10 Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water Before Bed
Throughout the years, there have been countless diet and wellness fads that have circulated the internet. Many of them last for a short period of time before being discredited and disappearing. One wellness trick that has been around for a while and yet to go away is drinking lemon water before bed on an empty stomach.
The health benefits of lemon plus pure water have been confirmed by scientific research and supported with personal testimonies. Overall, lemon water is not just another fad but a great addition to a healthy lifestyle. Here are the top 10 reasons to drink lemon water before bed.
1. Helps With Hydration Through the Night
One thing many people don’t realize is just how bad dehydration can be for your health. And, considering how many people don’t drink enough water each day, this is startling. Re-hydrating before bed could be one of the most important times of the day to drink water.
When you sleep, despite that you’re simply laying there, your body loses a lot of its water reserves. Even if you drank a lot throughout the day, you’re still losing a lot of hydration. Having water before bed is a great way to ensure that you’re not getting overly dehydrated overnight.
But, drinking water alone isn’t the best way to combat overnight dehydration. In addition to losing water overnight, you also lose electrolytes. Electrolytes are essential minerals your body needs in order to maintain primary functions and keep up its energy levels. They also help maintain the body’s inner environment by regulating its hydration level. Losing too many electrolytes could result in many complications including:
- Loss of muscle movement
- Loss of nerve function
- Irregular body fluid balance
- Buildup of unwanted toxins
Water on its own does not contain a ton of electrolytes. However, lemons are one of the best food sources for electrolytes. They are high in common electrolytes such as potassium and sodium as well as many smaller, less common ones. Therefore, having a glass of lemon water every night keeps you hydrated both from the water and the electrolytes of the lemons. Getting into the habit of having a glass of lemon water before bed every night could be the solution to reducing your risk of overnight dehydration.
2. Improves digestion
Your stomach is filled with acids. These acids help break down the food you ingest in order to make it easier for your digestive system to absorb the food’s nutrients. Overall, the process creates an optimal flow of food in and out of your body. As a result, you experience:
- Decreased bloating
- Regular bowel movements
- Decreased constipation
However, as you age, there is a decline in the stomach acids your body makes. Therefore, a supplement is often necessary to kick start digestion and keep it going. One of the best supplements to get digestion going is lemon water. Because lemon is highly acidic, it helps take over when your stomach acids aren’t getting food through fast enough. Once the lemon makes its way through your system, it slowly becomes more alkaline.
Also, you don’t need to wait until you start aging to get some help with digestion. Anyone at any age can drink lemon water to help maintain an optimal digestive flow. Drinking lemon water at night may be best for digestion. That way, when you wake up in the morning, your stomach is all clear for the day.
3. Prevents Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are painful crystals that form in your kidneys from a buildup of calcium, oxalate, and uric acid. If you’ve ever experienced them before, then you know how much of a toll they can take on your health as they pass through the urinary tract. However, you can take steps to help prevent getting kidney stones in the first place. One of the best ways to do so is by drinking lemon water.
Lemons are high in citric acid. Citric acid contains a salt called citrate; citrate helps prevent kidney stones from forming. The citrate binds to a buildup of calcium in order to stop the formation of a stone. Whether you’ve ever had kidney stones before or not, you should drink a glass of lemon water before bed each night in order to prevent kidney stones from ever becoming a problem.
4. Provides an Antioxidant Boost
Lemons are one of the world’s most highly antioxidant concentrated foods. Antioxidants are compounds that protect your body’s cells from damage. One of the most powerful antioxidants is flavonoids; flavonoids are found in large amounts in lemons. The specific damage that antioxidants protect you from is what’s known as oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Some activities that can lead to oxidative stress include:
- Environmental pollution
- Consumption of processed foods
- Tissue damage
Thanks to the boost of antioxidants from lemons, these stressors will have less of an impact on your body. Just a few of the diseases that antioxidants can help protect you from include:
- Heart disease
- Macular degeneration
It’s safe to say that antioxidants have an abundance of health benefits!
