Why Warm Lemon Water Is Bad for You

This year’s ultimate health goal has been drinking warm lemon water in the morning on an empty stomach. Supposedly, warm lemon water is good for many things, from improving digestion and stomach health to perfecting skin appearance, clearing the body of toxins, alkalizing the blood, curing respiratory infections and several other surprising benefits. But is drinking lemon water that good for us? Actually, the properties of lemon and lemon juice in particular produce some unexpected, less beneficial health effects that may negatively impact various aspects of our health.

What causes regular consumption of warm lemon water to be bad for us is the acidity of the fruit. Acidic fruits such as lemons are not recommended for people with stomach problems, sensitive teeth or for people who believe that eating a certain food will reverse a lifetime of bad dietary habits, counteract harmful lifestyle habits such as smoking or alcohol consumption or improve their health to such an extent that they don’t have to pay attention to any other aspect of it from that point on.

warm lemon water side effects

In order to understand why it might not be wise to start drinking warm lemon water in the morning we should first know its supposed health benefits. And I call them ‘supposed’ because all the benefits falsely attributed to lemon water are in fact the result of other dietary and lifestyle habits as a single glass of water with two slices of lemon does not have the nutritional value required to generate visible changes in one’s health. Because vitamins, minerals and other nutrients are the basis of good health and we require them in rather high amounts every single day. A bit of lemon juice contains only negligible amounts of vitamins and minerals.

Presumed benefits

In any case, here are the supposed benefits warm lemon water:
1) Improves digestion and is good for the stomach.
2) Relieves constipation.
3) Boosts immunity.
4) Controls high blood pressure.
5) Helps with weight loss and controls hunger cravings.
6) Helps treat respiratory diseases and infections.
7) Detoxifies the liver, cleanses the blood of toxins, alkalizes the blood.
8) Great for oral hygiene.
9) Improves skin appearance.
10) Good for rheumatism.

Why is warm lemon water bad for you? In short, because it is an acidic beverage that damages tooth enamel, causes stomach acidity and doesn’t provide any significant nutritional value in the amounts it’s meant to be consumed so any benefits associated with its consumption are improbable. Read below and find out the top 10 reasons why drinking warm lemon water on an empty stomach in the morning, every single day, can do more harm than good and not deliver the promised health benefits.

warm lemon water

Side effects

1) Bad for stomach health. Lemon juice is acidic in nature, so drinking warm (room temperature or cold) lemon water on an empty stomach irritates the stomach lining. Moreover, lemon juice worsens existing gastritis, acid reflux and stomach ulcers which is why people with stomach problems are advised to avoid citrus fruit, lemons and limes in particular (see what foods to eat and to avoid for gastritis). In addition to this, the lemon in lemon water and the warm temperature of the water do little for digestion. Drinking water is necessary to remain well-hydrated, stay alive and keep healthy and sometimes wash down foods that are too dry or too rich in protein. But this particular combination really doesn’t do much else for digestion.

2) Not that great for constipation. Relieving constipation is more about addressing the factors that cause it such as a low fiber intake, not drinking enough liquids, eating too little fats (for fear of gaining weight mostly), sedentarism or prolonged use of antibiotics which destroy good gut bacteria that help with breaking down food and normal transit. While a glass of water in the morning does contribute to keeping us hydrated by adding to our intake of liquids, it’s not going to make any difference for constipation.

You actually have to continue to drink water throughout the day, eat sufficient fiber, keep active, include healthy fats in our diet etc. The fact that we drink liquids on an empty stomach somewhat puts things into motion and helps us go to the bathroom simply because we are upping our liquid intake, but there are limits to what a glass of water can do. Also, lemons aren’t rich in fiber so they can help us deal with constipation. We would be better off with prunes, almonds or kiwifruit and a glass of water in the morning. See my 7 easy tricks to treat constipation.

