With perks like digestion aid, weight loss, and kidney-stone prevention, lemon water sounds like a miracle elixir. So when I found out that the benefits of lemon water actually weren’t all hype, I knew I had to put it to the test myself. For one whole week, I added half a lemon sliced (any less won’t yield enough vitamin C) to my water and drank it from morning till night, refilling as needed throughout the day. Although I didn’t wake up each morning with glowing skin and a flat belly as I expected, one thing that did unexpectedly change was my water intake.
I’m notorious for having awful hydration habits. While I have made an improvement in recent months, thanks to my favorite smart water bottle, I still find myself relapsing to my old ways. However, during the week of my experiment, I was surprised to see how much more water I was drinking each day. Most of the time, my problem with plain old water is that it’s too boring to drink. But lemon added enough flavor to make things interesting, encouraging me to reach for my infused glass more and more.
On average, I drink about 16 ounces of water daily (I know, I’m working on it!). My intake nearly doubled on certain days, ranging between 20 to 32 ounces total per day during my week of lemon water. While this was awesome, this little experiment also came with an unexpected side effect. I began to feel slightly nauseous in the mornings when I drank the lemon water on an empty stomach. I don’t typically eat breakfast — mostly due to force of habit; not because of intermittent fasting — and I refused to give up my cup of coffee for this experiment. That plus lemon water on an empty stomach until lunch were a recipe for stomach irritation. This might be due to the acidity of the coffee and the alkalizing effect of the lemon, but I can’t be sure. While it wasn’t enough to keep me from continuing, I’d definitely line my tummy with some food before trying this again.
I don’t recommend drinking lemon water all day, every day for an extended period of time for the sake of preserving your teeth enamel. But if you’re seeking an easy way to reset healthy habits, try starting your morning off with a warm glass of lemon water to replenish your body and give yourself a boost of vitamin C. And if you’re just as bad at hydrating, it may be worth infusing your water with different fruits to see if it makes a difference like it did for me.