Lemon Water is Alkaline! An Explanation…

alkaline lemon water

I’ve blogged extensively about lemon water before, and even include it in my Definitive Guide to Alkaline Water – because I think it is such a great, powerful, natural, cleansing drink to start the day.

I’ve never heard any complaints from anyone saying it is not good for you but I am very frequently asked: is it alkaline?

Or should I say, I’m very frequently told ‘lemon’s aren’t alkaline, you idiot – do some research and read up on science’.

Of course, these people are right, lemons are not alkaline, they are citric acid of course – but those people are missing the point and are missing what I am saying.

I am not saying that lemons are alkaline, I am saying that lemons are alkalising!

See the distinction here? And by the way, this applies to all foods, not just lemons & limes. The most important thing to note is not what the pH of the food is in it’s natural state – rather the EFFECT THE FOOD HAS ON THE BODY.

Because of its very low sugar content and high alkaline mineral content, lemons actually have an alkalising effect on the body.

Why Acid/Alkaline Food Charts Differ

In fact, this is why a lot of acid/alkaline food charts differ – and the main difference is with fruits. A lot of food charts use the PRAL scale to categorise foods as acid or alkaline (PRAL is Potential Renal Acid Load). While this is a very accurate scale for many purposes, it is misleading for the alkaline diet because it only considers what the pH of the food is BEFORE consumption, not after.

PRAL is determined by burning the food down until it is just an ash residue and then measuring the pH of that ash. However, this actually burns away all of the sugars and yeasts and a heap of other substances that have a dramatically acid effect on the body.

Hence why in some lists pineapple and bananas are considered alkaline. It is because they contain lots of alkaline minerals such as potassium – however they are also incredibly high in sugar (25% +) which means that no matter how many nutrients they contain they will always be really acidic to the body and lead to massive yeast problems.

The same goes for lemons, limes, grapefruits and tomatoes – but the other way around. PRAL would list them as acidic, due to the ash residue, however, because of the low, low sugar content and high alkaline mineral content they are actually alkalising to the body once consumed.

According to pioneering alkaline diet researcher, Robert Young:

“Well, isn’t lemon juice acidic too?” It’s actually true that if you took some pH paper and tested lemon juice it would test acid, but once the lemon juice is metabolized in the body, the inherent alkalizing mineral salts contained in the lemon juice (and the bicarbonates that it pulls into the blood during digestion) leaves a residue of alkaline ash in the bloodstream. Also because of their low sugar content, lemons and limes do not ferment in the blood.”

So there you have it – lemon water IS alkalising to the body and I highly recommend you drink it!

How to Use Lemon Water

Here are my simple instructions:

1. Drink daily, upon rising
2. Mix 8 parts normal water to 2 parts boiled water to make lukewarm/tepid water
3. Squeeze approximately ¼ lemon into 500ml of water. This is a rough estimate you don’t need to be precise.
4. Enjoy!

DO NOT ADD ANY FORM OF SUGAR, YES THAT INCLUDES HONEY as this will make this drink HIGHLY acidifying.

Take care and leave comments or questions below!


Ask Me a Question or Leave a Comment Here - I'd Love to Hear from You


  1. Meeks Reply

    I went paleo way of eating, but started my day with e either leming juice in water of grapefruit juice after having come off all blood thinning drugs. My ph is always between 7 and 8 doing both a urine sample first thing in the morning and spit analysis my blood is nice and smooth no need for blood thinners.
    Thank you M,

  2. Lindsay Reply

    If Lemons are alkalising when can it make GERD symptoms worse. I also have SIBO. Is it okay for that condition? Thank you.

  3. Levi Reply

    Would adding Lemon to my water help with fluoride or heavy metals?

    • ross Reply

      Nope, lemon won’t act as a filter.

    • V W Reply

      What a ridiculous response. Obviously the person is wondering if lemon water has any chelating affect on certain minerals/metals like lead and aluminum which cross the blood brain barrier. Your liver and kidneys act as the filter in your body.