As for lemons containing pectin (a type of dietary fiber that binds jams and helps with constipation and diarrhea), know that lemons and other citrus fruit have pectin in their rind mostly, which you don’t consume except for in jams or baked goods, making them even less suitable for treating constipation. Apples, strawberries, cherries, grapes, apricots etc. are better choices in this respect because you can actually eat their pectin-rich skin.

3) Doesn’t boost immunity by itself. The reason why lemons are recommended for a strong immune system is because they contain vitamin C, a vital nutrient for good immunity. However, adding a slice or two of lemon or the juice from half a lemon to a glass of water provides us with very little vitamin C, especially considering that emerging research shows that vitamin C produces visible health benefits starting from a daily dose of at least 500 mg. Compare this to:

(90 mg) the current recommended daily allowance of vitamin C.
(38.7 mg) the amount of vitamin C in 100 g of freshly squeezed lemon juice.
(18.6 mg) the amount of vitamin C in a 48 g lemon (the estimated weight of a fruit).

4) Doesn’t affect blood pressure. Drinking warm lemon water in the morning doesn’t lower high blood pressure. Hypertension is caused by a high intake of sodium (eating too salty), a low intake of potassium (which helps eliminate excess sodium and balance blood pressure), cholesterol buildup on artery walls (narrowing of the arteries restricts blood flow) etc.

Lowering our sodium and raising our potassium intake as well as increasing our magnesium intake (for the good functioning of the heart muscle) can treat high blood pressure in a matter of weeks or months, not warm lemon water. On average, an adult body needs about 4,700 mg of potassium daily and lemons contain about 103 mg/100 g of juice (and 49 mg/ 48 g of juice).

5) Warm lemon water and weight loss. Healthy weight loss is a complex process that relies primarily on having overall healthy eating habits. Incorporating lemon water in our diet is not going to do much for us because losing weight is not dependent on one single food. It’s a process that involves eating less calories, eliminating processed foods completely, reducing alcohol intake, fat intake etc. But if it gives us the confidence to eat healthier for the rest of the day, then why not?

As for the cravings and hunger, there is nothing satiating about lemon water. It’s just filling up on flavored water to deceive hunger. What this does is starve the body and deny it vital nutrients it needs to keep us alive, to keep us healthy and help us maintain a good weight and a positive mindset. Eating the right foods is the best weight loss diet with the most beautiful long term results at a both physical and emotional level.

6) Warm lemon water and respiratory infections. The reason why lemon water is said to help treat throat and other respiratory tract infections is because it contains vitamin C, an extremely powerful antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agent. However, lemons contain very little vitamin C compared to the amounts needed to constitute an actual protective intake against infections of any sort. As mentioned above, research now suggests that intakes far higher than the current RDA of around 90 mg of vitamin C are needed to obtain visible health effects. So adding 2 or 3 slices of lemon in a glass of water doesn’t make such a great difference for our health.

7) Warm lemon water and the liver. The liver’s function is to do exactly this: process things and eliminate toxins, thus cleansing the blood of them. Drinking lemon water won’t have it perform any better, but clean eating, healthy living will. So if we’re trying to help our liver, then we should enjoy a balanced, varied diet, no processed foods, no alcohol or sugary beverages, fizzy or not, no smoking, less pollution, resting sufficiently etc. The good thing about lemons is that they are alkaline, meaning they can influence our blood pH positively (research suggests a more alkaline blood pH can lower the risk of chronic disease).

However, we can only achieve a more alkaline blood pH only if we eat mostly alkaline foods, not just drink a glass of lemon water in the morning because this alone will have very little impact on our overall health. At the same time, drinking the water in which we have soaked lemon rind might not be the healthiest option because it is likely contaminated with dangerous pesticides.

8) Damages teeth. Lemon juice is highly acidic and constant exposure of teeth to acidic foods will sensitize them, leading to pain and discomfort. This is caused by the acidity of lemon juice which wears down tooth enamel and leads to sensitivity. Drinking it using a straw might help limit damage. Other problematic foods include other citrus fruit, tomatoes, certain herbal teas, but also hot and cold foods and beverages, sweet and sour ones. In some cases, eating a slice of lemon can help with bad breath. Unfortunately, it won’t cover the smell of pungent foods completely (garlic body smell or other odors, for example) or treat bad breath that originates in stomach problems.

