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Drink Lemon Water in the Morning

Image by Lauren Conrad

Drinking lemon water first thing in the morning is one of the most simple, yet profound health habits to cultivate. Personally, I was astonished to discover the cornucopia of health benefits locked inside the peel of the humble lemon–I never knew! For starters, the instant energy boost helped me to kick the coffee habit. Big kudos there! Other juicy surprises included: a more alkaline pH, brighter skin, better digestion, and a guaranteed morning visit to the loo!


Health Benefits of Lemon Water

  • Promotes hydration
  • Natural energy boost
  • Promotes an alkaline pH
  • Promotes Elimination
  • Aids digestion
  • Boosts immune system
  • Boosts hydrochloric acid production
  • Natural diuretic
  • Antibacterial properties
  • Aids with gastric upsets such as heartburn and indigestion
  • Purifies the blood
  • Promotes healthy liver enzyme levels
  • Promotes circulation in the liver
  • Helps dissolve uric acid in the joints
  • Acts as a natural solvent for calcium deposits, kidney stones, pancreatic stones, and gallstones
  • The vitamin C nourishes and rejuvenates your skin from the inside, bringing you a healthy glow


Energy Boost & Hydration

Citric acid in lemon is highly electrically active, and pure water acts as a conductor to deliver electrolytes directly to your cells. It’s liken to a liquid sunshine burst that boosts cell energy and nourishes your adrenals for a clean energy output that sustains you throughout your day. This is why lemon water is so effective with helping people kick the coffee habit. Coffee is dehydrating and stresses your adrenals. Although you’re temporarily energized, this kind of dirty energy is actually very draining and depletes your body’s energy reserves.


Balanced pH

True health warriors understand the importance maintaining a proper pH balance within their tissues and organs. When your inner terrain is acidic, let’s say from eating a typical western diet comprised of meat, dairy, processed carbs  and sugar, bad fats, lots of coffee, and lots of alcohol (all of which are acidic), it’s hard to maintain good health. Symptoms of “acidosis” can range anywhere from achy joints, stiffness, insomnia, and depression to chronic disorders and major disease. Eeek!

Lemon is jam-packed with alkalizing minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium. Drinking lemon water daily boosts your alkalinity, and overtime can begin to reverse symptoms of acidity (provided that you’re cutting back/eliminating acidic foods and beverages). Don’t underestimate this powerful tip!


A Nice Healthy Poop in the Morning

The bitterness of the lemon increases bile (a natural laxative) and stimulates the gastrocolic reflex (peristalsis) which causes a bowel movement. This is not the same type of bowel movement however, that a morning cup of coffee induces.  The coffee poop is caused by the liver trying to remove the acid compounds that shock the system so early in the morning. If you rely on your morning cup of coffee to get your pooper moving, I recommend you try lemon water. You will be very surprised! :-P


Improved Digestion

Lemon water does wonders for the digestive tract. It normalizes hydrochloric acid production in the stomach and helps to produce bile in the liver. Hydrochloric acid and bile are both very important for digestion and assimilation of nutrients. If you have digestive issues, definitely start your day with lemon water, and drink warm lemon water after meals. You will see gas, bloating, and other digestive issues minimize or disappear.


Cleanses Your Tissues of Acid & Mineral Deposits

Citric acid in lemon is like a water softener for the body. It can dissolve harmful mineral deposits and uric acid that damage your organs, tissues and joints. If you eat a lot of meat and/or dairy, have had kidney or gallbladder stones, gout, arthritis, or any kind of chronic stiffness in the joints, you will greatly benefit from starting your day with lemon water.


Vitamin C

Yes, the mighty lemon is the gift that keeps on  giving. Along with all the juicy health benefits already mentioned, lemon is choc-full of vitamin C. Vitamin C boosts immunity, aids in calcium absorption and gives you radiant looking skin. Toxins always try to find a way to escape, and most often times its through your skin. Regularly drinking lemon water aids your body in swiftly removing toxins for you, so they’re not making a bee line for your complexion. After several weeks of your daily lemon tonic you will definitely notice a marked improvement with your skin’s tone and texture. It will be clearer, smoother and brighter.


