The citrus-infused trend of lemon water has splashed across social media with influencers and health enthusiasts touting its numerous benefits. Amidst the claims of promoting weight loss, enhancing skin glow, aiding digestion, and balancing pH levels, how much of the lemon water buzz is rooted in fact? We unravel the claims with insights from registered dietitians April Wiles and Emily Tills.
Unpacking the Health Claims
“Lemon is an excellent source of vitamin C, which can aid in boosting overall immunity, especially as we go into cold and flu season,” says Emily Tills, a registered dietitian nutritionist based in Syracuse, New York. Besides, lemon adds microminerals to water, which enhances hydration – a boon during the drier, colder months.
April Wiles, a North Carolina-based dietitian, acknowledges the vitamin C boon but notes it’s in small amounts. Nonetheless, this vitamin plays a crucial role in supporting various body functions including brain, skin, heart, bone, and immune system health.
Lemon Water: A Hydration Boost
A common oversight, many individuals fall short on the daily recommended water intake. Incorporating lemon, according to Wiles, makes water a flavorful alternative to sugar-laden beverages, encouraging better hydration habits. For a sweeter twist, a hint of stevia or monk fruit could do the trick.
Rachael Richardson, another registered dietitian, suggests a creative approach to hydration. Growing fresh basil or mint, or brewing ginger, turmeric, or green tea, can create an anti-inflammatory electrolyte water. The key is to start with real mineral water not stored in plastic, ensuring the healthiest water possible.
Time to get serious…— The Human Condition (@drstacy2024) October 30, 2023
Walk past the coffee maker, and head for the spring water, lemon and Turmeric.
How Much is Too Much?
While a glass of lemon water once or twice daily is fine, individuals with gastrointestinal issues like acid reflux should tread cautiously. Over-consumption could lead to tooth enamel damage due to lemon’s acidity, a sentiment echoed by both Wiles and Richardson.
Richardson also warns against the trending practice of blending lemon skin into water, as seen on social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram. The peel contains natural plant pesticides which, when consumed, could lead to severe inflammation and kidney problems.
With a balanced approach, lemon water can be a refreshing addition to one’s diet, enhancing hydration and providing a Vitamin C boost. Yet, the overly glorified claims warrant a slice of skepticism. As the lemon water wave continues to ripple through social media, it’s wise to sip on the facts, ensuring you reap the benefits while steering clear of potential pitfalls.