9) Skin care. Drinking warm lemon water does not have a major impact on skin appearance. Drinking plenty of water does because it helps hydrate the skin and offers it a more youthful, plump, rested appearance. Lemon juice is best used topically, mixed with various other foods such as honey and yogurt for skin care.

10) Warm lemon water and rheumatism. There really isn’t a known mechanism that can confirm the beneficial effects of lemon water on rheumatism. High amounts of vitamin C can help reduce inflammation and improve pain, but the amounts in a daily glass of water with a few slices of lemon are nowhere near producing visible effects.


Overall, warm lemon water is not an unhealthy habit. It’s just that it doesn’t produce measurable benefits either. In fact, its supposed health benefits proclaimed in most health and wellness articles are either untrue or grossly magnified. Moreover, while it doesn’t pose any health risks for the majority of people, anyone suffering from stomach ulcers, gastritis, acid reflux or other gastrointestinal conditions and teeth sensitivity benefits more from not drinking lemon water at all. Just water will be fine.

This post was updated on Tuesday / July 28th, 2020 at 7:21 PM

28 thoughts on “Why Warm Lemon Water Is Bad for You”

  1. This is the most ignorant, misinformed article I have ever read about lemons and lemon water. To be clear, while lemons are acidic, they are absorbed by the body as alkaline and do not create an acidic environment in your gut or anywhere else.

    • Hello there. I agree with you: lemons leave an alkaline trace in the body and are thus alkaline-forming foods from the point of view of the alkaline diet. But they do contain citric acid which gives them their acidic taste, hence the reason they are called acidic. All citrus fruit contain citric acid naturally and it’s this citric acid that is not so good for gastritis, acid reflux or tooth enamel. It’s because of citric acid that a variety of acidless oranges has been developed so that people suffering from digestive disorders can enjoy citrus fruit too.

      Please remember that the alkaline diet differentiates between the pH of foods before digestion and the pH of foods after digestion and recommends eating for the most part foods that have an alkaline pH after digestion, lemons included. But lemons do have citric acid which is acidic in nature and causes problems before and during digestion for people with a certain sensitivity and disorders such as gastritis or acid reflux, myself included. So to be clear, I believe you have made a confusion here and I hope that in the future you keep to a more civilized language and speak your mind more politely because there are still people out there that do their research before they speak.

    • You are 100% right. I think the writer of this article has an agenda, he’s probably pals with bigpharma, keep everyone sick so they make money from us

    • Hello, Sandy! Do you have any valid arguments to support this accusation? Or is this what you say to everyone who has a different opinion from yours? I would be happy to listen to your take on the warm lemon water issue, why you think it’s so good, so show me you actually understand what is being discussed here and come up with sensible arguments. Because, up until now, I haven’t heard of lemon water curing cancer or malaria or immune diseases. It’s also available for everyone, if they choose to drink it. Where is the conspiracy then?

    • I think that this is the most intelligent article i have read about lemons as now it all makes sense. It’s a lifestyle and other factors in your life that contribute to poor health. Drinking lemon water in the morning actually didn’t change any of my other bad diet habits and actually only increased my gastric problems in the morning after a half a lemon with warm water. I think it’s an overall balance in all your lifestyle choices that will improve your overall health as this article is trying to explain.

    • Thank you, Madeleine. You are very kind. And thank you for sharing your experience. The more people talk about their experiences with various foods and therapies, the more everyone can see that we are all different and what works for some doesn’t work for everyone. Wishing you lots of health!

  2. u guys in west have no idea about balance. either u think something is very good or something to be very bad,.even snake venom taken in the right quantity is elixir and elixir taken in appropriate quantity will take u to death. suitabilty is everything. somepeople might find lemon juice very helpful but others may not.
    any article should be balanced. should give tips on using it safely. the article doesnt do so. look at the heading why warm lemon water is bad for you. hopeless article.

