Do Coffee and Lemon Help You Lose Weight? From a Dietitian

Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD
Published by Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD | Medical Doctor
Last updated: December 28, 2023
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As a dietitian, I often suggest to my patients that they consider incorporating caffeine into their weight management strategies.

Recently, in a discussion with a personal trainer colleague, the topic of combining coffee with lemon water or juice came up.

Initially, I was skeptical about the taste combination, but it piqued my interest from a nutritional standpoint. So, I decided to delve into research to understand if this blend could indeed be beneficial for those on a weight loss journey.

Here are the insights I gathered.

Quick Summary

  • Drinking coffee can naturally boost metabolism and aid in weight loss, but adding lemon to coffee doesn't significantly enhance this effect.
  • Lemon juice was first added to coffee in the 1800s in France, with some believing it enhances fat loss efficiency.
  • According to the National Institute of Health, caffeine initiates thermogenesis, increasing calorie burn, but there's no substantial evidence that lemon enhances this process.
  • In my opinon, while coffee and lemon juice may not be a miraculous weight loss solution, incorporating them can be a healthy addition to a balanced diet and lifestyle.

Does Coffee Help Burn Fat?

Top view of caffeine

Yes, coffee can help you burn stored body fat and lose weight more quickly. This, however, is not a replacement for a balanced diet and exercise routines.

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), caffeine kicks off thermogenesis, slightly upping your body's calorie burn [1].

Black coffee, rich in antioxidants, not only aids in fat burning but also boosts overall health.

It’s also not the case that you can simply increase your caffeine consumption as a weight-loss hack. At some stage, you’ll notice some jittery side effects [2].

Does It Help To Add Lemon?

No, it doesn’t help to add lemon to coffee, at least not to boost metabolism activity.

There have been quite a few viral diet videos that claim you don’t need to be consuming fewer calories to lose weight.

Simply buy a special lemon drink and mix it into your coffee, and you’ll be losing weight in no time. 

But after a few weeks of research, I couldn’t find any studies that support this claim.

In fact, one piece of research from Cleveland Clinic specifically highlights that while lemons have a positive influence on the immune system, there’s no evidence to suggest they will improve your weight loss or boost the effects of coffee [3].

But that doesn’t mean that coffee and lemon juice isn’t a good idea.

Citrus fruits like lemons are known for their refreshing taste and high vitamin C content, which can provide added health benefits when incorporated into your diet.

Related article: Will Lemon and Water Help You Lose Weight?

Does It Have Other Health Benefits?

Top view of sliced lemons

Yes, there are many proven health benefits from adding lemons to your food intake.

First of all, it’s one of the most vitamin C-rich fruits available. Yes, it’s bitter, but, according to NIH, vitamin C plays a critical part in your immune health [4].

According to WebMed,  lemons also have a positive effect on your gut health by delivering a good dose of dietary fiber [5].

One of the benefits of added fiber is that it can make you feel full for longer, which may make it easier to achieve a calorie deficit diet for weight loss.

“Lemon contains high amounts of dietary fiber. Fiber, especially soluble fiber, can help reduce constipation and a variety of other gastrointestinal issues and discomfort.”

- Brunilda Nazario, MD, WebMD.com

How To Prepare A Lemon Coffee

After experimenting with coffee and lemon juice, I've found a neat trick. I brew strong ground coffee each morning, skipping milk since I'm unsure about its taste with lemon.

You can squeeze half a lemon into your coffee or prep ahead. I boil 3 cups of water with a lemon each night, adding extra slices for flavor.

This way, you can add just the right amount to your coffee, avoiding daily lemon-squeezing hassle.

Check out this video for a how-to on lemon coffee.

youtube

How Often Can You Drink It?

A woman sniffing her hot drink

I would suggest having one or two cups of coffee and lemon juice per day.

You could probably have more if you don’t take other weight loss pills that contain caffeine to burn fat, but I generally wouldn’t push it.

There’s only so much benefit you’ll get from the caffeine to help you lose weight and the lemons to boost your digestive and immune health.

It’s like everything else in life; don’t overdo it, and you should gain the benefits.

Comparison with Other Citrus Additives

Adding lemon to coffee, compared to other citrus fruits like lime or orange, presents unique differences in health benefits, flavor, and popularity.

  • Lemon, when added to coffee, imparts a distinct tartness and can enhance the coffee's antioxidant properties. This combination is known for aiding digestion and potentially improving metabolism.
  • In contrast, lime offers a sharper, more pronounced sourness, which might not blend as harmoniously with coffee's bitterness. However, lime can add a refreshing twist and may have similar digestive benefits.
  • Orange, being sweeter and less acidic than lemon and lime, introduces a unique, subtly sweet and fragrant note to coffee. This combination is less common but can provide a more rounded, citrusy sweetness, potentially making the coffee less harsh on the stomach. In terms of health benefits, oranges add a different profile of vitamins and antioxidants, which may contribute to immune health.

FAQs

Will Coffee and Lemon Make You Jittery?

Yes, coffee and lemon can make you jittery if you drink too much of it. Consuming coffee in large amounts can impact the central nervous system, but the lemon won’t add to this effect.

Should You Drink Coffee with Lemon Every Day?

Yes, you could drink coffee with lemon juice every day. It’s a good way to boost your weight loss efforts and get a solid fiber and vitamin C boost for your overall health and immune system.

Does Coffee and Lemon Burn Belly Fat?

Yes, coffee and lemon can burn belly fat. But it’s the caffeine and not the lemon juice that will impact your metabolism for effective weight loss.

Adding small things like lemon coffee to your daily routine is a good way to boost your weight loss journey.

But it definitely won’t give you a ripped beach body in a few weeks because these things move the needle pretty gradually.

If you want to lose weight more effectively, I would suggest opting for the next fat burners which are specifically developed for burning fat and aiding weight loss.

These can give you a consistent boost of calorie burning and elevate your energy levels which will eventually get you to your cutting or weight goals noticeably faster.


References:

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2912010/
  2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/caffeine/art-20045678
  3. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/coffee-and-lemon-can-it-help-you-lose-weight/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5707683/
  5. https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-lemon
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About The Author

Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD is a published peer-reviewed author and renowned physician from India with over a decade of experience. With her MBBS from Bharati Vidyapeeth and an MD from Rajiv Gandhi University, she actively ensures the accuracy of online dietary supplement and medical information by reviewing and fact-checking health publications.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Kristy June Dayanan, BS, MD is an author with a BS degree from University of the Philippines and an MD from University of Perpetual Help System. Her ability to simplify medical science complexities and dietary supplement jargon for the average reader makes her a valued medical fact checker and reviewer.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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