But does it live up to the hype?
This article uses scientific evidence to explore the benefits and myths of lemon water.
What is Lemon Water?
Lemon water is simply the juice from lemons mixed with water.
The amount of lemon you use depends on your personal preference and this drink can be enjoyed either cold or hot.
Some people also choose to add lemon rind, mint leaf or other ingredients.
Lemon water has become a popular morning beverage, since it's been claimed to help improve your mood, energy levels, immune system and metabolic health.
This is what a glass of lemon water looks like:
Bottom Line: Lemon water is simply water mixed with fresh lemon juice. Additional ingredients can be added.
Lemon Water Nutrition Facts
For the purpose of this article, the definition of lemon water is one glass of water mixed with the juice from half a lemon (1).
This is the nutrient breakdown for one glass:
- Calories: 9.
- Sugars: Less than 1 gram.
- Vitamin C: 25 percent of the RDI.
- Folate: 1 percent of the RDI.
- Potassium: 1 percent of the RDI.
One glass does not seem to provide a lot of nutrients, but drinking lemon water is a low-calorie and low-sugar beverage that can boost your vitamin C intake.
Additionally, remember that the exact nutritional value depends on how much lemon juice you add, as well as any other ingredients.
Bottom Line: Lemon water is high in vitamin C, relative to its calorie and sugar content. It also contains trace amounts of folate and potassium.
Lemon Water Contains Antioxidants
Lemon water contains other beneficial substances and is a source of plant compounds called flavonoids.
Many have antioxidant properties that appear to help protect your cells from damage.
All that said, there are no human studies to support these findings, so they may not be as useful in real life.
Bottom Line: Lemon water contains compounds that may protect your cells and improve metabolic health. However, human studies are needed.
Lemon Water May Help Treat Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are solid mineral formations that collect in the kidneys.
The most common type is made of a substance called calcium oxalate and is typically treated with a compound called citrate.
Increasing the amount of citrate in your urine is thought to prevent calcium from binding with other compounds and forming stones.
In short, citrate restores the urine's ability to prevent kidney stone formation.
It appears to be most effective when used alongside potassium citrate, the supplement form of citrate. However, lemon water may also be a good alternative for those who don't tolerate potassium citrate as a first-line treatment (10, 13).
Bottom Line: Studies show that lemon water can help treat kidney stones. It appears most effective alongside conventional therapy, but may also be a useful alternative treatment.
Lemon Water has the Benefits of Regular Water
Lemon water is water with a bit of lemon added, which means it has all the benefits of regular water.
Drinking plenty of water is known to have benefits for:
- Weight loss: Increases feelings of fullness and boosts metabolism slightly, which can help with weight loss.
- Mental health: Optimizes mood and memory.
- Digestive health: Helps relieve constipation.
- Exercise performance: Improves athletic performance.
Here's more information: 7 Science-Based Health Benefits of Drinking Enough Water.
Bottom Line: Drinking enough water has many health benefits. It can help you lose weight, feel great and improve your athletic performance.
Common Myths About Lemon Water and Health
There are many additional health claims surrounding lemon water, but most are not supported by any scientific evidence.
In fact, some have even been disproved. Below are six of the most common myths.
Myth 1: The Fiber in it Helps You Lose Weight
However, lemon water is basically filtered, heavily diluted lemon juice, which leaves it with only trace amounts of pectin. Even a whole lemon only contains 2 grams of fiber in total (1).
There is no evidence that lemon water has any more benefits for weight loss than plain water.
Myth 2: It Alkalizes Your Body
According to proponents of the alkaline diet, foods leave an “ash" in your system that influences the pH of your body—how acidic or alkaline it becomes.
Lemon water is said to be alkalizing. However, neither the pH of your blood nor cells can be altered by what you eat (16).
Myth 3: It Fights Cancer
This claim emerged from the alkaline diet myth and is built on the premise that cancer cells cannot thrive in an alkaline environment.
While cancer cells do prefer the cells around them to be acidic, studies show they can grow in alkaline environments as well. Also, cancer cells create their own acidic environment and eating alkalizing food doesn't stop it (17, 18).
Myth 4: It Cleanses and Detoxes
Water helps eliminate waste from your body through urination and healthy bowel movements. However, nothing in lemon water improves this process.
In fact, most claims that foods or beverages cleanse or detoxify your organs are simply untrue.