    • Hello, Mr. Ganesh. Not every elixir is good for you. Maybe it doesn’t kill you, but that doesn’t mean it has benefits either. With this in mind, the purpose of this article is to discuss why drinking warm lemon water in the morning is actually not good for you so, naturally, I wrote down the arguments why it is not good for you. But it is a balanced article because I also included the presupposed benefits of lemon water. Please read it again more carefully to see the benefits listed.

      As for the tips, the article does offer advice on better alternatives to lemon water because, truth is, it does not help with much. It may be refreshing to drink and healthy because it’s water and a fruit, but a few slices of lemon in a glass of water will not magically detoxify your whole body, make you healthy all of a sudden despite not living or eating right and it won’t cure any disease on its own. This is because our body needs balance: a balanced diet, a balanced lifestyle and a balanced view on health and wellness.

      If you read the article again, you will notice how I break down the argument so everybody can understand why it’s bad. For example, everybody says lemon water boosts immunity. In reality, it’s vitamin C that helps the immune system and lemons contain very little of it. As emerging research suggests, vitamin C has visible health benefits from 500 mg a day, not the amounts in a few slices you add to your water. Every argument is broken down and explained so that people actually understand what drinking lemon water does to you.

      The point is, even if lemon water may contribute, and I stress may, to improving certain aspects of our health, it still has side effects for almost anyone. You can drink as much or as little lemon water as you want, in as many ways as possible, long-term use will still make your teeth sensitive and destroy tooth enamel because that’s what the compounds in lemon do. Similarly, it is not an elixir that will magically detoxify the body or help you lose weight because you need a balanced diet and lifestyle for this. If you don’t eat and live right as a whole, lemon water will not remedy all the excesses in your life. It may be a start to healthier habits, but nothing more.

      And regarding your statement that the article is hopeless, I actually believe with all my heart that it will help a lot of people better their lives and health. I am one of those people that have suffered from gastritis and acid reflux all my life and I lead a quiet, healthy life and eat right, balanced and varied. But I have come to realize that even the healthiest foods can be bad for you. And lemon water or any other citrus fruits with or without water can worsen both gastritis and acid reflux incredibly. Citrus fruit naturally contain citric acid which irritates the stomach lining, hence the reason it is not good for people with such digestive problems. I have suffered all my life from not knowing that not every food is good for everyone and I feel strongly that sharing my experience can help others that have been dealing with similar problems too. Because there are so many people that don’t find lemon juice or lemon water helpful. I am writting for them too.

      So, yes, we need balance, but drinking or eating something that is both good and bad for us is not balance. Yes, some people may find lemon juice and water helpful, but that doesn’t exclude the fact there are side effects either. When you come here to read something, know that the articles are for everyone and never follow healthy trends just because they are trends. Benefits and side effects are explained so that everyone has access to a critical point of view that weighs on the advantages and disadvantages of what we eat, drink and do to improve our health in some way. Even if our opinions are different, we both have the right to speak freely and can respect each other despite not agreeing on the same things. The important thing is that we are both free to do whatever we think is best for ourselves and share our experiences so that others too may learn from them.

  3. I can tell you from personal experience, lemon juice and water makes my eyes itch and dry out very bad. It will flush me out, but my eyes itching and blurry really sucks. I drink a lot of water too. My skin will itch as well from lemons. No thanks.

    • There is a reason our body reacts the way it does to certain foods and I’ve learnt from experience that it’s best to trust your body when it’s telling you something isn’t good for you. A food may be wonderful for others, but just not that good for you and this is okay. It doesn’t mean we should keep trying to eat something is we notice it’s not good for us, but instead move on to something that is actually beneficial for us. Thank you for sharing your experience, Karuna. Wishing you lots of health.

