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Hot Lemon Water: Miracle Detox or Hyped Up Myth?

Hot Lemon Water: Miracle Detox or Hyped Up Myth? A white china tea-cup of hot water and a slice of lemon, next to a bowl of lemons

You probably read this in a lot of magazines: hot lemon water is THE thing to start your day with, because of its super duper miraculous detox properties. We were curious if that’s the case. Or not. Read on and find out.

When it comes to health, fitness, and lifestyle, there are a lot of myths out there, covered in hyperboles about their precious, irreplaceable contribution to your overall well-being. Well, the fact is that most of those myths have a grain of truth to them, but all of the miraculous potions are not as outstanding as advertised. Hot lemon water included!

What’s the myth of the hot lemon water?

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, they said that if you squeeze juice from one lemon, add it to a glass of warm water and then drink it – every morning – you will partake in numerous health benefits. Like better digestion, boosted mineral absorption and your body will detox.

1. The lemon detox

There is an antioxidant in lemons called d-limonene, which activates enzymes in the liver that are part of detoxification processes. They take compounds present in the liver which are toxic to cells and convert them to more benign versions. But d-limonene is found mostly in the lemon (and orange) peels, so the juice won’t do you much good.

A liter of citrus juice contains about 100 mg of d-limonene, while the actual dose you need is approximately 500 mg. So you would need supplements. A glass of hot lemon water will not be enough for you!

Hot Lemon Water: Miracle Detox or Hyped Up Myth? Orange Peels

Citrus peels have more nutrients in them than the actual flesh of lemons and oranges.

2. Help with digestion

A 30-year old study found that citric acid can improve absorption of aluminum hydroxide, which is the active ingredient in antacids. But this is mostly speculation. In certain individuals, the lemon juice might make stomach troubles worse!

3. Mineral absorption

Vitamin C enhances mineral absorption, but you don’t need warm lemon juice for that. You can get your vitamin C in so many fruits and vegetables, not just citrus. You can find it in kale, strawberries, bell peppers, broccoli, and spinach. It’s enough to eat a piece of fruit or vegetable during breakfast, and this will help your body absorb more minerals!

So hot lemon water isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. It’s just warm water with juice, not a miracle, life-saving miracle!

I’m a pop culture nerd who thinks too much about fried bacon, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and life, the Universe and everything. I love food and sometimes you can see that on my hips, but I don't care that much about that.
What I do care more about is trying to eat healthier, even though I admit that I like to indulge in my food fantasies. I’m addicted to puns, so forgive me for that when you read my articles. I now know too much about nutrition to be fun to hang out with. So long and thanks for all the fish-based omega-3 fatty acids.

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