There is plenty of information floating around on the internet about lemon water. While some articles boast the many health benefits, others tout side effects and potential dangers. But, what should you believe? Should you choose to put lemon wedges in your water or go without the citrus addition? Here’s some information to help you decide when the waiter asks “do you want lemon with that?”
The good: Lemons offer vitamin c, fiber, and potassium. They add flavor to water, without adding sugars or artificial sweeteners. Drinking lemon water has been said to help prevent kidney stones, lose weight, and aid in digestion. Lemon water (with honey) is often used to ease a sore throat. Lemons (although acidic) have even been said to help the body be more alkaline. And, as an added bonus, they’ve been touted as having properties to reduce your risk of cancer. But does that mean you should start drinking lemon water for every meal?
The bad: Although lemons offer some health benefits, drinking a lot of lemon water can have some side effects. It can be a cause of tooth enamel erosion. Luckily, you can choose to drink your water with a straw to help prevent this. Lemon water may also be bad for those with heartburn/acid reflux. Although, some naturalists believe lemon water is alkaline, it’s best to talk to your doctor before downing lemon water if you have heartburn/acid reflux. Lemon water is also a diuretic. This can help your body remove sodium and excess fluids in a speedy fashion. But, too much of it, and you could potentially become dehydrated. On one last note, you may have heard that lemon wedges (when ordered at a restaurant) could have contaminates. This is due to people handling the citrus peels. To avoid this, ask for your lemon wedges on a plate, so you can squeeze the juice in yourself and set aside the peel.
Lemon water can have some healthy benefits, but it can also have some negative side effects. The takeaway is, to reap all the benefits, choose a straw, squeeze your own wedges when out to eat, and be wary of citrus if you have heartburn/acid reflux. Also, like most things, don’t overdo it.