Recipe for Your Morning Lemon Tonic


Photographer: Linda Wagner


The basic lemon drink consists of:

  • 1 half a lemon squeezed into a few ounces of room-temperature (or warm) purified water.  Never use tap, and never use cold water. Cold water actually slows digestion.

I like to go for the gusto, so my lemon drink is VERY concentrated and contains a few other gems. I have 2 versions.

  • I start with the juice of 1 lemon. I gently warm 4 oz. of water in my hot pot for a few seconds. Add the lemon with a pinch of Pink Salt and drink it down. The Pink Salt helps with hydrochloric acid production and provides a gentle boost to the adrenals.
  • Whenever I have ginger, I make a lemon ginger tea. I heat my water to hot, add the lemon with a few pieces of grated ginger, and a dollop of raw honey (minus the salt). This lemon ginger tea is also a nice pick-me-up in the afternoon.


After this long list of benefits, it’s hard to believe there is any negative connotation toward the mighty lemon. I say, “when life gives you lemons, squeeze them in water and enjoy!”

If you have a favorite lemon cocktail that puts a pep in your step, please do share in the comments below. And as always, if you’d like updates with more info like this, please join me at Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.



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  1. I love lemon water!
    makes poop time easy

  2. Hi Kim,

    Re: lemon detox diet – I hate lemon, but LOVE Lime, can I replace lemon with lime?

    Mark :-)

    • Yes you can Mark! Lime has many of the same health benefits as lemons. :)

  3. Hi Kim! Great article. I had no idea lemons had so many benefits! I always drank cold water with a lemon slice but have recently started drinking warm water with fresh squeezed lemon juice. I’m on day 4 and haven’t noticed any regulation in BM’s, but I do suffer from IBS. I am never normal and was hoping this would help me. Like all things, I guess I have to give it time? Thanks for the info!


    • You’re welcome Amanda! :-)

    • I started this three days ago- I rotate between warm and cold lemon water and I use slices. I go to the bathroom every day. The first night was a bit uncomfortable but ever since- no issues. I suffer from IbS and colitis. Try room temp water with slices if lemon. During the day I only drink cold water with slices alllllllll day.

      • Rachel, do you think the lemon water all day helps manage the IBS and Colitis?

  4. Can one replace the lemon with lemon juice mixed with water ?

    • Corlize, it has to be fresh lemons, but you can mix with water. :)

  5. Hi Kim :) How much salt do you put for 1 lemon juice and 4 ounces of water? Himalaya pink salt would work too? Thank you

    • Emanuela, I use just a pinch. And yes, Himalayan pink salt is excellent too! :-)

  6. can you use 100% Doterra essential lemon oil?

    • Shalese, the lemon oil will not provide the levels of vitamin C and citric acid that a real lemon would. I’d stick to the real thing. :-)

  7. Incredible lemon! Sometimes my intake goes to 4-5 lemons per day. Amazingly, I was 92kgs but due to the intake of lemon juice mixed with honey at early mornings has cut down my weight to 78kgs within 3months. I need not go to gym to reduce my weight. Want to know more about lemon.How does it work for an Alcoholic liver.

  8. I`m having gout and I eat every kind of tablets for the pain but nothing could help. I only took lemon juice with water 3 x day , Surprisingly all the pain and the stiffness is GONE . THANK YOU VERY MUCH KIM FOR SHARING THIS WITH US.

    • Fantastic news Victor! Thank you for sharing your success. :-)

  9. Hi, great post! one question, how about mineral wáter with lemon as you described and a bit of sea salt? do the properties of each add up or cancel out?

    • Jose, I typically throw a pinch of sea salt in my lemon water already, and I think lemon and mineral water is fine.

  10. Great article. I drink hot lemon water every morning and every night. I do have one question though… Why did you say never to use tap water? I’ve been drinking tap water my whole life and there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with it. In fact, most bottled waters are in fact simply bottled tap water.

    • Abs, tap water is full of chlorine and fluoride, both of which are very harmful to the body. You’re also correct when you say most bottled waters are from the tap. I have an Reverse Osmosis water filter which removes fluoride. Most water machines in grocery stores are also Reverse Osmosis. There are also good sources of spring water, you just have to do your research to find them. Hope this helps!

