Quantcast

Can Drinking Lemon Water Help You Lose Weight?

Health + Wellness
iStock

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.

Assuming you squeeze the juice from half a lemon into water, each glass of lemon water will contain just six calories (1).

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.

For example, one cup of orange juice (237 ml) contains 110 calories, and a 16-ounce (0.49-liter) bottle of soda contains 182 calories (2, 3).

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).

Staying well-hydrated may also help reduce water retention, which can cause symptoms like bloating, puffiness and weight gain (7).

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).

Another study found that drinking water with a meal decreased hunger and increased satiety during the meal (11).

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.

All that being said, lemon water may have some benefits for preventing kidney stones, due to the acids it contains (14, 15, 16)

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.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter


georgeclerk / E+ / Getty Images

By Jennifer Molidor

One million species are at risk of extinction from human activity, warns a recent study by scientists with the United Nations. We need to cut greenhouse gas pollution across all sectors to avoid catastrophic climate change — and we need to do it fast, said the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

This research should serve as a rallying cry for polluting industries to make major changes now. Yet the agriculture industry continues to lag behind.

Read More Show Less
Edwin Remsburg / VW Pics / Getty Images

Botswana, home to one third of Africa's elephants, announced Wednesday that it was lifting its ban on the hunting of the large mammals.

"The Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism wishes to inform the public that following extensive consultations with all stakeholders, the Government of Botswana has taken a decision to lift the hunting suspension," the government announced in a press release shared on social media.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Pxhere

By Richard Denison

Readers of this blog know how concerned EDF is over the Trump EPA's approval of many dozens of new chemicals based on its mere "expectation" that workers across supply chains will always employ personal protective equipment (PPE) just because it is recommended in the manufacturer's non-binding safety data sheet (SDS).

Read More Show Less
De Molen windmill and nuclear power plant cooling tower in Doel, Belgium. Trougnouf / CC BY-SA 4.0

By Grant Smith

From 2009 to 2012, Gregory Jaczko was chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which approves nuclear power plant designs and sets safety standards for plants. But he now says that nuclear power is too dangerous and expensive — and not part of the answer to the climate crisis.

Read More Show Less
A lake in Rocky Mountain National Park. Brett Walton / Circle of Blue

By Brett Walton

When Greg Wetherbee sat in front of the microscope recently, he was looking for fragments of metals or coal, particles that might indicate the source of airborne nitrogen pollution in Rocky Mountain National Park. What caught his eye, though, were the plastics.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Gabriele Holtermann Gorden / Pacific Press / LightRocket / Getty Images

In a big victory for animals, Prada has announced that it's ending its use of fur! It joins Coach, Jean Paul Gaultier, Giorgio Armani, Versace, Ralph Lauren, Vivienne Westwood, Michael Kors, Donna Karan and many others PETA has pushed toward a ban.

This is a victory more than a decade in the making. PETA and our international affiliates have crashed Prada's catwalks with anti-fur signs, held eye-catching demonstrations all around the world, and sent the company loads of information about the fur industry. In 2018, actor and animal rights advocate Pamela Anderson sent a letter on PETA's behalf urging Miuccia Prada to commit to leaving fur out of all future collections, and the iconic designer has finally listened.

Read More Show Less
Amer Ghazzal / Barcroft Media / Getty Images

If people in three European countries want to fight the climate crisis, they need to chill out more.

That's the conclusion of a new study from think tank Autonomy, which found that Germany, the UK and Sweden all needed to drastically reduce their workweeks to fight climate change.

"The rapid pace of labour-saving technology brings into focus the possibility of a shorter working week for all, if deployed properly," Autonomy Director Will Stronge said, The Guardian reported. "However, while automation shows that less work is technically possible, the urgent pressures on the environment and on our available carbon budget show that reducing the working week is in fact necessary."

The report found that if the economies of Germany, Sweden and the UK maintain their current levels of carbon intensity and productivity, they would need to switch to a six, 12 and nine hour work week respectively if they wanted keep the rise in global temperatures to the below two degrees Celsius promised by the Paris agreement, The Independent reported.

The study based its conclusions on data from the UN and the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) on greenhouse gas emissions per industry in all three countries.

The report comes as the group Momentum called on the UK's Labour Party to endorse a four-day work week.

"We welcome this attempt by Autonomy to grapple with the very real changes society will need to make in order to live within the limits of the planet," Emma Williams of the Four Day Week campaign said in a statement reported by The Independent. "In addition to improved well-being, enhanced gender equality and increased productivity, addressing climate change is another compelling reason we should all be working less."

Supporters of the idea linked it to calls in the U.S. and Europe for a Green New Deal that would decarbonize the economy while promoting equality and well-being.

"This new paper from Autonomy is a thought experiment that should give policymakers, activists and campaigners more ballast to make the case that a Green New Deal is absolutely necessary," Common Wealth think tank Director Mat Lawrence told The Independent. "The link between working time and GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions has been proved by a number of studies. Using OECD data and relating it to our carbon budget, Autonomy have taken the step to show what that link means in terms of our working weeks."

Stronge also linked his report to calls for a Green New Deal.

"Becoming a green, sustainable society will require a number of strategies – a shorter working week being just one of them," he said, according to The Guardian. "This paper and the other nascent research in the field should give us plenty of food for thought when we consider how urgent a Green New Deal is and what it should look like."

Amazon Employees for Climate Justice held a press conference after the annual shareholder meeting on May 22. Amazon Employees for Climate Justice

Amazon shareholders voted down an employee-backed resolution calling for more aggressive action on climate change at their annual meeting Wednesday, The Los Angeles Times reported.

Read More Show Less