Staying hydrated is essential for good health, and lemons are packed with vitamin C, which makes lemon and water the perfect combination! Let’s explore the benefits of cold or hot lemon water in the morning as a part of your everyday routine. 

Glasses filled with lemon water garnished with mint on a white marble countertop.

One of the first things I change when working on my overall wellness routine is to drink a big cup of hot lemon water first thing in the morning. While I absolutely love my morning coffee, it’s a good idea to hydrate after a night of sleep. 

You may have noticed this has become a popular practice in wellness circles, so let’s take a look at the myths and benefits of lemon water and how to make it. 

 

5 Benefits of Lemon Water

While there are many myths and exaggerations about the benefits of lemon water, it truly is good for you in many ways.

But what does drinking lemon water do? Lemons contain compounds that may have the potential to boost your mood, increase iron absorption, and help prevent kidney stones. It is important to understand the lemons alone are not a guarantee, but they are one more element that you can add to your healthy lifestyle habits. 

1. High in Vitamin C

One lemon contains nearly 31 grams of vitamin C, which is almost twice as much as the daily recommendation. Vitamin C has many benefits, including boosting that immune system and lowering your risk of heart disease. 

One glass of lemon water made with the juice of ½ lemon provides 25% of the RDI of Vitamin C with only 9 calories and 1 gram of sugar. 

2. Kidney Stone Prevention 

Lemon contains high amounts of citrate, a compound known to prevent kidney stone formation by binding to calcium. According to Dr. Eissner, drinking ½ cup of lemon juice diluted in water per day can increase urine citrate enough to prevent kidney stones.   

Additionally, water itself is key in preventing kidney stones from forming. According to the National Kidney Foundation, drinking plenty of water is one of the best ways to prevent kidney stones. 

3. Iron Absorption

Lemon is not high in iron, but thanks to its Vitamin C content, it does play a role in helping to prevent anemia caused by low iron levels. It works by helping your body absorb and use iron from other plant-based foods, such as legumes, lentils, pumpkin seeds, and spinach. Finding a way to combine lemon with high-iron foods is an excellent way to stay energized. 

4. Mood Booster 

Citrus, and lemon, in particular, are known for their mood-enhancing properties. In aromatherapy, lemon essential oil is often used to help with depression and exhaustion. More scientific studies are needed, however. 

5. It’s a Detox Drink

Water helps flush toxins from the body. In addition, some studies have shown that lemon juice may have properties that offer liver protection, though more research is needed. As we know, the liver plays an important role in detoxification, along with the kidneys, skin, lungs, and digestive tract.

They are not a cure-all, but if you are doing a detox, they add support along with these other great ideas for detox drinks. Our favorite Apple Cider Vinegar Drink is another great option. 

The view from under a large lemon tree.

Lemon Water for Weight Loss & Detox

One tip for those who want to lose weight is to drink a cup of warm lemon water in the morning. This habit has several benefits that will help you on your weight loss journey. A whole lemon contains only 29 calories and is 89% water. It has a lower number of calories per 100 grams than any other member of the citrus fruit family. 

Lemons contain 2 grams of sugar, which is not much when compared to other citrus fruits. It is enough that it might cause a slight increase in blood glucose levels in some people. This is important to know for those who are using techniques such as intermittent fasting. Lemon water might break your fast due to the sugars. 

Though many people believe the fiber in lemon water helps with weight loss, this is mostly untrue. A whole lemon contains only 2 grams of fiber, and lemon water has almost no fiber. If you want to incorporate the benefits of the fiber in lemons, you might want to toss a few whole, peeled, lemon slices into a smoothie. Drinking water can help you feel full for longer, however. 

 Information on lemons and weight loss is theoretical, and no studies have proven these benefits to date. Many people do report good results from adding lemons and lemon water to their weight loss diets. 

A cutting board topped with sliced lemons sits next to a pitcher of water.

How to Make Lemon Water

Making lemon water is simple. I start with 8 ounces of filtered water and squeeze one-half lemon into it. 

One tip is to roll the lemon on the counter, pressing it with your palm until it softens. This helps to release the juice and makes it easier to squeeze. Also, you can freeze lemons and when they thaw, they are easier to squeeze.

A pitcher of lemon water in a white kitchen.

You can also put a few slices of lemon in a pitcher and leave it in the refrigerator. It will keep for about two days that way. This is a refreshing way to have it to sip on all day long. As you drink a little, you can top off the pitcher. Occasionally, you can give the lemon slices a gentle mash to refresh the water.  

Hands hold a hot mug filled with hot lemon water.

Is Hot Lemon Water Healthier? 

Some claim that drinking warm lemon water is better for you, but there is no credible support for the claim. Warm beverages are certainly soothing, and some people do find that warm water is easier on the stomach first thing in the morning.

I like to drink hot lemon water in the winter and iced lemon water in the summer as a cool refreshment. Just like my Warm Apple Cider Vinegar Drink and Cold Lemonade ACV Drink recipes. The main thing is that you drink it and that you drink it often. 

Flavor Variations 

For some added flavor and to give your lemon water a little extra boost, you might try adding: 

  • A sprig of mint
  • A little rosemary
  • A slice of ginger 
  • Lime or orange slices
  • A few sprigs of thyme
  • Mint and strawberries 

The bottom line is that lemons are good for you, and water is good for you. Together they are an excellent way to start your day off right. Lemons feel refreshing any time of the day or night, but I love them the most when I first roll out of bed to start my day. Try it, you might discover a new favorite morning habit. 

More Wellness Beverages to Try 

Yield: 1 quart

Lemon Water: Benefits & How to Make It

Prep Time 1 minute
Total Time 1 minute

Cold or hot lemon water in the morning is an energizing way to hydrate and start the day. Lemon water has many benefits and is easy to make.

Lemon water on a white kitchen counter.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces warm water
  • 1/2 lemon
  • Sweetener, such as liquid stevia, to taste (optional)

Instructions

  1. Wash your lemons well, especially if you plan to use whole slices in water. Lemons soaking in water
  2. Pour hot or warm water into a mug.
  3. Squeeze the lemon juice from the fresh lemon into the hot water.
  4. Sweeten with a few drops of liquid stevia or honey if you'd like. Enjoy right away.
  5. Alternatively, slice 1-2 lemons and add to a pitcher of filtered water. Refrigerate for up to two days, topping off with more water and lemon slices as needed. A pitcher of lemon water in a white kitchen.

Notes

Variations

Add flavor and nutrients by adding fresh mint, sliced ginger, strawberries, or other herbs and fruit.

Benefits of Lemon Water

  1. High in Vitamin C
  2. Low Calorie
  3. May help prevent kidney stones
  4. Supports Iron absorption
  5. Mood-Boosting

    Nutrition Information:
    Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1 cup
    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 9Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 10mgCarbohydrates: 4gSugar: 1gProtein: 0g

    Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your favorite calculator.