What happens if you take a shot of lime juice?

Lime juice is a common ingredient used to add flavor to foods and drinks. Some people also take straight shots of lime juice for potential health benefits. But what actually happens when you drink a shot of pure lime juice?

Nutrients in Lime Juice

Lime juice is extracted from limes, which are small citrus fruits. It contains a number of nutrients and plant compounds that may affect the body when consumed.

Some of the main nutrients in 1 fluid ounce (30 mL) of lime juice include:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 8
Carbs 2 grams
Sugar 0.4 grams
Vitamin C 5.5 mg (6% of the Daily Value)
Folate 2 micrograms (1% of the DV)
Potassium 17 mg (0% of the DV)

Limes also contain plant compounds like flavonoids, limonoids, and coumarins that may have a variety of health benefits.

Digestion and Gut Health

One of the main effects of taking a shot of lime juice is that it may improve digestion and gut health.

Limes contain acids like citric and malic acid that can stimulate digestive juices and improve the function of your gastrointestinal tract. This can aid digestion and help relieve constipation.

Additionally, limes provide soluble fiber that feeds the good bacteria in your gut microbiome. A healthy gut microbiome is important for proper digestion, immunity, and even mental health.

Lime juice also contains compounds called flavonoids that may boost gut health even further. Studies show that flavonoids can increase the amounts of beneficial bacteria like Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus in the gut.


Staying hydrated is critical for health, but drinking plain water all the time can get boring. Adding lime juice to water may help increase fluid intake and prevent dehydration.

The acidity and flavor of lime juice can make plain water much more palatable. Drinking lime juice diluted in water may help you take in more fluids throughout the day.

One study in 11 young girls found that adding just 2% lime juice to water increased drinking frequency by over 45%. Another study showed that adding lemon juice to water helped maintain hydration status better than drinking only water.

Vitamin C

Lime juice is high in vitamin C, an essential nutrient and antioxidant. One ounce (30 mL) provides over 5 mg of vitamin C, meeting 6% of the Daily Value.

Vitamin C helps form and repair tissues, produce neurotransmitters, support immunity, and act as a potent antioxidant in your body. It also aids iron absorption from food.

Getting enough vitamin C from foods like citrus fruits is linked to benefits like lower heart disease risk and improved eye health.

Blood Sugar Control

The combination of soluble fiber, flavonoids, and antioxidants in lime juice may help control blood sugar levels.

Fiber slows the digestion of carbs, resulting in a slower rise in blood sugar after meals. Meanwhile, flavonoids and antioxidants in limes may improve insulin sensitivity and reduce inflammation.

Studies show that consuming limes and other citrus fruits may lower blood sugar levels and improve markers of glycemic control like HbA1c.

Kidney Stone Prevention

Kidney stones affect about 1 in 11 people in the United States. They form when minerals crystalize in the kidneys, usually caused by inadequate hydration and excess excretion of stone-forming minerals.

Citric acid from lime juice may help prevent kidney stones by binding to stone-forming minerals and increasing their solubility. Higher citrate levels in urine are linked to a lower risk of kidney stones.

One study in 13 people found that drinking just 1.2 ounces (35 mL) of lemon juice mixed in water increased urinary citrate levels by over 250%. Limes have similar citric acid content, so they likely have comparable effects.

Heart Health

Research shows that eating more citrus fruits like limes may reduce risk factors for heart disease.

Studies demonstrate that higher citrus consumption is linked to lower blood pressure and LDL (bad) cholesterol. The combination of soluble fiber, antioxidants, and citric acid in limes may be responsible for these protective effects.

One review of 19 studies found that total citrus intake lowered systolic blood pressure by 2.9 mmHg and LDL cholesterol by 10.4 mg/dL, compared to not consuming any citrus.

Skin Health

Applying lime juice to your skin may benefit skin health in several ways.

The vitamin C in lime juice is involved in collagen production, which keeps your skin firm and strong. Its antioxidant properties can also help protect your skin from sun damage.

Limes also contain compounds called limonoids that have been shown to fight skin cancer cells in test-tube studies. However, research is limited on their effects on skin health from topical application.

What’s more, lime juice has an antimicrobial effect that may benefit skin conditions like acne. According to one test-tube study, lime juice effectively killed the bacteria that causes acne.

Weight Loss

Limes may support weight loss in a few ways.

First, they are low in calories, providing just 20 calories per 1-ounce (30-mL) serving. Adding lime juice to water or seltzer can create a low-calorie beverage.

The fiber in limes may also aid weight control by promoting fullness and reducing appetite. In turn, this may cause you to eat less at subsequent meals.

Research shows that increased fiber intake is associated with lower body weight and body fat.

Finally, the polyphenols in limes may aid weight loss by modulating genes involved in fat metabolism.

Potential Downsides

Lime juice is very acidic, with a typical pH around 2. This acidity could potentially damage tooth enamel with regular exposure.

Drinking it through a straw may help prevent contact between the juice and your teeth. Be sure to rinse your mouth with plain water after consuming lime juice.

Limes may also irritate sensitive skin or open wounds. So those with skin conditions like eczema may want to avoid applying lime juice onto the skin.

Recommended Dosage

There is no standard recommended dosage for lime juice. But most research showing health benefits has used around 1–2 tablespoons (15–30 mL) at a time.

To stay hydrated, you can drink as much as you want when diluted in water or seltzer according to taste.

When to Avoid It

Some people should avoid drinking lime juice:

  • Those with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): The citric acid may aggravate symptoms.
  • People with migraines: Lime juice may be a migraine trigger.
  • Those taking certain medications: Lime juice can increase sun sensitivity for some heart and blood pressure medications.
  • Those with skin conditions like eczema: Lime juice may irritate the skin.

Lime Juice Shot Recipe

Here is a simple recipe for a lime juice shot you can make at home:


  • 3 limes
  • 1 inch (2.5 cm) piece of fresh ginger, peeled
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)


  1. Wash and roll the limes firmly on a hard surface to soften them up.
  2. Cut the limes in half and juice them into a cup using a citrus juicer.
  3. Grate the ginger and add it to the lime juice along with the cayenne if using.
  4. Stir to combine and drink as a shot.

This spicy lime shot provides vitamin C, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory ginger, and hydration. It makes a tangy, energizing boost any time of day.

The Bottom Line

Taking a straight shot of lime juice can affect your health in many ways.

Potential benefits include improved digestion, hydration, blood sugar control, and heart and skin health. Lime juice is also low in calories and may aid weight control.

On the other hand, lime juice is highly acidic and could damage tooth enamel. Those with GERD or migraines should also use caution.

Overall, incorporating a reasonable amount of lime juice into your diet as part of a healthy lifestyle can provide valuable nutrients and plant compounds that are good for your body.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *