Last Updated on October 19, 2021 by Femniqe Editorial
Too much of anything isn’t good for you.
Yes, lemon water has some amazing benefits but how people can get carried away is by consuming too much. Doing this has consequences.
1. Lemon water takes away from eating food
Although the nutrients in lemons are also available in a pill, fresh lemon is much better tasting and more satisfying than a pill and it’s certainly more attractive as a beverage.
However, drinking just lemon water throughout the day can cut into your potential intake of fruits and vegetables which provide many beneficial vitamins, minerals and plant chemicals.
You also risk missing out on fiber if you don’t include whole fruit or vegetables with your meals.
2. Lemon water affects dental enamel
Lemon juice contains citric acid, a weak acid that may dissolve tooth enamel over time, according to the American Dental Association.
This doesn’t happen immediately after drinking lemon juice so as your teeth start to feel sensitive, it may be too late to change your habits.
When you brush your teeth, make sure to rinse thoroughly and remove all the toothpaste.
If you don’t, you risk brushing your enamel off as it’s exposed to acid from the lemon juice and whatever else you ate during the day and if you do it several times a day, over time this could be bad for your teeth.
3. Lemon water reduces the efficiency of sunscreen
Drinking lemon water depletes your skin’s ability to process the UV-blocking chemical compounds found in sunscreens, according to a research review published in “Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior”.
This means that more of the harmful rays are hitting your skin—and they’re doing so at full force.
Additionally, lemon can affect how effective that sunscreen is on your body. So, if you use sunscreen every day, you should skip this lemon-water trend.
4. Lemon water leads to tooth decay
Your saliva helps to neutralize food acids after a meal, including those from acidic foods such as lemons or oranges.
But your saliva also contains calcium, which may be lost each time you swish lemon juice around in your mouth especially, if you hold it there for long periods of time.
5. Lemon water contains too much acid to be good for the skin
Lemon is acidic enough that dermatologists advise avoiding salt scrubs or using baking soda on the area after you’ve used lemons, according to the American Academy of Dermatology
6. Lemon water harms liver health
If your lemon water includes artificial sweeteners or food dyes, that could harm your liver.
Artificial colorings and other potentially harmful additives can damage healthy cells and reduce their ability to fight infections, according to the website “On Health”.
The problem is, we don’t know how much of these harmful substances might accumulate in our livers over time because we haven’t been drinking lemon water long enough to know what effect it may have.
7. Lemon water can cause kidney stones
Lemon juice increases your urinary citrate levels, which reduces your risk of getting a kidney stone, according to research from the University of Texas.
However, lemonade and other foods that contain high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) increase calcium excretion in urine—and if you already get enough calcium in your diet then too much calcium makes it more likely you’ll get a stone.
If these two factors aren’t balanced, doctors say there’s a good chance for stones to develop if you drink a lot of lemonade on a regular basis.
8. Drinking water with lemon is not hydrating you well enough
You might confuse thirst with hunger or think you need a snack when you actually need a glass of water.
If this is a regular issue for you, instead of drinking lemon water first thing in the morning, drink plain old H2O and wait an hour to decide if you’re truly hungry.
9. Lemon water can lead to nutrient deficiencies
Some nutrients are only soluble—meaning your body’s cells absorb them into their tissue—in very specific pH ranges or within certain digestive juices, according to TODAY nutrition.
Drinking too much lemon juice over time might mean that some vitamins and minerals won’t be properly absorbed by your body because they’re outside of those optimal ranges.
For instance, calcium absorption is highest at blood acidity levels between 6 and 6.5, magnesium needs fairly alkaline conditions to be absorbed properly, according to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC).
Lemon juice has a pH level of 2.2, magnesium absorption is lower when our blood levels are too alkaline, which means you’re not getting everything out of your food just because you’ve added more alkaline sources into your diet.
10. Drinking lemon water on an empty stomach can cause acid reflux
If you have just woken up or it’s been several hours since your last meal, drink some water first so you don’t overwhelm your stomach.
But do pay attention to what you eat throughout the day—drinking lemon water on an empty stomach could trigger acid reflux symptoms.
11. Drinking hot lemon tea can burn your esophagus
Hot liquids can cause a burn anywhere from two to 20 minutes after drinking and lemon tea might be hotter than you think.
If you drink it right away, the acid in the juice might not have enough time to cool down and can burn your esophagus en route to your stomach—a condition known as acid reflux or heartburn.
12. Lemon water may trigger asthma
If you’re sensitive to pollen and other allergens, citric acid in lemon water could aggravate your respiratory system and make breathing difficult, according to Dr. Edward Groetch , an otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat doctor) at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore.
