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If there’s one healthy thing I’ve done consistently for years, it’s drink lemon water. And not because of all the claimed health benefits, I simply just like the taste of lemon water better than plain water.

The older I’ve gotten the more attention I pay to my health, so if all the supposed benefits of drinking lemon water are true — great! If not, for me the added lemon just helps me drink more water every day, which I know is a good thing.

So instead of regurgitating some list of “12 Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water” like a lot of clickbait websites will do without even citing where they got the information from, instead I did a little (emphasis on little) research to see if there was any science behind all of the lemon water claims.

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The nutrition facts are that the lemon is low in sugar, high in vitamin C and potassium, and also has folate, vitamin B6, thiamin, copper, fiber, magnesium, and vitamin E. All good things. The vitamin C levels are actually very high. One cup of raw lemon juice has around 112mg of vitamin C, or 187% of your daily vitamin C needs.

A lot of the claimed benefits of lemon water are linked to the vitamins and minerals that are in lemons, but they tend to get a bit exaggerated. Like saying lemons fight cancer! Well, lemons do have a lot of vitamin C and vitamin C can help fight the formation of free radicals known to cause cancer. But to say that lemons help fight and prevent cancer is a bit of an outrageous claim.

Vitamin C also plays a role in the formation of collagen, which if you are my age, collagen is a word that is now a big deal to you. Think wrinkles and plump skin. So heck, if the vitamin C in lemon juice does help in collagen production, then that is a huge bonus for me. (Gulping lemon juice.)

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Dr. Passler (nutritionist to models like Adriana Lima) says that “Lemons are rich in potassium, which is a key nutrient for healthy metabolism. Also, since it aids in the digestion of proteins and fats, it may play an indirect role in the production and fueling of muscles that can improve your ability to burn calories.” — Via NYMag

This article has cited possible health benefits and the studies or doctors that back it up. If all of the possible benefits are true, then great! If not, I will still drink it for the flavor, and as a way for me to drink more water each day. I also think the levels of vitamin C and potassium in lemons is hard to ignore, so for all the things that they are good for, drinking lemon water is probably helpful.

life with picasso book

I personally drink a warm cup of lemon water first thing in the morning. Your body is dehydrated in the morning anyway so regardless of the lemon juice benefits, I’m hydrating my body. Then I tend to drink lemon water all day. Usually room temperature or cold, with a smoothie straw! I actually think the smoothie straw helps me drink more water as well.

So, do you drink lemon water? Do you feel like it helps you with anything?

At the least, I know for me it helps me drink more water and stay hydrated and I personally think it helps with keeping my digestion on track (which is one of the claimed benefits). I’ve also recommended it to people who’ve had digestion issues (as in stoppage) and simply drinking warm lemon water in the morning solved their problems. So, if regularity is a problem for you, you might want to give warm lemon water in the mornings a try.

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view of washington dc

striped dress


Striped Wrap Midi Dress (gifted)
Because of the slits in each side, this dress let’s the air through on warm days.

Tumbled Leather Espadrilles
They also come in black, and are 25% off through 4/4/16! I can tell you they are SUPER comfy.

Fest Aviator Sunglasses

Mini Gold Shark Tooth Necklace (gifted)

Similar Hoop Earrings
Mine are Kenneth Cole from YEARS ago.

OPI I Couldn’t Bare Less (gel polish)
I am obsessed with this color.

Life With Picasso by Francoise Gilot and Carlton Lake
I’m reading this book right now to prep for the Picasso museums for my upcoming trip to Spain!

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Photos by Laura Metzler

Articles about lemons here: Medical News Today, NY Mag, Nutrition You Can Use, Green Med Info, and Cleveland Clinic.