Lemon water is an easy drink made by mixing lemon juice with water. Most people start their day with lemon water daily as it is healthy and refreshing. It can be served cold or warm. It is popular because of its health benefits, including healthy glowing skin, improved immunity and weight loss. But have you ever wondered about the disadvantages of drinking lemon water daily?
How Much Lemon Water Should You Drink in a Day?
Two glasses of lemon water daily are generally considered safe for most people. To prepare, mix 1 liter of water with 4 slices of lemon. Lemon water promotes better hydration and can be consumed warm, with honey, mint leaves, or ginger for added health benefits. Drinking a glass of lemon water early in the morning may help flush toxins from the body.
Keep in mind that factors such as age, health status, and other conditions can affect the recommended daily intake of lemon water. There is no scientific evidence specifying the optimal amount of lemon water to consume each day. If you choose to consume processed or packaged lemon water products, consult a healthcare professional for guidance.
Do Lemons Interact With Medications?
Lemons do not generally cause severe interactions with medications. However, according to some studies, citrus juice may affect medications that influence calcium movement, such as those used to treat high blood pressure. It’s important to note that these studies primarily focused on grapefruit juice and orange juice containing citrus.
Lime juice can affect the rate at which certain medications are broken down, including Triazolam (Halcion), Lovastatin (Mevacor), Itraconazole (Sporanox), Ketoconazole (Nizoral), and Fexofenadine (Allegra).
This may result in an increase or decrease in their side effects. As a precaution, it is advised to consult a physician before consuming lemon or lime juice daily while taking these medications.
Lemons are highly acidic, and excessive consumption of lemon water can result in the dissolving of tooth enamel or the outer layer of the teeth, leading to mineral loss.
According to the American Dental Association, dental erosion makes teeth more prone to decay over time and can cause sensitivity and pain. A study found that lemon juice can have the same erosive effect on teeth as carbonated beverages.
To minimize the direct contact of lemon water’s acid with your teeth, use a straw. Also, avoid brushing your teeth immediately after drinking lemon water. Instead, consume plenty of plain water alongside lemon water to reduce the risk of sensitivity.
Gastrointestinal Issues and Ulcers
Consuming large amounts of lemon water daily can damage the stomach. Due to its acidity, it can cause heartburn, nausea, and vomiting. One of the downsides of drinking lemon water daily is that it can trigger the development of ulcers. The acid in lemons can harm the stomach and intestinal linings, leading to ulcers. If you are already prone to ulcers, it’s best to avoid drinking lemon water daily.
GERD and Acid Reflux
A study found that acidic foods can contribute to gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) and acid reflux. This happens because the acid in lemons irritates the inner linings of the esophagus.
Drinking lemon water on an empty stomach can exacerbate the issue, so those susceptible to acid reflux should refrain from consuming lemon water daily. Acid reflux can result in difficulty swallowing, aggravated asthma, coughing, a sour taste in the mouth, and sleep disturbances if it occurs at night.
Frequent Urination and Dehydration
According to research, lemon water is rich in ascorbic acid or Vitamin C, which has diuretic properties, leading to increased urine production in the kidneys. Along with water, frequent urination can flush out electrolytes from the body, resulting in dehydration, fatigue, dry lips, and excessive thirst.
Additionally, the acidic content of lemon can irritate the bladder, causing a stronger urge to urinate. In such cases, balance lemon water intake under a physician’s guidance.
Exacerbate or Cause Canker Sores
Canker sores are mouth ulcers typically found under the tongue or inside the cheeks. Research suggests that they are caused by acidic or spicy food, vitamin deficiencies, or wearing braces. According to the American Dental Association, over-consumption of lemon water can worsen existing canker sores.
This can make eating and talking uncomfortable. If you notice canker sores after consuming lemon water, consider stopping its consumption.
A downside of daily lemon water intake includes headaches and migraines. Studies show that citrus fruits like lemon can trigger headaches and migraines.
