When life throws lemons at you, make some delicious health-boosting lemon water.
A couple of months ago, the YouTube algorithm Gods threw a curveball at me.
Out of thin air, it recommended me a very graphic video about kidney stones and their removal process. The video tried its very best to scare the living hell out of me…and it succeeded.
The fear was exacerbated by my family’s history of kidney-related diseases.
I dug deeper into the issue of kidney stones to figure out what’s the smallest and easiest thing I can incorporate into my life to somewhat reduce the likelihood of it happening.
Across all websites, blog posts, videos, and podcasts, the same suggestion was omnipresent — drink lots of water, especially lemon water if possible.
My natural next step was to dig into the benefits of lemon water, as well as its side effects. It became evident that drinking lemon water first thing in the morning was actually a thing. Anecdotally, many people have reported its “life-changing benefits”.
That’s when I decided, why not give it a go?
For the next 30 days, I had a glass of lemon water right after waking up every morning. Over the course of these 30 days, I can see some tangible changes in my life. Let’s talk about those now.
Curbs Morning Hunger
I have been doing intermittent fasting for over 2 years now. According to my fasting schedule, most days I am done with my big meal early evening.
That meant, I used to wake up quite hungry a lot of days.
Drinking lemon water has curbed this early morning hunger. I am not sure how much of the credit goes to “lemon” here.
I have learned that throughout the night our body loses a lot of water, so it’s very common to wake up dehydrated.
There have been multiple studies demonstrating people tend to eat less when they are properly hydrated.
Adding lemon to my morning water makes drinking a more “fun” activity. I enjoy the taste, and it’s not unnatural for me to have more than one glass in the morning.
I think it’s the increased hydration in the mornings that curbs my morning hunger. However, adding lemon does make it more likely for me to drink more water. So, I guess, it deserves some credit at least.
Fewer Snacks Craving
On a similar note, since I started having lemon water, I have dramatically decreased my snack consumption.
It happened naturally.
In the morning, I leave a few slices of lemon outside and a pitcher of cold water. Throughout the day, I refill my glass with more and more lemon water.
As I am working, I sip on lemon water. It’s surprisingly refreshing!
Once again, I think it comes down to increased hydration that I don’t crave snacks as much.
Growing up, I heard my mom go on rants about how warm lemon water can help with bloating issues.
I didn’t know cold lemon water can do just the same.
Having lemon water on an empty stomach is said to “wake up your digestive system”. I do feel like I have suffered significantly less from bloating in the last month or so.
It might just be coincidental, however, given the number of anecdotes out there about lemon water helping with bloating, I think I will just give it the credit here.
Science Behind Kidney Stones
Circling back to my primary motivation for starting this experiment: reduce the likelihood of kidney stones.
Lemons, like oranges, contain citric acid. It’s this citric acid that helps prevent kidney stones.
Citrate, a component of citric acid, reduces the acid levels of urine and even breaks up smaller stones.
No one can ever guarantee the prevention of kidney stones, but I am glad science backs up the role of lemon water in the prevention of kidney stones.
Everything I have talked about so far comes directly from my personal experience.
After doing some research, I found a number of other benefits that people have reported.
- Improved immune system (from increased Vitamin C)
- Supports weight loss
- Reduced consumption of sugary drinks
- Improves digestion
Most of these are anecdotal, so please take whatever you read with a grain of salt.
Will I continue the experiment? Hell yes!
I see no reason to stop it here. I love the taste of lemon water, it makes me drink more water, and it has loads of other benefits that I listed above.
I do plan on adding a few new ingredients to my lemon water though:
- Mint Leaves
I will continue experimenting with these ingredients (and their combinations).
If I notice any changes, I will remember to update y’all.