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The Secrets of Water with Lemon

Written by contributor Nicole Bennett of Gidget Goes Home.

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned water with lemon as one of my basic habits to boost my immunity. Last winter I really felt like it helped me fight off viruses that were going around. Plus, I love the taste of lemon! So now, I thought it would be helpful to go into a little more detail as to why I do this.

Alkaline, not Acidic

One of the most important features of lemon is that, once digested, it is an alkaline food. This surprised me, because my common sense told me that lemon was acidic. But in terms of body pH balance, it is actually one of the best foods we can eat to help alkalize our body, or keep it at the correct pH level.

To put it most simply, alkalines help keep the oxygen in our blood at a safe pH level, and this helps our body heal itself, assimilate nutrients and fight off unwanted sickness.

Just Another Reason to Eat Your Fruits and Veggies…

Not surprisingly, many of the acid-forming foods are the ones we should be trying to avoid anyways, like refined sugar and grains and artificial sweeteners. Many of them are not bad, in and of themselves though (like cheese, beans and coffee).

Remember, we are seeking a balanceWe do need both acids and alkalines, but it is important to eat more alkaline foods, such as fruits and vegetables, in order to keep the balance in your body. A body with an overly acidic pH level could have a compromised immunity, among many other issues.

As a bonus, starting your day off with a glass of water with lemon squeezed into it does even more than just give you a morning alkaline boost.

Lemons have also been said to be good for the bones, skin radiance, digestion, and fighting cancer; plus they have a great amount of vitamin C and potassium and is antioxidant-rich food. Limes are a great alternative if you have them more readily available.

Lemon Water Tips

My naturopathic doctor recommended a half a lemon squeezed into water every morning. I drink mine at room temperature, because hot lemon water doesn’t appeal to me. In the summer, I’m often drinking cold lemon or lime water throughout the day as a refreshing beverage. For starting your day and preparing your body for digestion, luke-warm or warm is probably the best way to drink your lemon water.

Worried about the effect of the citrus on your tooth enamel? Drink your lemon water through a straw!

my little tree- almost ripe!

Sour, Yet Sweet

My favorite variety is the Meyer lemon. It’s a bit sweeter than other lemons and really has a delicious flavor. Lucky for me, my parents have a tree that produces abundantly in the winter (I love how God designed citrus to be available when we need it most!), and I’m also nurturing a baby potted Meyer lemon in my own backyard. Meyers are easy to find at the market though, too, and they are also great for baking and cooking.

Save Some For Later

When lemons are in abundance, I’ll also juice some and freeze them in ice cube trays to have “fresh” lemon juice at my disposal at all times. I do recommend straining out most of the pulp before freezing, so the cube dissolves easier in a glass of water.

Do any of you, dear readers, start your day with lemon water? Have you noticed any of its benefits?

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  1. Kara

    This makes me wish I liked lemon in my water! I wonder if we can still get the benefits of lemon in another form?

    • Jen M

      Have you heard of or tried True Lemon. It’s freeze dried or something and comes in cute little packets. Mucho convenent at work.

  2. Nikki Moore

    I’ve never seen Meyer lemons at any store around here. The regular ones are super sour! I don’t suppose adding a bit of honey would hurt…?

  3. Theresa K.

    New reader here. I love this info! I’ve been doing this for years because I like it, but I had no idea of the depth of benefits. Funny thing is the first person I remember recommending it for health is Richard Simmons way back in 1980. I think limes are even a more helpful source of alkaline (alkali?). I do love either in hot water and a bit of honey, especially first thing in the morning. Also, my teens and husband drink more water when I keep a clear glass pitcher of lemon or lime water in the refrigerator.

  4. Marie

    Would bottled lemon juice work as well?

  5. Elizabeth

    Yes! I love lemon water. What I like to do is “steep” the water with lemon – I fill a pitch with water and put in a couple of sliced lemons (and if I want to add depth of flavor I slice some cucumber, ginger, and if it’s looking good at the store – mint!). I let it sit overnight (in fridge) and strain in the morning – therefore having a nicely infused pitcher of water. I’m going to have to let mind sit for a while to come to room temp – thanks for that tip. MY QUESTION is that I was reading a few months ago in Parents magazine that to avoid using cocoa processed with alkaline. Is this the same alkaline you’re speaking of in fruits and veggies?! I’m a little confused about this – if you have any info I would be SO grateful!

