When You Drink Lemon Water Every Day, This Is What Happens To Your Body

Lemon water may not be new, but the simple concoction has certainly been trending. It makes sense, though, given there are few pieces of advice in this world that are as universally applicable as the good, old "stay hydrated" motto. Whether it's coming from your mom, your doctor, your partner, or your friend, it seems that people just love telling you to drink more water. Even if that gets under your skin, they're not wrong. In fact, as dietitian Joan Koelemay told WebMD, people should "think of water as a nutrient your body needs."

Since water is vital to the body, wouldn't it be smart to make it taste as delicious as possible? That way, you're encouraged to drink as much as you need. Perhaps that's why lemon water has emerged. Though nothing fancy, lemon water is a great way to get in those eight glasses a day while also tantalizing your taste buds.

Yes, people love lemon water and can't stop raving about how healthy it is for your body. Just how healthy is it, really though? What happens to your body when you do drink lemon water every day? Let's dive right in.

You can reduce your risk of stroke by drinking lemon water every day

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention an American dies of a stroke every four minutes. It may sound far-fetched, but could drinking lemon water every day reduce your risk?

Well, lemons are high in vitamin C, with one ounce of raw lemon juice containing nearly 12 milligrams of the vitamin, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. In addition to boosting your immune system, vitamin C can, indeed, reduce your risk of a stroke. A 2013 study from the American Heart Association found that there's a "significant inverse relationships between dietary vitamin C intake, circulating vitamin C, and risk of stroke." In layman's terms, the more vitamin C you consume, the lower your risk of stroke seems to be.

"Don't rush to the store to buy vitamin C supplements," Mark Levine, chief of the molecular and clinical nutrition section at the U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, cautioned when speaking with ABC News. Instead, he recommended incorporating foods with vitamin C into your diet. Drinking lemon water every day is but one easy way to do just that.

When you drink lemon water every day, you may lose weight

Perhaps you've seen an Instagram influencer point out how they drink #lemonwater every morning or a celebrity praise the health benefits of water with fresh lemon in it and wondered if they were on to something. Well, it turns out they might be. Not only does lemon water taste refreshing, it could also aid in weight loss.

That isn't to say that drinking glass after glass of lemon water every day is going to magically help you drop ten pounds, but there are several things that you may experience when drinking lemon water that could lead to losing weight.

For instance, drinking lemon water keeps you hydrated, which one 2016 study published by Frontiers in Nutrition linked to weight loss. Additionally, Healthline reported that lemon water helps to boost your metabolism, which is backed up by a 2011 study from the Exercise, Nutrition and Lifestyle Clinic at The Edmond and Lily Safra Children's Hospital in Israel. Add in the fact that lemon water is low in calories, and you've got yourself a healthy drink that can help keep some extra pounds at bay.

Your digestive system will thank you if you drink lemon water every day

Don't believe the myth that drinking a glass of lemon water can "detox" your body. This claim — which tends to run rampant on social media, like Instagram — is bogus because your body is completely capable of detoxing itself and, in fact, that's exactly what it already does, Ian Musgrave, a senior lecturer in pharmacology at the University of Adelaide in Australia, told HuffPost. However, it is true that lemon water can help your body's digestive system in some ways.

Nutritionist Pip Reed explained to the publication that the body typically does fine on its own, but sometimes your "liver and digestive system" aren't operating at 100 percent. When that happens, Reed explained those systems become "compromised" and can't fully do their jobs, "which is why supporting your body in any way with nutrient-dense foods like lemons ... can, at times, assist this process." 

Drinking lemon water every day could improve your gut health

If you've ever been prescribed an antibiotic to treat a sinus infection or strep throat, you may have been told by your doctor to eat plenty of yogurt. This is to help balance out the good bacteria and bad bacteria in your body, specifically your gut.

Your gut health is extremely important to the overall health of your body, and can play a role in the development of diseases like type 2 diabetes and even cancer. Fortunately, drinking plenty of lemon water every day can improve your gut health, which might just be reason enough to plant a lemon tree in your backyard.

According to Pip Reed, a nutritionist who spoke with HuffPost, "Lemons are high in a fibre called pectin, which is a prebiotic that assists good gut health by feeding healthy gut bacteria." Reed added that "lemons also contain large amounts of citric acid which can ... aid in digestion." There are a lot of steps you can take to boost your gut health — like reducing your sugar intake and making sure to get adequate rest — but drinking lemon water daily is an easy place to begin.

