Can Drinking Lemon Water Help You Lose Weight?
By Rachael Link
Lemon water is a beverage made from water mixed with fresh lemon juice. It can be enjoyed either hot or cold.
This type of water is often claimed to have various health benefits, including improving digestion, enhancing focus and increasing energy levels.
It's also said to help promote weight loss and is a popular part of many diets.
Lemon Water Is Low in Calories
Lemon water is generally a very low-calorie beverage.
For this reason, if you swap out higher-calorie beverages like orange juice and soda for lemon water, then this can be an excellent way to cut calories and help with weight loss.
Replacing even just one of these beverages per day with a glass of lemon water could reduce daily calorie intake by 100–200 calories.
Some evidence even shows that drinking low-calorie beverages with meals could decrease the number of overall calories consumed in the meal.
In one study, 44 women ate lunch with either a beverage that contained calories or one that did not. Researchers then measured the calories consumed.
They found that drinking calorie-containing beverages like sugar-sweetened soda, milk and juice with a meal did not make people compensate by eating less. Instead, the total calories consumed increased, due to the calories from the beverage (4).
Though lemon water is not calorie-free, it is low enough in calories that it could produce a similar effect and help decrease calorie intake.
Summary: Lemon water is low in calories. Drinking it instead of higher-calorie beverages could help contribute to weight loss.
It Can Keep You Hydrated
From carrying nutrients to cells to transporting waste out of the body, drinking enough water to stay hydrated is a critical component of health.
Maintaining adequate hydration is essential in everything from regulating body temperature to improving physical performance (5).
Some evidence also suggests that staying hydrated can aid in weight loss.
Research indicates that increased hydration may increase the breakdown of fats and enhance fat loss (6).
Since the majority of lemon water is made up of water, it can help with maintaining adequate hydration.
Summary: Drinking lemon water could help you stay hydrated, which reduces water retention and may increase fat loss.
Drinking Lemon Water May Boost Metabolism
Studies show that drinking enough water can potentially help increase your metabolism.
Researchers suggest that good hydration enhances the function of mitochondria, a type of organelle found in cells that helps generate energy for the body (6).
This leads to an increase in metabolism, which may lead to subsequent weight loss.
Drinking water has also been shown to increase metabolism by inducing thermogenesis, a metabolic process in which calories are burned to produce heat.
In one study, 14 participants drank 16.9 ounces (0.5 liters) of water. Drinking water was found to increase their metabolic rate by 30 percent for 30–40 minutes (8).
Another study looked at the effects of drinking water in 21 overweight children. Drinking 0.3 ounces of water per 2.2 pounds of body weight (10 ml/kg) increased metabolism by an impressive 25 percent for 40 minutes (9).
Research on lemon water specifically is limited. However, because water is the main ingredient, it likely carries the same metabolism-boosting benefits as regular water.
Summary: Studies show that drinking water could increase metabolism by enhancing mitochondrial function and inducing thermogenesis.
Lemon Water Can Make You Feel More Full
Drinking water is often recommended as a fundamental part of any weight loss regimen, as it can promote satiety and fullness without adding calories.
A 2008 study looked at the effects of water on calorie intake in 24 overweight and obese older adults.
The study revealed that drinking 16.9 ounces (0.5 liters) of water before breakfast decreased the number of calories consumed in the meal by 13 percent (10).
Because lemon water is low in calories and can promote fullness in the same way as regular water, it can be an effective way to help reduce calorie intake.
Summary: Regular water and lemon water can help promote satiety and fullness, which may decrease calorie intake and lead to weight loss.
It Could Increase Weight Loss
Due to its potential beneficial effects on metabolism, satiety and hydration, some evidence suggests that water (including lemon water) could enhance weight loss.
In one study, 48 adults were assigned to two diets: a low-calorie diet with 16.9 oz (0.5 liters) of water prior to each meal or a low-calorie diet with no water before meals.
At the end of the 12-week study, participants in the water group had lost 44 percent more weight than participants in the non-water group (12).
Other research suggests that increasing water intake could help stimulate weight loss, independent of diet or exercise.
