Starting the day with a glass of hot lemon water is said to have many health benefits. In fact, celebs like Gwyenth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie Pitt reportedly swear by this morning ritual. But could it actually be doing us more harm than good? According to a recent article published in Glamour, the short answer is yes.
While lemons are chock-full of immune system–boosting
goodies like vitamin C, calcium, iron, and potassium, you
don’t necessarily need to be downing a
lemon-filled concoction every a.m. to reap these benefits. According to Mike Roussell, PhD, who wrote
the article, “Non-yellow and orange fruits and
vegetables such as bell peppers, kale, strawberries, broccoli, and spinach all
contain robust amounts of vitamin C.” As long as you are incorporating one of
these fruits or veggies into your morning meal, then you can expect to get the
In fact, overdoing it on the lemon water may actually have some not-so-fun side effects. One article on Livestrong reports that drinking too much lemon water “may trigger heartburn or make this condition worse if you’re used to experiencing it.” There's also some evidence that shows that consuming too much lemon may erode tooth enamel. "When the enamel is worn away, it exposes the underlying dentin (which is yellower in color than enamel), which may lead to painful sensitivity," dentist and fitness nutrition expert Sara Solomon says in a blog post on her personal site.
Lemon water is also a natural diuretic, which increases the production of urine and can actually lead to dehydration (though it sounds counterintuitive).
The verdict: You don’t have to ditch your morning lemon water, but like everything else, moderation is key.