Drinking Lemon Water On Empty Stomach – The Real Health Benefits And Side Effects


This miraculous remedy has driven the web crazy. The habit of drinking lemon water on an empty stomach gets promoted as a universal remedy for every sort of disorders, yet what are the real health benefits and side effects of this wellness potion?  


Magazines, health, wellness and beauty blogs, lots of dietitians and nutritionists suggest we should drink water with lemon juice on an empty stomach. It is hard to resist the temptation of trying this “magical” remedy, since it is so much publicized and since it seems to have countless benefits for our health and, most importantly for some people, for our physical shape, as it may promote weight loss.

Why should we really drink lemon water on empty stomach before breakfast? Is it really so beneficial? Or it might actually harm our body?

The promoted benefits of drinking lemon water on empty stomach:


  • It makes the immune system stronger, helps battle viruses and bacteria, thanks to vitamin C.
  • It helps re-hydrate the body and give it (early in the morning) the vitamins and minerals it needs.
  • It helps regain intestinal regularity – it is extremely helpful to prevent and cure constipation.
  • It makes weight loss easier, since it helps cleanse up the intestine, it makes you feel full and (someone says) boosts metabolism.
  • It aids in digestion.
  • It helps make the body alkaline. More and more specialists warn us against the effect a few foods (such as those rich in refined sugar or additives) may have on us, like making our body acid thus making it prone to diseases; this is the reason why it is important to keep our pH alkaline, and lemons have strong alkalizing properties.
  • It has diuretic effects and cleanses up the body, removing all the toxins we get because of wrong eating habits and pollution.
  • It makes our skin bright and beautiful, thanks to vitamin C, which promotes the collagen production and prevents acne.
  • Helpful in case of anaemia, because vitamin C promotes iron assimilation.

All of these properties sound tempting, right? Such a simple and effective remedy! Unluckily it hasn’t been shown yet that drinking lemon water on an empty stomach early in the morning has all of these benefits to our health, wellbeing and shape. For instance, there are specialists who think the depurative, diuretic, slimming or alkalizing effects of drinking lemon water are simply a myth. Citric acid lemon is packed with makes urine alkaline, not the blood.

It is true lemon aids in digestion and boosts the immune system, yet in order to get such benefits you don’t necessarily have to drink water and lemon juice on an empty stomach. If taken on an empty stomach, this remedy may even prove harmful.

Side effects and warnings of drinking lemon water on an empty stomach:


  • Absolutely avoid drinking lemon water on an empty stomach if you suffer from gastritis and gastric reflux, as lemon juice may prove too aggressive to gastric mucosa.
  • Drink water and lemon juice with a straw and rinse the mouth out well afterwards, because  the lemon juice may corrode tooth enamel.
  • You should take this remedy with caution if you are on medications.
  • Drink lemon water only for short periods of time and use only organic lemons.


Anyhow, if you want to benefit from the proven properties of lemon water (digestion and immune system) you don’t have to drink it on an empty stomach; you’d better drink it after meals.

Like many wellness enthusiasts, I felt tempted to try water with lemon juice on an empty stomach, before having breakfast. Since I don’t suffer from gastritis, I decided to give it a try. I drank lukewarm water with lemon juice in the morning 20-30 minutes before having breakfast.

Here is my personal experience:

#1 – I didn’t have heartburns or similar symptoms, though since it was a short-term treatment, I don’t know what drinking lemon water for a longer period of time may cause.

#2 – It certainly helped my bowel.

#3 – My teeth got more sensitive, even though I tried drinking this remedy with a straw.

#4 – I didn’t lose weight.

Clearly it is something individual, and this is just my personal experience. I have come to the conclusion that miraculous remedies and without side effects don’t exist. You have to carefully assess the pros and the cons before trying a widely publicized cure-all, because very often it is just about drawing public attention. Does the same go with drinking lukewarm lemon water on an empty stomach too? The truth is that not only has it health benefits, but it also has important side effects we have to be aware of before trying it.


Thank you for reading and if you find this article useful, please comment below and share it so other people can benefit from it as well.


  1. Enjoyed reading the article above , really explains everything in detail,the article is very interesting and effective.Thank you and good luck for the upcoming articles

  2. Very useful article, Alessandro. l suffered from a kind of gastritis in the past. If l cant handle the stres, this old enemy appears again. Therefore, l also try to avoid eating fruits with strong acid level when my stomach is empty. So here there is a good advice for me! Thanks 🙂

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