5. Adds a Dose of Vitamin C
Vitamin C is an especially powerful antioxidant found in large amounts in lemons. You may remember being told as a kid to drink a glass of warm lemon water when you had a sore throat; this is for good reason! Vitamin C is one of the best natural remedies to soothe common colds. The form of vitamin C found in lemons is called ascorbic acid. This acid is essential to keep your body well and strong. Some of its functions include:
- forming blood vessels
- Restoring collagen in bones
- Helping detox your body
So, if your mom made you drink lemon water when you had a cold, be sure to thank them for it! To get the most out of the vitamin C in your lemon water, try drinking this lemon tea recipe before going to bed at night:
- 8 ounces of water
- ½ lemon juice
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp turmeric
- Heat water in a kettle
- Take the water off the kettle, add lemon juice, honey, and turmeric
- Enjoy the benefits of a delicious, vitamin C packed tea
6. Brightens Skin
One of the best ways to look better on the outside is by taking care of yourself on the inside. Drinking lemon water before bed is one of the best ways you can do so. When you go to sleep at night, your body kicks into repair mode. As you are unconscious, it starts repairing the damage that your skin took from the sun, air pollution, and other damaging factors throughout the day.
Therefore, it is crucial that you not only get your sleep at night, but you prepare your body to restore itself before you hit the pillow. Give your body the substances it needs to repair itself with a glass of lemon water. The combination of its antibacterial and antioxidant properties is what gives it such power.
Benefits of drinking lemon water for your skin include:
- Reducing the look of wrinkles
- Brightening complexion
- Repairing damaged cells
The combination of a good night of sleep plus lemon water will give you the necessary internal-external benefits for a radiant complexion.
7. Boosts Your Immune System
Even when you are asleep and your risk of getting sick is lower, your immune system is wide awake and ready to protect your body. Your body’s defense cells, including T cells and epinephrine, can all use some help every once in a while from lemons. The vitamin C and antioxidants found in lemons help boost the strength of the defense cells. So, even when your risk of becoming infected with germs is lower at night, your body still needs to be prepared for an encounter with an invader. To help your defense cells out while you sleep, drink lemon water right before bed.
8. Freshens Your Breath
Want to wake up with better breath in the morning? Try drinking a tall glass of lemon water before bed. As it turns out, the old trick of drinking lemon water to treat bad breath really does work. The acidity in lemons does a few things for your breath:
- Increases saliva production
- Protects against bacteria
First off, lemons help increase the production of saliva in your mouth. When the acid from the lemons hits your tongue, it stimulates the reticular activating system (RAS) in your brain. The RAS is responsible for salivating your mouth to prevent dryness. The dryness is what is oftentimes responsible for your bad breath in the morning.
As you sleep at night, you often lose a lot of the moisture in your mouth from breathing with your mouth open or snoring. In order to avoid the bad breath associated with dry mouth, drink lemon water before bed in order to stimulate the production of saliva. The increased moisture will help maintain a fresh smell!
Secondly, lemons are highly antibacterial. Bacteria are often responsible for the bad breath we have in the morning. The antibacterial properties of lemons help ward off potential illness and keep you smelling fresh. The next time you wake up in the morning, have no fear that your mouth will taste like last night’s dinner. Simply sip on lemon water right before bed!
Pro tip: To avoid any erosion of tooth enamel from the highly acidic lemons, be sure to brush your teeth after drinking the lemon water and before going to bed!
9. Lowers Blood Pressure
A recent study demonstrated that drinking lemon juice has numerous positive cardiovascular effects. Two of them are related to lowering triglycerides and blood pressure. Most people are already aware of what blood pressure is, but not everyone is equally aware of triglycerides. However, if you’re someone who has high blood pressure, then you probably already know a thing or two about triglycerides.
Triglycerides store unused calories in your body as fat and provide energy. Unfortunately, there are numerous negative downsides associated with having high levels of triglycerides. Some of them include:
- Higher risk of stroke
- Increased belly fat
- High blood sugar and cholesterol
The good news is the recent study showed that drinking lemon juice was associated with decreases in triglycerides. Additionally, triglycerides are associated with high blood pressure. Typically, higher triglycerides mean an increased likeliness of having high blood pressure.
