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10 Disadvantages Of Drinking Lemon Water Daily

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Lemon is one of the best sources of vitamin C and antioxidants. It is advised to drink lemon water daily to shed the extra calories from your body.

It is completely safe and beneficial if you are consuming it in moderate amou nts.

Lemon water provides numerous benefits if consumed in moderate amounts such as-

  • Aids in digestion
  • Keeps you hydrated
  • Weight loss friendly
  • Prevents oxidation
  • Rich source of potassium
  • Helps to prevent kidney stones

However, as we know, ‘excess of everything is harmful, excess of lemon water can also be harmful to health.

The strong acidic nature of lemon could be a reason for this. There are some disadvantages or side effects of drinking lemon water daily.

These may include negative effects on teeth health, it can make your stomach upset, and can also cause serious issues like migraine.

In this article, I have discussed a few disadvantages of drinking lemon water daily for you. So, let’s begin.

Disadvantages Of Drinking Lemon Water Daily

  1. Frequent Urination And Dehydration 

    It is often suggested to start your day with a glass of warm lemon water. While most people do not witness any side effects, some people may experience the urge to urinate frequently.

    This is because lemon contains[1] ascorbic acid also known as vitamin C which acts as a natural diuretic. Diuretics help in flushing out extra water and salt from the body.

    It promotes or increases the formation of urine in the kidneys which enables the body to flush out the extra water and toxins at a faster rate.

    Due to the consumption of lemon, along with the toxins, the body may flush out the required electrolytes such as sodium and potassium as well.

    This makes your body dehydrated. It may also cause tiredness, and dry lips, and make you feel more thirsty.

    If you tend to experience frequent urination after the consumption of lemon water, you may consider reducing the amounts of lemon that you add to the water.  

  2. Corrosive Effects On Teeth

    Lemon is known for its high acidic content. If you consume lemon water daily, you may experience pain and sensitivity in your teeth.

    Excess consumption of lemon could result in the dissolution[2] of the outer layer of the teeth known as enamel.

    Enamel is composed of calcium phosphate which may interact with the acid content present in lemon and as a consequence of which, it may show corrosive effects on your teeth.

    This may further make you more vulnerable to tooth decay. To avoid this condition, you may try reducing the amount of lemon water you consume.

    Other than this, you may use a straw to drink the lemon water. Straw prevents your teeth from coming in direct contact with the lemon.

    You may also consider brushing your teeth after one hour of consumption or increasing the amount of plain water that you drink.

    Drinking a lot of water could dilute the acid present in lemon and reduce its overall effect on the enamel. 

  3. May Upset Your Stomach 

    Lemon is regarded as something which may relieve many gastrointestinal problems such as improper digestion. However, excess of it could harm your stomach.

    If consumed in excessive amounts, lemon may have negative impacts on the lining of the stomach because of its high acidic content. It may cause nausea and vomiting.

    The high concentration of acids in lemon harms the inner lining of the stomach and the intestine which could further lead to ulcers.

    If you consume lemon water daily, the inner lining of the stomach and intestine would not get the time to heal as a result of which, the ulcers may become more severe.

    To prevent this, you should avoid drinking lemon water daily and limit it to moderate amounts.

  4. May Cause Migraine 

    If you consume lemon water regularly and witness symptoms like headache, it could be because of the high levels of lemon that you are taking.

    It was found that citrus fruits might cause migraines and headaches. Lemon contains a compound known as tyramine.

    This study[3] concludes that Tyramine is associated with triggering migraines and causing headaches. People suffering from migraine should avoid drinking lemon water daily.

    However, occasional drinking of lemon water is absolutely fine. If you experience symptoms like headaches, you should consider reducing the amount of lemon water you drink.  

  5. Effect On Bones 

    Excessive amounts of lemon water may leave a harmful impact on bones.

    It is found that lemon absorbs the lubricant present in between the joints which reduce the friction between two bones and facilitates smooth movement[4].

    This could lead to pain in joints and weakening of joints. This condition is not caused by the consumption of small or moderate amounts of lemon.

    However, if you drink lemon water daily, you may witness such symptoms. More study is required on this subject.

    It is advisable to add honey to your lemon water to reduce the negative impacts of the acid present in bones on the body.

  6. May Cause Heartburn 

    Drinking lemon may cause heartburn. Lemon is high in its acidic content which may be a reason for heartburn. This is also known as acid reflux.

    This happens when the esophagus sphincter fails to function because of this, the acid enters the esophagus and causes heartburn.

    Consuming more amounts of citric acid may activate the pepsin enzyme which breaks proteins.

    This could result in the activation of pepsin enzymes present in the throat and esophagus as well which causes heartburn.

    The irritation caused by the acid present in the inner lining of the stomach may cause GERD which stands for gastroesophageal[5] reflux.

    People who are already suffering from these symptoms should avoid consuming lemon water as it may worsen the situation.

    Consuming lemon water on an empty stomach should also be avoided if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. 

  7. Worsen Canker Sores

    Canker sores are a kind of mouth sore. They may be painful and may occur as a result of eating spicy food.

    They are situated on the soft tissues of your mouth or at the base of your gums. Canker sores could be irritating and might cause problems while eating and drinking.

    Lemon, because of its high acidic contents[6], might worsen canker sores. They could make even talking difficult for you.

