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Does Lemon Water Break a Fast?

Written By
Edibel Quintero, MD
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Fasting
Sep 7
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Intermittent fasting is one of the industry’s most popular diet trends for fat burning.

It’s about cutting caloric intake and focusing on when you can and can’t eat food. However, a rookie mistake is forgetting to calculate the calories from liquids during the fasting period. 

Water is the star beverage for many during fasting, but what happens if you upgrade your water with lemon juice? 

Refraining from eating is testing. And if water isn’t your usual beverage of choice, you might find it challenging to stick to plain water. 

A small amount of lemon juice might be the kick you need to get through the day. But the last thing you want to do is break your fast. 

Here we determine whether it’s okay to drink lemon water during a fast. 

What Is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting is one of several fasting methods based upon meal timing schedules.

It’s most popular among people who want to optimize weight loss results.

Intermittent fasting is a structured eating pattern. You only eat in a specific time period. There are different ways to approach it, with some setting an eating window for particular hours during the day while others may practice alternate-day fasting.

It centers around when you eat rather than what you eat. That said, you should still aim to eat healthy food if you want to lose weight. 

The primary goal is to encourage your body to burn fat.

Sticking to a scheduled diet is a challenge, but apps like DoFasting are ideal for fasting management. 

DoFasting is the ultimate fasting assistant and motivational tool that utilizes technology to help clients achieve weight loss results. 

Lemon Water Calories and Nutrition

Lemons are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They also contain a high level of vitamin C, making them a good nutrition source.  

Let’s look at the calories found in a cup of lemon water. 

According to the USDA, a 473ml serving of spring water with lemon has: 

Calories: 9.46

Carbohydrates: 2.98

Fiber: 0.946

Sugars: 0.993

Protein, fat, and sodium: 0

Does Lemon Water Break a Fast?

To maintain your fast, you need to avoid calories from both foods and drinks.

Staying hydrated is essential, so most people stick to sparkling or still water as they are calorie-free. During fasting, other popular drinks include black coffee and green tea – a particularly good choice as it has antioxidant properties. 

But what about lemon water?

Lemon water has minimal calories. 

Strictly speaking, any calorie consumption will break a fast. But the calories in lemon water are so low that they almost don’t count at all. 

Therefore, plain lemon water is generally not going to break your fast

However, if you start adding sugar and other ingredients, you’re counting more calories, which can break a fast.

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Lemonade and Fasting

When talking about lemon water, we mean precisely that – water plus lemon

Lemon water drinks with added sugar, like lemonade, are not beneficial to your fasting period. Consuming these beverages will break a fast.

There are many varieties of lemonade. One serving or one cup of standard lemonade contains 99 calories

It’s best to avoid sugary drinks when fasting.

Risks and Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water

Lemon water is a simple home remedy praised for its potent health benefits. 

You can add lemon slices to your water or just the juice. Many people enjoy squeezing lemon juice into warm water for a morning detox. 

Here are the primary benefits.

risks and benefits of drinking lemon water

#1 Antioxidant properties 

Lemons have a good dose of vitamin C, an antioxidant that boosts the immune system and aids the repair of body cells and tissues.

Lemons also contain citrus flavonoids, powerful antioxidant agents that fight off free radicals to help your body function better. 

#2 Good hydration 

It’s essential to stay hydrated during and outside of fasting hours. 

Increasing your water intake will keep your body functioning properly, curb hunger pangs, and promote weight loss. 

Many people struggle to drink water, often because they don’t necessarily enjoy the taste. 

Adding lemon juice helps people consume more water. You get the same benefits of regular water, like better digestive health, clearer skin, and improved brain function

Although entirely safe to consume, there are some minor drawbacks.

#3 Damage to teeth

Lemon water is highly acidic. Regularly drinking it can wear down the enamel on teeth, causing tooth decay. 

This risk is mitigated by drinking through a straw and not brushing your teeth immediately afterward. 

#4 Acid reflux 

For some people, lemon water can cause or worsen heartburn

As citrus fruits have a high acid content, the increase of acid production in your stomach can trigger heartburn symptoms.

To prevent acid reflux, reduce the amount of lemon juice in your drink by diluting the acidity with more water.

A Word From our RD

We all talk about what foods you can and can’t eat during intermittent fasting, but there’s often little attention to what you drink. 

Many dieters get bored of water, so lemon water can ease the journey. And great news, lemon water doesn’t ruin intermittent fasting. 

Lemon water is a very low-calorie beverage that won’t throw your calorie count off, as long as you don’t add sugar. 

It’s an excellent health choice as it contains nutrients, may boost metabolism, and supports weight loss as it keeps your body hydrated. 

Citric acid, which is most concentrated in lemons and limes, protects the body from the harmful effects of free radicals.

Overall, lemon water has several health qualities. 

You can mix things up by adding one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is free from carbs and protein, making it a suitable addition. 

Coffee and tea are other possible options to drink when practicing intermittent fasting. 

Remember, processed lemon-flavored drinks usually have high sugar and calorie content, which will undoubtedly break a fast. 

The Final Word

Does lemon water break a fast? In most cases, lemon water is an acceptable drink for healthy adults practicing intermittent fasting. It’s a good way to get extra nutrients into your diet. 

In other cases, any amount of calorie consumption is strictly off-limits. It depends on the diet and meal plan you are following. 

As the calorie count is low, you generally don’t need to avoid this flavorsome drink. But stick to the traditional homemade recipe and keep it simple. 

P.S. Check out our video about lemon water and why it’s important for fasting

Written by
Edibel Quintero, MD

Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel's goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.

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