Drinking Lemon in Water
How Much, How Often, Hot or Cold?
by Nancy Hearn, CNC

drinking hot lemon water

Have you ever squeezed a lemon in water simply to enhance its taste? So many people have, yet few tend to realize the enormous health benefits of drinking lemon water.

Fresh-squeezed lemon juice added to water has many medicinal values, as well as its benefits for cleansing the body, stimulating the liver, and improving digestion and elimination.

Lemon water can help dissolve uric acid (which is usually the underlying cause of most joint pain) and help to remove other metabolic and acidic wastes from the body.

It also helps to alkalize the body and control the proliferation of unhealthy bacteria and viruses. 

Read more details about the health benefits of drinking lemon water.

How Much and How Often to Drink It

If you weigh less than 150 pounds and are in good health, squeeze half a fresh lemon about one ounce) in 12 to 16 ounces of filtered water first thing in the morning for the best cleansing benefits.

If you weigh over 150 pounds, squeeze a whole lemon (two ounces) into clean water and drink it twice daily. However, if this is too strong, dilute it to taste.

If you drink more than that, it is best to add it gradually over time since the lemon juice will accelerate body detoxification.

Too much lemon water too quickly can cause uncomfortable detoxification symptoms such as headaches, bowel changes, or fatigue.

It is best to drink it about 30 minutes before a meal to help your body get the most energy and nutrients from the food you eat.

Use Fresh Lemons and Filtered Water

In order to glean the full health benefits, choose fresh-picked lemons (preferably organic and locally grown).

Pasteurized and packaged lemon juice will not be nearly as effective as a health remedy. The little squeeze bottles are so easy and convenient, I know, but it just does not offer the same health benefits.

If health is your primary interest, the type of water you use to mix with the lemon is highly important.

Make sure the water is filtered of contaminants but still contains the naturally occurring minerals in water.

Read more on the advantages of filtered drinking water over other types of water, including tap, bottled, distilled, and reverse osmosis.

Is It Best to Drink Lemon Water Hot or Cold?

Neither hot or cold, actually. Drinking it warm or at room temperature is the best choice.

Warm or room temperature: 

Water that is warm or room temperature will provide the most health benefits and allow for the full enzymatic and energetic properties of the lemon. If you like a hot drink in the morning, warm lemon water is the best choice.

Boiling hot: 

Even though drinking hot lemon water is very soothing, especially in cold weather, the heat will destroy some of the enzymatic properties of the fresh lemon juice.

Ice cold: 

Avoid drinking lemon in water that is ice cold whenever possible because it may hinder the digestive benefits of the lemon. In addition, even though your body will heat up the ice cold lemon water, it requires more energy and more work for the body. 

However, drinking fresh lemon juice at any temperature is better than not drinking it at all!


  1. Lemon allergies or ulcers.  Most any adult or child can drink lemon in water (in varying dilutions based on size, weight, and taste preferences) other than those with known lemon allergies or ulcers. Consult your health practitioner if in doubt.
  2. Teeth enamel.  One of the drawbacks of drinking too much lemon juice on a daily basis is that the citric acid from the lemon can eat away at tooth enamel.  There are a few things you can do to prevent this. For example, drinking your lemon water with a straw can help. In addition, if you are drinking more than 1/2 lemon in water once a day, I recommend you swish your mouth with a pinch of baking soda in filtered water (slightly alkaline) to neutralize the lemon acid left on your teeth. Brush your teeth with a natural toothpaste, preferably a baking soda toothpaste, after drinking lemon water, especially if you drink it at night. You don't want to let the citric acid residue sit on your teeth all night.
  3. Detoxification. Lemon water aids in cleansing and detoxification. However, increasing the amount of lemon water you drink too quickly can cause uncomfortable detoxification symptoms such as headache, tiredness, or bowel changes.

Further reading . . .

Q & A:  Bottled Lemon Juice vs Fresh Lemons 

Return from Drinking Lemon in Water to Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water

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