You’ve undoubtably heard of (and enjoyed) lemon water before, but lime water doesn’t seem to get the same amount of love. It should, however, because lime water is hydrating and offers a number of health benefits.
Plus, it enhances the taste of water and makes it much easier to drink fluids throughout the day and with meals.
Limes are rich in antioxidants and vitamin C and provide calcium, iron, potassium and fiber. You can use them for a lime water detox that flushes toxins out of the body, as part of your skin care routine (as lime juice can help prevent early aging) and as a way to ward off disease.
The best part — it’s as easy as can be. Simply squeeze lime juice into the water that you already consume throughout the day!
Lime Water Benefits
Drinking water alone provides health benefits, so you can imagine that adding a nutrient-dense fruit to the mix will have an impact. Lime water benefits include the following:
1. Rich in Antioxidants
Citrus fruits like lime are loaded in antioxidants that protect the body from free radical damage that can harm cells and cause disease. We know that the rates of oxidative stress in the U.S. are very high, which is a direct result of the Western lifestyle, so adding antioxidant foods to your diet is so important.
Limes contain a concentrated dose of antioxidants and beneficial terpenes, including flavonoids, flavones, triterpenoid and limonoids.
2. Boosts Immunity
Limes are rich in vitamin C, containing one-third of your recommended daily dose in just one lime. We know that vitamin C is crucial for normal immune system functioning.
Vitamin C supports protection against pathogens and promotes oxidant scavenging. It plays a role in killing microbes and fighting infections, improving respiratory conditions, and reducing inflammation.
3. Keeps You Hydrated
In addition to the benefits that come from adding lime juice to water, drinking the water itself is critical for maintaining optimal health.
Drinking water keeps you hydrated and flushes toxins from the body. Research indicates that water consumption plays a role in human performance and functioning, and it also supports proper energy intake.
4. Promotes Skin Health
A study published in Food Chemistry suggests that citrus juices have an anti-aging effect because of their antioxidant content and ability to prevent oxidative stress-induced premature aging.
Adding lime water to your diet may help reduce wrinkle formation and the negative effects of ultraviolet light exposure.
5. Aids Digestion
Studies show that staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water or eating hydrating foods supports proper digestion. By enhancing the taste of water, lime juice can promote better hydration and help flush out the gastrointestinal tract.
For people who struggle with slow digestion or trouble passing stools, adding one to two glasses of lime water into your daily diet may be beneficial.
6. Supports Weight Loss
If you swap out sodas, juices and other sugary drinks for lime water, you will significantly reduce your caloric intake every day. There are only 20 calories in an entire lime compared to 136 calories in a can of soda. Plus, sodas have no nutritional value and can increase sugar cravings.
Research on animals also suggests that lime contains weight-reducing properties that can lower body weight and food consumption in mice.
7. Supports Heart Health
Lime juice is a good source of magnesium, potassium and vitamin C — all nutrients that help support heart health.
One animal study found that the antioxidant activity in lime juice and peel helped prevent atherosclerosis (the buildup of plague on the artery walls) progression in rabbits.
A human study conducted in 2016 showed that consuming garlic and lemon juice resulted in improved cholesterol and blood pressure levels in adults aged 30–60 with high cholesterol.
How to Make It
When it comes to lime water recipes, you have some options. You can go with a basic squeeze of a lime into a glass of filtered water or get a little fancy with it.
To prepare lime water for several days, fill a pitcher with water and two to three tablespoons of fresh lime juice. Then add in sliced lime and lemons, using one of each fruit, and about a tablespoon of mint leaves.
You can keep the pitcher in the refrigerator and pour it over ice in a glass when you’re ready.
Lime vs. Lemon Water
Lime water and lemon water are both rich in nutrients, including vitamin C and antioxidants. They are often used interchangeably but do have some key differences.
For starers, limes are less sour than lemons, and although they’re tart, limes have a smoother taste. Lemons have a more potent, sweet and sour taste.
Both citrus fruits are used in a range of recipes, including soups, salads, sauces and dips.
Nutritionally, lemons are higher in vitamin C by about double. Lemons also contain higher amounts of vitamin B6 and folate.
That said, lemon and lime water feature a slew of antioxidants and enhance the taste of plain water, helping keep you better hydrated and promoting detoxification.
Risks and Side Effects
Lime water is generally safe and poses minimal risks to humans. That said, it’s possible to have a lime or citrus fruit allergy, which can cause hives, swelling, flushed skin, asthma and other food allergy symptoms.
Stick to one to two glasses of lime water a few days a week. While it’s rich in nutrients, it also contains a high amount of citric acid, which means that overdoing it can erode the enamel on your teeth and cause teeth sensitivity.
- Drinking lime water is an easy way to increase your water, antioxidant and vitamin C intake.
- Lime water can help support heart, skin and digestive health. It may aid weight loss, fight oxidative stress and boost immunity as well.
- To make it at home, you can simply squeeze the fruit’s juices into a glass of filtered water. To jazz it up, add lime and lemon slices, along with fresh mint leaves.