EVERY “wellness expert” on Instagram will swear that if you drop a slice of lemon into a glass of water (whether cold, lukewarm, or hot) it will help boost your metabolism, eliminate unwanted toxins, and will actually help you on your weight loss journey.
Scientists and doctors who actually know how the body works, however, point out the most shocking thing about what lemon really does to your water. Ready?
It makes your water taste like lemon.
Author of Healing Superfoods for Anti-Aging: Stay Younger, Live Longer, Karen Ansel, R.D.N. says, “It’s not going to burn fat by any stretch of the imagination.”
For instance, if you’re choosing lemon water as a replacement for something like a 400-calorie super large mocha whipped-cream-topped “coffee,” then, yeah, you will lose weight. You don’t really need to put anything like lemon on your water because, the fact is, water can do a whole lot already on its own. And, yes, that includes helping you shed off those pounds.
“Drinking about 16 ounces of water before a meal has been shown to help with weight loss,” Ansel says. One study published in the journal Obesity found that obese adults who drank that much water before a meal lost 2.8 pounds more than people who didn’t “pre-load” over 12 weeks. This is possibly because it made participants feel more full. “But adding lemon won’t do anything at all to help you burn more calories,” Ansel adds.
We can’t deny, of course, that lemons have nutrients in them, like vitamin C. But even if you put an entire half a lemon in eight ounces of water, it won’t really do anything for your body’s vitamin status. And you don’t need lemon as a “detoxer” because you already have your liver taking care of that for you.
If your only excuse for drinking lemon water is because you like the taste, but it starts your day off right in some way, then great. Just be sure to chase your morning glass with a plain-water rinse.