  4. I tried drinking lemon for my goal to lose weight but it happens that I have stomach acidity (it runs in the family), so it made my stomach feel bad. And the worst part is it made me feel so hungry all the time. So I eat and eat and that has made me fatter than before. So I believed with the writer that there’s also side effects of drinking warm lemon water.

    • Thank you for sharing your experience with warm lemon water. It’s true that while lemon juice is alkalizing after digestion, its juice is acidic before and can cause or worsen existing stomach acidity. The hunger sensation you’ve experienced when drinking warm lemon water was caused by the lemon juice worsening a stomach condition, most likely gastritis. It’s known that gastritis causes a hunger sensation and because lemon juice accentuates stomach acidity, it also leads to feelings of hunger. I am confident you will find other healthy options that provide the benefits you are looking for in lemon water, but without the side effects. Wishing you lots of health.

  5. The article is biased since lemons are not compatible with the authors body. Plus I agree the title is very misleading.

    • Hello, Rashida. Many people suffer the side effects of warm lemon water, not just me. The fact that you feel it is good for you and others does not make it good for everyone. The fact that you enjoy the benefits of one food, does not mean that it can’t be bad for others. People are different and may have different medical conditions that prevent them from eating certain foods or doing certain activities. There is nothing to be upset about if others have a different opinion from yours or a different reaction to various foods. And the article does explain why warm lemon water is bad for you and how. What is written here is still true for so many people, whether you choose to acknowledge it or not. Wishing you the best.

  6. Last year my husband had an issue with slightly elevated blood pressure, I juiced one lemon and added it to 1 cup of water, in less than 15 minutes his pressure dropped more than 20 points both systolic and dystolic. Just thought I’d share.

    • Hello, Thelma. Edit: While it is possible the small amount of potassium from that lemon may have provided some benefits, it is unlikely to have affected blood pressure levels, in such a short time and in that amount.
      1) There is too little potassium in lemons to produce visible effects.
      There are 138 mg of potassium in 100 g of lemons.
      There are 80 mg of potassium in a medium-sized lemon without peel (58 g).
      There are 116 mg of potassium in a large lemon without peel (84 g).
      You need 4700 mg of potassium a day.
      2) It normally should have taken longer for the potassium in a food to have been absorbed and produce such visible effects. The entire food needs to be digested first, broken down in smaller components which are then absorbed in the bloodstream. Only after completion of this process should the effects have been visible.
      3) What’s actually more likely is your husband was mildly dehydrated and the water was what helped lower his blood pressure. Dehydration causes an increase in the production of a hormone called vasopressin. This hormone causes vasoconstriction or constriction of blood vessels which leads to higher blood pressure. It also acts as an antidiuretic, causing the retention of water by the kidneys which further contributes to higher blood pressure levels. Add a higher than recommended sodium intake to the equation (which can’t be eliminated because of the antidiuretic action of the vasopressin) and you have the cause. Drinking water regulates the production of more vasopressin, prevents vasoconstriction, restores normal kidney function and helps return blood pressure to healthier, more normal levels.

      In any case, it’s best your husband makes an appointment with his doctor to evaluate his blood pressure levels and general cardiovascular health. Happy to hear everything was alright in the end and wishing both of you lots of health.

  7. Hi, Marius. Just wanted to thank you for such a well explained article about warm lemon water. I’ve been having some issues when it comes to drinking natural lemon juice (lemonade). I have experienced constipation so bad that I have to stop drinking. However, I keep coming back to lemon/lime because of the wonderful opinion and articles I keep reading about it. Yet my body is some how telling me to stop. If I use lemon with honey for my face, it dries my skin so badly. When I drink lemon juice with or without sugar, as I said before, the constipation I experience is badly. For two weeks I began to take ginger tea mix with lemon, constipation again. So, after reading your well detailed and informative article, based on my own experience with lemon/lime and despite the positive reviews warm lemon water has, I have decided to exclude it from my diet. Thanks again, Marius.

