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.

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Does lemon water weaken bones?

by sami

I've heard drinking lemon water weakens the bones? Is that true?

WBH response: The short answer is no, as long as you don't take an excessive amount of lemon juice in water.

Eating foods and drinking beverages that help to alkalize the body will help to keep the bones strong and dense.

When the body is acidic (from excess stress, consumption of animal products, alcohol, medications, tobacco, etc.), the body will pull alkaline buffers from other parts of the body (mainly bones and teeth) in order to keep the blood in the 7.365 pH (slightly alkaline) range. Blood pH is critical to survival.

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Does water with lemon and honey cause bone pain?

by Irfan Parmar
(Mumbai, Maharashtra, India)

I am having hot water with lemon and honey daily in morning with empty stomach. Can it lead to bone pain?

I am having pain in both my legs after starting above habits, before it was normal.

Can you please advise that this habit is good or bad?


I cannot give advice, but I will say that I don't know of any reason why drinking lemon and honey in water would cause bone pain.

The pain you are experiencing may or may not be related to the lemon juice and/or the honey.

In your situation, I would probably stop drinking it for a while and see if the pain stops.

If it does stop and I still wanted to continue to drink lemon water for the many health benefits, I would try adding lemon to my water again, but a smaller amount (1/8 to 1//4 lemon for 8 ounces of warm water) and with no honey. And see how that goes.

If I still had pain, I would stop drinking it.

Every person's metabolism and condition in the body is different. We just have to learn what's best for our own bodies through a certain amount of trial and error.

I don't care how "nutritious" any food or supplement is—if it doesn't do well in my body, I don't eat it or drink it.

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