    Citrus fruits like lemon may delay the healing process as they tend to irritate the soft tissues present inside your mouth. They may increase your pain as well.

    Therefore, if you have developed symptoms or witnessed symptoms of canker sores after drinking lemon water, it is advisable to avoid lemon water and other citrus fruits too. 

  8. Excess Iron 

    Adequate amounts of iron are necessary for the normal functioning of the human body. It is required to maintain hemoglobin levels and energy production in the body.

    As it is popularly said, ‘excess of everything is harmful, excess iron could also have negative impacts on the body. Vitamin C increases[7] the absorption of iron in the body.

    Excessive amounts of iron may cause harm to organs over time. It could also lead to tiredness, fatigue, and an overall disbalance in the body.

    Hence, one should avoid consuming lemon water daily to prevent the accumulation of excessive iron in the body. 

  9. Risk Of Cancer 

    Several citrus fruits contain a compound known as psoralens which is regarded as carcinogenic.

    Carcinogenic compounds are the ones that have the potential[8] to cause cancer.

    Lemon is one of those citrus fruits which contains psoralens. Symptoms of it may include the appearance of moles on the face which could even bleed and be painful.

    If you notice such symptoms, you should immediately consult your doctor and stop drinking lemon or other citrus fruits.

    However, if consumed in moderate amounts, lemon water may be beneficial for your health. 

  10. Microbes On The Skin Of The Lemon

    Most of the time people add lemon to the water without removing the skin. The skin of lemons is home to several microorganisms which may enter your body and cause harm.

    It is better to squeeze the juice from the lemons instead of putting it along with the skin. In several restaurants, lemon water is served[9] with lemon slices floating in the water.

    This could lead to the entry of germs into the body which is on the surface of the skin of lemons along with the germs of the employee if he/she is using his bare hands.

    In such a condition, it is better to avoid drinking lemon water. 

Conclusion

Lemon is a citrus fruit that is known for its benefits to the human body. It has numerous benefits such as it may keeping your digestive system healthy.

It could also keep you hydrated for a long time, it helps you to shed more calories and thus promotes weight loss. It is a powerful antioxidant and helps you flush out toxins from your body.

However, excess consumption of lemon water may lead to several side effects. It is not advisable to drink lemon water daily.

If you want to obtain vitamin C, you may obtain it from several other sources such as fruits as well.

Decaying teeth, upset stomach, effect on bones, and its associations with migraine are some of the disadvantages which you may witness if you drink lemon water daily.

Hence, you should consider consuming lemon water in moderate amounts.

References/Sources

Working4Health prefers using primary and verified references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and our primary references include peer-reviewed research, academic, and medical institution studies.

  1. Fakhri Rahman, Ponco Birowo, Indah S. Widyahening, et. al. Effect of citrus-based products on urine profile: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Version 1. F1000Res. 2017; 6: 220. Published online 2017 Mar 6. doi: 10.12688/f1000research.10976.
  2. Abdul Manaf Zahara, Lee Mei Tee, Muhammad Ali Nor Hazirah, et. al. Relationship between Food Habits and Tooth Erosion Occurrence in Malaysian University Students. Malays J Med Sci. 2012 Apr-Jun; 19(2): 56–66.
  3. K Ghose, A Coppen, D Carrol. Intravenous tyramine response in migraine before and during treatment with indoramin Br Med J. 1977 May 7;1(6070):1191-3. doi: 10.1136/bmj.1.6070.1191. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/324566/
  4. Hiromi Ikeda, Tadayuki Iida, Masanori Hiramitsu, et. al. Effects of Lemon Beverage Containing Citric Acid with Calcium Supplementation on Bone Metabolism and Mineral Density in Postmenopausal Women: Double-Blind 11-Month Intervention Study. J Nutr Metab. 2021; 2021: 8824753. Published online 2021 Feb 24. doi: 10.1155/2021/8824753
  5. Dafne Calsoni Gomes and Roberto Oliveira Dantas. Acidic and neutral liquid ingestion in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease. Arq Gastroenterol. 2014 Jul-Sep;51(3):217-20. doi: 10.1590/s0004-28032014000300010. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25296082/
  6. Canker sores (mouth ulcers): What can you do if you have a canker sore? Created: August 15, 2019 Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK546251/
  7. Nour Doumani, Isabelle Severin, Laurence Dahbi, et. al. Lemon Juice, Sesame Paste, and Autoclaving Influence Iron Bioavailability of Hummus: Assessment by an In Vitro Digestion/Caco-2 Cell Model. Foods. 2020 Apr; 9(4): 474. Published online 2020 Apr 10. doi: 10.3390/foods9040474
  8. Wenyue Zhao, MD Lu Liu, MD and Shun Xu, PhD. Intakes of citrus fruit and risk of esophageal cancer. Medicine (Baltimore). 2018 Mar; 97(13): e0018. Published online 2018 Mar 30. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000010018
  9. Chikako Shimizu, Yoshihisa Wakita, Takashi Inoue, et al. Effects of lifelong intake of lemon polyphenols on aging and intestinal microbiome in the senescence-accelerated mouse prone 1 (SAMP1) Sci Rep. 2019; 9: 3671. Published online 2019 Mar 6. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-40253-x

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