    • Hello, Sonia. Drinking lemon water is not for everyone and, if you are experiencing side effects while pursuing this natural remedy, then it shows it is just not good for you, despite what everyone else is saying. You are an individual and will have your own particular reactions to different foods, beverages, supplements or remedies and you have to listen to what your body is telling you. If something is making you feel bad in any way, that can only mean you have to discontinue it because it’s not good for you. You can look for other alternatives to the benefits you are looking to obtain from lemon water, but without the side effects. We are all different and we should accept this and understand it is only natural to respond differently to various remedies instead of stubbornly eating or drinking something just because it’s good for others. Congratulations on your healthy attitude and responsible approach to health and wellness.

  8. Hi there. After having warm lemon and honey in the morning I get dull pain near my liver. Your thoughts? Regards.

    • Hello, Duggie. Lemon juice contains citric acid which is acidic in nature and can upset the stomach, causing various symptoms that may range from acidity and heartburn to stomach pain. Acidic foods such as lemon and other citrus fruits, vinegar or pickles can have such effects in some people, especially those with existing digestive conditions, but healthy people too. So it is possible the lemon juice stirred up an existing ulcer or irritated your stomach lining or gave you an indigestion. The side effects of warm lemon water are worse if you have it on an empty stomach in the morning because when you wake up, the stomach prepares itself for the digestion of food by secreting gastric juices and giving it more acidic juices magnifies effects causing discomfort.

      You can’t exclude honey either. Honey can cause digestive upset in some people who have a difficult time digesting the sugars in it, which can result in gas, bloating or dull stomach aches. It is also possible for honey to be a source of contaminants (raw honey may contain anything from bacteria and fungi to heavy metals), hence the importance of getting certified raw honey which has been tested for contaminants. Similarly, you may be allergic to the honey and not even know it. If this was the first time you’ve had honey or the first time you’ve had this particular type of honey, you could be allergic to pollen or other elements in it and this could trigger digestive symptoms.

      My advice to you is to refrain from warm lemon and honey for a while, until you can see a gastroenterologist and have some tests because the pain could have originated in the stomach, the liver or another organ. If you’ve experienced the stomach pain only once after having the warm lemon with honey, even though you’ve had this combination before, it is possibly stomach-related. But only a doctor can tell you for sure. Make sure you tell the doctor if you have experienced the same pain sensation after eating other foods or in other circumstances, if the pain continues to occur since that episode, changes in intensity or form, if you have noticed other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, change in bowel movement habits or stool appearance, especially color and consistency (for example, loose stools could indicate a food has gone bad, was contaminated with bacteria, you have trouble digesting something in it like a sugar, fiber or are experiencing an allergic reaction). Think about other seemingly unrelated symptoms too; for example, some people who are allergic to honey experience headaches, nausea, stomach gas, bloating, pain, diarrhea, itchy throat and mouth, skin rash, watery eyes etc. In such cases, it is important to see an allergist to identify potential allergy sources and learn to avoid them in the future.
      Hope this helps and wishing you lots of health.

  9. Hi!
    I have started drinking warm water with some lemon and honey mix early in the morning on an empty stomach but have experienced severe gas and bloating. I have some existing digestive problems and thought that the mix would help me but it made them worse. Also, the mix did nothing to help the bowel movement but made it worse for me. Any suggestions?

    • Hello, Amoeba. To my knowledge and in my experience, warm lemon water is not good for you if you have digestive problems such as gastritis or stomach ulcers. The reason for this is lemon juice is acidic (it contains citric acid) and can irritate the stomach, resulting in symptoms such as burning sensation, stomach upset, acid reflux and others. As for regulating transit time, that’s all on your diet as a whole. One food can’t make or break your diet.

      1) In my experience, pure aloe vera in the morning on an empty stomach is the best thing you can do to restore stomach health. I’ve tried it when my gastritis wouldn’t give and it was the best decision ever. I took one tablespoon (that was the recommended amount) in the morning on an empty stomach, then had one tablespoon of raw honey to counteract the horrible, bitter taste. If you are not allergic to either aloe or honey, you can try it and see if it works for you too. Just get a quality aloe vera, a pure product with nothing added, not even sweeteners. If you can’t take the taste, have something sweet ready afterwards, sugar or raw, unprocessed honey. I would wait half and hour or an hour and then ate.

