Lemon water weight loss benefits
A concoction of lemon juice, hot water and honey is a popular favourite among those who wish to lose weight quickly. But, have you ever wondered about the science behind this wondrous potion or whether it even works or not?
We are going to dissect every ingredient in the early morning mix to evaluate its efficacy in weight loss.
Role of the ingredients
Recent research shows that drinking 400 ml of water as soon as you wake up in the morning raises your metabolic level significantly. Through the night, your body is deprived of water, and since many of your body processes use water to function, your body’s machinery slows down. Drinking water in the morning helps to rev up the machinery back into gear.
Lemon is packed with Vitamin C and antioxidants. Vitamin C is said to have potent weight loss properties. An article published in the ‘Journal of American College of Nutrition’ in 2005, says that Vitamin C is inversely related to your body mass. The article stated that sufficient Vitamin C intake (opposed to be being Vitamin C deficient) sets off a series of chemical reactions in your body that break down body fat for use of energy. Those with depleted Vitamin C levels in their body are more resistant to this reaction. The November 2008 issue of ‘Journal of Biochemical Nutrition’ stated that lemons not only help in weight loss, but also help in the prevention and control of diabetes and obesity.
Besides the juice, some dieters even eat the lemon peels along with the juice. The lemon peels contain pectin, which helps in weight loss by turning into a gel-forming material in your stomach and further reducing sugar absorption from the food.
The final and optional ingredient – honey – adds vitamins, minerals, natural flavour and sweetness.
So, will lemon water help you lose weight?
Assuming that your diet, exercise and activity level is the same, and you start drinking lemon water as soon as you wake up, it is likely to increase your metabolic level. The other benefits of lemon such as high levels of vitamin C, better calcium absorption, etc will improve the functioning of the body and this might further increase fat burn.
With an increase in your metabolic level, your body will burn more calories for the same activity. Same number of calories going in, more calories going out (from your raised metabolic rate).
So you will lose some weight from drinking lemon water in the short term. But once your body gets used to lemon and hot water, the weight loss might slow down or stop.
Other health benefits of drinking lemon water
- Reduces hunger pangs – Lemon contains pectin fibre, which is known to suppress hunger. If you find yourself craving for unhealthy food or beverages, a glass of lemon water would satisfy the hunger with added benefits of Vitamin C.
- Freshens up skin – Scientifically proven, Vitamin C assists in the production of collagen, which prevents wrinkle formation.
- Nourishes brain and reduces stress – Lemon contains potassium, which helps with brain and nerve function and is apparently a quick and natural way to feel more alert.
- Cleanses the liver – Lemon juice aids liver in flushing out unwanted toxins.
- Balances pH – Believe it or not but lemons are an incredibly alkaline food. Yes, they are acidic on their own, but inside our bodies they’re alkaline (the citric acid does not create acidity in the body once metabolized).
- Aids in digestion – Warm water serves stimulates the gastrointestinal tract and peristalsis—the waves of muscle contractions within the intestinal walls that keep things moving. Lemons and limes are also high in minerals and vitamins and help loosen toxins in the digestive tract.
- Hydrates Lymph system – Warm water and lemon juice supports the immune system by hydrating and replacing fluids lost by the body. It relieves side effects like fatigue, sluggishness, decreased immune function, constipation, low/high blood pressure, insomnia, fuzzy head and stress.
- Promotes healing – Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), found in abundance in lemons, promotes wound healing, and is an essential nutrient in the maintenance of healthy bones, connective tissue, and cartilage.
- Boosts Immune system – Vitamin C in lemons is great for fighting colds. Lemons also contain saponins, which show antimicrobial properties that may help keep cold and flu at bay. Lemons also reduce the amount of phlegm produced by the body.
- Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) found in lemons demonstrates anti-inflammatory effects, and is used as a support for asthma and other respiratory symptoms. It also enhances iron absorption in the body; iron plays an important role in immune function.
So, drinking lemon water alone will never help you to lose fat easily. In fact, there is no such single nutrient or food that can help you shed fat. Having said that, lemon water is a healthy concoction to consume in the morning, or at any other time of the day, because it also works well as a low calorie and healthy replacement to unhealthy edibles. The best way to lose weight is to follow a balanced, healthy diet, supplemented with exercise, physical activity and sufficient rest.
Lemon water or juice can be a valuable part of a healthy diet, but don’t expect it to magically melt your fat away.