People add citrus to their morning infusion to lose weight and improve skin, but does it stand up scientifically?
here are many people who rely on a fresh cup of coffee to start their day, while others prefer to get up and go with a refreshing glass of lemon water. Now, the appearance of a new trend causes them to be consumed together, with the claim that the toner has virtues to melt fat, protect the skin and soothe headaches.
Although the health benefits of coffee and lemon have been studied separately, questions remain about the benefits of combining them. We spoke with nutritionist and personal trainer Luke Hanna to find out if there is science behind squeezing citrus fruits into your morning cup of coffee.
Lemon coffee ingredients
For many of us, coffee is a staple food. According to the British Coffee Association, about 2 billion cups are drunk each morning, making it the most popular drink in the world.
Made from roasted coffee beans, this drink contains a stimulant called caffeine. It is responsible for improving various aspects of brain function, such as memory, concentration, and energy levels.
Lemons, meanwhile, are among the most produced citrus fruits in the world. They have been used for centuries for their medicinal properties and are loaded with fiber.
Both coffee and lemons are known to contain high levels of antioxidants, which protect the body from the harmful effects of excessive amounts of free radicals. When combining both, it is suggested to add the juice of one lemon to 240 ml of coffee.
“A cup of coffee contains vitamins and minerals like B12, B5, manganese, potassium, magnesium and niacin,” says Hanna. Coffee is rich in powerful antioxidants, and one study revealed that many people get more antioxidants from coffee than they do from fruits and vegetables combined.
Like many other fruits, lemon can provide us with phytochemicals and is a good source of vitamin C, “he adds.
Health benefits of coffee with lemon
To understand whether drinking coffee with lemon could bring additional health benefits, it helps to consider the two independently.
There are countless studies highlighting the broad health benefits of coffee, ranging from protecting the liver to preventing depression.
In one of the largest studies on coffee to date, the National Cancer Institute and the National Institutes of Health found that drinking up to seven cups a day could reduce the risk of death by 16%.
Regular consumption is associated with a lower risk of many chronic diseases, Hanna says, including several types of cancer – specifically, breast, colorectal, colon, endometrial and prostate – heart disease, Parkinson’s and type diabetes. 2.
But that is not all. When it comes to increasing mental and physical performance, caffeine is one of the most effective supplements out there.
The benefits include the potential increase in strength, muscular endurance, alertness, and decreased RPE (Index of Perceived Exertion), which means that you will perceive the training as less strenuous compared to doing the same without the boost of caffeine, “says Hanna.
Health benefits of lemon
Lemons are a great source of vitamin C and flavonoids, both powerful antioxidants that have been linked to a lower risk of cancers, such as esophagus, stomach, pancreas, and breast.
A lemon provides about 31 mg of vitamin C, which is 51% of the recommended daily intake. Consuming fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke, protects the immune system, and helps fight infection.
Statements about how healthy lemon coffee is
There are some claims about the health benefits of drinking coffee with lemon; here, Hanna separates fact from fiction.
Lemon coffee can help you lose fat
This claim is not entirely unfounded. Some studies show that caffeine can help increase metabolic rate, which translates to more energy burned at rest.
It also stimulates the nervous system, which sends direct signals to fat cells to break them down.
However, this will have no effect on fat loss unless you are in a caloric deficit, that is, burning more calories than you consume each day.
Coffee can also contribute to this. Anecdotally, many people claim that coffee has an appetite suppressant effect, which can lead to fewer calories being consumed, “says Hanna.
And the lemon? Like most fruits, it is usually healthy, he says. But “it doesn’t have any special and proven benefits when it comes to fat loss.”
In conclusion, there is no evidence that the combination of coffee and lemon provides additional benefits for fat loss.
This claim is almost completely unfounded. Although some research has shown that high caffeine intake can increase the prevalence of headaches, other studies have shown the exact opposite.
One study found that the frequency of non-migraine headaches was 18% more likely in those with high levels of caffeine consumption – equivalent to 500 mg a day or more – compared to those with a lower consumption of about 125 mg a day, “he says.
However, another study revealed that consuming caffeine along with over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, can improve their effectiveness.
If you suffer from headaches on a regular basis, it may be worth experimenting with your caffeine intake to see what works for you, “he says. But there is no evidence that adding lemon to coffee alleviates headaches.”
Lemon coffee supports skin health
Good skin health has been shown to be positively associated with fruit and vegetables, Hanna says. However, the exact component of the fruit and vegetable responsible for the observed benefit is unknown. “
The amount of micronutrients you’ll get from squeezed lemon juice is minimal, he explains, so if you’re looking to improve skin health, focus on increasing your overall intake of fruits and vegetables.
Side effects of coffee with lemon
Although there is no evidence that the combination of coffee and lemon causes any specific side effects, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Lemon juice is very acidic and can lead to tooth enamel erosion over time, Hanna says, so it can be helpful to rinse your mouth with water after drinking it.
Remember that caffeine has a long half-life, about 6 hours, which means that it will remain in your body for a long time after consumption, “he adds. It is advisable not to consume caffeine after 3 in the afternoon, since otherwise it can affect sleep. “
Lemon coffee: the verdict
Like many people, we also like to start the morning with a cup of coffee, so we put the combination of coffee with lemon to the test. The verdict? We quite liked it. In terms of flavor, the lemon enlivens the coffee and eliminates the bitterness of the espresso. In terms of texture, the coffee is fresher and less cloying than our traditional black coffee. Ultimately, we heartily approve of it.
As for whether you should add lemon juice to your morning coffee, it all depends on your personal preferences. If you like putting lemon in your coffee, go ahead, but don’t expect anything magical to happen because of the specific combination of the two, “says Hanna.