The benefit of Lemon With Hot Water
Have you tried hot water and lemon? Nutritionists and celebrities alike are raving about the benefits of drinking a single glass of hot lemon water 15-30 minutes before breakfast. Use the juice of half a lemon per 8 oz. cups, or adjust the lemon for your personal taste. It will not only help you stay hydrated, but it may also improve digestion and relieve symptoms of indigestion.
Additional benefits to drinking hot water and lemon
Gives your immune system a boost – Lemons are packed with nutrients including vitamin C, B-complex vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and fiber. The vitamin C in lemons can help alleviate stress and fight viral infections and sore throats. Potassium is beneficial to heart health, as well as brain and nerve function.
What are the benefits of drinking lemon water?
Lemon water is all the rage these days.
Many restaurants serve it routinely, and some people start their day with lemon water instead of coffee or tea. There’s no doubt lemons are great for adding citrus flavor to food and drinks, but are there any benefits to adding lemon juice to your water?
Much of the evidence supporting lemon water’s health benefits is anecdotal.
While lemons contain nutrients, like vitamin C and antioxidants, the nutritional value of a glass of lemon water depends on how much lemon juice it contains.
A glass of lemon water containing one 48-gram lemon, squeezed, contains:
- 10.6 calories
- 18.6 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C, or 21% of the Daily Value (DV)
- 9.6 micrograms (mcg) of folate, or 2% of the DV
- 49.4 mg of potassium, or 1% of the DV
- 0.038 mg of iron, or < 1% of the DV
- 0.01 mg of vitamin B-1, or 1% of the DV
- 0.01 mg of vitamin B-2, or 1% of the DV
- 0.06 mg of vitamin B-5, or 1% of the DV
Here’s how your body may benefit.
Making sure you’re drinking enough water every day is for overall health — but not everyone likes the taste of plain water. Using lemon juice to add some flavor to your water may help you drink more.
Drinking water helps prevents dehydration, a condition that can cause:
- brain fog
- mood changes
- kidney stones
According to the Institute of Medicine, general guidelines say women should get at least 91 ounces of water per day and men should get at least 125 ounces. This includes water from food and drinks.
Good source of Vitamin C
Citrus fruits like lemons contain vitamin C, a primary antioxidant that helps protect cells from damaging free radicals.
On top of that, vitamin C also plays a role in helping your body synthesize collagen, absorb iron, and produce hormones.
Additionally, not consuming enough vitamin C may cause symptoms, such like:
- increased susceptibility to infections
- dryness of the mouth and eyes
- dry skin
- loosening of teeth
While lemons don’t top the list of citrus fruits high in vitamin C, they’re still a good source.
Squeezing the juice of a 48-gram lemon into a glass of water will provide you with 21% of the DV of vitamin C.
May support weight loss
Drinking lemon water may help you increase your water intake, which is often recommended as a weight-loss strategy. However, there’s limited evidence to justify this.
In a 2018 study, researchers found that participants who were instructed to drink water before eating a test meal ate less food than when they were instructed to eat the test meal without “pre-loading” with water.
When participants drank water before eating a test meal, they did not feel significantly less satiated, despite eating less food.
The study’s authors concluded that pre-meal water consumption may be an effective weight-loss strategy, although the mechanism of action is unknown.
An easy alternative to sugary drinks
Sugar-sweetened beverages — like juice, soda, sports drinks, sweetened water, and energy drinks — are the leading of added sugars in the American diet.
Regularly drinking these beverages is associated with a range of health conditions, including:
- weight gain
- type 2 diabetes
- heart disease
- kidney disease
- liver disease
- tooth decay
If you regularly reach for sweetened, fruit-flavored beverages to quench your thirst, switching to lemon water could help you cut back on sugar without sacrificing flavor.
The citric acid in lemons may help prevent kidney stones. Citrate, a component of citric acid, paradoxically makes urine less acidic and may even break up small stones.
Lemon juice contains citric acid, however, large amounts may be needed to increase your urine’s pH.
The National Kidney Foundation suggests mixing 4 oz of lemon juice concentrate with water as a complementary dietary remedy alongside other medication for kidney stone prevention.
Drinking lemon water before meals may help promote and improve digestion. That’s because the citric acid found in lemon juice has been shown to boost gastric acid secretion, a digestive fluid produced in the stomach that enables your body to break down and digest food.
In a 2021 study, participants drank 300 mL of either water or lemon water prior to eating meals for 4 weeks. The researchers collected stool samples before and after the test period and participants’ intestinal microbiota were analyzed.
The study’s authors found that pre-meal intake of lemon water appeared to promote digestion and peristalsis, or the wave-like contractions that help move food through the digestive tract. However, more large-scale studies are needed to fully understand the effects of lemon water on digestion.
How to make lemon water
To make lemon water, squeeze half a lemon into 8 ounces of warm or cold water.
You can infuse more flavor or a health boost by adding:
- a few springs of mint
- a teaspoon of maple syrup or raw honey
- a slice of fresh ginger
- a dash of cinnamon
- a sprinkle of turmeric
You can also add slices of other fresh produce, such as limes, oranges, or cucumber slices. Always wash them well before slicing.
Having lemon ice cubes on hand is a great way to add lemon to your water fast. Simply squeeze the fresh lemon juice into ice cube trays and freeze. Drop a few cubes into a glass of cold or warm water as needed.