Myth 5: It Raises Your IQ
Drinking water—lemon-flavored or otherwise—may help you feel more focused in the morning, but it cannot increase intelligence.
Myth 6: It Has Natural Diuretic Effects
This may be true to a small extent, but it's so misleading that it's worth mentioning.
Any food that contains potassium can potentially increase urine output—that means virtually all fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy products.
Additionally, the more water you drink, the more you will urinate.
Bottom Line: The majority of the health claims are speculative and exaggerated. In some cases they have been proven to be false.
Does it Have Any Harmful Effects?
Lemon water is perfectly safe to drink.
However, the acid in lemons can damage your tooth enamel over time, which makes your teeth more prone to cavities.
You can manage this easily by drinking lemon water with a straw whenever possible, to avoid contact with your teeth.
Also, you should rinse your mouth with water afterwards. However, it is best to wait an hour before brushing your teeth. Brushing while your tooth enamel is an an acid-softened state can lead to damage.
If you're taking the lemon water with breakfast, then it's a good idea to brush your teeth before breakfast.
Bottom Line: Lemon water is safe to consume. However, it may damage your tooth enamel if you drink if often.
Does the Temperature of Lemon Water Matter?
The best temperature to drink lemon water is a highly debated topic.
For example, some claim cold water helps burn extra calories. Others believe warm water helps improve digestive health.
There is very little research to support either side and it's highly unlikely the temperature makes any meaningful difference.
Therefore, it simply comes down to what you feel like at the time.
Bottom Line: There is no strong evidence showing that the water is best consumed either hot or cold. Choose the temperature you enjoy most.
How to Make Your Own Lemon Water
Most recipes suggest using the juice from half a lemon mixed with a glass of water. You can tweak the amounts from there or add other ingredients.
Take Home Message
Lemon water is a healthy drink that can add a good amount of vitamin C to your diet.
It's a fantastic, flavorful alternative to plain water that has several health benefits.
However, if you already eat lots of fruits and vegetables and drink plenty of fluids, then lemon water will be of no nutritional benefit.
You should drink it for the taste rather than the health benefits.
This article was reposted from our media associate Authority Nutrition.
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1. Stay Informed<p>A first order of business in pet evacuation planning is to understand and be ready for the possible threats in your area. Visit <a href="https://www.ready.gov/be-informed" target="_blank">Ready.gov</a> to learn more about preparing for potential disasters such as floods, hurricanes, and wildfires. Then pay attention to related updates by tuning <a href="http://www.weather.gov/nwr/" target="_blank">NOAA Weather Radio</a> to your local emergency station or using the <a href="https://www.fema.gov/mobile-app" target="_blank">FEMA app</a> to get National Weather Service alerts.</p>
2. Ensure Your Pet is Easily Identifiable<p><span>Household pets, including indoor cats, should wear collars with ID tags that have your mobile phone number. </span><a href="https://www.avma.org/microchipping-animals-faq" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Microchipping</a><span> your pets will also improve your chances of reunion should you become separated. Be sure to add an emergency contact for friends or relatives outside your immediate area.</span></p><p>Additionally, use <a href="https://secure.aspca.org/take-action/order-your-pet-safety-pack" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">'animals inside' door/window stickers</a> to show rescue workers how many pets live there. (If you evacuate with your pets, quickly write "Evacuated" on the sticker so first responders don't waste time searching for them.)</p>
3. Make a Pet Evacuation Plan<p> "No family disaster plan is complete without including your pets and all of your animals," says veterinarian Heather Case in <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9NRJkFKAm4" target="_blank">a video</a> produced by the American Veterinary Medical Association.</p><p>It's important to determine where to take your pet in the event of an emergency.</p><p>Red Cross shelters and many other emergency shelters allow only service animals. Ask your vet, local animal shelters, and emergency management officials for information on local and regional animal sheltering options.</p><p>For those with access to the rare shelter that allows pets, CDC offers <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/emergencies/pets-in-evacuation-centers.html" target="_blank">tips on what to expect</a> there, including potential health risks and hygiene best practices.</p><p>Beyond that, talk with family or friends outside the evacuation area about potentially hosting you and/or your pet if you're comfortable doing so. Search for pet-friendly hotel or boarding options along key evacuation routes.