What do shots of lemon juice do?


Lemon juice shots have become a popular health and wellness trend in recent years. Proponents claim that starting your day with a shot of fresh lemon juice on an empty stomach can provide a range of health benefits. But what does the science say? Here we’ll take a comprehensive look at the proposed benefits of lemon juice shots and examine what the research says about their effects on health and weight loss.

Nutrients in Lemon Juice

First, let’s take a look at the key nutrients found in lemon juice:

Nutrient Per 1 oz lemon juice
Calories 8
Total carbohydrates 2.5 g
Sugars 1.5 g
Vitamin C 31 mg (51% DV)
Folate 10 mcg (3% DV)
Potassium 37 mg (1% DV)
Calcium 6 mg (1% DV)

As you can see, lemon juice is low in calories and carbs and provides 51% of the Daily Value for vitamin C in just one ounce. It also contains small amounts of folate, potassium, and calcium.

The high vitamin C content is the main nutrient you’ll get from a lemon juice shot. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that supports immune function and iron absorption.

Potential Benefits of Lemon Juice Shots

Now let’s explore some of the top ways lemon juice shots are believed to improve health:

May Support Immune Function

Thanks to its high antioxidant and vitamin C contents, lemon juice may help support immune function. Vitamin C is crucial for immune cell function and growth and has antimicrobial properties.

Animal and human studies show that vitamin C supplements may shorten the duration of respiratory infections like the common cold. However, regular dietary intake is likely more important than sporadic high dose supplementation.

Overall, preliminary evidence indicates lemon juice may help keep your immune system strong, especially when combined with a nutritious diet. But more research is needed.

May Promote Gut Health

Some claim that lemon juice shots can improve gut health and digestion due to their alkalizing effects. Lemon juice has an alkaline pH even though it tastes acidic.

When you metabolize lemon juice, byproducts are produced that make the contents of your digestive tract more alkaline. This higher alkalinity may promote the activity of digestive enzymes and beneficial gut flora.

However, human evidence is lacking to support lemon juice’s use for gut health. One rat study showed citrus juice induced anti-inflammatory effects in the gut, but more research is needed.

May Aid Weight Loss

Lemon juice shots are often claimed to boost weight loss, generally due to two potential mechanisms:

Increasing Satiety: Some research indicates that consuming lemon juice alongside or before meals may enhance feelings of fullness and reduce appetite. This effect is thought to be due to lemon juice’s ability to slow digestion.

Enhancing Metabolism: Lemon juice contains polyphenol antioxidants that may slightly boost metabolism. Animal studies reveal that lemon polyphenols increase energy expenditure and fat burning. However, the dose in a lemon shot is likely too small to significantly affect metabolism.

Overall, the impact of a daily lemon juice shot on weight loss in humans is unknown. Any effects would likely be small.

May Alkalize pH

As mentioned earlier, lemon juice can alkalize the body despite being acidic outside the body. Once metabolized, lemon juice produces alkaline byproducts that cause your urine to become more alkaline.

Increasing urine pH may provide some health benefits, such as:

– Reducing kidney stone risk
– Improving bone health
– Alleviating gout symptoms

However, large amounts of lemon juice would need to be consumed daily to meaningfully impact urine pH. The dose in a shot may not be enough to provide alkalizing benefits.

May Detoxify

Lemon juice contains citric acid and a variety of antioxidants that are proposed to help flush toxins from your body. However, there’s limited evidence to support using lemon shots as a detox.

No studies have examined this effect directly. Any detoxifying benefits would depend on you consuming adequate nutrients and water to support your body’s natural detoxification systems.

Overall, more research is needed on lemon juice’s effects on perceived detoxification.

Downsides and Precautions

While lemon shots may offer some benefits, there are some downsides to consider:

Blood Sugar Spikes: The natural sugars in lemon juice can cause rapid spikes and crashes in blood sugar when consumed in isolation on an empty stomach.

Dental Erosion: Frequent lemon juice shots could erode tooth enamel over time. It’s best to use a straw and rinse your mouth with water after.

Heartburn: The high acidity may aggravate heartburn or GERD. Consider diluting with water if you have issues.

Medication Interactions: Large amounts of vitamin C from lemon juice could affect drugs that are metabolized similarly. Speak with a doctor if taking medication.

Some other precautions include avoiding lemon juice if you have active mouth ulcers or lemon allergy. Introduce shots gradually to assess tolerance.

How to Take Lemon Juice Shots

If you want to start your day with lemon juice shots, here are some tips:

– Use fresh lemon juice rather than bottled juice for maximum nutrition. Juice from 1/2 to 1 whole lemon should suffice.

– Mix the lemon juice with purified, lukewarm water if straight lemon juice causes stomach upset. Start with a 1:1 ratio.

– Consider adding a pinch of cinnamon, cayenne, ginger, or black pepper for additional health benefits.

– Rinse your mouth after taking the shot to prevent dental erosion. Wait at least 30 minutes before brushing teeth.

– Start slow – try taking the lemon shot every other day at first. Monitor for any digestive issues.

– Take the shot first thing in the morning on an empty stomach and wait at least 30 minutes before eating breakfast.

– Keep well hydrated throughout the day when taking lemon shots. Aim for at least eight 8-oz glasses of water daily.

The Bottom Line

In summary, lemon juice shots provide vitamin C and polyphenols that may offer advantages like improved immunity, digestion, and weight control. However, human research on the health effects of lemon shots is limited. The potential benefits appear small and dosage-dependent. Further, there are some drawbacks to consider, such as blood sugar spikes and dental erosion.

While lemon shots are unlikely to cause harm for most people, their advantages are likely minimal compared to overall balanced nutrition and lifestyle practices. Focus on getting vitamin C from whole food sources like oranges, grapefruits, kiwis, peppers, and broccoli instead.

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