Lemon Water in the Morning: What It Can & Can’t Do

Have you ever had a glass of warm water with a touch of lemon juice in the morning? Maybe you heard it was good for you, or you just wanted a good substitute for herbal teas or coffee?

I am definitely one who loves having a good lemon water in the morning. For me, it’s a great, refreshing way to help me wake up.

Now, after recently coming across some posts floating around on the internet that questioned whether drinking lemon water in the morning was actually good for us, I decided to go investigate.

Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water

Turns out there are benefits to drinking lemon water (I thought so!), which are as follows:

1. A Natural Flush.

The liver is very active while we sleep, as this is the time where the body is busy restoring and regenerating itself. Drinking plenty of water, especially in the morning, helps ensure that these jobs can be carried out effectively in the body. There is even some evidence supporting the fact that lemon juice has the ability to help stimulate the proper production of stomach acid and bile.

Make it a habit to drink 1-2 glasses of lemon water before having your tea or coffee in the morning to help promote a happy, healthy liver and lymphatic system.

2. Promotes Healthier Skin.

By helping flush out the body and improve digestion, lemon water can lead to clearer, healthier skin. What’s more, as lemon contains vitamin C, this encourages collagen production for smoother skin.

3. Helps Digestion.

One of the biggest benefits of lemon water may actually come from the temperature of the water! Drinking water, especially warm water, in the morning just after waking up can help in flushing out the digestive system and rehydrate the body.

If you think about it, while you’ve been sleeping you typically haven’t been drinking for around 8 hours or so. This means when you awaken, your body can often be quite dehydrated, so it’s important that you rehydrate yourself first thing in the morning. By giving your body adequate water intake when you first wake up, it can be a great way to get your body and your mind going and wake you up!

4. Promotes Healthy Weight.

There has been evidence showing that drinking lemon water when you first wake up in the morning can actually help in maintaining a healthy weight. According to this article, it was said that after participants drank around 17 ounces of water, their metabolic rate increased by approximately 30%. This was found in both men and women. This increase was reported to have occurred within 10 minutes of water consumption and reached its peak after around 30-40 minutes.

Now, it’s important to remember that drinking lemon water (or just plain water) by itself isn’t going to do much. But by combining it with other healthy habits, it may be helpful in maintaining a healthy weight.

5. Immune System Boost from Vitamin C.

Vitamin C can be found in lemons, not in huge amounts, but around 30-50mg per lemon. Potassium can also be found in lemons.

By drinking lemon water as soon as you wake up, this gives your body a chance to absorb these nutrients more effectively and provide a bit of an immune boost.

Vitamin C is also wonderful for the adrenals, and may potentially help in reducing the effects of stress.

Myths About Lemon Water

Drinking more water and adding a hit vitamin C are both great for your health, however, they aren’t a “magic pill” fix. Some of the claims made online about the benefits of lemon water actually have no scientific backing. These include:

1. Improving IQ.

While drinking water or lemon water in the morning can help improve focus and alertness at that time, there is no evidence supporting the fact that lemon water can help increase IQ over the long-term.

2. Flushing Out Toxins.

Drinking water can assist the body in naturally removing cellular waste (a process your body already does on its own naturally), but claims that lemon water has a special ability to flush out “toxins” without specifically stating what they are or how this process works are overhyped.

3. Balances pH Levels.

There is a theory that certain foods have the ability to leave an alkaline or acid ash in the body. This is indeed true, however, this only affects the pH of the urine, not the body’s blood pH (as the body tightly regulates blood and extracellular fluid pH itself). Chris Kresser goes into more depth on the acid/alkaline myth here.

4. Prevents Cancer.

Similar articles that claim that lemon water alkalizes the body also claim that it provides an alkaline environment that prevents cancer cells from thriving. Chris Kresser also goes into further detail about why this theory is incorrect here.

Final Thoughts

Regardless of the claims made about lemon water, it is always important to drink plenty of water (especially in the morning) to support our bodies. Lemon water won’t be a miracle cure but it can be a great replacement for caffeinated drinks, especially for those with adrenal problems.

Just a side note: In the past I’ve found that when you start out drinking water in the morning and you’re not used to it, it may cause a bit of nausea, but it usually only lasts for a few minutes or so. Therefore, it might be helpful to start out slowly and build up if you’re not used to drinking that much.

How I Drink Lemon Water

Each morning I make sure I drink a few glasses of cool, filtered water, but a few days a week, I’ll have some warm lemon water to add a little something extra. It’s a great vitamin C boost and I’ve really started to love the taste of lemon! So here’s what I do:

Warm lemon Water Recipe

prep: 5 mins | total: 5 mins

Makes: 1

Lemon water may help improve digestion and increase energy when consumed first thing in the morning. 


  • 24+ ounces (around 3-4 glasses) of warm water (not boiling hot)
  • 1/2 to 1 organic lemon


  1. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze one half or the whole lemon into the water.
  2. Enjoy

TIP: You can zest the lemon first before squeezing it and then store the zest in the fridge for use in recipes. I love adding lemon zest to protein balls, smoothies, and salads for a delicious tangy flavour!


After drinking, it’s a good idea to swish plain filtered water around in your mouth for around 30 seconds or more just to help remove any citric acid remaining on your teeth from the lemon juice, as this can damage your enamel.

As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.

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Do you drink lemon water in the morning too? Have you noticed any benefits from it? Share them below in the comments!

I hope you have a beautiful day!

Vanessa xx



Wells, Katie. (October 26, 2018). Lemon Water in the Morning: Benefits & Myths. Wellness Mama. Retrieved from https://wellnessmama.com/35192/lemon-water/