When you drink lemon water every day, your skin may improve

One of the biggest claims people love to make about lemon water is that it helps your skin glow and look as radiant as possible. While that's a nice thought, is it actually true? Drinking lemon water every day won't ever replace a solid skincare regimen, but it might help clear up your face and it could actually have some other positive impacts on your skin as well.

"Drinking lemon water in the morning on an empty stomach can help balance your body by inducing a more alkaline state, which is known to be anti-inflammatory to the skin and the body," medical and cosmetic dermatologist Gary Goldenberg of Goldenberg Dermatology told Insider.

Additionally, a 2016 study published in Food Chemistry, found that the antioxidants in citrus juices (such as the lemon juice in lemon water) have been linked to a reduction of wrinkles, at least in mice. Although lemon water can be beneficial to the skin when consumed, it's important to never use it on your face or skin, as it can lead to rashes and irritation.

You'll have a decreased risk of kidney stones if you drink lemon water every day

Kidney stones are something you would not wish on your worst enemy. These "stones" are actually "hard deposits made of minerals and salts that form inside your kidneys," according to the Mayo Clinic, and are very painful to pass. However, drinking lemon water every day could actually decrease your risk for kidney stones.

As nutritionist Pip Reed told HuffPost, lemons "contain large amounts of citric acid which can increase urine output and decrease kidney stones." And, in fact, a 2008 study published in the Journal of Endourology found that putting "lemon or lime juice in ample water or other fluid" and drinking it throughout the day would cause "enhanced urine output and reduced urine supersaturation," which is the "cornerstone of prevention" for kidney stones.

To that end, lemon water could actually break up some small stones that have already developed, according to Healthline. And because lemon water helps keep you hydrated, it prevents kidney stones in that way as well.

Drinking lemon water every day could lead to tooth decay

If you drink lemon water every day and aren't careful, you might find yourself having to visit the dentist more frequentlyAs Ian Musgrave, senior lecturer in pharmacology at the University of Adelaide in Australia, told HuffPost, when it comes to drinking a lot of lemon water it's important that you "don't go overboard and watch out for tooth erosion."

Musgrave is right; the American Dental Association says that lemon can make "teeth more susceptible to decay over time." The association continued, writing, "So even though a squeeze of lemon or lime can turn a simple glass of water into a fun beverage, it's not always the best choice for your mouth."

In addition to leading to tooth decay, lemon water and other citric fruit drinks can "irritate mouth sores," the ADA stated. If you do drink lemon water every day, make sure you're also taking good care of your teeth.

You could develop GERD if you drink lemon water every day

According to Insider"GERD, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disorder, is triggered by acidic foods like lemon juice and can cause heartburn, nausea, and vomiting." If none of that sounds fun, that's because it's not. GERD can also eventually develop into a condition called Barrett's esophagus, according to John Hopkins Medicine, which can lead to esophageal cancer.

One of the more uncomfortable symptoms of GERD, as Insider noted, is heartburn. Everyday Health reported that "eating citrus fruits, such as oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes, and pineapples, can trigger heartburn symptoms." Interestingly, according to Everyday Health, this is "especially true if you eat citrus fruits on an empty stomach."

For some people, that means forgetting everything you've been told about the power of drinking lemon water first thing in the morning, as the impact it can have on your stomach and esophagus may outweigh those benefits.

Drinking lemon water every day could help with dry mouth

Dry mouth is not always caused by dehydration, but it is one common reason for the condition. The side effects that come with this condition, such as bad breath and even cavities, are enough to make sufferers want to find a solution as soon as possible. Fortunately, lemon water might just be able to help.

According to Healthline, "Lemon is thought to stimulate saliva and water also helps prevent a dry mouth, which can lead to bad breath caused by bacteria." And, as Reader's Digest, explained, the sourness of lemons "help release more saliva." Because lemon water is, obviously, water with lemon, the solution for dry mouth is twofold. Drinking water helps dry mouth as it is hydrating and lemon helps get those literal juices flowing, making lemon water a great idea if you suddenly find your mouth more parched than usual.

