Looking for natural fixes and wondering if lemon water can balance your hormones? Find out what adding a squeeze of lemon to your glass can do for your body and your hormone balance—and what information is out there but just not true.
How lemon water can help with hormone balance
Everything you do affects your hormones—their levels and how they communicate. But one great thing about hormone balance? Little lifestyle changes like an afternoon walk may not be the golden ticket. But they do really add up and make an overall difference. If you’re looking for ways to have healthier hormones, staying hydrated is key—and putting some lemon in your water can help, too.
Hydration + your hormones
It’s hormones that cue you to drink when thirsty. And, your hormones do best when you’re hydrated. Why? Dehydration puts your body in a stress state. Studies show that even minor dehydration can increase your production of norepinephrine and cortisol. Over time, these two stress hormones can wreck havoc on your other hormones. They can lower progesterone. Reduce thyroid function. Increase hunger hormones and more.
Need more reason to stay hydrated? If you’re in menopause, loss of the hormone estrogen means that your body is more prone to dehydration. You can even see this in your skin. And if you’re still getting a menstrual cycle? (That means you’re premenopausal or perimenopausal.) At certain times during your cycle—like right before your period, when you’re PMS-ing—you might find yourself especially thirsty. That’s because progesterone and estrogen are fluctuating. Both affect the amount of water of in your body, so you need to make sure you’re drinking enough.
Lemon water + your hormones
The top benefit of adding some lemon to your H20 is that it encourages you to sip more often. As a result, you’re better hydrated. But can the lemon help balance hormones—or is it just the water that’s helping?
Believe it or not, the scent of lemon can help set the stage for better hormone balance. (Just a note: you’d get the same benefit from squeezing lime or an orange in your water, too.) The key is citrus. Just smelling it for about 10 minutes results in measurable decreases in anger, depression, and anxiety. Because all of those put your body in a stress state, anything (like lemon!) calming is ultimately good for your hormone balance.
What’s not proven about lemon water and hormone balance
Good liver function is vital to hormone balance. But it’s all over the internet that lemon water has the power “cleanse the liver.” While water is great for helping your body flush out toxins, don’t count on lemons to detox your liver. In fact, there’s really no need to take extra steps for cleanse or detox any of your organs. Your liver performs more than 600 functions and acts as a natural detox-er for your body. The best ways to keep it (and your hormones!) healthy are to limit alcohol, exercise consistently, be at a healthy weight for your body, and eat a diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables, along with plenty of fiber.
So, what lemons might do for your liver? Some of the antioxidants in lemons may be helpful. In particular, vitamin C has been shown to be beneficial in some cases. (Although too much can lead to excess iron in some people, and excess iron is harmful to the liver—plus your thyroid and more.
If your goal is to stay hydrated or reduce stress, go for lemon water
If you love the taste, starting your day with any citrus water can be a great routine. Just keep in mind that lemon (or any citrus) water isn’t magical. It won’t make suboptimal liver function optimal on its own. In the same vein, it won’t create radical changes in your hormone balance when used alone. However, what lemon water can do is provide your body with added antioxidants, improve your hydration status, and may even help lower your stress levels. When combined with other positive lifestyle changes, you can help change your hormone imbalance too.