Lemon water to most sounds like a potion made by a wizard due to the numerous health benefits that it has to offer from aiding weight loss, hydrating your body, supporting digestion, boosting your immune system, to achieving healthy glowing skin. But most people are not aware of the disadvantages of drinking lemon water daily.
Drinking water is a common practice for many the moment they wake up, but due to the tasteless nature of water people find it annoying. As an alternative drinking lemon water early in the morning not only sounds refreshing but also a great way to start the day, as lemon juice offers essential nutrients like protein, fats, carbohydrates, minerals, and the most obvious vitamin C.
Although as magical as drinking lemon water sounds, excess lemon water can be more harmful than useful, and often the disadvantages of drinking lemon water daily outweigh the advantages. Pregnant women should be especially cautious before consuming lemon water.
1. What Are the Disadvantages of Drinking Lemon Water Daily?
Too much of anything is considered harmful for the body and the same goes for lemon water as well. Our body requires a balance of everything be it the nutrients in our food, or the work-life balance, to moderate drinking of water. This is also true for consuming lemon water.
Even though lemon juice and lemon water are considered harmless, the following are the disadvantages of drinking lemon water daily in excess amounts.
1.1. Tooth Enamel Erosion
Due to the highly acidic nature of lemon juice, daily intake of lemon water whether in the morning or at night will cause dental erosion. According to the American Dental Association excess intake of lemon juice can erode the outer layer of the tooth or the tooth enamel, causing the removal of minerals.
With time your teeth become more prone to tooth decay which can cause hypersensitivity and pain. Soft drinks should also be avoided as they are also highly acidic like lemon juice, and cause the same negative effects.
If you still want to drink lemon water and avoid tooth decay, try drinking it with a straw, and avoid brushing your teeth one hour before and after drinking lemon water. Additionally drink lots of water to prevent damage.
1.2. GERD and Acid Reflux
Among the disadvantages of drinking lemon water, daily are acid reflux and GERD. While lemon water is also known for increasing metabolism rate, however, excess lemon juice, and foods rich in spice and acid, can lead to acid reflux, heartburn, nausea, and vomiting.
The high acid content in lemon increases the production of stomach acid and irritates the inner lining of the stomach and intestine causing ulcers, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), coughing, worsened asthma, and a sour taste in the morning.
People who are experiencing these symptoms should avoid acidic or spicy food and citrus fruits. Moreover, if you are having severe discomfort, consult a doctor.
1.3. Triggers Sunburn
If you like using lemon juice as a part of your skincare routine, you might have heard that you should not step into the sun after applying lemon juice to your skin. This is because lemon and other citrus fruits have certain plant-based chemicals like psoralens, that make skin sensitive to light and UV rays. The same goes for drinking too much lemon juice, as one of the disadvantages of drinking lemon water daily.
Increased light sensitivity can result in sunburn and photodermatitis, a type of skin inflammation that has symptoms like redness, pain, itching, pigmentation, blisters, and burning sensations. Further, drinking too much lemon water, and other citrus consumption also leads to skin cancer or melanoma.
1.4. Cause or Worsen Canker Sores
Canker sores are mouth ulcers that develop under the tongue or inside the cheeks, though non-contagious they are usually painful. Studies by the American Dental Associations have shown that citric acid and acidic foods including over intake of lemon water, can aggravate existing canker sores or make them worse.
If you cannot wait to get your lemon water and a daily dose of Vitamin C, consider waiting until the sores are gone, or reduce the amount of citric acid and lemon water intake.
1.5. Trigger Migraines
Other disadvantages of drinking lemon water daily include migraines or headaches. This is especially true if you have previously experienced migraines. Several studies have shown that citrus fruits like lemon can induce migraine attacks as well as worsen them. This is because of tyramine, a substance in citrus fruits that can cause frequent headaches.
You can combat frequent headaches and migraines by reducing the amount of lemon intake, which should be not more than half a cup of diluted lemon juice.
