Both ingredients are powerful on their own, but no scientific study proves that they are beneficial when ingested together. Besides, they may even be harmful when consumed with an empty stomach
The routine of drinking water with lime – with no sugar – before the meals brings with it a series of promises. Some claim this simple recipe is the key to lose weight, the secret to having a renewed skin, strengthening immunity and making the intestines functioning correctly. However, medicine guarantees this is a myth, and the recipe may even be harmful if not administered correctly.
According to physician Luiz Ernesto Pujol, secretary-general of the Paraná Regional Medicine Council (CRM-PR), there are no scientific studies proving the efficiency of water with lime, and the biggest mistake is to encourage the ingestion of the recipe in the morning, with an empty stomach.
“The empty stomach is not ready to absorb an acid food or drink. So if you ingest something citric during the morning, the fruit’s acidity will increase the acidity in your stomach even more, and may cause damages to the stomach lining,” he says.
According to Pujol, many people are not worried about that due to a confusion with the fact that lime allegedly becomes alkaline, in other words, lose its acidity, inside the human body. “That does indeed happen, but after the lime passes through the stomach. So the liquid ingested by an empty stomach will, indeed, corrode the stomach lining from 15 to 20 minutes,” explains Pujol.
Another myth associated with water with lime, according to him, is the promise that both ingredients, when put together, help to lose weight. “A few drops of lemon in the water do not have that power. What helps to lose weight is controlling the diet and spending energy through the practice of physical activities,” points out the CRM-PR secretary.
Ingesting constantly acidic substances like lime with an empty stomach may also aggravate conditions such as gastritis – an inflammation of the stomach lining – and ulcers, characterized by the formation of lesions. “If the person is already suffering from these problems, that might increase the symptoms and cause pain,” explains nutritionist Magda Rosa Ramos da Cruz, an expert in physiotherapy and professor at the Catholic Pontifical University of Paraná (PUC-PR).
According to clinical nutrition and phytotherapy expert Magda Rosa Ramos da Cruz, what could happen is a light feeling of satiety that happens when lukewarm water is ingested before meals. “It’s not the mixture of water with lime that helps, but lukewarm water on its own, because it remains in the stomach for a little longer, and that may help the person to eat less.”
53-year-old health agent Nilza Bortoleto realizes this difference. She began to drink around 600 ml of pure and lukewarm water before eating, and, in the last months, she realized a reduction in the amount of food she ingested. “A ate a little less, and also realized my intestine began to function well,” tells the resident of Araucária, in the metropolitan region of Curitiba.
Power of the ingredients
That improvement in the functioning of the intestine realized by the health agent, according to the CRM-PR secretary, may also occur with those who ingest water with lime, but it is based on the power of just one of the two ingredients: water.
“It is water – and not lime – causes your intestines to function well, as well as the kidneys, organs which present more issues as the age passes,” tells Pujol.
Besides, ingesting water several times a day also helps to detox the organism, prevents the appearance of diseases, and helps the functioning of the whole body. “We can see that when we see a dehydrated person, who has a bigger tendency of developing diseases due to the accumulation of toxins, and also the formation of kidney or vesicle stones,” remarks Magda.
Just as water, the second ingredient of the “magical recipe” is also powerful, and should be ingested often. “Lime is a good source of vitamin C, that helps immunity and acts as an antioxidant, contributing to the prevention of precocious aging,” she claims. That happens because vitamin C is necessary to the production of collagen, a protein which gives structure, firmness, and elasticity of the skin.
When she found out about the benefits of both ingredients, 48-year-old housewife Lisete Jacomet decided to include the water and lime recipe daily in her routine. “I’ve always liked lime, and used to drink plenty of water, but I often had flu. So I decided five years ago to include in my daily routine the ingestion of those two. Now my health is great,” says the inhabitant of Torres, Rio Grande do Sul.
However, she guarantees that the recipe of water and lime is not the sole responsible for the improvement in her immunity. “I control my diet and exercise. That makes me healthy and helps me to control my weight,” she remarks.
For doctor Pujol, that is the secret. “We must understand that a few drops of lime in water will not make a difference. It is necessary to have a balanced diet, exercise, and, if you drink water with lime, never do it with an empty stomach,” he points out.
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Os dois ingredientes são poderosos separadamente, mas nenhum estudo científico comprova que sejam benéficos juntos. Além disso, podem fazer mal se forem ingeridos em jejum