Drink lemon water every day and you may experience migraines

If you've ever experienced a migraine, you know how miserable they are. Though there are countless remedies out there that claim to help ease the pain, lemon water isn't one of them. At least, not for everyone. In fact, if you consume lemon water on a regular basis, you may find it actually triggers migraines.

It's commonly thought that tyramine is a migraine trigger and, according to WebMD, citrus fruits like grapefruit, limes, and lemons all contain higher amounts of the substance than that of other fruits — and experts are beginning to agree. According to Health, "citrus fruits might trigger migraines in some sufferers, and they're certainly on experts' radars as being a possible — though much rarer — culprit." Although more research is needed to determine a definitive link between lemons and migraines, you'll likely want to steer clear of lemon water if you find it's giving you headaches.

You could get an E. coli infection if you drink lemon water every day

If you like a lot of citrus flavor in your water, you probably squeeze a fresh lemon into your glass before plopping in a slice or two. However, there is evidence that doing so might not be the most hygienic of habits — especially if you do this while dining out.

Specifically, a 2007 study published in the Journal of Environmental Health found that nearly 70 percent of lemon slices from restaurants were contaminated with E. coli. This is still something to keep in mind while preparing lemon water at home, though. Researchers weren't sure how the lemons became contaminated; it could've happened at the restaurant or they "might have contaminated the lemons before they even arrived at the restaurant."

E. coli is a particularly dangerous kind of bacteria as it can lead to diarrhea, stomach pain, and vomiting, according to the Mayo Clinic. To prevent an E. coli infection while still enjoying your lemon water, be sure to properly wash your lemons before consuming them. Additionally, if you want to be extra careful, discard the rind of the lemon after squeezing the juice into your water as opposed to putting the rind into the glass.

You can reduce your blood pressure by drinking lemon water every day

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, high blood pressure, or hypertension, is when the "pressure of blood pushing against the walls of your arteries" is higher than normal. As the CDC noted, nearly 500,000 Americans died in 2017 alone due to hypertension, either as a "primary or contributing cause." It may not seem like a routine as simple as drinking lemon water every day could help battle high blood pressure, but science says it may be able to.

A 2012 study from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine found a link between vitamin C, like that found in lemons, and blood pressure. Edgar "Pete" R. Miller III, an associate professor and leader of the study said that the "research suggests a modest blood pressure lowering effect with vitamin C supplementation." 

Additionally, according to Healthline, "Vitamin C may act as a diuretic, removing excess fluid from your body," which "may help lower the pressure within your blood vessels."

Your oxidative stress will decrease if you drink lemon water every day

Perhaps one of the biggest and broadest ways that lemon water benefits your body is by reducing your oxidative stress. According to Biochemical Ecotoxicology (via ScienceDirect), "oxidative stress occurs when excess oxygen radicals are produced in cells, which could overwhelm the normal antioxidant capacity." If your body has too much oxidative stress, it isn't going to ward off disease nearly as well. However, drinking lemon water every day could help with that.

According to Medical News Today, "Lemon water contains ... beneficial substances, and is a source of plant compounds called flavonoids." And it's in those flavonoids that there's some real benefits. A study conducted by the Central Research Laboratory of Pokka Corporation in Japan noted that the flavonoids found in lemon juice "suppressed the oxidative stress" in rats. When the oxidative stress on your body decreases, your cells are more protected, and there's a boost in your metabolic health, according to Medical News Today.

Drinking warm lemon water every day will hydrate your body

The importance of hydration truly can not be overstated, but many Americans still aren't drinking enough water. One 2013 study (via CBS4 Miami) concluded that around 75 percent of Americans were chronically dehydrated. By 2018, that percentage hadn't budged. Thankfully, though, lemon water is great for hydration — especially when it's consumed warm. 

Autumn Bates, a certified clinical nutritionist and personal trainer, told PopSugar (via MSN) that it's especially beneficial to drink lemon water warm, as opposed to hot or ice cold, to keep your hydration levels up. "While we sleep, we lose a lot of water through breathing," she explained. "Hydrating with a warm glass of lemon water is best right when you wake up to help replenish what was lost overnight and start your day off on the right foot."

As for why you should consider drinking it warm, that's because it can help you get the most of the vitamin C and the polyphenols from the lemon, according to the publication. It's also "ideal as it's easier to drink in large quantities," thus hydrating you more effectively. No wonder it's a popular beverage among healthy people.