinking lemon water daily will help “detox” the body, which is false. Detoxification refers to the removal of toxins and wastes from the body. Healthy kidneys can effectively detox the body through urination without any specific food or ingredient in your diet. 

Lemon Water & Gut Health

Also, is lemon water good for your stomach? It is important to stay hydrated with adequate fluids and dietary fiber for a healthy digestive system, which removes wastes from the body. While lemon water (or just regular water) is important for health, but the trend of lemon water for “detoxing” is just a trend. 

Lemon as Diuretic

While many propose that lemon is a natural diuretic, meaning it promotes water loss through urination, insufficient evidence-based research supports this claim. More experimental studies are warranted to confirm if lemon is a diuretic, how much is needed to notice a diuretic effect, and more. 

3 Disadvantages of Drinking Lemon Water Daily

Next, we will discuss the potential side effects of lemon water and how these effects can be reduced. How much lemon water is too much? It is important to note that in most cases, these side effects are only relevant if excessively high amounts of lemon water are consumed each day. 

Heartburn or Acid Reflux

So, can lemon water cause heartburn? For individuals who struggle with gastroesophageal reflux disease, commonly referred to as GERD, too much lemon water can worsen symptoms. 

According to the journal Clinical Gastroenterology, experts describe citrus fruits such as lemons  as a trigger food for acid reflux for many experiencing GERD. Other trigger foods include spicy food, coffee, chocolate, and more [3]

However, while this is one dietary component of reducing or preventing acid reflux, meal size, timing, and avoiding laying down after meals may further impact heartburn relief. 

Furthermore, each individual who experiences acid reflux may notice different food patterns that cause worsening of their symptoms. Therefore, citrus foods such as lemon can increase acid reflux in some people and not others.

You may also wonder “Does drinking lemon water on an empty stomach cause acidity?” Drinking lemon water on an empty stomach likely will not impact acid reflux or heartburn occurrence. 

Tooth Enamel Erosion

The journal General Dentistry describes the potential of citrus fruits and juices, such as lemon, to cause damage to the teeth and enamel [4]. Therefore, it is best to avoid drinking lemon juice straight without being mixed with water. 

If you dilute your lemon water well, it is unlikely it will cause any damage to your teeth. To further prevent tooth damage from your lemon water, drink it through a straw and rinse your teeth with plain water after drinking. 

Mouth Ulcers

Mouth ulcers or mouth sores may result from too many acidic foods, such as lemon and lemon juices [5]. Therefore, consuming very acidic foods, such as lemon slices, is not recommended in high amounts. However, a bit of lemon juice in water is unlikely to cause a mouth ulcer. 

How Much Lemon Water Should You Drink A Day?

It is best to stick with just a glass or two each day to minimize the potential side effects of lemon juice in water. Instead, focus primarily on plain water to meet your fluid needs. 

How Often to Drink Lemon Water

As long as you are not experiencing side effects such as acid reflux or mouth sores, there is no limit on how often to drink lemon water. The frequency should be based on your personal preference. 

How Much Lemon Juice to Add

There are mixed opinions on how much lemon juice to add when making lemon water. When making just a single glass of lemon water, err on the side of caution and add just a teaspoon or two to an eight to twelve-ounce glass of water. 

Bottom Line

Let’s summarize some key takeaways from this article. 

  • Lemon water is frequently consumed for its potential health benefits, including high vitamin C content, antioxidant composition, possible anti-cancer effects, and more. However, lemon water is unnecessary for the body to “detox” or burn fat.
  • Whether consumed in the morning, midday, or at night, in cold or warm water, drinking more water is beneficial for adequate hydration. Including lemon can make your water more exciting and flavorful if you prefer. 
  • There are potential disadvantages of drinking lemon water, such as acid reflux or heartburn, often triggered by citrus. 
  • Additionally, acidic foods and beverages can contribute to mouth ulcers or dental erosion. However, these are unlikely to occur with lemon juice that has been diluted well with regular water. 
  • Stick with a glass or two of lemon water daily and consume the rest of your fluids from foods and non-acidic beverages, such as tea or plain water. 
Disclaimer This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!

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