By Winnie Gaturu
I have a close friend, Janice, who always adds a piece of lemon to the water in her water bottle. I’ve always thought it looks pretty cool so in a bid to improve my water intake on a daily basis, I decided to add a piece of lemon to my water bottle too. After all, I’ve heard and read about the many benefits of lemons to our bodies. I found myself refilling my 16 ounce water bottle one or twice a day and was really proud of myself. Surprisingly, by the second day my lips, mouth and throat were feeling dry all the time and I started feeling dehydrated, so I thought that the answer was to drink more lemon water. After two weeks of this, I decided to stop drinking lemon water in exchange for plain old water, and the dehydration was gone. Now we can agree that lemon water has a wide range of benefits. It is supposed to help digestion, boosts the immune system, and is even safe for kids, in a more diluted form, so what was I doing wrong?
Initially, after that experience, I had sworn to myself not to drink lemon water ever again. It was only after talking to Janice and some of my other friends that I realized some of the mistakes I had made.
For starters, I would put a half-lemon piece in the water bottle which made it hard to monitor the concentration of lemon I was drinking. Since I weigh 150 pounds, I should squeeze a lemon to get 1/2 ounce of lemon juice and mix it with 8 to 12 ounces of water. Janice didn’t have a problem since she would only put a thin slice of lemon not half of it like I did. Secondly, I’d drink and refill the bottle once or twice during the day. Apparently, drinking too much concentrated lemon water leads to dehydration. Janice doesn’t refill her bottle once the water she left home with is over. So maybe that’s why our outcomes were different.
I also realized that lemon water has its share of disadvantages too, like heartburn, frequent urination, aggravated stomach ulcers, and tooth sensitivity caused by the citric acid that can lead to tooth erosion. To avoid this, simply swish clean water in your mouth once or twice after drinking lemon water.
Clearly, there was a lot I hadn’t considered before starting my lemon water journey. I am wiser now! I’ve learnt that there’s a limit to the amount of lemon water I can take daily and some of the precautions I should take. Although I’m now sticking to drinking plain water, I’ll go back to drinking at least a glass of lemon water every morning soon.