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Lemon Water: Miracle or Mediocre?

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Lemon Water: Miracle or Mediocre?
Lemon Water: Miracle or Mediocre?

Celebrities swear by it. Clean living advocates advocate for it. Detox diets are based on it. It’s supposed to make your skin look radiant, flush toxins out of your body, and suppress appetite. All by adding the juice and possibly some rind to your water.

Sound too good to be true? Then it probably is.

But, the claims are likely based in some truth. First, lemons are high in vitamin C. The juice from half a lemon has 25% RDI of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant. This may very well help improve the look of your skin. As an antioxidant, vitamin C helps protect your body against free radicals, which if left to their own devices, can be harmful to your body.

Drinking water can help reduce appetite, but is lemon water any better at it? Probably not, unless the lemon taste makes you drink more water than you would otherwise drink. And that varies from person to person and their taste preference. If you replace lemon water for a high calorie drink, such as soda or juice, it can reduce your overall caloric intake and lead to weight loss. Also, don’t doubt the benefit of the placebo effect. If drinking lemon water makes you feel like you are living healthier, you may be less likely choose unhealthy foods. Improved hydration may help your workouts. You may be able to exercise for longer, or with greater frequency as you may feel less tired while you are properly hydrated. Combine that with eating healthier and it’s a recipe for weight loss.

For sleeve gastrectomy, gastric bypass, or lap band patients, hydration is of utmost importance. Not getting enough water is one of the top reasons for rehospitalization following bariatric surgery. Proper hydration is also key to bowel regularity. If you’ve ever been constipated, you know it can make you feel down, sluggish, and cranky. It can be prevented with proper hydration, like from drinking lemon water. Is drinking lemon water a miracle cure? Probably not. But it’s more than mediocre, mostly because it’s water. If the addition of lemon juice or a lemon wedge helps gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, or lap band patients easily meet their goal of drinking at least 64 ounces of water each day, then it’s more like a manna, or unexpected aid to success.

The above is offered by Dr. Shillingford, M.D, P.A., a board certified surgeon specializing in laparoscopic bariatric surgery. Dr. Shillingford performs gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and gastric band surgery at one of South Florida’s few hospitals designated as a Center of Excellence in Bariatric Surgery by the American Society for Bariatric Surgery. Some of his patients come from local areas, such as Miami and Fort Lauderdale, but his reputation and skill also attract patients from as far away as Orlando, Jacksonville, Sarasota, Tampa, Fort Meyers, and Naples.