Boiled lemon water is often touted as a natural treatment for a variety of ailments. Some people even claim that it can boost weight loss, clear up your skin, and enhance immunity.

The beverage is made by boiling lemons or lemon peels in water. In some cases, people add other ingredients, such as ginger, honey, cinnamon, or cayenne pepper.

While many swear by this natural remedy, others may wonder whether there’s any truth to this common health myth.

This article takes a closer look at boiled lemon water to determine how it can affect your health and whether it’s worth a try.

Lemon slices boiling in water.Share on Pinterest
bluefootage/Getty Images

Adding boiled lemon water to your diet is a great way to stay hydrated and ensure you’re drinking enough water throughout the day.

Lemon water can be especially beneficial for those who don’t like drinking regular water and prefer flavored beverages instead.

Staying hydrated is important for many aspects of health. Hydration plays a key role in metabolism, brain function, kidney health, and more (1, 2, 3).

Conversely, dehydration can cause many unpleasant symptoms, including muscle cramps, headaches, dry skin, and fatigue (4).

If you regularly consume sugary beverages like soda, sweet tea, or sports drinks and want to curb your intake, boiled lemon water can be a great alternative.

Boiled lemon water is free of added sugar, additives, and preservatives, and it’s much lower in calories.

Summary

Lemon water can help you drink enough water to stay hydrated. It can be a great alternative to sugar-sweetened beverages like soda, sweet tea, or sports drinks.

Some research suggests that lemon water could help prevent calcium oxalate kidney stones. These hard deposits that form in the kidneys can cause severe pain and other symptoms like nausea and vomiting (5).

Lemon water may help because citrus fruits are high in citric acid, a compound that can bind to calcium to prevent kidney stones from forming (6).

Drinking citrus water may also increase the amount of urine that you excrete, which can also help protect against kidney stones (6).

Some older studies have found that drinking lemonade, or lemon juice diluted with water, could increase the amount of citrate in the urine and significantly decrease the risk of kidney stone formation (7, 8).

For best results, be sure to add lemon juice to your boiled lemon water to maximize its citric acid content.

Summary

Citrus fruits like lemons contain citric acid, which could help protect against calcium oxalate kidney stones.

When paired with a well-rounded diet, boiled lemon water can be a great option if you’re looking to lose weight. However, that’s likely because water supports weight loss — not because lemon water is particularly beneficial.

Studies show that upping your intake of water may be associated with increased weight loss, especially if you’re using it to replace other, higher calorie drinks in your diet (9).

Drinking water before meals may also increase feelings of fullness, which could lead to decreased food intake (10, 11).

Furthermore, some older studies have found that drinking water could temporarily boost your metabolism and increase calorie and fat burning. However, more research is needed, as some studies have observed mixed results (12, 13, 14, 15).

And again, drinking water is associated with weight loss. Research doesn’t indicate that lemon water is more effective than regular water.

Summary

Drinking water is associated with weight loss and may help increase feelings of fullness. It may also temporarily boost your metabolism. Yet, studies haven’t shown that lemon water is more beneficial than plain water when it comes to weight loss.

If you prefer the taste of citrus water over plain, unflavored water, infusing your water with lemons, limes, or oranges can be a great option.

However, apart from its potential effects on kidney stones, most of the benefits of citrus water are due to its water base rather than the citrus fruits it’s made with.

Although water made with lemon, lime, or oranges may contain a small amount of vitamins and minerals, the difference between citrus water and regular water in terms of nutrition is minimal.

Therefore, if you’re hoping to lose weight or stay hydrated, increasing your intake of regular water is likely just as effective as citrus water.

Summary

Although citrus water is more flavorful than regular water, most of its potential health benefits come from the water content, not the citrus flavoring.

Boiled lemon water is a beverage made by boiling lemons or lemon peels in water.

In addition to keeping you hydrated, it may help promote weight loss and prevent kidney stones.

However, most of the potential health benefits of boiled lemon water come from its water content, not its citrus flavoring.

Therefore, while lemon water can be a flavorful way to meet your hydration needs, increasing your intake of regular water can be just as beneficial.