      2) Instead of drinking warm lemon water with honey, you can just have water and honey in the morning. You’ll be hydrated, get some sugar to boost your energy and maybe even mood. The small amounts of lemon you normally add to water bring very little nutrients to your diet and won’t produce any significant health effects. It might be best to just exclude the lemon from your diet if it’s making you feel bad. See how you feel after taking aloe vera with honey, then compare to how you felt drinking the warm lemon water.

      3) As for the bowel movements, are they too frequent, too infrequent or are there problems with consistency, smell or other issues? If it’s constipation, drinking water and a good fiber intake are the solution, but you have to choose the right fiber-rich foods so it doesn’t affect your stomach health. When I had gastritis, the only foods with good amounts of fiber that didn’t bother me were bananas (very ripe ones, with brown speckles), spinach and root vegetables which I ate boiled such as potatoes, celery root or celeriac (watch out for allergies) or parsnip.

      4) The gas and bloating could be from the lemon water or from another cause, like maybe eating certain foods such as beans, lentils, peas, chickpeas, too much whole grain products or problematic foods such as garlic, onions, chives, leek, spring onions, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and other cabbage family vegetables. In some cases, the symptoms may be a sign of eating too much cheese and other dairy products or caused by a form of lactose intolerance. Excluding such problematic foods from your diet can help you better understand what you should eat and avoid in order to feel better. If you go to Menu, Health page, Stomach section, you will find several articles that list the most problematic foods for acid reflux, gastritis and other digestive condition.
      If you have any more questions, feel free to ask. Hope this helps and wishing you lots of health.

  10. Reading the entire article and comments left me confused. In the article, #4, you write that drinking warm lemon water does not lower blood pressure, however in the comment section, you write that the potassium found in lemons help to lower blood pressure and that some people have found that drinking lemon water is a good solution for hypertension. See my point? For years I was mildly hypertensive 140/90 on average. Blending a lemon with water and olive oil each morning has enabled me to stop taking my blood pressure medication. I guess I am one of the lucky ones that doesn’t experience stomach issues. So for me, I would say that lemon water lowers blood pressure.

    • Thank you for pointing that out, TK. Now that I’ve read it, I will have to edit that because indeed it is confusing and I will have to add new information too. This being said:
      One whole medium-sized lemon, without peel, weighing around 58 g, contains only 80 mg of potassium.
      One whole large lemon, without peel, weighing around 84 g, contains only 116 mg of potassium, which is still very little considering you need 4700 mg of potassium a day, according to the new Reference Daily Intake guidelines.
      100 g of lemon provides 138 mg of potassium.
      100 ml of lemon juice has even less potassium, only 103 mg (this is because some of the potassium remains in the pulp).
      For those people who are quite severely deficient in potassium (hence the mild hypertension and other symptoms), 138 mg might make a difference, more so when they get potassium from other sources too and this small amount serves to complete their daily requirements.
      But very few people drink the juice from 100 g of lemon every morning, which is almost two medium sized lemons or one and a half large lemon.
      So, in reality, most people get very little potassium from this source to enjoy any visible benefits such as improved blood pressure levels.

      Secondly, there are actual benefits to drinking plain water and these benefits are the ones often attributed to the lemon juice. A healthy intake of fluids helps maintain healthy blood pressure levels. When you wake up in the morning, you are likely mildly dehydrated from not drinking enough or any water during the night, sweating etc. To prevent imbalances and manage water volume and concentration of dissolved particles in blood serum and extracellular fluids, the pituitary gland secretes a hormone called vasopressin. What this hormone does is act as an antidiuretic and promote water retention by the kidneys. Vasopressin also causes constriction of blood vessels. When blood vessels are constricted, you basically get higher blood pressure while the antidiuretic action of vasopressin prevents you from eliminating excess sodium too, resulting in an imbalance that accentuates an existing hypertension or slightly raises blood pressure levels. Drinking even one small glass of water helps hydrate the body, regulates vasopressin production and returns normal kidney function, helping eliminate any excess sodium.
      Essentially, plain water when you wake up in the morning can help improve your blood pressure.
      Which means the almost immediate effects some people experience after drinking water with some lemon slices or juice are likely caused by the water itself, not by the potassium in the fruit or its juice.