  11. Hi Kim,

    can i take lemon water mixed with normal salt in the morning ??

    • Avinash, I’m not sure what you mean by “normal” salt. If you’re referring to unheated, untreated Himalayan salt or uncontaminated sea salt, then certainly! If you’re referring to table salt, however, I would not encourage it. In this post I added a link to the type of salt I use. If you visit that link, it will explain in more detail about how to obtain high quality salt.

  12. Hi! Great article, i’m a big fan of lemons. Was wondering if this would cause acidic bowel movements?

    • Hey Jen. I’m not sure what you mean by acidic bowel movement. I’m assuming you mean stool that creates a burning sensation. Although lemons are acidic, they’re highly alkaline when ingested. This is why they help to normalize tissue pH. However, everyone’s body is different, so how they respond to lemons is varied. Overall, I’ve never heard of lemons doing this, but I can guarantee that it won’t for some individuals.

  13. I started drinking a bottle of 1/2 lemon and 16 oz of water first thing every morning and at night before bed. I am very irregular and thought this would help from what I had reserched it would. after about 2 weeks I began to have very loose stools and a day or two with some feverish chills so I cut back to drinking once in the morning. It stopped the very loose stools for a couple of weeks but I had them again this week along with the feverish chills. could this be due to the detoxification?? I love the way the lemon water works and makes me feel minus the 4 days of feverish chills and loose stools. should I continue the water and maybe cut back to every other day? to see if the symptons go away? and if I do will i still get the same affect?

    Thank you,

    • Hi Angie. It may be a detox reaction, or it may be that your body type is too sensitive to the lemon. I recommend to take a complete break for at least a week, then slowly introduce the lemon water again. Start with every other day, then once a day. This should give you enough space and time to see if your body is reacting to the lemon, or if it was a detox reaction. Twice a day can be a bit too much for some body types. Hope this helps! :-)

  14. Hi,

    Very nice article, I just starting this routine in the morning. I currently have Gastritis, Celiac, and duodenitis. Horribly mixture of problems lol. I was just put on Protonix(reduce stomach acid) to help cure the gastritis and duodentis. and of course the GF diet will help as well. Weill lemon water have any effect with protonix? I really started lemon water because I am bloated 99% of the day and hoped this would help. I will say bowel movements have changed and I have a bit more energy but I want to make sure it will not have reverse effect with Protonix? Also, many articles says adults over 150lbs should do 1 lemon as suppose to 1/2 a lemon what do you tihnk?

    • Thank you Brian! I’m super happy that you’re drinking the lemon water. I personally use 1 whole lemon, so I don’t think it will be a problem for most. Since I’m not familiar with this medication, it will be safest to ask your doctor about possible interactions between the lemon and the medication. Good luck and best wishes for healing! :-)

  15. I started drinking lemon water (half a lemon per 16oz of water) through out the day yesterday. I was extremely gassy last night and this morning. Will this eventually subside? How much is too much lemon water? Thanks for your amazing article and advice.

    • Hey Yari! The lemon is just doing some cleaning out, so gas is normal and should eventually subside. The amount of lemon really depends on the person. I suggest starting first thing in the morning, with half a lemon and much less water. This will stimulate a bowel movement and hopefully take care of the gas. If that works well for you, then gradually start drinking more lemon water throughout the day. Eventually, you should figure out the amount of lemon to use.

  16. Hi Kim,
    Great article…. Just have a question, that if i take lemon juice with salt in morning, will it cause any side effect ?

    • Mandeep, it really depends upon the person. The most you’ll have will be cleansing reactions, like gas or having to go to the bathroom quickly. However this is all good and should eventually subside if you continue with the lemon and salt. Also, make sure your salt is Himalayan salt. You don’t want to use table salt or any sea salt that is white.

      • Hi Kim,

        Thank you for your valuable reply
        Sorry i used table salt (white) & just had for two days & i got fever (due to lack of energy), i think it drained all of my energy. I discontinued & feeling better. I just started this to loose weight as now a days we find very less time for our self’s due to busy schedule & job.