Although he also said that acidic foods like tomatoes do not trigger asthma in people who are sensitive to pollen, it’s always better to check with your doctor when you start drinking lemon water before you make a big change to your diet.
13. Drinking lemon water with medications can be dangerous
If you take a certain medication, ask your pharmacist if it’s okay to have just a little bit of lemon juice.
Citric acid in lemons can interact with some prescription drugs and reduce or even stop their effectiveness, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
For instance: nifedipine, a drug used to control high blood pressure, is known to work less well when combined with either grapefruit or lime juice.
The problem is: we don’t know if regularly drinking lemon water will have the same effect as having a very large amount of citrus fruits every now and then.
In general, it’s best not to assume that anything will react the same way as grapefruit juice if it’s not labeled as being an “enhancer.”
How much lemon water should you drink a day?
No more than 1 per day.
But then it depends on who you ask. Some sites will recommend up to three glasses a day; others will say no more than two.
And still others will base their recommendations on case studies of people who drink eight to 10 glasses of lemon water every day.
We suggest: if you like the taste and feel of lemon water, drink it as often as you’d like (in moderation, of course).
Once you’ve included some lemon water into your daily routine, be sure to take note of how your body responds.
If drinking more than two glasses at a time makes you nauseous or gives you diarrhea, you might want to scale back.
Everyone’s body is different—and if something doesn’t work for yours, don’t continue doing it just because you’ve heard it’s good for other people.
Is it bad to drink lemon water on an empty stomach?
It can trigger acid reflux symptoms for some people.
If you don’t have time to eat breakfast, that’s fine—you shouldn’t be pressured into starting your day with a meal just because everyone else does.
But if you think drinking lemon water on an empty stomach is helping your digestion, it might make sense to hold off until food reaches your stomach.
Lemon juice contains citric acid, which has been shown to decrease the pH levels of the gastric fluids in our stomachs.
This means that the “good” bacteria are more likely to be affected by changes in pH levels and die, allowing “bad” bacteria to take over.
Although there haven’t been specific studies done about mixing lemon water into an empty stomach, it could be a factor in making some people’s acid reflux symptoms worse. If you’re not sure if it’s a trigger for you, talk to your doctor.
Is lemon water bad if you’re on a low-sodium diet?
It depends on how much lemon juice you add.
Your body needs sodium, and eating too little can lead to muscle cramps, fatigue and nausea.
But most Americans eat way more salt than their bodies actually need and there isn’t enough evidence to suggest that we should be decreasing our salt intake.
And since our kidneys work hard to keep our blood pressure normal (by removing excess sodium), drinking lemon water won’t make any noticeable difference in the amount of sodium that’s already in your body.
Although drinking lemon water won’t do anything to help or hurt your sodium intake, it does have calories. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that lemonade contains roughly 6 percent of the daily recommended number of carbohydrates.
Lemon water for weight loss
Unfortunately, no. Although adding lemon to water can boost its flavor and provide some health benefits, drinking more liquids isn’t enough on its own to lead to significant changes in body weight.
And there’s also no evidence that lemon juice promotes fat metabolism or helps stop fat absorption, which are two common claims that have been made about lemons.
Drinking something is always better than not drinking anything at all—but the American College of Sports Medicine recommends eating whole fruits or vegetables, not drinking them in the form of a juice.
IS LEMON WATER BAD TO DRINK BEFORE A WORKOUT?
The idea that lemon water can make your muscles more effective is popular among fitness buffs, but it’s also pretty far-fetched—so if you want to go ahead and drink lemon water before exercising, we certainly won’t stop you.
Just know that there isn’t any research suggesting that drinking lemon water before exercise enhances performance.
OTHER HEALTH CLAIMS MADE ABOUT LEMON WATER
Like most health fads, many of the claims about lemons are anecdotal rather than backed by sound science.
In other words, people who say that they feel better when they drink lemon juice might just be experiencing the placebo effect—or they might have changed their diets for other reasons at around the same time.
But even though there aren’t any studies proving that drinking lemon water helps cure or makes skin younger, it probably wouldn’t hurt to try it out for yourself.
Lemon juice is at least safe to consume, so there’s no harm in adding a bit of lemon juice or lemon water to your diet.
As always, it’s best to consult with your doctor before starting any new type of diet or exercise regimen.
Lemon water has its fans, and it probably won’t hurt you to try it out, but if you don’t like the taste there are plenty of other ways to get fluids into your body.