Many believe having lemon water helps with weight loss. But how does it actually benefit health? Nutritionist answers
“Drink a glassful of lukewarm lemon water first thing in the morning.” All of us have heard this weight loss advice more times than we can remember. Many do drink it just after waking up. Several restaurants also serve it in place of normal water. Cucumber slices and mint leaves are generally added to give that punch of freshness. Many swear by lemon water benefits. But does it actually help? Does lemon water aid weight loss, and does it have the much-touted health benefits? To get answers to these questions, Onlymyhealth spoke to Rakshita Mehra, who is a nutritionist and the founder of Nutrishala.
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Both lemon and water have health-benefiting properties and so does lemon water.
First and foremost, it’s a good source of hydration. Although you can get it by normal water too, “some people do not like the taste of it,” says Rakshita. Hence, for those, lemon water can be a good option. What you need to do is to get a glass of water, normal, cold, lukewarm - any form you like, and squeeze about half a lemon into it, and that’s it, you get yourself a glass of delicious lemon water. Just remember, since 60-70% of our body is made up of water, hence hydration is extremely important. Two to three litres of water in a day is generally recommended.
Lemon is a good source of vitamin C. The juice squeezed out of a lemon has 18.6 milligrams of vitamin C. 65 to 90 milligrams is the recommended amount of vitamin C that an adult needs daily.
Lemons are rich in antioxidants, as you already know, which not just prevent oxidative stress and inflammation, but are also good for the skin. “It gets your skin glowing,” says Rakshita. Hence, what you can do is whenever you go out, you can carry some lemon water with you, which will provide you both hydration as well antioxidants, both of which are good for the skin.
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Many people drink lemon water right after the meal. That’s because this drink helps with digestion. Some drink it in the morning to prevent constipation. All in all, lemon water is good for your gut and hence, you should consider including it in your daily diet. A tip: Add a pinch of kala namak, or Himalayan pink salt, for better digestion.
The big question is, does lemon water aid weight loss, as is often touted? “This drink alone will not help in weight loss,” says Rakshita, and diet and exercise are very important. However, if you don’t prefer drinking normal water just after waking up, you can have lemon water. Although it doesn’t directly help in weight loss, it makes you full, thus you might eat less. “Lemon water doesn’t help in weight loss but it can become a part of your weight loss,” Rakshita added.
Another thing many recommend is having lukewarm water. So, does the temperature have any role in determining its benefits? “No,” says the nutritionist, as it’s still water, and “temperature I don’t think matters.” Some prefer lukewarm water during winters, some do not, it depends on the choice, says Rakshita, adding there is no scientific research to back the claim that having lukewarm water is beneficial as compared to normal water.
Just like anything, having too much lemon water can have a negative health impact. There is a dietary allowance of vitamin C, which shouldn’t be exceeded. Rather than helping with digestion, having too much lemon water can disrupt it, and you might get diarrhea, says Rakshita. Moderation and portion control is important. So, having a glass of lemon water a day is enough, she added.
Although making the classic lemon water is extremely easy. You just have to squeeze a lemon in water, and that’s it. However, you can add some other ingredients to enhance the taste as well as the health benefits.
Hence, as you can see lemon water has many health benefits, from digestion and immunity to skin. However, you must overdo it and drink in moderation. Also, you can add several other ingredients to it, both for bettering the flavour as well as its benefits. Hence, you must consider including a glass of lemon water daily and reap its amazing health benefits.
(With inputs from Rakshita Mehra, who is a nutritionist and the founder of Nutrishala)
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