From celebrities to wellness bloggers, everyone in the fitness circuit has touted the benefits of lemon water for weight loss. The claim is that it kickstarts your metabolism to trigger weight loss, especially if you’ve sipped a warm glass of it the first thing in the morning. Besides weight loss, lemon water has also been the go-to remedy for sore throats, easy digestion, and detoxification. But do these claims hold any water? Though the benefits of lemon water consumption are not false it is about the right practice that will get you most of your squeeze.
One study published in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition showed that lemon peel was in fact packed with polyphenols that were found to aid weight loss when tested on rats with a high-fat diet. However, since this research was never tested on humans, many nutritionists simply consider it as a marketing gimmick by wellness companies to launch yet another “miracle” drink. Dana Hunnes, a senior dietician at the University of California, says that “This research was conducted on mice, not people as there have been no rigorous studies to prove that sipping on a glass of lemon water can promote weight loss in humans.
So are we just sipping away lemon water for no reason at all? Elizabeth Dejulius, a registered dietitian nutritionist with Cleveland Clinic claims that that though lemon water may not directly affect weight, it may indirectly help to tip the scales in our favor. For one thing, many of us often mistake thirst for hunger and end up binging on snacks. Staying hydrated with a palatable alternative to water may lead some people to drink more of it and stay better hydrated, thus reducing dehydration triggered food cravings.
She says,”Dehydration can also slow metabolism, which in the long-term can lead to weight gain.” So, though it may not magically boost your metabolism or help you lose weight, by making water palatable enough for you to consume more quantities of it. The lemon polyphenols in the water (from the mice study) have shown that when consumed before a meal lemon water leads to suppressing diet-induced obesity.
The bottom line: Lemon water may not be the miracle drink that it has been touted to be, but it has shown to improve hydration levels in people. And if you are going for a glass of lemon water instead of a sugary drink, obviously you will be cutting down on those many calories. But more important than weight loss, lemon water keeps all your bodily systems in check and running smoothly. So if you are sipping a glass of warm lemon water the first thing in the morning, there’s no better way to kickstart your day with a dose of vitamin C!