There is much talk of drinking hot lemon water before bed to promote sleep. but does it really work? Warm lemon water is known to have beneficial health effects. For example, helping to combat the symptoms of the common cold. However, many claims about the health benefits of drinking hot lemon water before bed lack evidence. Hot lemon water has long been used in alternative medicine. For example, followers use diluted lemon to treat sore throats or clear nasal passages. This article examines whether warm lemon water before bed is good for your health or has any other health benefits.
What is hot lemon water?
It is a mixture of plain water and lemon juice or a slice of lemon. Water is essential for many bodily functions, including temperature regulation and waste removal.
We know the importance of water to prevent dehydration. Dehydration can cause problems like mood swings, trouble thinking, and other physical complications. Drinking a glass of warm lemon water before bed is a good way to stay hydrated.
Lemon is also a source of vitamin C, which has various health benefits. For example, vitamin C helps protect cells from damage. It also promotes collagen production, which helps wounds heal. However, several other foods are also rich sources of vitamin C. For example, oranges, broccoli, and some fortified juices are rich sources of vitamin C.
What are the known benefits of lemon water?
There are many claims about the benefits of warm lemon water, from hydrating the skin to preventing certain diseases. There is a lack of research specifically examining the health benefits of drinking hot lemon water before bed. Some studies focus on the possible health benefits of general hydration. A 2019 study suggested that most health claims about additional hydration lack evidence. However, they did find evidence to suggest that hydration might improve thinking skills, reduce the risk of kidney stones, or help with weight loss. The authors concluded that there are possible benefits of supplemental hydration, but that more research is needed.
A small 2014 study of 52 people looked at the effects of increasing water intake in people with low hydration and decreasing intake in people with high hydration. The researchers found that increasing water intake in underhydrated people improved their calmness, contentment, and sleep. They found the opposite effect of reducing water consumption in the other group. Some people may find warm lemon water relaxing before bedtime. The experience may be beneficial for inducing sleep or improving sleep quality.
Reduce cold symptoms
In a 2008 study, researchers found that drinking a hot beverage improved cold and flu symptoms. Drinking warm lemon water before bed can help ease a stuffy nose or soothe a sore throat. Lemons also contain vitamin C. A 2017 article suggested that vitamin C may shorten the duration of colds.
Other possible benefits of lemon water
Hot or cold lemon water could have benefits at any time of the day, such as:
Weight loss: A 2019 study found evidence that increased hydration can help with weight loss, especially if water replaces sugary drinks.
Natural detoxification: A small study from 2020 found that drinking water can help kidney function and dilute toxins in the blood.
Lower risk of heart disease: A 2019 article suggested that certain compounds in citrus fruits may reduce the risk of heart disease, but studies are needed to directly test this claim.
Are there any side effects?
Drinking lemon water is generally safe for most people. However, some people may experience side effects if they consume large amounts.
For example, lemon water can cause erosion of tooth enamel. According to a 2008 study, lemon juice (pure) is more damaging to tooth enamel than other fruits.
Who should avoid it?
People with weakened tooth enamel or at risk of dental problems should consult a dentist before regularly consuming lemon water before bedtime.
How to prepare hot lemon water
Mix lemon juice or a slice of lemon with boiled water to make hot lemon water. The ratio of lemon to water varies according to personal preference.
Some people prefer hot water to boiling water.
Bassiouny, MA, et al. (2008). Evaluation of the topographic and radiographic profile of dental erosion. Part II: Effect of citrus fruit juices on the human dentition. [Abstract].
Gomez, E., et al. (2018). Does vitamin C prevent the common cold?
Liska, D., et al. (2019). Narrative review of hydration and selected health outcomes in the general population.
Mahmoud, AM, et al. (2019). Beneficial effects of citrus flavonoids on cardiovascular and metabolic health.
Nakamura, Y., et al. (2020). Effect of increased daily water intake and hydration on health in Japanese adults.
Pross, N., et al. (2014). Effects of changes in water intake on mood in heavy and light drinkers.
Sanu, A., et al. (2008). The effects of a hot drink on nasal airflow and symptoms of the common cold and flu. [Abstract].
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