The Cleveland Clinic has a Health Essentials blog that their twitter account posts their blogs on an hourly basis. Many of these blogs contain questionable or outright false information. There’s one that is particularly jarring that I want to look at today. I’m talking about their post titled “7 Reasons To Start Your Day With Lemon Water”. Let’s look at some of their reasons.
Aids Digestion – Acid helps break down food. That’s why our stomach makes so much of it. The acid in lemons may be especially helpful to supplement stomach acids, which decline as we get older.
Your stomach has a pH of 2, lemon water is not going to help with digestion. It’s not going to affect digestion in any way really. Let’s be generous and assume your tap water is particularly acidic and has a pH of 6. A few drops of lemon juice is not going to help that much, lets say it brings the pH of the water to 5.5. That’s still way less acidic than your stomach. Following the Cleveland Clinic’s logic, you may as drink a two liter of Coke in the morning to aid in digestion, because Coke has a pH of around 2.5. Your stomach doesn’t need help with digestion, it’s got it covered.
Helps You Stay Hydrated – Most of us don’t drink enough water. A daily water habit is an easy way to get your day off on the right foot. How to know if you’re drinking enough? Your urine is almost clear
Okay… you know what other beverage would help you get enough water? Regular water, or any other beverage really.
Is Weight-Loss Friendly – We’re creatures of habit. Ponder the impact of replacing your morning OJ or latte with lemon water. Not just once but perhaps 20 times a month – and multiply that by 10 years. Your waist-line will thank you.
Contrary to what some people may believe, not everything has to be a weight loss endeavor. While I would agree that replacing something like orange juice with water would certainly a good way to cut calories, a lot of people don’t need to do that. Some people already maintain a healthy body weight and some people even have trouble maintaining their body weight. Fruit juices have a lot of nutrients and it would be better to encourage people to cut out lattes and soft drinks. You’re allowed to enjoy breakfast, if you like orange juice with your breakfast there are worse vices.
Prevents Oxidation – Lemons contain phytonutrients, or substances that protect your body against disease. These phytonutrients have powerful antioxidant properties, which prevent us from oxidizing or essentially rusting from the inside out.
There is a lot wrong with this statement. First of all, phytonutrients aren’t exactly a scientific term from what I can gather. They are likely referring to phytochemicals, which are chemical products in plants that help plants prevent disease. There doesn’t seem to be any evidence that they have any real health benefits, if we even knew what “phytonutrients” they’re referring to. Furthermore, there phytochemicals have not been established scientifically as essential nutrients. Now for this rusting from the inside out thing. Humans don’t rust, that’s not a thing. You’re not going to rust away like the ending of Infinity War or some shit because you didn’t have a glass of lemon water in the morning. I have no idea where they got this idea.
Lemon water helps prevent these painful stones in those deficient in urinary citrate (a form of citric acid). More importantly, increased fluid consumption helps prevent dehydration, a common cause of kidney stones.
There are a lot of risk factors for kidney stones, they’re a common medical problem. You can get the same nutrients from other foods.
Conclusion This article was written by a doctor, an article that claims lemon water will prevent you from rusting from the inside out. While some of the statements they make are somewhat true, it’s hard to overlook the serious errors in their article post. They massively overstate the health benefits of adding lemon juice to water; it won’t help digestion and rusting from the inside out isn’t even a thing. You don’t need to guzzle a glass of lemon water every morning like your life depends on it. The Cleveland Clinic has a long history of posting nonsense like this and I’ll certainly be evaluating more in the future.