A cool carafe of water with fresh lemon slices practically screams “summer,” doesn’t it? For years, a pitcher of lemon water was a staple at family meals — especially those that took place in the backyard! Today, lemon water is no longer on the menu. Here are six reasons why you should consider curbing your lemon water consumption.
1. It’s Terrible for Your Teeth
If you’ve ever taken a stray squirt of lemon juice to the eye in the kitchen, I don’t have to tell you that lemons are very acidic. As such, every time you down a delicious glass of lemon water, you’re bathing your teeth in enamel-eating citric acid.
Over time, this corrosion can cause serious damage to your smile. Enamel is your teeth’s main line of defense; you might think of it like a suit of armor. The catch? Enamel doesn’t grow back or mend itself like a bone. Once it’s gone, it’s gone for good, leaving your teeth defenseless against discoloration, decay and extreme sensitivity.
2. It Can Give You a Stomachache
Many people drink lemon water simply because they enjoy the taste. Others add lemon to their water for the health benefits it may offer. Some believe that lemons aid digestion, for example, by getting things moving. Research suggests that the antioxidants present in lemons support weight loss, too.
Enter irony. Lemons and other acidic foods can also wreak havoc on the digestive system. Eating acid-filled foods may lead to nausea, vomiting or heartburn and intensify the severity of acid reflux and GERD.
3. It May Make You Have To Go More Frequently
The vitamin C in lemons is great for your immune system, but it also a diuretic. That means the more lemon water you consume, the more often you’ll need to make a pit-stop or excuse yourself from conversations.
4. It May Give You a Canker Sore
Acidic foods, including lemons, are just one of several potential causes of canker sores. While scientists aren't sure exactly what causes these tiny mouth ulcers, research suggests that in addition to acidic foods, they're likely influenced by spicy foods, stress and injury (such as from braces or dentures). Several immune system diseases, such as lupus and ulcerative colitis, can also lead to canker sores.
No matter what causes a canker sore, lemons and other acidic foods may cause it to worsen.
5. It May Give You a Migraine, Too
If you’re one of the 35 million Americans who suffer from migraines, you should ditch the lemon water ASAP. Research suggests that citrus fruits may be to blame for some migraine headaches, particularly chronic ones.
Oranges, limes and lemons all contain large amounts of tyramine, a substance found in a wide variety of foods. Studies suggest a connection between tyramine and headaches. While more research is required, some scientist believe that tyramine may throw your brain chemicals off kilter, which can trigger pain.
6. Lemon Wedges in Restaurants Are Often Disgusting
When you plop a lemon wedge into your water at a restaurant, you may be dropping a sugar packet’s worth of pathogens in there, too. Cleanliness standards vary from restaurant to restaurant, and unless you work for the health department, you have no way of knowing how those lemons were stored, cleaned, handled, dropped, rolled, used as a hockey pu — you get the picture.
Lemons should be a staple of your diet. Research suggests that they’re good for everything from your heart to your gut. They might even lower your cancer risk! They shouldn’t be in your water, though. Stick to a squeeze or two here and use lemon juice in your cooking for wellness results that are anything but sour.