    • Truther Reply

      No sadly. Only water filters or a reverse osmosis system (the best for fluoride removal) would do that.

  4. Linda Reply

    So, adding one packet of natural stevia changes the benefit properties of the lemon water?

    • ross Reply

      Yes and no. Adding a little stevia is fine, but try to move away from it. Stevia itself wont’ change the properties of the lemon, i.e. it won’t ‘dissolve’ the alkaline mineral content of the lemon, but stevia isn’t alkaline forming. It’s one of the better sweeteners, but I still recommend trying NOT to use it 🙂


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  5. Scott Roush Reply

    So tomatoes are alkaline when consumed? I want the lycoprene and tomatoe sauce easier to get when go out than watermelon. Opinion garlic acidic? I read about nightshades

  6. sandra paul Reply

    ive suffered heart burns reflux terriable crampsmuscle nerves and bones problems is is ok to consume lemon in which ever way.

  7. David Jason Brown Reply

    Can you cite the proper peer review journals on which you base your determinations?

    • ross Reply

      Hi David

      In 90% of articles written in the past five years I have. Older articles I need to go back and cite. Thanks for reminding me.


  8. Crisalyn Calaunan Reply

    Im experiencing acid reflux and made me difficult to breath sometimes. A month ago I was diagnos with H-pylori and I undergo medication (antibiotics) in 2 weeks. The extreme tiredness cause by H- pylori is gone but the reflux is still there. I stop my daily pantoprazole already. Im drinking squeeze lemon with lukewarm water every morning in empty stomach. Am I doing it right for my acid reflux? Kindly advice. Thank you

    • ross Reply

      Hi Crisalyn

      The best thing you can be doing is consuming coconut oil daily – the caprylic acid in coconut oil is proven to destroy h. pylori.


  9. Earl Reply

    Hi, I’m looking around the web for an explanation as to ‘how’ lemons are alkalising. So far I have only found places stating that they are alkalising. People keep on repeating that ‘when the minerals dissociate’ it makes it alkaline. Has anyone actually done the calculation? Is there somewhere where I can look at all the ingredients, and all the metabolites, so I could work out if this is actually true or not?

    • Noah Reply

      Kinda confusing…but from my little high school chemistry knowledge, looks like one in the blood the minerals (cations, E.g., Na+) in lemons chemically bind with bicarbonate (anion), and that way pull in the bicarbonate (alkaline) into the blood. Na+ + HCO3- —> NaHCO3. Does this make sense?

  10. Gene Callahan Reply

    This is completely unscientific horseshit. Acids cannot “alkalize” your blood.

  11. gloria bragg Reply

    i have a hiatal hernia can that be cured please and what do i eat or do jucice please gloria braggplymouth uk will alkaline diet help plus jucing pleasase i want to cure my hiatal hernia naturally

  12. Jackie Reply

    I suffer from intestitial cystitus and can’t eat acids or caffine etc. Does this mean that as lemon and lime juice changes to alkaline in the body will I be able to drink this?

  13. Selina O'Connor Reply

    Hi Ross, I have the juice of half a lemon with some cold tap water every morning. Does it matter how much lemon you have?

    • Ross Reply

      Hello Selina,
      The lemon would depend on how you prefer your juice. If you want it a little sour just put in a lot more lemon.

  14. aj Reply

    Is it ok to eat white grapefruit for breakfast?

    • Ross Reply

      Hi Aj,
      Yes definitely. Grapefruit are highly alkaline and is very good for breakfast.

  15. Nika Reply

    Thank you Ross, well written.
    You wrote; “DO NOT ADD ANY FORM OF SUGAR, YES THAT INCLUDES HONEY as this will make this drink HIGHLY acidifying”.
    Any changes to the drink when I add Stevia to lime water?
    thank you

    • sandee pawan Reply

      Stevia is actually alkaline. So go for it.