You can start your morning with a mug of warm lemon water, and keep a pitcher of water infused with a few sliced lemons in your refrigerator to drink throughout the day.
Eat less salt
Salt is made up of sodium and chloride.
Sodium binds to water in your body and helps maintain the balance of fluids both inside and outside your cells.
If you often eat foods that are high in salt, such as many processed foods, your body may retain water. In fact, these foods are the biggest dietary source of sodium in most Western diets.
The most common advice for reducing water retention is to decrease sodium intake. However, the research on this is mixed.
Several studies have found that increased sodium intake leads to increased fluid retention. However, many other factors are involved in regulating fluid balance, and the effects of salt on water retention may vary from person to person
Increase your magnesium intake
Magnesium is a very important mineral. It’s involved in more than 300 enzymatic reactions that keep your body functioning properly.
Moreover, increasing your magnesium intake may help reduce water retention.
In fact, some research suggests that magnesium supplements may help decrease symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), including bloating and water retention.
For example, one older study found that taking 250 mg of magnesium per day improved several symptoms of PMS, including bloating. But keep in mind that further studies are necessary.
Good sources of magnesium include nuts, whole grains, dark chocolate, and leafy green vegetables.
It’s also available as a supplement.
Get more vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin that plays a central role in red blood cell formation, protein metabolism, brain function, and immune health.
It also regulates fluid balance and may help reduce water retention.
For example, one older study found that vitamin B6 may decrease bloating and fluid buildup in women with PMS.
Several other studies describe similar findings, noting that this vitamin may reduce PMS symptoms such as bloating when used alone or combined with other supplements such as calcium.
While research is lacking on whether vitamin B6 affects fluid retention outside of PMS, you can easily increase your intake of this vitamin by eating foods such as bananas, potatoes, chickpeas, walnuts, and tuna.
Eat more potassium-rich foods
Potassium serves several important functions, especially regarding heart health, muscle contractions, and nerve function.
It’s also essential for maintaining blood volume and fluid balance to help decrease water retention. It works by counteracting the effects of sodium to prevent fluid buildup and swelling, as well as by increasing urine production.
Notably, low potassium levels may even cause disruptions in bowel function, leading to issues such as stomach bloating and discomfort.
Thus, eating enough potassium-rich foods like bananas, avocados, and tomatoes is essential to support healthy fluid balance.
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) has long been used as a natural diuretic in folk medicine. Natural diuretics may help reduce water retention by increasing urine production.
In an older study, 17 people took 3 doses of dandelion leaf extract over 24 hours, which led to a significant increase in urine production.
All the same, larger, more recent studies are necessary.
Other studies in test tubes and animals have found that the diuretic properties of dandelion leaf extract may protect against conditions such as kidney stones. What’s more, this herb may offer other benefits, including antiviral, antifungal, and antioxidant effects.
Be sure to consult a healthcare professional before adding dandelion supplements to your routine.
Limit your refined carb intake
Refined carbs like white bread, pasta, and crackers are typically high in carbs or added sugar and low in fiber, which may lead to rapid spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels.
High insulin levels may cause more sodium retention by increasing the reabsorption of this mineral in your kidneys. In turn, this may lead to more fluid volume in your body and increased water retention.
Additionally, your liver and muscles store carbs as glycogen, a form of sugar that’s bound to water. Because each gram of glycogen is stored with at least 3 grams of water, following a high-carb diet may cause increased water retention.
It’s best to opt for fiber-rich whole grains instead, such as quinoa, oats, brown rice, or whole wheat bread.
Other ways to reduce water retention
Though there’s limited research on natural remedies to reduce water retention, you can try a few other tips.
Note that some of these tips are supported by only anecdotal evidence rather than research. Furthermore, it’s best to consult a healthcare professional before adding supplements to your routine, especially if you have underlying health conditions or are taking any medications.
- Move around. Simply walking and moving around a bit may be effective in reducing fluid buildup in some areas, such as the lower limbs. Elevating your feet might also help.
- Drink more water. Though it may sound counterintuitive, some people believe that increasing water intake may help reduce water retention.
- Take horsetail. Both older and newer studies suggest that the herb horsetail may act as a natural diuretic.
- Try parsley. This herb has a reputation as a diuretic in folk medicine.
- Supplement with hibiscus. Roselle, a species of hibiscus, has long been used in folk medicine as a diuretic to increase urine production.
- Up your garlic intake. In ancient Greece, garlic was used to treat a variety of ailments and was considered a natural diuretic.
- Eat fennel. Some research suggests that fennel may have diuretic effects and increase urine output.
- Try corn silk. According to an older review, this herb is traditionally used for the treatment of water retention in some parts of the world.
- Eat nettle. This leafy green is another folk remedy used to reduce water retention and support fluid balance.
The bottom line
Many factors, ranging from hormonal changes and physical inactivity to serious health conditions like heart disease or kidney problems, can contribute to water retention.
Though medical treatments may be necessary depending on the cause, several simple dietary and lifestyle changes may help reduce water retention and promote fluid balance.
Following a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes while limiting your intake of processed foods and refined carbs may be especially beneficial.
Several herbs and supplements, including dandelion leaf extract, may also help decrease bloating and fluid buildup.
If water retention persists even after you make changes to your diet or lifestyle, consult a healthcare professional to determine the best course of treatment.
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