The health benefits of drinking lemon water may include adding vitamin C and antioxidants to your diet, cutting back on sugar-sweetened drinks, and aiding weight loss. You may not want to drink it too often, though.

One glass of lemon water containing one 48-gram lemon, squeezed, contains:

  • 10.6 calories
  • 21% of the Daily Value (DV) of vitamin C
  • 2% of the DV of folate
  • 1% of the DV of potassium
  • 1% of the DV of vitamin B1
  • 1% of the DV of vitamin B5
  • 0.5% of the DV of vitamin B2

Here are six ways your body may benefit from drinking lemon water.

Drinking enough water is crucial for your overall health. It’s key to preventing dehydration, a condition that may cause a range of symptoms.

Some of these include:

Not everyone likes the taste of plain water, so adding the juice of a lemon to your water may help you drink more.

Healthcare professionals recommend that adults consume six to eight 8-ounce (oz) glasses of water per day, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).

Citrus fruits like lemons contain vitamin C, which is an antioxidant. These help protect your cells from free radicals, which are molecules that cause inflammation in your body and may lead to a number of diseases.

Vitamin C may also play a key role in other processes, such as:

  • synthesizing collagen and L-carnitine
  • protein metabolism
  • regenerating other antioxidants
  • delaying certain cancers and cardiovascular disease
  • absorbing iron
  • producing hormones

On the flip side, not consuming enough vitamin C may cause:

Drinking lemon water may help you increase your water intake, which is often recommended as a weight loss strategy. However, there’s limited evidence to justify this.

In a 2018 study, researchers found that participants who were instructed to drink water before eating a test meal ate less food than when they were instructed to eat the test meal without “pre-loading” with water.

Participants did not feel significantly less satiated when they drank water before eating a test meal, despite eating less food.

The study’s authors concluded that pre-meal water consumption may be an effective weight loss strategy, although the mechanism of action is unknown.

Sugar-sweetened beverages like juice, soda, sports drinks, and energy drinks contain the most added sugars in the American diet, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) suggests that added sugars are used to help with:

  • food and drink preservation
  • texture, viscosity, and color maintenance
  • making contents more pleasant to consume

That said, the DGA suggests that less than 10% of your caloric intake should come from added sugars.

Regularly drinking sugar-sweetened beverages may increase your risk of developing some health conditions, such as:

Lemon water may be a healthy, natural alternative to quench your thirst and sweet tooth.

The citric acid in lemons may help prevent kidney stones.

Citrate, a component of citric acid, paradoxically makes urine less acidic and may even break up small stones.

The National Kidney Foundation suggests mixing 4 oz of lemon juice concentrate with water as a complementary dietary remedy alongside other medication for kidney stone prevention.

Drinking lemon water before meals may help promote and improve digestion.

In a small 2022 study, researchers found that the citric acid in lemon juice helped boost gastric acid secretion. This is a digestive fluid produced in the stomach that helps your body break down and digest food.

In another 2021 study, participants drank 300 millimeters (mL) of either water or lemon water prior to eating meals for 4 weeks. Stool samples were collected before and after the test period and the intestinal microbiota of participants were analyzed.

The study’s authors found that pre-meal intake of lemon water appeared to promote digestion and peristalsis. This refers to the wave-like contractions that help move food through the digestive tract.

However, more large-scale studies are needed to fully understand the effects of lemon water on digestion.

To make lemon water, squeeze half a lemon into 8 oz of warm or cold water.

You can infuse more flavor or a health boost by adding a:

Lemon ice cubes are another great way to add lemon to your water quickly. Simply squeeze fresh lemon juice into ice cube trays and freeze. Then, drop a few cubes into your water as needed.

You can start your morning with a mug of warm lemon water, and keep a pitcher of water infused with a few sliced lemons in your refrigerator to drink throughout the day.

Lemon water is generally safe to drink, but there are a few potential side effects to be aware of.

A 2015 study suggests that citric acid, which is found in lemons and lemon juice, may erode tooth enamel over the long term.

To limit the risk, drink lemon water through a straw and rinse your mouth with plain water afterward.

Additionally, citrus fruits may increase gastric acid production and cause heartburn in some people.

Does lemon water burn belly fat?

Although it’s a popular belief, there’s no evidence that supports lemon water use for burning belly fat. Drinking lemon water may help with your weight management goals by adding a different way to increase water intake, which may help boost your metabolism. Regular physical activity and a balanced diet are optimal ways to lose weight.

What are the benefits of lemon in water?

The benefits of drinking lemon water may include adding vitamin C to your diet, offering an alternative to sugary drinks, preventing kidney stones due to citric acid content, and facilitating digestion. It also helps to keep you hydrated.

What happens if I drink lemon water every day?

Drinking too much lemon water may lead to tooth erosion and heartburn over time, due to the acidic content of lemons. However, no side effects have been reported regarding drinking one cup of lemon water every day. You may experience a boost in your immune system due to the vitamin C, and may feel more energetic, because of better hydration. If you also follow a balanced diet and engage in regular physical activity, you may also notice some weight loss.

How much lemon water should you drink a day?

One or two glasses or cups of lemon water per day may provide you with some health benefits. For example, squeezing the juice of a 48-gram lemon into a glass of water will provide you with 21% of the DV of vitamin C. Drinking lemon water too frequently, on the other hand, may hurt your tooth enamel and could lead to heartburn.

Lemon water is a refreshing drink and an easy way to add a little extra vitamin C and antioxidants into your diet.

Adding a splash of lemon to your water may make water more appealing to drink, which could help you cut back on drinking sugary sports drinks and juices.

While more research is needed, lemon water may help improve digestion and even support weight loss.