Does Lemon Water Detox Work?

Advocates of detox dieting say that lemon water is good for removing toxins or harmful substances from the body.

However, there is no scientific evidence to confirm that lemon water has any great advantage.

The only benefit would be is that it’s a nice refreshing drink. Sometimes a hot drink, with a taste of lemon in the morning will make you feel better. So there’s no harm in drinking a glass of lemon water in the morning.

From a physiological perspective, being well-hydrated ensures that your organs function normally and your metabolism runs optimally. It’s recommended that general healthy adults drink six to eight glasses of plain water a day¹ (approximately 1.5 to 2 litres a day)

A slice of lemon adds extra flavour to the water, which is good if you find plain water unappealing. When you have a palatable beverage, you tend to drink more of it and this keeps your body hydrated. I think this is the only reason for drinking lemon water.

Lemon is a good source of vitamin C, but adding just a slice of lemon in warm water is not sufficient. The whole fruit is better. The juice itself does not have any detox or fat-burning properties.

If you suffer from hyperacidity in your stomach, you should avoid drinking lemon water on an empty stomach.


¹ Malaysian Dietary Guidelines 2010.

Further reading:

Spring Cleansing: Assessing the Benefits and Risks of Detox Diets. Today’s Dietitian: 05/2008 Vol. 10 No.5 P.34.

Marcus Lee, Dietician