The team at Konscious Keto has noticed a trend in health advice recently. Alkalinity is essential to vitality, and organic lemons as well as organic apple cider vinegar, are both affordable and accessible tools we can use to regulate our bodies' pH levels.
We'll touch on the benefits of apple cider vinegar (ACV) and why we love them, but first, let's examine the powerful homeostatic—or balancing—effect of drinking lemon juice on a keto diet.
Lemon Juice is Essential on a Keto Diet
When we consider that the body needs to maintain a pH level of 7.35-7.45 for our cells to function correctly, and become aware of how lemon juice increases pH and elevates alkalinity when ingested, it impressively makes this fruit's medicinal and nutritional value more apparent.
A ketogenic diet isn't inherently acidic. However, some food choices can produce a more acidic reaction than others in the body, while on keto.
For instance: alcohol, caffeine, dairy products, processed vegetable oils (e.g., canola, corn, safflower, etc.), and large amounts of protein—as may be the case when following some iterations of the ketogenic diet—can exacerbate acidity and may lead to a pH imbalance.
Thankfully, it's easy to construct your keto meal plan in such a way as to promote alkalinity. Eating dark leafy greens, low-glycemic nuts and seeds, fatty fish like salmon, and creamy guacamole will help you get in ample monounsaturated fat, and loads of flavor to boot!
The Importance of Balanced pH Levels
Ingesting alkalizing, balancing, substances like lemon juice and ACV are crucial to neutralize acidity and regulate pH levels in the body. Maintaining alkalinity can be even more important when eating a ketogenic diet in order to cancel out the adverse effects.
Increased amounts of uric acid could be present in the body due to higher consumption of protein in some cases, depending on the version of keto one may follow.
While acidity can play a beneficial role in the body concerning digestion in proper context, many foods eaten on a ketogenic diet (e.g., purines: sardines, organ meats like liver, caffeine, game meats, and turkey, et al.) are all high in uric acid—with an excess possibly leading to gout or pain and swelling in the feet and joints.
Since most of the animal meat proteins consumed on a ketogenic diet contribute to higher levels of uric acid in the body, it's especially vital to drink organic lemon juice regularly on a ketogenic diet to allow the citric acid to neutralize the uric acid in the system.
Lemon Juice and pH Levels
Although it may seem to be a contrary outcome, given its intrinsically acidic nature: lemon juice has an alkalizing effect to balance pH once digested—a hint that a food's acidic impact is influenced by the inner-workings of the digestive process and isn't absolute—acidic food doesn't always produce acidic pH levels in the human body.
Lemon juice is an incredible, natural detoxifier and especially beneficial to maintain liver and kidney health with regular consumption.
The cleansing nature of lemon juice is vital as the kidney and liver are essential to life—working diligently to process the foods we consume and filter out things like alcohol, and even medications, from the bloodstream.
The elements we consume can have a cumulative and possibly pollutive effect. And a buildup of yucky toxins in the body can lead to many health-related conditions such as renal failure, liver cirrhosis, kidney stones, and hepatitis—and no one wants any of that!
Fortunately, sipping on water infused with organic lemon juice, or a combination of that and organic apple cider vinegar—preferably a brand that includes 'Mother of Vinegar' like that made by Braggs—is a powerful and accessible tool we have at our disposal to gently detoxify our bodies every day at home.
Here are a couple of our favorite, keto-friendly recipes using elements like lemon juice or ACV to cleanse the body:
Homemade Ginger Tea
It's difficult to find an herb that works as well with lemon and ACV as ginger. Ginger perfectly conducts the kidney cleansing process and boosts the natural detoxifying effects of lemon juice.
Add a tablespoon of grated ginger (or to taste) to hot water and allow it to steep for about at least 4-9 minutes. Add stevia or your preferred sugar-free sweetener, and lemon juice. Stir it well and enjoy it!
Apple Cider Vinegar Elixir
Add 4-6 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to a half cup of distilled water and drink it daily, before eating your meals. Apple cider vinegar helps prevent kidney stones and also acts to detoxify the body.
Lemon Juice and Water
Lemon juice is very beneficial for liver and kidney health. Drink lemon juice in water or tea once a day to stimulate the liver’s bile production and flush out toxins.
Furthermore, this simple but highly medicinal beverage also prevents gallstones and promotes liver function—something that should be consumed regularly to maximize benefits.
Lemon Juice for Weight Loss
In addition to the many health benefits mentioned above, lemon juice can also help to facilitate fat loss, and drinking it while eating a ketogenic diet produces a powerful compounded effect that can contribute to a more accelerated fat loss process.
Enjoy any one of the recipe ideas we mentioned earlier, and you'll soon begin reaping the host of benefits associated with the alkalizing elements of organic lemon juice and apple cider vinegar.
