How long does it take for lemon honey water to work?

Lemon honey water is a simple health drink made by mixing lemon juice, honey, and warm water. It’s touted as having many potential health benefits, ranging from weight loss and immune system support to skin health and digestive regularity. But how long does it actually take to experience these benefits after starting to drink lemon honey water regularly?

What is lemon honey water?

Lemon honey water is a drink made by combining the juice from half a lemon, about 1-2 teaspoons of raw, unprocessed honey, and warm or hot water. Some recipes may also add a pinch of cinnamon or slices of fresh ginger.

This simple combination has been used for centuries in traditional medicine and healing systems like Ayurveda. In recent years, it has gained popularity in the wellness community as a morning elixir that offers a wide array of purported benefits.

Here is a breakdown of the main ingredients:

  • Lemon: High in vitamin C and antioxidants. Also contains citric acid, potassium, calcium, and magnesium.
  • Honey: Has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. Contains enzymes as well as vitamins and minerals.
  • Warm water: Helps improve digestion and absorption of the nutrients from the lemon and honey.

By combining these three simple ingredients, proponents claim that lemon honey water provides a quick boost of energizing nutrients to start your day off right.

Purported benefits of lemon honey water

There are many touted benefits to drinking lemon honey water, though most lack strong scientific evidence.

Some of the main health claims associated with this drink include:

  • Boosts immune function
  • Increases metabolism and aids weight loss
  • Detoxifies the liver and body
  • Balances pH levels
  • Improves digestion and relieves constipation
  • Soothes sore throats
  • Fights colds and flu
  • Reduces mucus production
  • Clears up skin conditions
  • Protects against kidney stones

The high vitamin C content of the lemon plus the antioxidant compounds in honey are thought to boost immunity and fight infection. The acidic environment created by lemon juice may also help stimulate the production of stomach acids needed for proper digestion and regularity.

Meanwhile, the combination of water, lemon, and honey may promote detoxification, improve skin health, and increase satiety to aid weight management. The anti-inflammatory effects help reduce mucus and clear up respiratory conditions.

However, most of these purported benefits lack solid scientific evidence. More research is still needed to substantiate the wide-ranging health claims associated with lemon honey water.

How long does it take to see results?

There is no definitive answer on exactly how long it takes to see results from drinking lemon honey water, as research is still limited.

However, anecdotal evidence generally indicates that minor benefits like improved digestion, increased energy levels, reduced mucus, and better skin may start to occur within 1–2 weeks of beginning to drink lemon honey water.

More significant health improvements may take 4–12 weeks to notice. And the full effects likely depend on consistency, as well as your current health status.

Here’s a look at the time frames associated with some of the main potential benefits:


The high amount of vitamin C in lemon juice can help support immune function. One review found that regularly taking at least 200 mg of vitamin C per day reduced cold duration by 8% in adults and 14% in children.

Given that the juice of one lemon contains approximately 31 mg of vitamin C, drinking lemon honey water daily provides a good boost of immune-supporting vitamin C. Noticeable improvements to immune function may occur within 4–8 weeks.

Digestion and regularity

Drinking warm or hot lemon water early in the day may stimulate digestion. The acidic environment helps production of stomach acids and bile needed to break down food.

The water also helps hydrate the digestive tract, potentially relieving constipation. Improvements in digestion and regularity can occur within 1–2 weeks of daily consumption on an empty stomach.


Lemon juice contains compounds that may stimulate liver detoxification and improve waste elimination. Honey provides antioxidants that protect cells from damage.

One small study found that lemon juice increased antioxidant levels and decreased markers of oxidative stress in healthy individuals within 2 hours of consumption.

However, more research is needed on the long-term detoxification effects of lemon honey water. Some benefits may begin within a few weeks, but optimal liver support may take 3–6 months.

Weight loss

Lemon honey water contains very few calories, so it can help reduce overall calorie intake when substituted for higher-calorie beverages or morning foods. Additionally, the combination of lemon juice, honey, and warm water may slightly boost metabolism.

However, any effects on weight are likely to be small. Significant weight loss results might not occur until after 6–12 weeks of daily consumption alongside a healthy diet.

Skin health

Vitamin C helps produce collagen, important for smooth, youthful skin. Honey also provides antibacterial and antimicrobial compounds that can improve acne and other skin conditions. The hydrating effects of warm water also promote skin health.

You may see some improvements in skin clarity, tone, and texture within 2–4 weeks of daily use. Long-term, consistent intake for 2–3 months provides the most skin benefits.

Sore throat

The combination of warm water, antiviral honey, and vitamin C makes lemon honey water a soothing drink for sore throats. It can help provide relief from respiratory illnesses like colds and flu.

You may get immediate, temporary relief. But for longer lasting effects, daily use for 1–2 weeks can help decrease mucus production and clear up respiratory conditions.

How to make lemon honey water

Making lemon honey water is very simple. Here is a step-by-step guide:

  1. Squeeze the juice from half a fresh lemon into a mug or glass.
  2. Add 1-2 teaspoons of raw, unprocessed honey.
  3. Fill the rest of the mug or glass with warm or hot water. Use at least 8 ounces.
  4. Stir to dissolve the honey.
  5. Drink immediately, ideally on an empty stomach in the morning.

You can also add a few optional ingredients to boost the benefits:

  • A pinch of cayenne pepper to increase metabolism
  • 1-inch knob of fresh ginger for inflammation and digestion
  • Dash of cinnamon for blood sugar control
  • Slice of fresh turmeric root for antioxidants

Drink lemon honey water daily to get the most benefits. Consume first thing in the morning, or about 30 minutes before breakfast.

Downsides and precautions

Lemon honey water has very few risks or downsides for most people. However, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • The acidity can erode tooth enamel. Rinse your mouth with plain water after drinking.
  • Citrus juices may interact with certain medications, like blood thinners.
  • The honey shouldn’t be given to infants under 1 year old due to botulism risk.
  • Some people may experience heartburn, nausea, or reflux from the acidity.
  • Frequent use may result in dependency for regular bowel movements.

Overall, lemon honey water is very safe when consumed in moderate amounts. Start with about 8 ounces per day to assess tolerance. Those with gastrointestinal conditions should exercise caution.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much lemon honey water should I drink per day?

Most sources recommend drinking 8-12 ounces (about 1 cup) each morning. This provides adequate vitamin C and fluids to get benefits without overdoing the acidity.

When is the best time to drink lemon honey water?

Drink it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, about 20-30 minutes before eating breakfast. This timing allows for better absorption and digestion.

How long can I store lemon honey water?

It’s best consumed fresh. You can store in the fridge for up to 2 days, but potency may decrease over time. The vitamin C degrades with light and heat exposure.

Can lemon honey water help me lose weight?

It can aid weight loss due to its low calorie count and ability to replace sugary beverages. But the effects are likely to be modest. Achieving major weight loss requires a healthy overall diet and exercise.

Does lemon honey water detox the body?

Some research indicates it can support liver function and enhance toxin elimination. But “detox” is a vague term, and more studies are needed on lemon honey water specifically.


Lemon honey water is generally quite safe and easy to add to your daily health routine. While not all the purported benefits are strongly supported by science, it does provide vitamin C, fluids, and antioxidants to give your health a gentle boost.

Minor benefits like improved regularity, immunity, energy levels, and skin health may start to occur within 1-2 weeks. But more significant improvements to weight, respiratory conditions, and disease prevention likely require at least 4-12 weeks of consistent daily consumption.

Keep your expectations realistic, be patient, and drink lemon honey water as part of a generally healthy lifestyle for best results. Pay attention to how your body responds and adjust the frequency and ingredients as needed.

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