1.6. Frequent Urination
If you are a fan of warm lemon water, then you should be aware of the disadvantages of drinking lemon water daily. Since lemon juice is high in ascorbic acid or Vitamin C which is a diuretic, it can cause increased urine production in the kidneys leading to frequent urination. Acid content in lemon can also irritate the bladder causing you to urinate more.
If you do not limit yourself from drinking lemon water daily, then it can additionally result in dehydration, tiredness, dry lips, and excessive thirst as electrolytes are flushed out from your body due to frequent urination. Try to pause your daily intake of lemon water to see a change, or lower the amount of daily lemon water consumption.
1.7. Increase Iron Absorption
Since lemons are a rich source of Vitamin C, it is especially beneficial for those who have iron deficiency, as it can increase the absorption of non-heme iron in the body. However, those with regular iron levels should go through the disadvantages of lemon water daily, since the intake of lemon water can cause hemochromatosis, excess storage of iron that can damage organs over longer periods, and also lead to weakness, fatigue, high blood pressure and sugar levels, and skin pigmentation.
1.8. Adverse Effects on Bones
Among the disadvantages of drinking lemon water, daily include bone issues. When lemon juice is taken in larger quantities, it can reduce the oil between the joints and bones causing bone problems over time. Add honey to minimize the effect if you still want to drink lemon water daily.
1.9. Lemon Skins As Host for Germs
Although overlooked, lemon skins can also pose serious health effects on par with lemon juice, and therefore being one of the disadvantages of drinking lemon water daily. Many people add lemon wedges along with lemon juice to their drinks for aesthetic purposes.
But researchers have shown that lemon skin contains microorganisms that can cause various diseases. Next time try mixing lemon juice into your drinks to avoid diseases.
2. How Much Lemon Water Should You Drink Daily?
Even though there are several disadvantages of drinking lemon water daily, it cannot be denied that people are usually charmed by the various benefits that lemons have to offer. Most people consume lemon water for its high content of Vitamin C, and other benefits like weight loss, treating high blood pressure, improved gut health, and several other health benefits.
But drinking lemon juice can also have adverse effects, especially on an empty stomach, and can result in acid reflux (however it can be caused by other acidic foods). Other negative effects of drinking lemon water include mouth ulcers and triggered sunburns, lemon can cause particular dental erosion, and trigger migraines among others.
The amount of lemon water that a person should consume daily largely depends on their health status, age, sex, and other medical conditions. To get your daily dose of Vitamin C, experts recommend not to consume more than 120 ml of lemon water daily. This can be made by adding 4 slices of lemon to 1 liter of plain water.
3. List of vitamin-rich Foods
Vitamin C is essential for everyone at every age and sex, it is also important to consume Vitamin C only at the recommended range. If you are worried about the various disadvantages of drinking lemon water daily but still want to get your daily dose of Vitamin C from other citrus juice alternatives to lemon, then grapefruit juice and orange juice could become your next go-to.
Often oranges and grapefruit have higher Vitamin C content than lemons, so you may want to rethink lemons and the disadvantages of drinking lemon water daily.
A list of other vitamin-rich foods include
- Indian Gooseberry (Amla)
Even though there are several disadvantages of drinking lemon water daily it cannot be denied that lemon juice along with lime juice reigns supreme among citrus fruits due to their high Vitamin C content, and other health benefits as well as aiding in weight loss.
However high Vitamin C content in the body can cause gastrointestinal problems, diarrhoea, stomach cramps, and kidney stones. Therefore, to combat the side effects of lemon, try incorporating other citrus fruit in your diet, or add ginger, honey, and mint leaves to your lemon water for added health benefits, and a refreshing taste, as well as a safer way to drink it daily.
5.1. When Should I Drink Lemon Water?
Any time works! Most people prefer to drink in the morning. Whenever you drink lemon water remember to drink lemon water one hour before and after brushing your teeth and drink plenty of water as well.
5.2. Can I Drink Lemon Water without a Straw?
No drink lemon water only with a straw as it is highly acidic can cause tooth enamel erosion
5.3 Can I Drink Lemon Water on an Empty Stomach?
You can. However, if you suffer from acid reflux, then avoid doing so.