Furthermore, the study also demonstrated that increased intake of lemon juice was associated with lower blood pressure. Despite the fact that blood pressure typically goes down at night, that is not always the case. Those with existing high blood pressure are more likely to experience nocturnal hypertension, a spike in nighttime blood pressure.
This condition can be particularly dangerous as it usually goes undetected while you sleep. Therefore, you can do your cardiovascular health a favor by squeezing lemon juice into your water at night. This could help reduce high blood pressure, triglycerides, and potentially nocturnal hypertension.
10. Aids with weight loss
Lemon water has long been a staple within the health and wellness community. Many of its strongest proponents claim it has weight loss-inducing properties. While research has yet to prove that lemon water directly impacts weight loss, there are many indirect ways that lemon water helps support weight loss.
How does it support weight loss? A few ways, including:
- Increased hydration
- High fiber content
- Polyphenol antioxidants
Hydration is perhaps the most important element necessary to lose weight. Drinking lemon water is also one of the most effective ways to stay hydrated. When you re-hydrate, you not only feel fuller, but you also increase lipolysis. Lipolysis is the breakdown of lipids, or fats, through a process called hydrolysis. Hydrolysis is fueled by staying hydrated with water.
Therefore, the more water you drink, your feelings of hunger will likely go down and you’ll burn fat via lipolysis. Add the lemon to your water in order to add more flavor to your drinks and encourage hydration. Second, lemons are naturally very high in dietary fiber. Fiber does numerous positive things for weight loss including:
- Reducing appetite
- Increasing beneficial gut bacteria
- Preventing gaining belly fat
Fiber is highly satiating. So, after consuming it, you’ll feel fuller sooner and for longer. This could help if portion control and overeating, in particular, make it challenging for you to lose weight. Soluble fiber also promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut. When you have more diverse bacteria in your gut, you could potentially promote weight loss. Research shows that subjects with better gut bacteria actually lowered their risk of developing bad belly fat.
Lastly, lemons are very high in an antioxidant called polyphenol. This antioxidant has been shown to significantly reduce weight gain in overfed mice. While research is still expanding on this particular antioxidant and its ties to weight loss, this is overall positive to hear.
Even More Benefits of Lemon Water
Just when you think lemon water couldn’t be any better for your health, it does. In addition to the top 10 best benefits of lemon water, there are even more nutritional benefits that this drink has to offer.
Additional benefits of lemon water include:
- Protection against anemia
- Balances ph levels
- Aids the liver in detoxification
- Increases liver enzymes
- Fights inflammation
- Detoxifying the body
One more benefit that drinking lemon water has is that, the more you incorporate it into your diet, the less likely you are to drink more unhealthy beverages. Lemon water bumps up the normally dull taste of water to make it sweet, sour, and zesty. When you start drinking lemon water as an alternative to artificially sweetened drinks like soda or fruit juice, you cut out potentially harmful ingredients.
Both soda and fruit juice can really take a toll on your health over time. The added sugars, artificial sweeteners, and harmful synthetic ingredients have all been associated with numerous diseases. Opt for lemon water instead of these other drinks. If lemon water bores you out over time, try switching it up between hot and cold water, adding in other fruits, or making it as a tea.
The Bottom Line: Should You Drink Lemon Water Before Bed?
Regardless of your health status, anyone and everyone can benefit from drinking lemon water before bed. Countless benefits are associated with lemon water. The hydrating properties of water plus the vitamins and minerals packed within fresh lemons make it a perfect solution for good health.
To maximize the benefits, drinking lemon water before bed prepares you for a good night’s sleep and for a good morning the following day. The next time you fill up your water on your bedside table, take one second to add in a lemon. This simple step can make all the difference in your overall health!
Bonus tip: If you want to try out lemon water but want to add even more flavors, try out this Indian street food-inspired hot lemon water recipe.