Benefits of Lemon Water on a Keto Diet
We've touched on several of the benefits of drinking lemon juice on a ketogenic diet above, but here are the standouts that we felt were worth an initial or additional mention:
- Fortifies your Immune System
- Prevents Disease
- Absorbs Nutrients Better: Drink lemon water with meals to help better absorb some nutrients like iron.
- Helps to Stay Hydrated: The lemon-water beverage mentioned above is an excellent source of hydration.
- Improves Skin: Lemon water is packed with vitamin C, which provides superior nutritional support to facilitate vibrant and flawless skin, so drink up!
- Increases Weight Loss: Lemons contain a fiber called pectin and act as a fantastic craving buster, another benefit that only improves results in a thermogenic, fat-burning, state.
- Banish Keto Breath: The tart and tangy nature of lemon help to cleanse the palette as it detoxifies the body. Drink lemon water daily to beat back halitosis and prevent the dreaded condition of keto breath.
Vitamin C and Fat Loss
The first thing that comes to mind when most people think of the therapeutic powerhouse that is vitamin C is probably related to taking a supplement to recover from a cold quickly, but this vitamin is useful as more than a get-well elixir.
More hopeful still, vitamin C is known to provide additional benefits with losing body fat, particularly near the abdomen.
Vitamin C is such an excellent vitamin to boost weight loss, and the following are even more exciting benefits to gain from consuming lemon juice on a daily basis:
Regulates Blood Sugar
If you're familiar with how glucose regulation affects metabolic, hormonal behavior—either signaling the body to store or release fat—this benefit should get you excited if you're looking to shed a few pounds.
Maintaining steady blood sugar levels throughout the day also prevents the emotional roller coaster often experienced by those who are glucose-adapted, rather than fat-adapted.
Keeping sugar levels on an even keel certainly helps to support the healthy function of all systems in the body.
Fight free radicals and oxidative stress with your lemonade. Drinking lemon juice and beverages infused with ACV helps to boost disease-fighting antioxidants in the body and provide a powerful protective effect.
We live in challenging and demanding times; there seems to be a task to fill almost all moments of each day, and prolonged stress can deplete endogenous vitamin C levels. It's advisable to monitor your vitamin C stores closely with your doctor and supplement if needed.
Again, vitamin C provides fantastic support and helps the body ward off sickness and disease.
Boosts Weight Loss
Drinking lemon juice daily, especially before each meal, will help to whittle down your waist and can help you shed overall body fat, as well.
How to Get Started
Getting started is as easy as trying one of the recipes we mentioned above, figuring out which you prefer best, and incorporating it into your daily dietary regimen.
Make a pitcher of your favorite lemon-juice-infused beverage and sip on it through the day, or add some freshly-squeezed lemon juice to your evening cup of tea.
Drinking Lemon Water on a Fast
Wondering whether it's acceptable to drink lemon water during a fast is pretty standard, and the answer is 'yes'!
Adding say, two tablespoons of lemon juice to 8 oz of water will register as water and does not require any work on the part of your digestive system, so it will not break your fast!
Drinking Lemon Juice and Apple Cider Vinegar
Drinking organic lemon juice, as well as apple cider vinegar, particularly while on a ketogenic diet, is like a bulletproof trifecta—a secret three-pronged weapon you can wield to keep your body cleansed and your waistline small.
Experiment with some of the recipes we've shared above to start taking advantage of the fantastic health benefits of drinking lemon juice and apple cider vinegar, today.
Also, feel free to read a recent article we published that's dedicated to the innumerable benefits of consuming organic apple cider vinegar on keto, here.
Regardless of your chosen dietary protocol, we would highly recommend drinking lemon juice and apple cider vinegar for all the health benefits noted above.
Incorporating these affordable and highly-accessible food-based nutritional elements into your daily regimen will boost the already outstanding health benefits of eating a ketogenic, or any other healthy low-carb diet.
Furthermore, the symbiotic nature of lemon juice, ACV, and the keto diet will only work to further increase alkalinity when combined, with each element shown to prevent the risk of certain diseases while also acting as a boost to fat loss—an all-around win!
- Aiken C. G. (2013). History of medical understanding and misunderstanding of Acid-base balance. Journal of clinical and diagnostic research: JCDR, 7(9), 2038-41.
- J. Johnson, R. and Mohandas, R. (2008). Uric Acid Levels Increase Risk for New-Onset Kidney Disease. [online] JASN. Available at: https://jasn.asnjournals.org/content/19/12/2251.full [Accessed 23 Mar. 2019].
- Institute of Medicine (US) Panel on Micronutrients. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2001. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK222310/ doi: 10.17226/10026
- Tuglu, D., Yılmaz, E., Yuvanc, E., Erguder, I., Kisa, U., Bal, F., & Batislam, E. (2014). Viburnum opulus: Could it be a new alternative, such as lemon juice, to pharmacological therapy in hypocitraturic stone patients?. Archivio Italiano Di Urologia E Andrologia, 86(4), 297-299. https://doi.org/10.4081/aiua.2014.4.297