What's Better - Lemon or Lime Water?

  • Medical Reviewer: Mahammad Juber, MD
Medically Reviewed on 10/4/2022

What is the difference between lemons and limes?

Lemon or lime water not only quenches your thirst but can also be good for your health. Lemons contain more vitamin C and antioxidant flavonoids than limes and limes have more niacin, calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium than lemons.
Lemon or lime water not only quenches your thirst but can also be good for your health. Lemons contain more vitamin C and antioxidant flavonoids than limes and limes have more niacin, calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium than lemons.

Drinking enough water is important if you want to stay hydrated and keep your body healthy, and you can make hydration fun by squeezing some refreshing lemon or lime juice into your water. 

Lemon or lime water not only quenches your thirst but can also be good for your health. Some even say it helps you lose weight

Here’s everything you need to know about lemon and lime water benefits. 

Lemons and limes are well-known citrus fruits. Limes (Citrus aurantiifolia) are small and round with a greenish-yellow rind. Lemons (Citrus limon) are oval-shaped and larger than limes, possessing a bright yellow rind.

Both lemons and limes have a sour and acidic flavor great for flavoring dishes, salad dressings, sauces, curries, pickled food, and drinks. However, lemons are sweeter than limes and are commonly used to flavor desserts. Limes have a slightly bitter flavor and are used more often in savory dishes.

Nutritionally, lemons and limes are similar, and they have similar potential health benefits. Therefore, drinking lemon or lime water can be good for you.

Nutrients in lemons

A lemon yields 48 grams of juice. It has the following nutrients:

  • Water: 44.3 grams
  • Energy: 10.6 calories
  • Protein: 0.168  grams
  • Fat: 0.115 grams         
  • Carbohydrates: 3.31 grams    
  • Dietary fiber: 0.144 grams      
  • Sugars: 1.21 grams
  • Vitamin C: 18.6 milligrams

It also contains minerals like calcium, iron, selenium, zinc, and magnesium and vitamins like thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamins B6 and B12.

Nutrients in lime

One lime yields a 44-gram serving of lime juice. It contains the following nutrients:

  • Water: 40 grams
  • Energy: 11 calories
  • Protein: 0.185 grams
  • Fat: 0.031 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 3.7 grams
  • Dietary fiber: 0.176 grams
  • Sugars: 0.744 grams
  • Vitamin C: 13.2 milligrams

Lime juice contains minerals such as calcium, iron, selenium, zinc, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium and vitamins like vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12. 

Is lemon water better than lime water?

Both lemons and limes have similar nutrients. Lemons contain more vitamin C and antioxidant flavonoids than limes. However, limes have slightly higher levels of minerals and vitamins than lemons. For example, limes have more niacin, calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium than lemons. They also contain vitamin A, which lemons don’t have.

What are lime water benefits?

Lime water is a refreshing drink that not only hydrates you but offers many other potential health benefits. 

Here are some lime water benefits:

1. Improves gum health and prevents scurvy

Lime juice is rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C improves gum health. It prevents swelling or bleeding in gums, which is known as scurvy — a condition that occurs due to vitamin C deficiency. 

Apart from swollen and bleeding gums, symptoms of scurvy include:

In the 19th century, British sailors would eat limes daily to cure bleeding gums. Having lime water every day can similarly help treat and prevent scurvy, though this condition is already rare in many places today.

2. Hydrates and rejuvenates skin

Limes are a great source of antioxidants like vitamin C and flavonoids. They protect your skin cells from damage and aging. They also improve the production of the protein collagen, which keeps your skin smooth and hydrated. 

Vitamin C deficiency or scurvy can lead to decreased collagen production and affect wound healing. Without vitamin C in your body, your skin can get bruised and damaged easily. Such a deficiency can also lead to dryness, wrinkles, and other signs of aging.

Many skincare products and cosmetics include vitamin C and flavonoids to improve skin health, but drinking lime water is a more natural way to hydrate and revitalize your skin.

3. Fights infections

The vitamin C and antioxidants in limes boost your immune system and help your body fight infections. Lime also contains essential oils that have antibacterial and antifungal properties. Sipping on lime juice daily can help you keep infections away.

Evidence also shows that citrus fruits like limes prevent Helicobacter pylori infection. H. pylori are bacteria that can cause stomach ulcers. Having lime water can improve your gut health and prevent the growth of these harmful bacteria.

4. Helps with weight loss

You may have heard that lime water helps with weight loss. Research shows that vitamin C and flavonoids in lime water can indeed boost your metabolism. They improve the breakdown of fats, prevent fat storage, and help you manage your weight. 

An animal study revealed that components of lime decreased hunger and improved weight reduction in overweight mice. Research has also shown that many people with obesity have vitamin C and antioxidant deficiency.  

To improve your metabolism and prevent obesity, kickstart your day with a glass of lime water or sip on it regularly throughout the day.

5. Lowers blood sugar

Research suggests that vitamin C can help reduce inflammation and lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Lime water contains vitamin C and antioxidants and has a low glycemic index of 32, which means it doesn’t dramatically increase your blood sugar levels. 

Studies show that vitamin C can help people with type 2 diabetes in the short term, though more research is required to understand the specific long-term effects of lime water on blood sugar levels.

6. Improves cholesterol levels and heart health

Limes are a good source of minerals like magnesium and potassium, which improve heart health. Potassium, for instance, lowers the effects of sodium, reduces blood pressure, and improves blood circulation. 

Limes are also rich in antioxidants like hesperidin. They have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties that protect your heart and blood vessels. They also increase good cholesterol levels and reduce bad cholesterol levels in the blood. This helps prevent blockages in your blood vessels and reduce your chances of experiencing a stroke or heart disease.

Drinking lime water can help you relax, refresh, and keep your heart healthy.

7. Prevents cancer

Oxidative damage by harmful molecules called free radicals can damage your cells. This can cause changes in the cells and lead to cancer cell formation. 

However, flavonoids in lime destroy free radicals, boost your immunity, and prevent the growth of cancer cells, so drinking lime water may lower your risk of developing cancer.

8. Reduces inflammation

Research shows that nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, and flavonoids in lime can decrease inflammation in your body. Drinking lime water can consequently help relieve symptoms of inflammatory conditions like arthritis and joint pain.

9. Potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease

A study showed that lime has antioxidants that block certain chemicals that can cause Alzheimer’s disease, so drinking lime water can potentially help prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. However, more studies are required to confirm this.


According to the USDA, there is no difference between a “portion” and a “serving.” See Answer

How to make lime water?

Lime water is easy to make. You’ll just need a few fresh limes. Wash them thoroughly to remove any dirt. Fill a glass with water and squeeze out the juice of one or two limes. To reap all the health benefits of lime water, drink it without any additives like sugar. Simply enjoy a refreshing glass of lime water and get your vitamin C or flavonoid boost.

Medically Reviewed on 10/4/2022

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Defeat Diabetes Foundation: "Limes."

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