How to make lemon water boasting several health benefits to keep you hydrated and refreshed, and replace sugary drinks with a zero-calorie, zero-sugar option!
A few years ago, I turned to infused water recipes and lemon chia fresca to encourage myself to drink more water as part of my push to learn more healthy habits. With the addition of fruits and herbs, plain ol’ boring water takes on a subtle taste that is perfect for increasing water intake with a boost of nutrients. As a bonus, many options, like this lemon water recipe, also come boasting plenty of health benefits.
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The Lemon Water Benefits
Many of the lemon water’s benefits are anecdotal, yet some people swear by having a glass to start the day. With lemon boasting a long list of health benefits, it makes sense that this lemon water recipe will make for a super hydrating, refreshing, and healthful addition to your daily diet.
So, let’s have a look at some of the potential benefits of lemon water regularly:
- Good for hydration: Starting the day with a glass of lemon water is an excellent way to kick start your water consumption, which is vital for overall body health.
- A great source of vitamin C: This is important for immune system health, wound healing, iron absorption, and has antioxidant properties.
- Also, a good source of potassium: This is beneficial to heart health, brain health, and nerve function.
- Detoxifying: Which can be beneficial to liver and kidney function and help flush toxins from the body.
- Contains antioxidants: Which are important for fighting harmful free radicals in the body and providing protection against disease and anti-cancerous properties.
- Reduce inflammation: Because of the citrus flavonoids.
- Beneficial to skin: Making sure you’re well-hydrated is half the battle. The additional vitamin C, though, is essential in producing collagen and great for improving the skin’s overall appearance.
- Could have digestive benefits: Citric acid can help your body break down foods and digest them, thus reducing bloating.
- May aid weight loss: More so if you’re choosing to swap out other sugary and calorie-laden drinks with this simple lemon water recipe rather than the ingredients themselves. This is really just one of the benefits of drinking lemon water, so stay hydrated!
Lemon water may also help prevent kidney stones, and there are claims that it can boost energy levels and metabolism, though there isn’t any scientific proof of that.
Why Drink Lemon Water in the Morning?
I always recommend starting your day with something healthful, like a glass of this lemon water or health shots like these lemon ginger cayenne immunity shots or ginger turmeric energy shots. Consuming lemon water in the morning, 30 minutes before breakfast (on an empty stomach) means faster intestinal absorption and optimal benefits in minimal time.
What Are the Disadvantages of Drinking Lemon Water?
There are just a couple of potential side effects of lemon water that I’m aware of, which include:
- Lemon juice can cause heartburn, especially in people already prone to acid reflux issues.
- The citric acid in lemons can lead to tooth enamel erosion over time, especially is drunk in large quantities.
I like to drink this refreshing drink through a reusable glass straw to limit its contact with my teeth and make sure to brush my teeth twice a day.
Learn how to make lemon water with just two base ingredients.
- Lemons: Make sure to use fresh lemon juice, not bottled juice. I recommend using unwaxed lemons if you’re adding lemon slices to the water (otherwise, you’ll need to remove the wax yourself in hot water). If wanted, you could add a couple of slices of other citrus fruit, too.
- Plain water: The temperature of water to use is a highly debated topic. Cold water is said to help burn extra calories. Warm water will extract more polyphenols and can improve digestive health, etc. I prefer to drink mine at room temperature, which is the best of both worlds, but vary it according to the season.
How to Make Lemon Water
It’s really simple to make lemon water. Simply juice the lemon or slice it into thin slices (I do half-half) and add it to a glass or a pitcher of water.
Remove any seeds from the lemon slices if preferred.
If using lemon slices, use something to gently muddle them and release the juices from the lemon. Stir and enjoy!
When making a pitcher with several cups of water, I recommend allowing it to steep for at least an hour or two to infuse with more flavor.
How Long Does Lemon Water Last
I recommend consuming it within a day, up to 2 days if needed, to make most of the benefits of lemon water. Also, lemon rind adds more bitterness to the drink over time.
How To Enjoy Lemon Water
Make ahead: If you want to add lemon slices to water without having to slice them fresh each time, you can freeze lemon slices or even prepare lemon juice ice cubes to defrost overnight in the fridge or add straight to your glass of water.
Store: I like to store a large pitcher of lemon water (often with extra fruits and herbs) on my kitchen counter to drink from throughout the day. In the summer months, I often place it in my refrigerator.
I find this and other flavored waters have had a massive impact on boosting my water intake so I can easily enjoy the benefits of drinking water.
The acid in lemon can erode the teeth’s enamel over time when consumed in large quantities, though so can so many fruits, sugars, coffee, and other items we consume daily. To do minimal damage, I usually drink my homemade lemon water through a reusable glass straw, rinse my mouth after drinking it, and ensure I keep up with a good oral hygiene routine. Wait at least an hour after drinking it to brush your teeth, too.
Honestly, I’m not sure there is a minimum or maximum amount. I know that it’s fine to prepare this lemon water recipe daily, and many people consume up to 3-4 glasses of it per day. I usually consume 1-2 glasses daily and swap it out with other flavored waters throughout the day.
I recommend between 1-2 teaspoon lemon juice per 8oz glass of water. Or use a couple of slices. Of course, you can also adjust to taste.
I swap out how I consume this lemon water recipe based on the situation rather than relying on cold vs/ hot lemon water each time.
For example, drinking cold water has several benefits, including aiding digestion, can help the body burn extra calories, will keep up from overheating, and is excellent in warm weather.
In comparison, warm water is more calming and perfect for cold/flu season as it can help relieve congestion, improve circulation, relieve stress, and is also beneficial for digestion.
More Hydrating Recipes
Or browse through my entire collection of drink recipes for even more inspiration.
If you try this easy lemon water recipe, I’d love to hear your thoughts/questions below. Also, I’d appreciate a recipe card rating below, and feel free to tag me in your recipe recreations on Instagram @Alphafoodie!
How to Make Lemon Water
- 6 cups water room temperature is best, use warm or chilled if preferred
- 1 lemon or more to taste; organic unwaxed is best
- Juice the lemon or slice it into thin slices (I do half-half) and add it to a pitcher of water.Remove any seeds from the lemon slices if preferred.If using only slices, use something to gently muddle them and release the juices from the lemon.I recommend allowing the water to steep for at least an hour or two to infuse with more flavor.
- Make ahead: If you want to add lemon slices to water without having to slice them fresh each time, you can freeze lemon slices or even prepare lemon juice ice cubes to defrost overnight in the fridge or add straight to your glass of water. I recommend consuming the lemon water within a day, up to 2 days if needed, as lemon rind adds more bitterness to the drink over time.
- Save the peel: If you’re juicing the lemon into the water, then don’t discard the peel. Instead, zest the lemon before you juice it and save the zest for baking and other uses.
- The flavor will intensify over time: The longer it sits, the more tangy/bitter it will become. You can top it up with additional water if needed, but note that it can become overly bitter after a day.
- Cucumber lemon water – add a few slices of cucumber.
- Fresh mint leaves – add to taste.
- Lemon ginger water – add a teaspoon of minced ginger or a thin slice or two.
- Cinnamon or cayenne pepper – add a dash.
- Lime/Orange slices alongside the lemon.
- Honey lemon water – add to taste, must be dissolved in warm water.
- Pineapple lemon water.
- Chia seeds – to add protein, omega 3s, and fiber.
- Or check my guide for Flavored Water for many more flavor combos.