  6. RLR

    I add a slice of cucumber and lemon to my water. I like the taste of water with either cukes or lemons, but I think the combined taste is great, too. I like to keep a pitcher of it in my fridge.

  7. priest's wife

    Looking at lists of alkaline and acidic foods – one could go crazy!

    Lemon water is a good place to start

  8. Theresa

    I have always loved lemon water…great to hear that it’s so good for me! I’ve also read that lemon water helps pregnant women with the swelling of their legs!

  9. Rachel

    Thanks so much for explaining it! I never knew why lemon water was recommended, and I would have thought it was acidic too.

  10. Krissa

    I too use lemon in my water…I love it! I use lemon essential oil because I can always have it on hand even when lemons aren’t readily available. But you have to make sure you get a really high quality kind that is safe for ingesting. I love your little lemon tree…I might have to get one of those!

  11. annie

    A friend told me about all these benefits a while back and so we’ve been doing it too. I’ve slacked a bit since summer because I forget to buy lemons! Just this morning I spotted two ripe lemons on my dwarf meyer lemon tree (that I adore) so I went out picked them, and we all started our day that way! And yes, God is amazing to make citrus a winter season fruit:) Thanks for posting on this because I’ve told people about this, but haven’t been able to remember WHY it is important. Now I have something to pass along.

  12. Kira @ Kissing the Joy

    Huh, well that explains why I crave lemon water like CRAZY when I’m pregnant. I always go through a Costco-sized bag of them each week during pregnancy, but I felt a little guilty because i thought it was hard on my body and my teeth. This was great to read. Guess it’s time to get another bag of lemons 🙂

  13. Mike

    The realistic truth is that people need to recognize the truth about Alkaline Water and all the benefits it will give you. We need to get the word out about Alkaline Water. The AMA and the Big Drug Companies do not want you to know the water really does work. They would be out of business if we all were all healthy and did not need them any longer. The elementary facts are that it works. It cleanses the body of contaminants that we put it by everyday living, lets the body do its job of healing itself, and restores your natural wellness. In addition, irrespective what Machine you buy, the alkaline water is going to help you feel better. Check it out for yourself and you make the call. Do You Want To Feel Good for a Change?

  14. Kim

    I have a hard time drinking the amount of water I should (especially now that I’m pregnant), but drinking water with lemon really helps me drink more. It also helps with my horrible indigestion during pregnancy. Glad to hear it has so many other benefits.

    • judith


  15. Emily Jones

    This is a great tip, and it’s the first I’ve heard about it! I don’t regularly buy lemons, and it’s always seemed cheaper to buy the little plastic “lemons” filled with the juice… do you have any thoughts on whether that works as well? It is just pure lemon juice, right? I think I’m just so much more likely to use it if it’s just a squirt rather than cutting and squeezing. Also, how much would you estimate is the equivalent of a half a lemon? Thanks!

  16. Toxic Beauty

    I’ve been using lemon in my water for a while now and I must say it truly does alkalinize your body. I actually love how it jazzes up the blahness of plain water. I usually just fill up a gallon jug in the morning and squeeze my lemon right into the jug to enjoy throughout the day. Thanks for letting more people know bout this very simple, healthy, yet powerful tip!

  17. Aimee @ Simple Bites

    Meyer lemons- oh YUM! Those are a gourmet’s dream up here.

    My mom and sister do this; thank for the nudge to start a healthy habit!

  18. Nisha @ Healthy Mom's Kitchen

    I hadn’t thought about the lemon affecting my tooth enamel. I’m glad you mentioned it!

    Have you ever tried lemon essential oil in your water? I’ve tried lemon slices, the concentrate from the bottle and oil and they all taste slightly different. It’s nice to mix it up a bit.

    Did you know that lemon is also great to add to weight loss recipes? It lowers your body’s insulin response.

  19. Ayah

    I drank lemon water all the time while I was pregnant. I didn’t do it because I knew there were any special benefits–it just helped my tummy feel better. 🙂

  20. Abby

    this is actually part of the fat flush plan, too! hot lemon water first thing in the morning, because it helps cleanse your colon and preps the body for digestion it will do for the rest of the day. plus, i’ve discovered that fresh lemon juice makes most things taste delicious.

