Compared to other weight loss drink combinations, which are supported by very little evidence, lemon-cayenne water has been shown in certain cases to promote weight loss. That said, it's still important to proceed with caution and consult a doctor before making dietary changes.
Juice Detox Diet
Juice detox diets, such as the "master cleanse detox" and "cayenne pepper detox," have been gaining traction in recent years. Yet there's little evidence to show that they work. In fact, health experts agree that detox diets and cleanses can be dangerous in some cases.
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) explains that detox diets, which often involve fasting, cleansing the colon with laxatives or enemas, and consuming only juices or other liquids for several days, may be harmful to your health. It's best to try healthy weight loss approaches, such as varying your diet and exercising regularly, suggests the Better Health Channel of Victoria, Australia.
Fasting can cause weakness, dehydration and dizziness, while detoxification programs can cause diarrhea. Furthermore, juices that haven't been pasteurized or treated in other ways to kill harmful bacteria, can cause illness, says the NCCIH. Moreover, according to NCCIH, some detox mixtures are made from ingredients high in oxalate, a naturally occurring substance that can increase your risk for kidney problems.
Cayenne Pepper for Weight Loss
A review that was published in the May 2017 issue of the Portland Press, explains that capsaicin, a major active compound from chili peppers and key ingredient in cayenne peppers, has a number of health benefits. One such benefit is its body weight reduction effects. Other benefits of capsaicin, according to the review, may include pain and inflammation reduction.
Another review published in the journal Appetite in its October 2012 issue, made similar assertions, stating that capsaicinoids increase lipid oxidation and reduce appetite and increase energy expenditure by 50 kilocalories a day, which would produce clinically significant levels of weight loss in one to two years.
Though the evidence for cayenne pepper consumption as a way to lose weight isn't abundant, there are studies that indicate its efficacy. As long as there's no fasting involved, you can consume cayenne pepper, though it's always best to consult your doctor if it's for the purpose of weight loss.
Read more: 5 Ways Drinking Lemon Juice Helps Your Body
Benefits of Lemon Water
The benefits of lemon water are plentiful. Most important, lemon water serves as a better alternative to unhealthy sugary drinks such as sweetened iced tea. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends swapping a glass of ginger ale, which supplies 124 calories, for lemon water, which contains zero calories.
Cleveland Clinic provides several reasons why you should start your day with lemon water:
- It supplies vitamins and minerals, such as potassium and vitamin C.
- It can help prevent kidney stones and oxidation.
- It aids in digestion, especially as you get older and your stomach acid declines.
- It helps you stay hydrated.
Despite its many benefits, drinking lemon water regularly does have one side effect: It can lead to the erosion of tooth enamel. In a May 2015 study by PLOS One, researchers found that lemon juice showed significantly higher tooth erosion levels compared with other drinks such as Coca-Cola and Sprite.
Is This an Emergency?
- National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: "Detoxes and Cleanses"
- Better Health Channel: "Weight Loss - A Healthy Approach"
- Portland Press: "Dietary Capsaicin and Its Anti-Obesity Potency: From Mechanism to Clinical Implications"
- Appetite: "Capsaicinoids and Capsinoids. A Potential Role for Weight Management? A Systematic Review of the Evidence"
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "Rethink Your Drink"
- Cleveland Clinic: "7 Reasons to Start Your Day With Lemon water"