      As for not experiencing stomach issues, I am happy for you. However, make sure you do not have silent acid reflux which is asymptomatic, but just as damaging to the esophagus and stomach lining. Hope this clears the confusion and provides better insight to why I consider that lemon juice does not help regulate blood pressure. Of course, you are entitled to your own opinion and beliefs and should feel confident to act as you see fit and make the decisions you feel are right for you and for your health. Wishing you lots of health!

  11. I have been having water with lemon every morning for the past week and last night my acid reflux was so severe I thought I would need to go to the hospital and reading your article helped me see why that happened. I had suffered from acid reflux years ago but have been fine since avoiding citrus and a few other culprits, but after a week of lemon water it’s obvious that was the trigger. I had aloe this morning (before even reading about it from you) and am on my way to recovery. Thanks for shining a light on this topic, it’s good to hear the whole story.

    • I’m sorry to hear you had such severe acid reflux from lemon water, Cristina. It’s good though that you identified the cause and can now exclude this problematic food from your diet. I am happy to hear aloe vera helps. It helped me a lot with my gastritis and acid reflux too, it’s an amazing remedy in my opinion. You should be feeling great again soon because you didn’t insist on drinking lemon water for too long. It’s important that you understood it wasn’t good for you and stopped drinking it. Because, in the end, the side effects are not worth the health benefits, especially when you can find other foods to get the same benefits from, but without the side effects. Wishing you a speedy recovery!

  12. That article on lemon water was amazingly helpful, thank you. What are your thoughts on the pros and cons of apple cider vinegar with mother?

    • Thank you, Aaron. First of all, can you please detail what is it that you meant by ‘mother’? Is it something relating to apple cider vinegar in pregnancy? Because I am not sure I quite understand.
      I think apple cider vinegar does have its benefits, as seen from research. For example, it holds antibacterial properties in certain concentrations because it’s acidic in nature and acidic environments do not support bacteria growth. It can be used as a disinfectant in some cases, although it’s not as effective as chemical disinfectant solutions. Vinegar in general has shown anti-tumor activity in in vitro experiments. Also, vinegar and pickled foods (with vinegar) can contribute to better blood glucose control. Some studies show that vinegar appears to reduce the Glycemic index of some foods.

      However, there are some safety concerns regarding the use of apple cider vinegar and vinegar in general as a food therapy.
      First of all, it’s acidic and using it on the skin, for ulcers or wounds or for treatment of ear infections can lead to skin damage.
      Secondly, the concentrations required for it to produce good antibacterial effects may exceed a safe intake. Not to mention it’s not recommended as a long-term therapy.
      Thirdly, apple cider vinegar is an irritant by nature. It’s especially bad for you if you take it on an empty stomach, in the morning or if you have gastritis, stomach ulcers, esophagus inflammation from acid reflux. In these situations, it will likely cause further irritation and inflammation of the sensitive mucous membranes of the esophagus and stomach and can even contribute to stomach lining erosion in gastritis. Apple cider and all vinegar and acidic products are likely causes of acid reflux and heartburn and can, in time, produce damage so serious to sensitive mucous linings like the esophagus that they favor cancer development.

      Overall, I think that some people can take apple cider vinegar and not experience side effects, provided intake is minimal, always occurs with food and is not continual. At the same time, for those people with a history of acid reflux, silent or not, gastritis, ulcers, heartburn, the side effects of apple cider vinegar might outweigh the benefits, in which case consumption is not advised. I will be posting an article on the topic in the next 10 days tops. Hope this helps.

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