In my endless scrolling it became clear that pretty much every health influencer cites lemon water in their daily habits. These glowing creatures attribute everything to the magical elixir, from improving skin and digestion, to boosting their immune systems, to helping their bodies “detox” – whatever that means.
But when we hear of people who drink lemon water to reap all of the supposed benefits, most of the time we hear about including the bevvie as part of a morning routine. Between leaving the door for my workout and preparing the kids, pets, and me for the day, it doesn’t seem like I am able to add one more thing to my morning routine. But what about the night? I set out to see if there was any benefit in flipping the script and drinking lemon water before bed when I was relaxing.
Are there any health benefits from drinking lemon water before bed (or anytime)?
As Well + Good previously reported, the benefits of drinking lemon water can: a then somewhat exaggerated. “Contrary to popular belief, many specific claims about the benefits of drinking lemon water are not backed by science,” says Megen Erwine, RD of LetsGetChecked.
That being said, it certainly doesn’t mean that the bitter stuff doesn’t have any benefits. Lemons are a good source of vitamin C, with one tablespoon providing about 10 mg – and most adults need 75-90 mg of vitamin C per day. “Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and supports the immune system. It plays a role in cardiovascular disease prevention, cancer prevention and treatment, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataract progression, and cold prevention and treatment, ”explains Erwine.
Many of the benefits of lemon water come from the basic hydration factor that you can achieve with or without the citrus component. After all, staying hydrated is a very essential part of maintaining overall health and longevity.
And this attractive idea of ”Detox”? Plain old water will do that for you too. “Increasing water consumption can help the liver and kidneys remove toxins by increasing urine,” says Erwine. Our body doesn’t need fancy detoxification mechanisms – it just needs to be supported by healthy daily habits that promote optimal function. Hydration may not be the most noticeable wellness tool, but it is one of the best things we can do for health.
So is lemon water a good idea before bed?
Given the role lemon water plays in a healthy lifestyle, could there be any additional benefits to drinking lemon water before bed? According to Erwine, the answer is … it depends. “Adding lemon water at any time of the day is an easy way to increase your water and vitamin C intake,” she says. In addition, the benefits of using lemon water before bedtime will depend on the person. Erwine says warm lemon water before bed could have relaxing effects that could help reduce stress and improve sleep. Additionally, for those who find lemon water a satisfying evening sip, it could serve as a healthier alternative to alcoholic beverages or nighttime snacks.
On the flip side, drinking fluids right before bed could disrupt sleep by going to the bathroom in the middle of the night – so be careful about how much you’re drinking if you want to avoid going to the toilet at night. “For those with heartburn and GERD, consuming lemon water before bed can cause symptoms,” Erwine adds.
As with anything, if you are considering adding lemon water to your nightly ritual, it will do you good to listen to your body. Try adding a glass or warm or cold lemon water before bed and see how your sleep, digestion, and general health react to it. You might even discover a new favorite way to end the night.
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