Antibiotics are typically the standard treatment for UTIs. However, many individuals seek natural remedies to prevent and alleviate symptoms.
One such remedy is lemon water, a simple yet refreshing beverage with potential health benefits.
In this article, we’ll dive into eight facts about lemon water and UTIs to help you better understand the relationship between this popular drink and urinary health.
Fact #1: Lemon water may help UTI prevention by promoting Hydration
Staying well-hydrated is essential for maintaining a healthy urinary system.
Water (with or without lemon) is proven to help prevent UTIs in women with recurrent episodes of infection.
One study published in the British medical journal Evidence-based Medicine concluded that women who stay well-hydrated are at much lower risk of recurrent UTIs.
Drinking enough water helps flush out bacteria and other waste products from the body, reducing the risk of UTIs. Lemon water is a delicious alternative to plain water, making it easier for you to drink more fluids throughout the day.
By incorporating lemon water into your daily hydration routine, you can support your urinary health and potentially prevent UTIs.
Fact #2: Lemon water may help alkalize urine!
Lemons are high in citric acid. However, it can help to alkalize urine when consumed. This is because citric acid (in lemon) is metabolized into bicarbonate (an alkaline substance), leading to more alkaline urine (reference).
Alkalizing urine can create an environment that is less favorable for bacterial growth, potentially reducing the risk of UTIs. For example, E. Coli (the most common cause of UTI) thrives in an acidic urine environment (reference). So, making the urine slightly more alkaline may help reduce UTI.
While it’s not a guaranteed solution, drinking lemon water may contribute to a healthier urinary tract by promoting a more alkaline urinary pH.
Fact #3: Lemon water is not a standalone treatment for UTIs
The most important fact I want you to know from this article is that lemon water is not a cure-all for UTIs. No evidence or study mentioned lemon water as the sole cure for UTI.
Of course, it may provide some benefits, such as promoting hydration and alkalizing urine, but it should not be considered a standalone treatment for UTIs.
Always consult your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment, typically including antibiotics. In addition to seeking medical help, it’s crucial to maintain good hygiene and a healthy lifestyle to help prevent UTIs.
Learn more about evidence-based UTI treatments that work in this article.
Fact #4: Lemon water contains beneficial nutrients
Lemon water is not only a refreshing drink but also offers you a variety of nutrients that can support overall health.
Lemons are rich in vitamin C, an important vitamin that is known for its immune-boosting properties (reference).
Drinking lemon water can help increase your daily vitamin C intake, which may, in turn, support a healthy immune system and promote faster recovery from illnesses, including UTIs.
Furthermore, lemons contain antioxidants that can help protect your body from damage caused by free radicals(reference). These antioxidants may contribute to the potential health benefits of lemon water, such as supporting a healthy urinary system.
When searching for the benefits of drinking lemon water, I stumbled upon an interesting study on the beneficial effects of lemon water.
The researchers gave mice lemon water (0.1% lemon polyphenol) for their entire life, and they found that mice drinking lemon water lived 3 weeks more (equivalent to 2 years of human age) than the average age.
Fact #5: Lemon water is not the same as lemonade
Many of us may confuse lemon water with lemonade, but these two beverages differ.
The main distinction lies in the sugar content of the two drinks. Lemon water is typically unsweetened or only lightly sweetened, making it a healthier alternative to sugary drinks.
On the other hand, Lemonade contains a significant amount of sugar, which can cause you some troubles in the long term, weight gain, tooth decay, and other health issues.
You can enjoy a refreshing, low-calorie beverage that supports urinary health without the added sugar by opting for lemon water instead of lemonade.
Fact #6: Drinking lemon water may have side effects for some individuals
While lemon water is generally considered safe for most people, it’s essential to be aware of potential side effects.
Some individuals may experience sensitivity or allergic reactions to citrus fruits, such as itching, swelling, or digestive discomfort (food allergy symptoms).
If you notice any adverse effects after consuming lemon water, discontinue use and consult a healthcare professional.
Lemon water and dental issues:
Additionally, the citric acid in lemon water can potentially erode tooth enamel, leading to increased sensitivity and dental issues. To minimize this risk, consider drinking lemon water through a straw and rinsing your mouth with plain water afterward.
Fact #7: Lemon water affects medication absorption (including UTI treatments).
Lemon water can interact with certain medications, including antibiotics commonly prescribed for UTIs.
The citric acid in lemons may affect the absorption of these drugs, potentially reducing their effectiveness.
So, if you’re taking medication for a UTI or any other condition, consult your healthcare provider before incorporating lemon water into your diet to ensure it won’t interfere with your treatment.
Fact #8: Lifestyle factors also play a role in UTI prevention
Of course, lemon water can support urinary health. However, you have to consider other lifestyle factors to help prevent UTIs.
Here are some of the effective behavioral changes and treatments that help prevent UTIs:
- Avoid the use of spermicides and spermicide-coated diaphragms and condoms.
- Pee (empty your bladder) immediately after intercourse.
- Wipe from front to back to minimize the infections from the bowel bacteria.
- Topical (vaginal) estrogen if you are postmenopausal.
- Cranberry (pills, juice, or dried forms): cranberry may help prevent recurrent UTIs (but it doesn’t treat already existing UTIs).
- D-Mannose: a natural sugar (available as OTC) that can prevent recurrent cystitis (Bladder UTI).
- Probiotics: beneficial living bacteria that may help prevent recurrent UTIs. Lactobacillus probiotics are the most commonly used type of bacteria.
- Methamine (Hiprex®) is an anti-infective antibiotics medication (prescription-only). It is usually used for long periods (one tablet, twice daily) to prevent the recurrence of UTIs.
- Good control of your blood sugar levels (if you are diabetic).