  16. VICTORIA Reply

    Vickies question above is my concern too. What do you say?THANKS

  17. Mr. Reply

    What about lemon concentrate or organic lemon concentrate made from lemons? Or just 100% lemon in natural form?

  18. vickie Reply

    does drinking lemon water while taking my vitamins have any affect on the vitamins?

  19. Jan Reply

    Hi, I been drinking lemon water for years. For simplicity and convenient, I will usually sliced up the whole lemon with skin intact, put them in the fridge and uses a slice whenever i drink water.

    Just wonder how effective with the lemon be since i cut them hours ahead of consumption and with skin intact?

    • Ross Reply

      Hi Jan

      My main concern would be if the lemon peel has traces of pesticides then these will be absorbed into the water if they are sat in it for a few hours. Washing with high pH water from an ionizer will remove the pesticides – or, if you buy organic it is not really an issue.


  20. Mike Reply

    I believe it is very important for people to start to understand the need to detoxify you body of acid condition that we humans acquire just from everyday living. I have found that AMA. and Drug Companies really protest this information getting out. What would they do if everyone got healthy. They just might lose some money, Ya Think!!!
    Anyway, give it a try. I know, it has really worked for me and it will for you. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose.

  21. carl boyd Reply

    I am diabetic and steer clear of sugar but do take sweetners ( spenda) is this ok in my lemon/lime water in the mornings

  22. Michael Reply

    Hey Ross! 1/4 lemon per 500 ml. How much lime for the same 500 ml (since limes are way cheaper where I am from)? Also, can you use the liquid lemon juice like Real Lemon to get the same effect?

    Thanks for all the information!

    • Katia Reply

      I have just started this diet and bought the alkalife to add 2 drops with water to drink four cups a day. but i have a large hiatal hernia and iritation of the stomach wall. as soon as i prepare 1 cup of boiling water and add 2 drops of this alkalife and let it to cool a bit and drink so that i substitute with tea I found that suddenly my heartburn increase. this is contradicting what this alkaline drink suppose to do. why it is increasing suddenly my acid. is it suppose to decrease it? can please someone help. because i am frustrated with this pain. and in Malta you won’t find help on this things. doctors don’t care.

      • Ross Reply

        Hi Katia,
        The uneasiness that you are feeling is a product of your body detoxifying from the acids that you have taken from the past. But just continue with the alkaline drink then you will see results after a while.

    • Jack Reply

      Stay away from splenda (typo?) or any other artificial sweeteners.

  23. shari Reply

    I came across this product a few months ago, looking for a way to be sure that the water I was drinking was actually entering my cells (I’ve had a metabolic problem for decades). Composition: a dose of 36.36 g (diluted in a liter of water and drunk in sips throughout the day) is made up of: Sodium 64.3mmol/l Potassium 20 ” ”
    citrate 10 ” ” chloride 54.3 ” ” Recently, I’ve understood that I’m too acidic and so to turn that around, do you think adding this to my water provides helps? thanks, bks

  24. Olivia Reply

    Hi, I’m drinking lemon water and it seems to be a great appetite suppressant, but is the lemon bad for tooth enamel? I’ve read it actually destroys it. Thanks

  25. kelly Reply

    how about fruits enzyme, r their alkaline also?

  26. kelly Reply

    lemon water will cos gastric or not?

  27. Espen Reply

    Hey! Have a quick question I hope you can answear.
    I have been alkalizing for about a month, so I have just gotten started. I have taken hair mineral analyses and the test showes that that I am really low on magnesium. So I have for years tried to get this strait without any luck. I have struggeled with muscle cramps in the intire body. An have probably tried all magnesium products on the market. I have also got the phour salt wich I have only consumed a couple of tablets of. I am not sure if I should take phour salt becasue it contains kalsium and the hair analyse showed that I had alot of kalsium in the tissue? The reason I get cramps is because the relationship between calsium and magnesium is so wrong. Is it smartest to only take magnesium until it gets better and then begin to take phour salt? If so. Do you have any recommendation to what kind of magnesium supplement I should take, and where to get it from?