        • Mandeep, I edited the information in this post about using treated salt. If you haven’t already, please revisit. Using treated salt which is reduced to mostly sodium chloride is very harsh on the body; thus is why you probably weren’t feeling well. I recommend you purchase a good quality Himalayan salt and give it another go. However, if weight loss is your sole purpose, you may experience limited results. The focus should always being on creating health. Once you can do this, weight loss naturally occurs. :-)

  17. I love this, and it has been making me feel better, but for some reason im having the opposite effect in the “pooping area” lol… since i started drinking this daily i have been really constipated with really, really bad gas! I know, TMI! But when will this side effect end? ?

    • Tara, I’ve never heard of lemon water causing constipation. Since lemon has a cleansing effect, the gas is normal when you first start, but plugging you up? I recommend to stop the lemon water for a while to see if your bowel movements return to normal. If they don’t, it may be something in your diet or lifestyle. Please report back to let me know.

  18. please a friend recommended for me that drinking lemon juice mixed with salt help treat backbone pains or arthritis, so i have been taking lemon juice mixed with salt every morning and evening. please I want to know if ti will help me or not cause I have a problem with my spinal cord

    • Mensah, the lemon water & salt should help with pain overtime. However, there are a few important things to know.

      1. Make sure to use Himalayan salt only.
      2. If you eat meat & dairy, greatly reduce/eliminate for good. These 2 are the main cause of arthritis and will continue to exacerbate symptoms.
      3. Eat more alkalizing foods. Over acidification exacerbates arthritis.
      4. Take more magnesium. Magnesium is necessary for bone health.

      Wish you well!

  19. Dear ,Kim.
    Thank you for having started tis website.i have been going through your website and it is of a great help.i would like to know if I can have lemon with honey and a pinch of Himalayan salt as I time the taste is sour lemon ,honey and salt or do you feel I should stick to only lemon and honey or lemon and salt

    • Jyothi, I think the combination of lemon, honey and Himalayan salt is a great idea. Just make sure to use raw honey. :)

  20. Sorry for the typo ,I meant I like the taste of sour salt and sweet together

  21. I was just wondering why you don’t add the pink salt to your ginger/lemon version of the tea…

    Thank you…great information!

    • Hey Erin. You can certainly add salt to the lemon/ginger combo, but the taste is a little funky.

  22. I was also wondering if you had any troubles with your teeth because of the citric acid from the lemon. I’ve heard of others drinking the morning lemon water and getting sensitive teeth. Did you ever have that issue? I apologize if this was already asked. My iPad is freezing and not allowing me to read all the comments. Thanks again!

    • I don’t have issues with the citric acid, but I recommend maybe using a straw if you begin to have issues. :-D

    • i have been using lemon water for 9 months and it has help my weight loss. I always use a stew so I don’t damage my teeth.

  23. Say Kim, could you use “Apple Cider Vinegar” instead
    of the 1/2 lemon squeezed into warm water for each
    drink? Does this have the same properties as lemons?
    Thank you for such an interesting article..Kudos ® to You!

    • Julia, apple cider vinegar has different properties, but is still very beneficial. :-D

  24. I know this is an old post, however, just wondering if very dilute lemon juice would be ok for toddlers to sip? I know it can erode enamel and not to give in close proximity of dairy intake. I’ve read that it helps brain function and evn respiratory function. Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Tracy, I think it would be fine to give in moderation. Just be careful. It has a cleansing effect, so not too much at one time. :-D

  25. Hi Kim,

    Is it ok to drink coffee after my lemon water with salt?
    thank you

    • Erin, it’s fine to drink coffee after the lemon drink. However, it will undo some of the alkalizing effect from the lemon. I always suggest transitioning to drinking green tea or yerba mate when doing lemon water in the morning.

  26. can i drink this lemon water before i go to sleep??

    • Debhani, I don’t think it would be a huge issue to drink it at night, unless you are real sensitive. However, it’s most effective to still do it in the morning upon arising.

  27. Hi Kim! This is a great, informative post! I had a few questions for you:

    1. Can I use organic jaggery instead of honey?

    2. Would you recommend Manuka honey? It’s a lot more expensive than pure raw honey, but apparently has a lot of health benefits.

