Lemon Water in the Morning: Health Benefits and Side Effects Explained

Lemon Water in the Morning

Drinking lemon water in the morning revitalizes you. It is a good substitute for coffee. Lemon is a powerful medicine. Drinking lemon water is beneficial for people who don’t keep themselves hydrated. The refreshing zing of citrus and the tangy flavor will make you turn to lemon water for hydration. It is by far a healthier option than drinking sugar-laden beverages. Drinking lemon water in the morning provides many benefits.

Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water in the Morning

Lemon water is the best drink first thing in the morning. The foods we eat after getting up are absorbed into the body quickly, which ensures we gain maximum benefits.

Here are fifteen benefits of drinking lemon water in the morning.

1. Rich in antioxidants

Lemon is rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants help combat harmful free radicals in the body. Lemon acts as a neutralizer. It balances acid levels that are favorable for the growth of cancer cells.

The American Cancer Society recommends that people living with cancer should drink warm lemon water, as it helps stimulate bowel movements. According to an article published in Pancreas, citrus fruits reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer.

2. Benefits the skin

Having lukewarm lemon water in the morning heals blemishes. It kills acne-causing bacteria. Lemon water helps delay aging and gives a more youthful and glowing skin.

It also revitalizes damaged skin. You can also opt for cold lemon water to reap the same benefits.

3. Promotes healing

It promotes quick recovery from stress and injuries. Lemon water also helps to heal and maintain healthy tissues, bones, and cartilage. It also helps heal a sore throat and dissolves mucus.

4. Helps improve digestion

Drinking lemon water in the morning helps improve digestion. The atomic composition of lemon is similar to saliva and the hydrochloric acid of digestive juices.

For digestion, the body requires bile. Lemon encourages the liver to produce bile. It also helps loosen the toxins in the digestive tract.

5. Cleanses the system

Lemon is a diuretic. It helps flush out toxins from the body, which helps keep the urinary tract healthy. The citric acid in lemon stimulates the liver and helps in detoxification.

6. Boosts the immune system

Vitamin C in lemon helps fight cold and infections. Lemon also has anti-inflammatory properties. A phytochemical called saponin is present in lemon, and it helps in the treatment of various respiratory issues.

Lemon water helps clear out mucus from air vessels. It can lessen asthma attacks. Lemon water also helps treat a cough.

7. Boosts brain power

Lemon has good amounts of potassium and magnesium. These minerals help boost brain power and help with better concentration. Lemon also elevates your energy levels.

It could improve mood, providing relief from stress and depression. People who do a lot of mental work should drink lemon water. So, drinking lemon water in the morning helps them stay energetic and alert.

8. Helps in weight loss

It is recommended to drink warm lemon water in the morning for weight loss. Lemon helps to reduce weight through detoxification and better digestion. It helps bile production which helps break down fats in food.

Lemon has pectin, a set of polysaccharides with gelling properties. It helps fight cravings, and thus, reduces weight by avoiding unhealthy snacking. According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition, lemon polyphenols suppress diet-induced obesity in rats.

9. Freshens breath

Lemon has a citric scent that helps freshen breath. Lemon water also helps relieve the symptoms of toothaches and gingivitis. To prevent enamel erosion, you should rinse your mouth with fresh water.

10. Hydrates the lymphatic system

According to Dr. John Douillard, the largest circulatory system in our body is the lymphatic system. It is twice as large as the arterial system.

The lymphatic system is responsible for flushing out toxins and waste from the body. Hydration of the lymphatic system is important for good overall health.

11. Boosts energy levels

Whenever you feel low on energy, drink some lemon water. It will instantly increase your energy levels and keep you hydrated.

Dehydration can cause decreased immune function, lack of energy, constipation, stress, low or high blood pressure, reduced sleep, and attentiveness.

Drinking lemon water with honey in the morning will help increase your energy levels further. You can replace calorie-rich energy drinks with lemon water.

12. Balances pH levels

According to nutritionist Gareth Edwards, lemon water has an alkalizing effect on the body. As it gets absorbed into the body, the minerals in it disassociate to make it alkaline.

13. Balances blood sugar levels

Lemon contains bioflavonoids. This compound stimulates the production of insulin in the body, which balances blood sugar levels, and thus, helps people with diabetes.

