To function properly, your blood requires healthy acid versus alkaline, or pH, levels. Systems in your body carefully maintain normal blood pH levels, which fall between 7.35 and 7.45, according to Columbia University.
Adding lemon to water will make it more acidic — the opposite of alkaline. It's unlikely to have any significant health effects on the body.
Adding lemon juice to water will make it more acidic — it won't make lemon water alkaline. While water with lemon juice may alter the pH of your urine, it won't likely influence the overall acidity of your body, as explains Columbia University. Learning more about the tangy beverage and your body's pH system may inspire you to make wise dietary decisions.
Read more: Drinking Hot Water & Lemon in the Morning
Get the Facts
On the pH scale, a score of 7 is considered neutral. Anything measuring 6.9 or below is considered an acid, and anything rating 7.1 and above is considered an alkali. While water has a pH of 7, lemons are acidic, measuring at 2 to 3, according to Elmhurst College.
Because foods are not known to alter the pH of your blood or body, lemons won't acidify you either. According to the University of Wisconsin, citric acid in lemons will also not alkalinize your urine. Drinking lemon juice with water may increase the acid level of your urine, however, which is a sign that your kidneys are doing their job — ridding you of excess acid.
Try An Alkalizing Diet
A modern diet, rich in unhealthy fats, refined grains and added sugars, increases urinary acid levels, according to a 2012 article published by Journal of Environmental and Public Health. As we age, this could increase risk of kidney stones.
If you tend to dine on fast food and grab more packaged snacks than whole foods, shifting your eating habits to emphasize nutritious fare will not only reduce your urine's acidity, but bolster your wellness.
To alkalize your urine, and reduce risk of kidney stones, focus on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein sources, such as fish and legumes, and healthy fat sources, like nuts and seeds. In doing so, you'll likely experience improved energy levels, weight control and a reduced risk for chronic disease as well.
Consider Benefits of Lemon Juice
Lemon juice may not do much for your pH control, but it can provide other benefits. Its high concentration of vitamin C promotes immune system strength, increasing your body's ability to fight off illness and disease. One ounce of lemon juice provides 12 percent of adults' daily need for vitamin C, according to the USDA.
Lemon juice also provides a nutritious, low-calorie way to add flavor to your water. Choosing water with a splash of lemon juice instead of a can of soda saves you a significant amount of sugar and calories.
Read more: 5 Ways Drinking Lemon Juice Helps Your Body
Review Facts About Alkaline Water
Filtered water manufacturers claim that alkaline water, which has a pH higher than tap water, can neutralize acid in your blood, boost energy, speed metabolism and even slow the aging process. However, more research is needed to verify these claims, according to Mayo Clinic.
For a sure way to improve your bone health and maintain healthy pH levels, eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, along with plenty of calcium and vitamin D sources, such as fortified milk and salmon.
Is This an Emergency?
- Columbia University: "Go Ask Alice: Which Foods Are Acidic?"
- Columbia University: "Go Ask Alice: Alkaline Water — Is It Better For Your Body?"
- University of Wisconsin: "Citric Acid and Kidney Stones"
- Elmhurst College: "pH Scale"
- USDA FoodData Central: "Lemon Juice"
- Mayo Clinic: "Is Alkaline Water Better for You Than Plain Water?"
- Journal of Environmental and Public Health: "The Alkaline Diet: Is There Evidence That an Alkaline pH Diet Benefits Health?"