The 4 Mistakes People Make with Drinking Lemon Water (and Juice)

The 4 Mistakes People Make with Drinking Lemon Water (and Juice)
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Lemons, those sunshine-colored fruits, are a tart and tangy addition to many dishes. But beyond their culinary uses, lemons have gained popularity for their perceived health benefits. One trendy drink – lemon water – is touted for everything from boosting immunity to aiding digestion. However, just like any other food or drink, there are right and wrong ways to consume lemon water (and straight lemon juice) to maximize the benefits and avoid potential downsides.

This article dives into the world of lemons, exploring the top mistakes people make when incorporating them into their health routine. We’ll also delve into the benefits of lemons and how to get the most out of this citrusy powerhouse.

The Sunny Side of Lemons: Potential Benefits

Lemons are a rich source of vitamin C, a vital nutrient for a healthy immune system. Vitamin C plays a role in collagen production, wound healing, and protecting cells from damage. The citric acid content in lemons may also offer some health advantages. Studies suggest it can help prevent kidney stones by interfering with the formation of calcium oxalate stones.

The video mentions that lemon juice has antihistamine effects. Histamines are chemicals released by the body during an allergic reaction, causing symptoms like mucus production and fatigue. Lemon juice may help alleviate these symptoms to some extent. Furthermore, lemon juice possesses antifungal properties, potentially aiding in combating candida overgrowth.

Another interesting benefit is its ability to increase iron absorption. Iron is crucial for transporting oxygen throughout the body, and lemon juice can enhance how well your body absorbs iron from plant-based sources.

Mistakes to Avoid: Protecting Yourself from the Sour Side

While lemons offer a range of potential benefits, it’s important to be aware of some common mistakes people make when consuming them:

  • Mistake #1: Lemon Water Before a Meal: The video emphasizes avoiding lemon water right before eating. While citric acid is acidic, once it enters the body, it breaks down and becomes alkaline. This can interfere with the stomach’s natural production of hydrochloric acid, which is necessary for proper digestion. Consume lemon water at least 30 minutes to an hour before a meal for optimal results.
  • Mistake #2: Gulp Down the Straight Acid: The video warns against drinking undiluted lemon juice. Lemon juice, with a pH of 2-3, is highly acidic and can erode tooth enamel over time. The solution? Dilute lemon juice with water and use a straw to minimize contact with teeth.
  • Mistake #3: Ignoring Stomach Issues: If you have ulcers or gastritis, consuming lemon juice can worsen the irritation and cause heartburn. The acidity can exacerbate the inflamed stomach lining. So, listen to your body! If you experience discomfort after consuming lemon water, avoid it or consult a healthcare professional.
  • Mistake #4: Lemon Water for the Overly Alkaline: The video highlights alkalosis, a condition where the blood becomes excessively alkaline. While uncommon, it can occur. In such cases, lemon juice, being acidic, can further disrupt the body’s pH balance. If you suspect alkalosis, consult a doctor and avoid lemon water. Signs of alkalosis include lightheadedness, tingling in extremities, rapid breathing, and heart palpitations.

The Bottom Line: Lemons as Part of a Balanced Lifestyle

Lemons can be a wonderful addition to your diet, offering a tangy flavor and potential health benefits. However, it’s crucial to be mindful of potential downsides and avoid the mistakes mentioned above. Here are some tips for enjoying lemons safely and effectively:

  • Dilute it Down: Always dilute lemon juice with water before drinking.
  • Time it Right: Consume lemon water on an empty stomach, ideally first thing in the morning or in between meals.
  • Listen to Your Body: If you experience any discomfort, stop consuming lemon water and consult a doctor.
  • Variety is Key: Lemons are a great source of vitamin C, but don’t neglect other fruits and vegetables for a broader range of nutrients.

Remember, a balanced and varied diet is essential for overall health. Lemons can be a delightful and potentially beneficial addition to your regimen, but enjoy them responsibly!

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About the Author: Sasha Bayat, RD, LDN

Registered dietitian Sasha Bayat, RD, LDN.Sasha’s advice for easy, nutritious meals is to keep staple items that are shelf stable in your pantry and to practice having half a plate of vegetables, a quarter of protein, and a quarter of complex carbohydrates. She advises not to shy away from bagged, canned, or frozen foods, as they can still offer just as many nutrients!

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