“Many people report that they benefit from drinking lemon water early in the morning,” says Justin Houman, MD, a urologist available at Sesame. “They find it energizing and refreshing, along with, of course, being thirst-quenching.”
However, there may be other effects that drinking water of lemon can have on your body, especially your bladder. Here’s what two urologists have to say about how lemon water affects your bladder health – including whether it’s beneficial or irritating – and gives recommendations for reaping the most bladder-enhancing benefits of lemon water.
How lemon water affects your bladder
First of all, let’s quickly clean the air out of a common misconception: Lemon water and lemonade are not the same thing. “Many people are told that lemon water and lemonade are natural treatments for common urological problems such as kidney stones, urinary tract infections and urinary incontinence, but in reality lemonade is often full of bladder irritants such as sugar and artificial color and flavors, so those trying to get the benefits of lemon water should not use lemonade as a substitute, ”says Shenelle N. Wilson, MD, urologist and founder and CEO of Urology Unbound.
That said, lemon water is definite also no cure for bladder infections and do not have miraculous powers that will make the big difference in the solution of real conditions like kidney stones or UTI. “Lemon water will not dissolve existing stones, nor will it help the stones pass more easily than if you drank plain water without lemon. Lemon water also does not prevent or treat UTIs or urinary incontinence, and any benefits derived from these conditions are due to the increased water intake associated with drinking lemon water and water in general, “says Dr. Wilson. “For example, if you have a UTI, it will want to drink lemon water does not make the infection cope on its own. You will probably need a round of antibiotics, as prescribed by a doctor. “
According to Dr. Wilson, however, it can work with other lifestyle habits and diets to support your bladder and its health. “Drinking lemon water can be a healthy habit that promotes optimal bladder health by providing much-needed hydration to the body – and that’s enough of a reason to drink it during the day,” she says. What’s more, Dr. Wilson shares it with drinking lemon water able to help stave off the development or recurrence of kidney stones over time due to its ability to affect calcium oxalate formation, as shown in a recent study in the journal Europe PMC. “Lemon water can increase the citrate and urine pH of the urine, thereby potentially reducing one’s risk of forming the most common type of kidney stone, calcium oxalate,” says Dr. Wilson.
Dr. Houman agrees, adding that there may also be small immune- and digestive-promoting benefits of drinking lemon water. “Some patients who are prone to kidney stones are actually advised to drink freshly squeezed lemon juice daily, as it may help reduce the chances of kidney stones, but more research is needed. The acidity of lemons can also help supplement the acidity of your stomach, which tends to decline with age, so drinking lemon water can help with digestion as we get older, he says.It is important to keep in mind that these benefits are likely to be small – after all, you only eat one small portion of a lemon by squeezing it out into a glass of water.
Are there any disadvantages to drinking lemon water?
Despite the benefits of drinking lemon water, some people may have unwanted reactions or feel GI or bladder discomfort from the acid. So if this is the case, it is best to drop the lemons and focus on drinking plain water in appropriate amounts every day to best serve the health and function of the bladder. “Lemon water can irritate the bladder in some patients, causing a sensation where you feel like you need to urinate more often than usual,” says Dr. Houman. “Patients who are prone to irritating bladder symptoms are advised to avoid citric acid foods, such as lemons, oranges, grapefruits and tomatoes. Diluting your lemon water more strongly may reduce the irritating symptoms you experience, but overall it is probably not worth it. “
Ordinary water offers almost as many bladder benefits, adds Dr. Wilson, so you will not lack too much if lemon water does not match your urological or digestive system. “Simply drinking at least two and a half liters of water daily is among the most important ways to help prevent kidney stones from recurring, so I would advise patients who are sensitive to lemon water to stop consuming it if it gives them discomfort, “says Dr. Wilson.
Additionally, if you are struggling with nocturia – or the need to urinate frequently in the middle of the night – lemon water may not be the best idea. “There is no ideal time to drink lemon water, but since lemon is a natural diuretic, I would recommend patients who struggle with frequent urination at night to stop drinking it, as well as all other liquids, for at least two hours. before bedtime. ” says Dr. Wilson.
In addition, Dr. Wilson that there is no negative impact on the bladder to worry about with regard to lemon water. “There is no disadvantage to drinking lemon water from a urological point of view,” she says. So if you enjoy it because of its taste and find it helpful to stay hydrated, drink as much as you feel like.
How to drink lemon water
It does not have to be fancy. You can drink hot lemon water – try boiling water and adding it with lemon juice and zest – or you can squeeze lemon juice into a glass of cold water or a jug and store it in the fridge for convenience and availability. You can also sprinkle anti-inflammatory spices like cayenne or turmeric in, or sprinkle more pieces of fruit or herbs in for even more flavor and health benefits.
“Many people who make it a habit to drink lemon water in the morning consider it a healthy way to start a happy, productive day,” says Dr. Houman. Who are we to suggest that there is something wrong with it? If you find that drinking lemon water in the morning improves your well-being and eases you into the day, then there is no need to stop your daily practice.
“I’ve heard about the different ways people incorporate lemon water into their diets and even drink it often,” says Dr. Wilson. “As a urologist, I do not control my patients’ moods or energy levels, but when I need to alkalize a patient’s urine, I discuss lemon water in that capacity. However, I have also often prescribe medication for that purpose. So even though I am a big supporter of naturopathic and dietary remedies, as a doctor I do not give general recommendations for treatments or therapies that have not been really proven in the medical literature, ”says Dr. Wilson.
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