Is hot lemon water harmful for bones?

by Purnima
(Jammu, India)

Arthritic hands

Arthritic hands


Drinking lemon water in the mornings is quite a common thing, particularly hot water and lemon. People believe that other than improving digestion it also helps in weight loss and cholesterol control.

My mother, who is 60 years old, is taking the hot lemon water on an empty stomach daily for the same reasons.

While discussing this with someone, it appeared that consumption of the same can lead to adverse effects on her bones.

My mother is already suffering from arthritis, and so we want to be sure of it.


I have heard this concern before, and I am not sure where it is coming from.

As you probably know, the accumulation of excessive metabolic and acidic wastes in the body (from overeating, chronic or acute stress, unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, or simply aging) is one of the underlying causes of many dis-eased conditions in the body, including arthritis.

Drinking lemon water regularly can help to remove overall acidity in the body, including uric acid in the joints, which is one of the primary causes of pain and inflammation.

I think the main reason that some people believe that drinking lemon water might be harmful to bones is because lemons contain citric acid.

People assume that if lemons contain citric acid, then lemon juice must be acidifying in the body, right?

However, this is not the case. When lemon juice is metabolized by the body it leaves an alkaline residue. In fact, lemons are one of the best foods to help alkalize the body. You can do a search online for “acid-alkaline food chart” to confirm that lemons are alkalizing in the body, not acidifying.

Or click here to view one such acid-alkaline food chart from the Natural Health School. Just scroll to the bottom of the page to find the chart and then look under the “Most Alkaline” column to find lemons.

I certainly cannot advise your mother to drink lemon water or not to drink it, but if it were my mother, I would educate her about the alkalizing benefits of lemons and how this relates to bone and joint health.

I would also mention that drinking lemon water can accelerate the normal detoxification processes in the body. Thus, sometimes people actually feel worse before they feel better.

However, this usually only happens if the person is not drinking enough water throughout the day to flush out the toxins and acidic waste.

As far as whether to drink lemon water hot, cold, or warm, you might want to read my comments here: Drinking Lemon in Water – How Much, How Often, Hot or Cold?

I hope this has been helpful. With warm wishes for your mother's health and longevity.

Return from Is Hot Lemon Water Harmful for Bones to Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water

Comments for Is hot lemon water harmful for bones?

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Jan 12, 2013
Is Lemon Water Bad for Osteoporosis
by: Anonymous

My wife suffered with femur fracture to both legs. She's still undergoing the treatment. The doctor has advised her drinking the lemon water everyday. I searched a lot about this. And was amazed to know how you can get best out of this small fruit.

One more question, is drinking lemon water safe for people suffering from osteoporosis?

WBH response: Wow, I am surprised that your wife's doctor recommended drinking lemon water. Most medical doctors would not recommend such a simple and natural nutritional recommendation.

But I agree that drinking lemon water can help to alakalize her body, which will help strengthen bones and teeth.

My son broke his femur bone recently and I recommended the same thing to him, along with a few other supplements -- strontium bone maker, vitamin D3, vitamin K, and boron.

For the same reason, drinking lemon water can help prevent osteoporosis and keep bones strong.

Jan 23, 2013
Painful Bones After Drinking Lemon Water
by: Jessica

I am 36 years old and I finally find out 2 things that can make all my bones very painful the next day and ongoing. One is an alcoholic drink and the other is lemon water.

And I found out that it can be resolved by eating spicy food. It works and you can try!

Nov 08, 2014
Worried about weight loss
by: Suresh Lerala

A lemon drink with hot water every morning reduced my 1.5kg weight in one and half months. But my weight is below the required.

I started drinking the lemon water due to burning, uncomfortable chest pain, etc. Some times I feel I am going to die.

I am happy that I have full confidence in me nothing will happen to me, but I am worried in losing the weight.

With regard,


Suresh, it is unlikely that just drinking lemon water once a day is going to cause you to lose a significant amount of weight.

However, you might want to back off on the lemon water for a few weeks and see if it makes any difference in your weight.

There are likely other factors contributing to your weight loss such as food allergies, nutrient deficiencies, digestive issues, and so forth. If the weight loss continues, I suggest you consult a health practitioner who can do a proper assessment.

Nancy Hearn, CNC

Feb 22, 2015
lemon water and hip joints
by: Terry

After several days of drinking a small amount of lemon water in the morning, I have enough pain in my hip joints to wake me out of a sound sleep. I'm unable to bend to retrieve items from lower refrigerator, it's very painful. I'm a walker and fairly active 65 yr old female. I've tried to drink the lemon cleanser several times and every time, I have the same problem.


That is unusual, Terry. I don't know why a small amount of lemon water would cause that much pain.

Are you using fresh-squeezed lemon juice in filtered water? I recommend starting with the juice of just 1/4 of a lemon in 8 to 12 ounces of water. No added sugar or honey or anything else.

If that is what you are doing, then I would quit and maybe try drinking a small amount of organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar in water each day.

Apple cider vinegar will provide many of the health benefits of lemon water and is a good alternative for people who cannot tolerate citrus for any reason.

Note: Organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar (such as Bragg’s brand) also contains friendly bacteria and enzymes in a cloudy substance called the "mother."

Nancy Hearn, CNC

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