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Surprising Side Effects of Drinking Lemon Water, Say Dietitians

This highly palatable drink can benefit your health from head to toe.
FACT CHECKED BY Joseph Neese

With temperatures heating up around the U.S., drinking water to avoid dehydration is more important than ever. And if you're looking to make your average glass of water a whole lot more delicious, adding a squeeze or a slice of lemon to your water is a simple way to make that beverage a whole lot more enjoyable. However, flavor isn't the only thing that a hint of citrus will add to your water—lemon water can benefit your body from head to toe. Read on to discover the many health benefits of drinking lemon water, according to dietitians. And for more great additions to your daily routine, check out The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.

1

It can reduce bloating.

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If you find that your jeans are feeling a little tighter than usual, a glass of lemon water might just be the medicine you need.

"Lemon water decreases bloating because it acts as a diuretic which actually helps when you are retaining fluids," says Jodi Greebel, MS, RDN, a nutrition consultant with Citrition.

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2

It may give your immune system a boost.

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Find yourself catching every bug that goes around? By adding some lemon water to your regular routine, you may find that you have an easier time fending off illness thanks to lemon's immune system-boosting properties.

"One lemon provides about 20 milligrams of vitamin C, which is about 20% of the daily recommended amount," says Alicia Galvin, RD, resident dietitian to Sovereign Laboratories. "Vitamin C is helpful for the immune system and acts as an antioxidant."

Looking for more ways to give your immune system a leg up? Start with the 30 Best Immune-Boosting Foods.

3

It may reduce your risk of kidney stones.

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Kidney stones aren't only painful, they're more common than you might expect. According to 2012 research published in the journal European Urology, an estimated 8.8% of adults will experience kidney stones in their lifetime.

Fortunately, drinking lemon water may help spare you from this agonizing condition.

"If you have certain types of kidney stones—oxalate kidney stones—the citrate in lemon water will help break up the stones and help to dissolve them," Galvin says.

And if you want avoid encountering kidney trouble in the future, skip these Popular Diets That May Cause Damage to Your Kidneys.

4

It may improve your digestion.

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If you're struggling with digestive issues, adding fiber to your diet isn't the only way to speed things up.

"Drinking lemon water in the morning acts as a laxative when you drink it warmed," says Trista Best, RD, a dietitian with Balance One Supplements.

5

It may make your skin healthier.

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Getting a glowing complexion doesn't have to mean shelling out tons of cash for the skincare treatments. A little lemon water might be enough to do the trick.

"Hydration itself improves skin quality. You can buy all the creams and serums, but if you aren't hydrating from the inside out you'll never get the optimal skin results you're looking for. When your skin is adequately hydrated, it can keep your skin plump and prevent signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles," says Jessica Bippen, RD, a dietitian with Essentia Water, who recommends drinking at least half your weight in ounces of water every day.

According to a 2017 review of research published in the journal Nutrients, the vitamin C found in lemons can also promote collagen synthesis, helping your skin look younger and healthier over time. And if you want a more radiant glow, it's time to ditch the 6 Worst-Ever Foods for Your Skin.

6

It may aid your weight loss.

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Looking to shed a few pounds? Adding lemon water to your regular routine could help you drop that weight easier than you ever thought possible.

"Water may help fill you up, especially if you drink it before eating a meal," Bippen says. "By drinking lemon water before and during meals, it can promote fullness and be an effective way to help reduce calorie intake."

And for more simple ways to slim down, check out these 15 Underrated Weight Loss Tips That Actually Work.

Sarah Crow
Sarah Crow is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, where she focuses on celebrity news and health coverage. Read more
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