    3. Would black salt work?

    4. Lastly, can you recommend brands of raw honey and Himalayan pink salt? There are so many out there, it’s hard to know what to buy, and whether or not it’s the real deal.

    Thank you!

    • Hey Uma. The focus is the lemon, really. That’s the most important aspect. However jaggery or any type of raw honey is an added benefit. I’m sure black salt, since it’s not processed, will work well too. :-D I use Evolution Himalayn Salt and a local honey.

  28. Hi I am on my 6 day of drinking lemon water half a lemon with hot water in the.morning I feel way better but im passing smelly gas is that normal and if yes when will that pass?

    • Raisi, it probably indicates you’re moving out toxins. Give it a few days more to see what happens.

  29. Since I started drinking pure lemon in the morning my bowel movement is regular but Im kinda worried because it is color black. Is it normal?

    • Cindelle, this isn’t too abnormal when starting on the lemon water. Most likely, you’re purging toxins.

  30. Hi Kim
    Can I drink the lemon drink with sea salt with cold water. I really don’t like warm water.

    • I don’t recommend ice cold water, since it hampers digestion. Try to do cool or room temp water if you can.

  31. is it normal to rush to the toilet after having lemon water in the morning? its the same with aloe vera juice….

    • It’s totally normal, especially if you’re new to drinking the lemon water. It’s a good sign that the lemon is doing its job. :-D

  32. Just took lemon water cup of 16oz. I start going to the restroom mins after drinking. Is it normal to go more than 4 times already. More like diarrhea and I’m getting chills every time i need to go to the restroom is this normal? I’m 25 overweight 194, 5’2

    • Diana, it’s not abnormal to have a detox-like reaction when first starting with the lemon water. Your body is just moving stuff out. If it continues, you may want to use less lemon for a while until your body adjusts.

      • thanks its day two and i just stop drinking the lemon water i still have diarrhea just like water diarrhea and i burp and it smells. ;/

        • The lemon most likely stimulated your gallbladder. Give it a few days.

  33. Hi Kim,

    great insight into the humble ‘lemon’ – ,many thanks

    1. How many glasses/or lemons would you recommend per day?
    2. will i still get the maximum benefits of the drink if i have it at lunch or evening?

    Many thanks


    • Leyton, since the lemon stimulates the gastrocolic reflex, it helps to jump start elimination & detoxification that took place while sleeping. Therefore, the most benefits are received when drinking it first thing in the morning. However, you still benefit any time of the day. I generally do my lemon in the am, then squeeze two more lemons into a quart of water and drink throughout the day.

  34. Can i drink coffee or my milk after drinking lemon water? How long will i wait to drink my coffee or milk?

    • I don’t recommend it…please read in the post where I discuss not drinking dehydrating beverages after.

  35. I see where you stated that fresh lemons should be used rather than bottled lemon juice. Just curious as to why. The bottle’s ingredients are 100% lemon juice and it is much cheaper than real lemons. Why is there a difference if they are both lemon juice? Thank you!

    • Brandy, fresh lemon juice has all the powerful stuff. Once the juice is bottled, the nutrients begin to degrade. Fresh is best!

  36. pls tell me..there is any side effect of lemon and honey with warm water

    • Vikas, for some people, a slight detox reaction may occur when they start taking lemon water. Your bowels may be loose, or you may feel tired or run down. But there are no “side effect” that would harm you. Lemon and honey are a nice combination.

  37. I drank 1st time lemon water 2 days ago. Still have diarrhea is it from the lemon water? And should I keep drinking it or stop for a while Thanks hun!=)

    • I also added organic honey to it. And the water was almost hot. Thanks again!!

      • Derek, it’s not so uncommon to have watery stools after starting the lemon water. The lemon has most likely stimulated your gallbladder to purge toxic bile. Go ahead and give it a rest until your bowels restore to normal, then slowly start taking in the lemon again. You may want to only do 1/2 of a lemon for a while, or do it every other day. Eventually, your bowel movements should return to normal. If not, this may indicated that you need to do some type of liver/gallbladder flushing. I do have a liver flush protocol I use, so if you feel this may be something you need to do, I’d be more than happy to have a session with you. Here’s the info/details: Keep me posted. :-D


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