benefits of drinking lemon water before bed
Healthy Weight Loss Tips

Drinking Lemon Water Before Bed: The Pros and Cons

Lemon water has been touted for its ability to do everything from clearing your complexion to improving your digestion. Drinking a glass of lemon juice first thing in the morning is a popular ritual and, of course, lots of people prefer their water with a squeeze of lemon juice rather than plain. But what about drinking lemon water before bed? Are there any benefits and will it help you lose weight? Let’s explore the topic a little further.

Lemon Benefits For Health

Lovely lemons, with their delicate citrus scent and tart taste, they add a zing and zest to everything they come into contact with. If you love lemon, you’re in luck because these little fruits really pack a punch when it comes to health and nutrition.

Lemons are best known for their vitamin C content, and each fruit offers almost 19 mg of the nutrient, according to the USDA. That’s about 25 percent of the recommended daily intake for women. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage from dangerous compounds called free radicals.

Lemons are also a good source of potassium, a nutrient your body needs for practically every function, especially the proper functioning of your kidneys, heart, muscles, and nerves.

In addition, lemons contain polyphenols, another type of antioxidant compounds found in plant foods. Lemon polyphenols, in particular, have been studied for their anti-aging benefits.

Lastly, they contain citrus flavonoids, another group of plant compounds shown to offer a variety of health benefits.

These nutrients, on their own or in combination with one another, are the cause of many of the proven health benefits associated with lemons:

  • Anti-aging: Study results published in 2019 in Scientific Reports showed that mice who drank a water solution containing lemon polyphenols lived longer and showed delayed increases in aging related biomarkers.
  • Improved digestion: According to the Cleveland Clinic, the acid in lemons helps break down food. It’s especially helpful as you age and the production of stomach acids declines.
  • Better mood: That’s right, the scent of lemon positively enhanced the mood of study participants in research conducted by Ohio State University.
  • A review of  research in Current Opinion in Lipidology detailed the ability of citrus flavonoids to regulate lipid metabolism and positively affect other metabolic parameters related to metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

The Many Benefits of Hydration

It’s clear that lemons offer some pretty fantastic health benefits and should be a regular part of your diet. Chugging a glass of water with lemon juice is even better! The human body is up to 60% water, so it’s no surprise that drinking enough of it is crucial to good health.

Proper hydration is crucial for:

  • Maintaining your body temperature
  • Lubricating your joints
  • Preventing infections
  • Delivering nutrients to cells
  • Keeping your organs functioning at their best

Drinking enough water is also immensely helpful when you’re trying to lose weight. Thirst can sometimes be confused with hunger. You might think you’re hungry when in fact you’re just thirsty. Drinking lemon water whenever you feel the urge to snack may help you lose the munchies.

According to research, drinking a glass of water before meals can help you eat less during that meal. University of Birmingham researchers reported that study participants who drank 16 ounces of water 30 minutes before each meal lost nearly 3 pounds more than the control group that did not drink water during the 12-week study.

Proper hydration is also key to maintaining energy levels. When you’re dehydrated you may feel fatigued and tempted to skip your workout. If you make it to your workout, your performance will likely suffer and you may find it harder to recover for the next day’s workout.

You should drink enough water each day so that your urine is a light yellow color. Carry a water bottle with you at all times and sip from it throughout the day. Give the water preload before meals a try and see if it helps you curb your calorie intake.

A few of my favorite products for staying hydrated:

Drinking Lemon Water Before Bed

As for drinking lemon water before bed, there are positives and negatives. There are no specific health benefits of drinking lemon water before bed, but it won’t hurt you either.

If your goal is weight loss, it’s better to get your hydration earlier in the day, especially around mealtimes and when you’re feeling hungry between meals.

Drinking warm lemon water in the evening when you’re unwinding can be very soothing. Everyone needs to engage in self-care and relaxation activities, so if sipping warm lemon water helps you relax then by all means include it in your nightly ritual.

Warm lemon water can also help when you are feeling under the weather. The warmth, the scent and the hydration can all aid your well-being and recovery.

The one drawback to drinking lemon water before bed is that it may disrupt your sleep. Some people find that drinking fluids too close to bedtime causes them to have to get up to urinate during the night. Interrupted sleep is certainly not good for your health and well-being, and it is definitely not helpful for weight loss (check out this post on how lack of sleep affects weight).

If you enjoy drinking lemon water before bed and it doesn’t cause you to wake in the night, sip away! If you do find yourself getting up to pee, perhaps drink your lemon water a few hours before bed.

My Favorite Lemon Water Recipes

I love lemon water and drink it all the time! Why drink plain water when you can have the tart taste and delicate scent of lemon water? I typically take my pitcher of filtered water from the refrigerator, slice up one or two lemons and throw them in there, then put the pitcher back in the fridge. You can fill your water bottle from the fridge whenever it’s empty.

You can also try a fruit infusion pitcher or water bottle, where you put your lemon and any other fruit in the center and let the water become infused with flavors.

I also like to jazz things up sometimes and mix other flavors into my lemon water. One of my favorite combinations is lemon and fresh cucumber. Just slice up one-half to a whole cuke and put it in with the lemon. Lemon and mint is another great combo.

If you really want to add some pizazz, try some cayenne pepper in your lemon water. This drink was the foundation of the classic Master Cleanse diet program from Stanley Burroughs book “The Master Cleanser.” The diet was also known as the lemonade diet. I don’t recommend this type of fad diet, but it’s true that cayenne pepper has proven benefits for weight loss.

best lemon water recipes

As I mentioned, strong flavors, such as spice, can make food feel more satisfying. In addition, the main compound in cayenne, called capsaicin, may boost metabolism through increased thermogenesis of food. Just be careful not to add to much!

And lastly, warm lemon with ginger water is so soothing and satisfying. You definitely need fresh ginger for this. Heat up your water then add a slice of lemon and about quarter-inch slice of fresh ginger root. Let that steep for a few minutes, then enjoy. If you need sweetness, I recommend this erythritol-based honey substitute with zero calories!

Remember, lemons aren’t just for water! They can be used to add flavor to foods so that you need less sauce and also feel more satisfied. Strong flavors can make you feel more satiated after a meal than bland flavors.

I like to use fresh lemon juice instead of salad dressing. I find that I don’t need anything else—not even oil. The lemon just brings out the bright, crisp freshness and flavors of my veggies. You can also use lemon juice to flavor fish and chicken dishes so you use less oil and other high-calorie condiments.

Products mentioned in this article:

Do you drink lemon water before bed or any other time of the day? Do you think it helps you feel healthier or aids weight loss? Let me know in the comments below!

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Jody Braverman, NASM-CPT, NASM-FNS, PN1

Jody Braverman is a certified nutrition, fitness, and weight loss expert who has been working in the health & fitness industry for over two decades.

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