14. Caffeine replacement

Drinking lemon water in the morning revitalizes you. It is a good substitute for coffee. Coffee makes you feel dehydrated and contains caffeine. It increases the acidity in the body.

15. Benefits eyesight

Consuming vitamin C-rich foods benefits eyesight. It prevents eye conditions like macular degeneration and cataracts. Lemon has vitamin A which is also beneficial for eye health.

Side Effects of Drinking Lemon Water in the Morning

Anything in excess is harmful and so is lemon water. Here are seven side effects some people might experience by drinking lemon water in the morning.

1. Heartburn

If you already suffer from heartburn, drinking lemon water in the morning will worsen the situation. Heartburn is also known as acid reflux.

It occurs when the acid from your stomach moves up into the esophagus, causing an intense burning sensation and pain in the chest. Consuming acidic foods and drinks elevates heartburn.

2. Tooth erosion

Drinking lemon water in the morning or frequently during the day erodes tooth enamel, and makes your teeth sensitive to cold or hot foods.

To prevent this, you can have lemon water with a straw, or rinse your mouth after having lemon water, which will decrease the exposure of teeth to the acidity in lemon water. If you already suffer from tooth erosion, consult a dentist before drinking lemon water.

3. Frequent urination

The vitamin C in lemon water increases urine production in the kidneys. Urination allows the body to flush out toxins and excess sodium.

If consumed in excess, lemon may also have a diuretic effect. If you have lemon water every day and experience frequent urination, try reducing the quantity of lemon juice.

4. Irritates mucous membranes

Lemon has a low pH, and thus, is acidic. Lemon retains its acidity until it enters the digestive tract. The acidic pH of the stomach helps in the digestion of food.

Drinking lemon water in the morning and consuming acidic foods in excess may aggravate the mucous membranes, which may lead to stomach aches, heartburn, and acid reflux.

5. Makes you feel lethargic

Consuming a glass of lemon water provides many essential nutrients. However, when consumed in excess, it may cause headaches and upset your stomach.

It may also cause a lack of concentration and make you feel lethargic, weak, tired, and depressed.

6. May aggravate skin problems

Drinking lemon water in the morning may not be beneficial to people who have sensitive skin. It may not always help get rid of acne marks and pimples.

And, for those who have dry skin, consuming lemon water in the morning may aggravate the dryness.

7. May cause GERD and ulcers

Nausea, vomiting, and heartburn are some of the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Acidic or spicy food aggravates the symptoms further.

People who have ulcers should not drink lemon juice, as it will irritate the stomach lining and extend the healing process.

Healthy Lemon Water Recipes

Here are two easy lemon water recipes that you can drink in the morning to reap all the benefits it has to offer.

Lemon Water with Honey Recipe


  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 teaspoons of honey
  • 1 medium lemon


Squeeze the juice out of the lemon. Heat the water in a microwave-safe mug or on the stove. Add two teaspoons of lemon juice to the water.

Add honey to the lemon water mixture and stir well. The honey lemon water is ready to drink.

Related: Benefits of Lemon Water with Honey

Lemon Water with Ginger Recipe

Ginger, when added to lemon, helps in weight loss. It helps eliminate fats and waste from the body.


  • Lemon juice
  • Grated ginger
  • Water


Prepare the lemonade. Do not add refined sugar for sweetening. Add a teaspoon of grated ginger. You can also add diced cabbage leaves.

Cabbage acts as a detoxifying agent. Have this ginger and lemon drink before breakfast for an increased detoxifying effect.

Although drinking lemon water in the morning has many health benefits, don’t use it to treat medical problems. If you experience any side effects, stop consuming lemon water for a week or so to see if the symptoms subside. If the side effects persist, immediately consult your doctor.



“Ginger and Lemon, a Perfect Combination for Weight Loss,” Step to Health; https://steptohealth.com/ginger-lemon-perfect-combination-weight-loss/, last accessed April 7, 2017.

“What Are The Side Effects Of Drinking Lemon Juice?,” Master Cleanse And Lemonade Diet Recipe; http://lemonmastercleanse.com/what-are-the-side-effects-of-lemon-juice/, last accessed April 7, 2017.