ArticlesIcon chevron right
Tips

Does Lemon Water Break a Fast?

With so much information on the internet about lemon water and fasting, it can be hard to know what is true. Here we clear up this topic.
Icon check
Include trusted sources
Summary

Lemon water in the morning is a common trend that people have been using for years. It has become a popular way to detox and hydrate our bodies and became one of the favourite drinks for those who apply intermittent fasting for health benefits.

Written by
Vera Bokor
Health and Wellbeing Coach

Having a glass of water first thing in the morning is a healthy habit, it helps you activate the lymphatic system and tunes your body to work properly. But having just water can be quite boring and you can think of adding something into it, like lemon juice for example.

What if you are practicing intermittent fasting and questioning yourself:

"Can you drink lemon water during a fast?" 

Does lemon water break a fast?”

In this article, we explore these questions and give you the answer.

The truth about lemon water and intermittent fasting

Slice of lemon in water.

Long story short - the answer to the question “Does lemon water break a fast?” is no, lemon water does not break a fast. Lemon water contains almost no calories and zero sugars, it doesn’t raise insulin levels, which means it will not break your fast (1). So we can conclude that it is absolutely safe for fasting to drink lemon water.

Let’s talk more about why it is a good idea for you to consume lemon water.

General benefits of lemon juice

The juice of a lemon has many benefits mostly due to its Vitamin C content. 

Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin that the human body cannot produce naturally. It's an essential part of a healthy diet and can provide many advantages to your body:

  • It boosts the immune system by participating in the immune cells' development which “kill” viral and bacterial infections (2). 
  • Vitamin C is an antioxidant that fights against free radicals that decreases inflammation in your body.
  • It improves digestion by providing extra acidity in the stomach, which helps to break down and absorb nutrients better and also stimulates bowel movements.
  • It helps detoxify. The liver needs Vitamin C to work properly to remove waste from the body. This includes substances that are potentially harmful (3).
  • It aids in weight loss. Drinking lemon water first thing in the morning will help you lose weight faster by oxidizing fat molecules more efficiently (for making energy) (4, 5).

Lemon water compliments and increases the benefits of intermittent fasting, so make a habit to have a glass of water with some squeezed lemon or lime in it and enjoy the benefits. 

Join 100s of women getting in
better shape with intermittent fasting
The confidence boost you need to get results.
Woman laughingWoman laughingWoman smilingWoman with glasses laughing
Already +55 000 subscribers on board 🙌
Share your email, and you will get access to our private community

of women achieving results with intermittent fasting

Specific benefits of lemon water during fasting

Yellow and green lemons on a cutting board.

What are the real benefits of drinking lemon water for people following a fast?

When you fast, uric acid rises in your body, it is a great antioxidant, but it can be a cause of kidney stones. Lemon juice helps alkaline pH levels in the urine, which prevents the formation of kidney stones (6, 7).

First of all, good hydration prevents you from kidney stones formation, the second citrate in lemon stops calcium from binding with oxalates which you consume with food and this protects you from a buildup of minerals that collect in the kidneys (8).

What you need to know about lemon water and intermittent fasting

1. High temperatures destroy Vitamin C. If you want to keep the benefits of this vitamin, drink warm (lower than 30 degrees Celsius) or cold lemon water.

2. Don’t drink more than a glass of lemon water a day to prevent unhealthy PH changes in your body fluids.

3. You can add a dash of salt in your lemon water to prevent headache and muscle weakness on fasting.

4. You can use lime as well as lemon.

5. Lemon water can help you to accomplish water fasting only by having a slight change in the taste of plain water.

The bottom line

Lemon water is not only refreshing and pleasant drink to taste, but it also has various health benefits. Drinking lemon water can help detoxify the liver and flush out toxins from the body. It also helps with weight loss and lowers inflammation.

It is a great way to prevent kidney stones. There are many other liquids that you can consume during intermittent fasting, read our article about them  “What can you Drink during Intermittent Fasting ?” (9).

References:

  1. https://www.nutritionix.com/food/lemon-water
  2. Ströhle A., Hahn A. Vitamin C and immune function. Med Monatsschr Pharm. 2009 Feb;32(2):49-54; quiz 55-6.
  3. Ginter E. Ascorbic acid in cholesterol metabolism and in detoxification of xenobiotic substances: problem of optimum vitamin C intake. Nutrition.  Nov-Dec 1989;5(6):369-74.
  4. Johnston C. S. Strategies for healthy weight loss: from vitamin C to the glycemic response. J Am Coll Nutr. 2005 Jun;24(3):158-65. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2005.10719460.
  5. Traber M. G., Buettner G. R., Bruno R. S. The relationship between vitamin C status, the gut-liver axis, and metabolic syndrome. Redox Biol. 2019 Feb; 21: 101091. doi: 10.1016/j.redox.2018.101091
  6. Remer T. Influence of diet on acid-base balance. Semin Dial. Jul-Aug 2000;13(4):221-6. 
  7. Ooi S. L., Pak S. C. Short-term Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss: A Case Report. Cureus. 2019 Apr; 11(4): e4482. doi: 10.7759/cureus.4482
  8. Cloutier J., et al. (2015). Kidney stone analysis: “Give me your stone, I will tell you who you are!”. World J Urol. 2015; 33(2): 157–169.
  9. Padayatty S. J., Levine M. Vitamin C: the known and the unknown and Goldilocks. Oral Dis. 2016 Sep;22(6):463-93. doi: 10.1111/odi.12446.

Signup for our Newsletter

Value bombs, straight to your inbox.
You may also be interested in...