  21. Lauren

    Fresh lemon in warm water is delicious, and it jump-starts my digestion in an obvious way 😉
    Should any of you still be getting follow-ups on this thread, you might want to look into the oil/squeeze bottle versus fresh juice debate. As I understand it, fresh squeezed juice from fresh lemons has the most beneficial enzymes, which is what you want. The pre-sqeezed stuff is not only older (so the vitamins etc are lost, just as with any plant food) but also pasteurized, which kills off whatever was left.
    But it tastes good, so that’s something!
    ps I agree with Aimee – Meyers are a rare and exotic treat for most of the world. You guys should make the most of them for the rest of us!

    • Nicole

      Thanks, Lauren, I wasn’t sure but I had a feeling there was some reason why fresh would be best, as with most things.

  22. Carol

    Lemon is a favorite at home. This is why I have potted one so we’d be able to harvest lemons when we need it. It’s not always enough so we still purchase some at the grocery. I’m planning on growing more so my kid would enjoy harvesting lemons and care for it too.

  23. Cassidy Frazier

    I just recently started drinking a lot of cold lemon water daily and it seems i can’t get enough of it. I don’t use fresh lemons just the lemon juice you buy from the store. I do use a straw to drink it with. Is this bad?

  24. robert

    I had a friend at an internship that did this. she would just drop what looked like 5-6 slices (round slices) of lemon in her water and drink that throughout the day. I always wondered why. I’m thinking of doing this now tho…

    my only concern is that I get cavities pretty often (even though I perceive that i brush enough… and flosss..) . You mention the citrus may eat away at your enamel? I”ve also heard there’s a lot of sugar in lemons.. is that an issue too?

  25. bodynsoil

    Thanks for posting with all this information. I try to drink lemon water upon waking but fall out of habit.. this is something that I need to restart.

  26. Kelli

    Just stumbled across this post and it makes so much sense to me. I have a sensitive stomach and can have trouble keeping plain water down at times (weird, I know), but adding a splash of lemon to it always seems to settle my stomach. I could never figure out how or why this worked because I thought lemons were acidic, but now I know 🙂

  27. Judie

    I have tried for years to get into the habit of having a warm cup of lemon water in the morning upon rising. I’m fascinated with the fact that a fruit that is so acidic alkalinizes as our body metabolizes it. I’m sure that organic lemons would have the greatest advantage to our health but I’m also wondering if a good quality lemon juice would offer these benefits too?

    • Bsm Hsn

      i guess it…like everything in existence, there no 2 different things totally identicals in their entity or results…etc. n thats why both are exist!
      as i know the mentioned advantages come from mixing warm water with lemon and it should be warm by winter n summer as well.
      My Ref: One of the very qualified chinese medicine doctors who is practicing in london now many years ago, n he used to start his day by warm water+lemon for more than 10 years.
      >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>good luck.

  28. Bsm Hsn

    thnx 4 all additions. i used to start my day with one glass of warm water+lemon, regarding to Dr. friend’s advice, beside many of warm water + Lemon advantages Dr. says that it is good at morning for boosting metabolism! .
    i hope it is real, that i need to boost metabolism much more.

  29. LemonLover

    I have taken up the habit of warm lemon water first thing in the morning. This habit began about 4 months ago in an attempt to boost the health of my liver. I use about 1/4 a lemon in four ounces of warm water. I shoot it down, then follow with about 4 more ounces of warm water, rinsing my teeth at the same time in hopes to counteract the acidic effects on the enamel of my teeth. Then I take what is left if the lemon and rub the juice onto my face, hands, fingernails, and any body scars. My 40 year-old, PMS pimples are much less in number and not nearly as “angry” as before. I am pretty rough on my hands, as I am a dirty gardener by love, skill, and trade. I gave up on the dream of pretty fingernails and hands long ago. But, after weeks of rubbing lemon juice on my nails, they are NOTICEABLY longer and do not peel and chip. The lemon juice will also lighten any age spots and scars on the backs of your hand, which was the original reason I started rubbing it into my skin.
    Also, though not as an intended goal, I did lose about 5 lbs (~3% body weight) in the first month, most of which slowly came back. I have also recently discovered that I dropped 2 inches in my bra size – only after getting upset how none of my “regulars” fit me correctly anymore ……. Anyway! another benefit is that heartburn has become a thing if the past – not a single episode since starting warm lemon water.
    I cannot say enough about warm water and lemon (lime) juice first thing in the morning and have done my best in promoting it to those in my life – but only if they care to listen.

  30. drink lemon water

    Starting the day with lemon could be your secret to better health…

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