Lemons and other citrus fruits are high in tyramine, which has been linked to migraines and headaches. People with chronic migraines may experience more frequent attacks due to daily lemon water consumption.
Citrus fruits like lemons contain psoralens, which are carcinogenic and can cause cancer. Research indicates that increased consumption of lemon water (psoralens) can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer, such as melanoma. In this condition, different sizes and shades of moles appear on the skin, which can even ooze blood but are painless. If you notice such symptoms, consult a doctor.
Negative Impact on Bones
Some researchers suggest that lemon water is connected to bone health. Over time, lemon can reduce the lubricants present between joints and bones.
Excessive amounts of any mineral in the body can be harmful. A normal iron level is essential for energy production, hemoglobin formation, and the functioning of certain enzymes. Research shows that the vitamin C in lemon water can increase iron absorption.
This can be beneficial for people with low iron levels but may also lead to hemochromatosis. This condition involves excess iron storage in the body, which can damage organs over time. It can also cause weakness, fatigue, high sugar levels, and skin pigmentation.
Lemon and other citrus fruits contain psoralens, a chemical compound that can make skin more sensitive to UV-A rays. Increased light sensitivity of the skin can result in severe sunburn. It can exacerbate sunburn and cause phytophotodermatitis, a type of skin inflammation due to certain plant-based chemicals that occur when exposed to sunlight. This can lead to:
- Burning sensation
If you’re drinking lemon water to fulfill your daily requirement for vitamin C, you can switch to many other foods which are loaded with vitamin C.
Here’s the list of foods rich in vitamin C except for lemon:
- Acerola cherries
- Red bell peppers
- Yellow bell peppers
- Green bell peppers
- Brussels sprouts
- Snow peas
What are the health benefits of vitamin C?
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that plays a crucial role in many bodily functions. Some of its health benefits include boosting the immune system, protecting cells from oxidative stress, promoting collagen production for healthy skin, aiding in the absorption of iron, helping in wound healing, and supporting overall cardiovascular health.
How much should I consume daily?
The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for vitamin C varies depending on age, sex, and life stage. Adult men should aim for 90 mg per day, while adult women should consume 75 mg per day. Pregnant women need 85 mg, and breastfeeding women require 120 mg daily. It is best to consult a healthcare professional for personalized recommendations.
Can I get enough vitamin C from my diet alone?
Yes, it is possible to meet your daily vitamin C requirements through a well-balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Incorporate a variety of vitamin C-rich foods, such as oranges, strawberries, bell peppers, and broccoli, to ensure adequate intake.
What are the symptoms of vitamin C deficiency?
Vitamin C deficiency, also known as scurvy, is rare in developed countries but can occur in individuals with poor dietary habits. Symptoms include fatigue, muscle weakness, joint and muscle aches, bruising easily, dry and scaly skin, slow wound healing, and swollen or bleeding gums.
Can I take vitamin C supplements to boost my intake?
While it is best to obtain vitamin C from natural food sources, supplements can be taken to help meet your daily requirements. However, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any supplementation, as excessive vitamin C intake can lead to side effects such as diarrhea, nausea, and stomach cramps.
Are there any risks associated with consuming too much ?
Consuming excessive amounts of vitamin C can lead to gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea, nausea, and stomach cramps. Additionally, extremely high doses of vitamin C may increase the risk of kidney stones in susceptible individuals. It is essential to stay within the recommended daily intake to avoid potential risks.
Can vitamin C help prevent or treat the common cold?
Some studies suggest that vitamin C may help reduce the duration and severity of cold symptoms, but the evidence is not conclusive. Vitamin C supplementation may be more beneficial for individuals exposed to extreme physical stress or cold environments. Maintaining a well-balanced diet with adequate vitamin C intake is essential for overall immune health.
In conclusion, vitamin C plays a crucial role in maintaining overall health. By consuming a well-balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, you can ensure adequate vitamin C intake and enjoy its numerous health benefits.