A 2009 study measured water intake in 173 overweight women. It found that greater water intake was associated with a greater loss of body weight and fat over time, regardless of diet or physical activity (13).
Though these studies focus specifically on regular water, the same results most likely apply to lemon water as well.
Summary: Some studies suggest that drinking regular water or lemon water could increase weight loss, regardless of diet or exercise.
Lemon Water Is Not Necessarily Better Than Regular Water
Lemon water comes with a lot of potential benefits, from promoting hydration to increasing satiety.
However, it's important to note that these benefits all come from its main ingredient — water.
Lemon water does contain some additional nutrients from the lemon juice, such as vitamin C and antioxidants, but these are unlikely to have any effect on your weight.
Additionally, the alkalizing effect of lemon juice has no clear effects on weight.
Summary: Lemon water may be beneficial for weight loss, but has no added benefits over regular water.
How to Drink Lemon Water
Lemon water is a highly customizable beverage and can be tailored based on personal preference.
Recipes usually call for the juice from at least half a lemon mixed with a glass of water. To add more flavor, try adding in a few other ingredients.
A few fresh mint leaves or a sprinkle of turmeric are delicious and healthy ways to spice up a glass of lemon water.
Many people prefer to start their day with a refreshing glass of lemon water, but it can be enjoyed at any time of day.
It can also be consumed hot, like tea, or with a few ice cubes added for a cool and invigorating drink.
Despite claims that lemon water has greater benefits when consumed at certain temperatures, there is little evidence to support that it makes a difference.
Summary: Lemon water can be customized based on personal preference, and it can be enjoyed hot or cold at any time of day.
The Bottom Line
Lemon water can promote fullness, support hydration, boost metabolism and increase weight loss.
However, lemon water is no better than regular water when it comes to losing fat.
That being said, it is tasty, easy to make and can be used as a low-calorie replacement for higher-calorie beverages.
In this way, it could potentially help promote weight loss and improve health.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Authority Nutrition.
By Pamela Davis-Kean
With in-person instruction becoming the exception rather than the norm, 54% of parents with school-age children expressed concern that their children could fall behind academically, according to a poll conducted over the summer of 2020. Initial projections from the Northwest Evaluation Association, which conducts research and creates commonly used standardized tests, suggest that these fears are well-grounded, especially for children from low-income families.
- How Other Countries Reopened Schools During the Pandemic ... ›
- Young People Are Primary Coronavirus Spreaders, WHO Warns ... ›
- How Families Can Boost Kids' Mental Health During the Pandemic ... ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
The pandemic has affected everyone, but mental health experts warn that youth and teens are suffering disproportionately and that depression and suicide rates are increasing.
- How Families Can Boost Kids' Mental Health During the Pandemic ... ›
- How to Deal With Cabin Fever - EcoWatch ›
- 'Quarantine Fatigue' Is Real. Here's How to Cope - EcoWatch ›
Yet another former Trump administration staffer has come out with an endorsement for former Vice President Joe Biden, this time in response to President Donald Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
- Trump Denies CDC Director's 2021 Timeline for Coronavirus Vaccine ›
- Trump Orders Hospitals to Stop Sending COVID-19 Data to CDC ... ›
- Two White House Staffers Test Positive for Coronavirus - EcoWatch ›
- Trump Admin to Disband Coronavirus Task Force - EcoWatch ›
- Pence Offers 'Prayers' as Hurricane Laura Hits Gulf Coast While ›
Every September for the past 11 years, non-profit the Climate Group has hosted Climate Week NYC, a chance for business, government, activist and community leaders to come together and discuss solutions to the climate crisis.
- Covering the 2020 Elections as a Climate Story - EcoWatch ›
- Coronavirus Delays 2020 Earth Overshoot Day by Three Weeks ... ›
By Elliot Douglas
The coronavirus pandemic has altered economic priorities for governments around the world. But as wildfires tear up the west coast of the United States and Europe reels after one of its hottest summers on record, tackling climate change remains at the forefront of economic policy.
- German Business Leaders Call for Climate Action With COVID-19 ... ›
- Climate Activists Protest Germany's New Datteln 4 Coal Power Plant ... ›