</p><p>If you have exotic pets or a mix of large and small animals, you may need to identify multiple locations to shelter them.</p><p>For other household pets like hamsters, snakes, and fish, the SPCA recommends that if they normally live in a cage, they should be transported in that cage. If the enclosure is too big to transport, however, transfer them to a smaller container temporarily. (More on that <a href="https://www.spcai.org/take-action/emergency-preparedness/evacuation-how-to-be-pet-prepared" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">here</a>.)</p><p>For any pet, a key step is to establish who in your household will be the point person for gathering up pets and bringing their supplies. Keep in mind that you may not be home when disaster strikes, so come up with a Plan B. For example, you might form a buddy system with neighbors with pets, or coordinate with a trusted pet sitter.</p>
4. Prepare a Pet Evacuation Kit<p>Like the emergency preparedness kit you'd prepare for humans, assemble basic survival items for your pets in a sturdy, easy-to-grab container. Items should include:</p><ul><li>Water, food, and medicine to last a week or two;</li><li>Water, food bowls, and a can opener if packing wet food;</li><li>Litter supplies for cats (a shoebox lined with a plastic bag and litter may work);</li><li>Leashes, harnesses, or vehicle restraints if applicable;</li><li>A <a href="https://www.avma.org/resources/pet-owners/emergencycare/pet-first-aid-supplies-checklist" target="_blank">pet first aid kit</a>;</li><li>A sturdy carrier or crate for each cat or dog. In addition to easing transport, these may serve as your pet's most familiar or safe space in an unfamiliar environment;</li><li>A favorite toy and/or blanket;</li><li>If your pet is prone to anxiety or stress, the American Kennel Club suggests adding <a href="https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/home-living/create-emergency-evacuation-plan-dog/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">stress-relieving items</a> like an anxiety vest or calming sprays.</li></ul><p>In the not-unlikely event that you and your pet have to shelter in different places, your kit should also include:</p><ul><li>Detailed information including contact information for you, your vet, and other emergency contacts;</li><li>A list with phone numbers and addresses of potential destinations, including pet-friendly hotels and emergency boarding facilities near your planned evacuation routes, plus friends or relatives in other areas who might be willing to host you or your pet;</li><li>Medical information including vaccine records and a current rabies vaccination tag;</li><li>Feeding notes including portions and sizes in case you need to leave your pet in someone else's care;</li><li>A photo of you and your pet for identification purposes.</li></ul>
5. Be Ready to Evacuate at Any Time<p>It's always wise to be prepared, but stay especially vigilant in high-risk periods during fire or hurricane season. Practice evacuating at different times of day. Make sure your grab-and-go kit is up to date and in a convenient location, and keep leashes and carriers by the exit door. You might even stow a thick pillowcase under your bed for middle-of-the-night, dash-out emergencies when you don't have time to coax an anxious pet into a carrier. If forecasters warn of potential wildfire, a hurricane, or other dangerous conditions, bring outdoor pets inside so you can keep a close eye on them.</p><p>As with any emergency, the key is to be prepared. As the American Kennel Club points out, "If you panic, it will agitate your dog. Therefore, <a href="https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/home-living/create-emergency-evacuation-plan-dog/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">pet disaster preparedness</a> will not only reduce your anxiety but will help reduce your pet's anxiety too."</p>
Evacuating Horses and Other Farm Animals<p>The same basic principles apply for evacuating horses and most other livestock. Provide each with some form of identification. Ensure that adequate food, water, and medicine are available. And develop a clear plan on where to go and how to get there.</p><p>Sheltering and transporting farm animals requires careful coordination, from identifying potential shelter space at fairgrounds, racetracks, or pastures, to ensuring enough space is available in vehicles and trailers – not to mention handlers and drivers on hand to support the effort.</p><p>For most farm animals, the Red Cross advises that you consider precautionary evacuation when a threat seems imminent but evacuation orders haven't yet been announced. The American Veterinary Medical Association has <a href="https://www.avma.org/resources/pet-owners/emergencycare/large-animals-and-livestock-disasters" target="_blank">more information</a>.</p>
Bottom Line: If You Need to Evacuate, So Do Your Pets<p>As the Humane Society warns, pets left behind in a disaster can easily be injured, lost, or killed. Plan ahead to make sure you can safely evacuate your entire household – furry members included.</p>
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