Drinking Lemon Water on Empty Stomach

by Animesh
(India, Jharkhand)

Does drinking lemon water on an empty stomach make the digestive juices of the stomach dilute and cause indigestion??

WBH response: Lemon water actually improves digestion and elimination.

The only time I would not recommend lemon water on an empty stomach would be if someone had citrus allergies, stomach ulcers or problems with the esophagus from long-standing acid reflux.

As noted in my article on "The Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water":

"One of the most important benefits of drinking lemon water regularly is its effect on the gastrointestinal tract. . .

"Lemon juice is similar in atomic structure to saliva, hydrochloric acid, bile and the stomach’s other digestive juices.

"The digestive qualities of lemon juice help to relieve symptoms of indigestion, such as heartburn, belching and bloating. For the relief of heartburn, Kloss recommends taking a teaspoon of lemon juice in half a glass of water.

"Lemon water will also help to eliminate waste through the bowels more efficiently, thus preventing or alleviating constipation, diarrhea and other gastrointestinal disorders."

Since lemon water is so similar in structure to stomach acid, it does not dilute stomach acid. In addition, the body does not actually produce stomach acid unless food is present.

In general, I do not recommend drinking lemon water with food.

I mean, I believe you get more benefits if you drink lemon water at least one half hour before eating (preferably breakfast) and right before bed (at least 2 hours after eating the last meal or snacks).

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Aug 26, 2013
Lemon juice and joint pain
by: Sandy

I have been having lemon juice each morning for nearly 5 months now, but unfortunately it has aggravated my lower back, pain that I experienced only slightly approximately 18 months ago.

I read about all the benefits so I persevered, and wasn't convinced the pain was linked to lemon water until I stopped having it for 4 days and noticed the pain had subsided.

I'm in two minds whether to discontinue altogether, but do not want to loose out on the benefits it is supposed to have for my skin.

Nancy's response:

Sandy, pain is always an important messenger. The back pain you experienced may or may not have been related to the lemon water you were drinking. But if you think it might have contributed to the pain getting worse, then I would definitely not drink it for a while.

I always periodically change my eating, drinking and supplement routines just to check in with my body and see if I notice any differences.

There is nothing about health that is static. In fact, my definition for health is a "dynamic state of balance and equilibrium in the body, mind and spirit."

If you were drinking lemon water primarily for the skin benefits, you might get some additional ideas from our article on "Drinking Water and Acne."

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