14 Unexpected Lemon Water Side Effects On Health And Beauty

Updated: 07/23/2019

Lemons are a wonder fruit and chock-full of important nutrients and antioxidants which help to restore your health and rejuvenate the entire physical system. More importantly, the lemon benefits double when you consume it with pure warm water. However, anything in excess is not good, and so is lemon water. Most lemon water side effects are due to overdose. Here are some of the unexpected lemon water side effects on health and beauty. Keep reading the article on Beauty Talk to understand more.

14 Unexpected Lemon Water Side Effects On Health And Beauty

I. Lemon Water Side Effects

A. Lemon Water Side Effects On Health
on health
1. Worsen GERD, Heartburn, And Ulcers

The symptoms of GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) include heartburn, vomiting, and nausea. Spicy or acidic food may aggravate the symptoms further[1]. Individuals who have stomach ulcers shouldn’t consume lemon water because it will irritate their stomach lining and prolong the healing procedure. It may make the stomach acids move up (reflux) into the esophagus which, in turn, causes heartburn. Besides, lemon water may make peptic ulcers worse. They are caused due to excessive acidic digestive juices. Thus, taking lemon water and other acidic foods may worsen things. If you suffer from any of these conditions, avoid lemons.

2. Worsen Canker Sores

An allergic reaction often causes canker sores. If you’re sensitive to acidic foods such as lemons, you may get them. As you know, lemons are abundant in the citric acid that may make your sore worse and even cause more. Therefore, make sure you do not take lemon water or any citrus fruit if you are having the canker sore problem[2]. Wait for them to heal totally.

3. Decay Tooth Enamel

Consuming lemon water in the morning or regularly throughout the day may erode tooth enamel and make the teeth sensitive to hot or cold foods. According to a research published by the National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research, drinking too much of lemon water may harm your teeth[3]. Thus, you can enjoy the lemon water with a straw, or after enjoying it, rinse your mouth to reduce the exposure of your teeth to the acidity housed in lemon water. Consult your dentist before consuming lemon water if you already have tooth erosion.

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4. Cause Frequent Urination

Lemon water may work as a diuretic[4], which may increase urine output. Urination allows your body to remove toxins and excess sodium. Excess use of lemon water has also been associated with potassium deficiency. Acidic fruits such as lemons may also irritate your bladder.  As a result, it increases your urge to urinate frequently[5]. So, try decreasing the amount of lemon juice if you experience frequent urination. Also, avoid lemon water along with other acidic fruits for around one week and notice if your symptoms improve. Consult your doctor if not.

5. Irritate Mucous Membranes

Lemons have a low pH, and so, are acidic. This fruit retains its acidity until it enters your digestive tract. Besides, the acidic pH of your stomach helps to digest food. Consuming acidic foods too much and drinking lemon water regularly in the morning may aggravate the mucous membranes, causing stomach ache, acid reflux, and heartburn[6].

6. Lead To Nausea And Vomiting

Lemons are rich in vitamin C which is an essential nutrient for the body. However, too much of this vitamin may result in nausea, and even an upset stomach, although it is unlikely that an excess of lemon water may cause an overdose of vitamin C, very high intakes from supplements can lead to vomiting[7].

7. Increase Iron Content

Vitamin C facilitates absorption of iron in the body, and too much of it may increase the iron levels in the blood[8]. Too much of iron in your body can be dangerous for people with an inherited condition known as hemochromatosis as it damages your internal organs. An estimated 1 in 200 people are affected in the US.[9] If you know that you retain more iron than usual, cut down on your intake of lemon water.

8. Makes You Feel Lethargic

Drinking one glass of lemon water may provide you with many essential nutrients. When consumed in excess, however, it may cause headaches[10]. Apart from that, it may lead to a concentration deficiency and make you feel weak, tired, lethargic, and depressed.

9. Promote Gallbladder Or Kidney Stones

Lemons contain oxalates, naturally-occurring elements found in plants, animals, and human beings. Oxalates may result in different health problems when they become too concentrated in the body fluids[11] [12]. Thus, people with gallbladder or kidney stones should stay away from lemon water.

10. Chloroquine Levels

Chloroquine is a medicine used to prevent and treat malaria, and lemon water lowers its efficacy[13]. Many doctors suggest that patients with malaria should not drink lemon water during their treatment and convalescing period.

11. Unsafe During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, women can consume lemon water, but they should drink it in moderation. During the latter part of pregnancy, lots of women suffer from heartburn and gulping down copious amounts of lemon juice may make the situation worse. During pregnancy, the bones and teeth become exposed to decalcification[14]. Lemons are high in citric acid that may aggravate the condition.

12. Allergic Reactions

Citrus fruits such as lemons may result in allergic reactions in a few people. Reactions may include skin allergy and migraine.

Allergic reactions to citrus fruits are seen in people allergic to pollen, in a phenomenon called cross-reactivity[15]. Other people get an allergic reaction after contacting with citrus fruit peels. Also, some citrus fruits cause a severe allergic reaction that is called anaphylaxis, although it is very rare.

B. Lemon Water Side Effects On Beauty

on beauty

13. Aggravate Skin Problems

Consuming lemon water in the morning is not beneficial to people with sensitive skin. It may not always help to eliminate pimples and acne marks. It additionally may aggravate the dryness for people with dry skin[16].

14. Cause Sunburns

Many studies show that stepping out into the sun with lemon juice on the skin may lead to dark spots and blisters. Also named phytophotodermatitis, it sensitizes the skin to ultraviolet light, resulting in severe sunburn[17]. Lemon juice contains substances called psoralens that interact with sunlight and lead to severe sunburn reactions. According to a report in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, people who consume lemon water and other citrus juices in excess may also have a slightly higher chance of developing malignant melanoma[18].

Other Side Effects Of Lemon Juice On The Skin

  • Lemon may dry out your skin. Thus, try restricting the use of lemon if your skin is dry. Otherwise, you can end up with flaky and dry skin.
  • People with dark skin should stay away from using lemons to treat acne because it may cause dark spots.
  • Many people often apply lemon directly to the scalp to remove dandruff. But, lemons may make the hair dry.

II. Must-Know Tips And Precautions For Using Lemon Water

  • An overdose of lemon water may lead to a headache, fatigue, and unusual bowel movements.
  • Before allowing children to consume lemon water, speak to a doctor.
  • Lemons cannot be tolerated by people with a stomach ulcer.
  • Use lemon juice on your face in the evening and at night to prevent any reaction by the sun.
  • Ensure to dilute the lemon juice with rose water or plain water, honey or aloe vera gel to lower its acidity.
  • To reduce lemon side effects on the face, always make sure that you dilute it. Don’t apply it directly to your face.

If you are drinking lemon water to attain its benefits, but you are undergoing the side effects we mentioned above, then you may need medical care right away. You can try drinking one glass of water with only a ½ lemon juice. Consult your doctor if the side effects are severe or prolonged. For other informative articles, please go to our main Foods For Beauty page. Also, share with us if you know other lemon water side effects on health and beauty. All of the content provided in this article are for informational & educational purposes. We recommend you consult a healthcare professional to determine which method is appropriate for you.

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