HomeGuideLemon Juice: Acidic or Alkaline, and Does It Matter?

Lemon Juice: Acidic or Alkaline, and Does It Matter?

Lemon juice is mentioned to be a healthful drink with possible illness-fighting properties.

It is specifically preferred in the option well being neighborhood for the reason that of its supposed alkalizing effects. Even so, lemon juice has an unarguably low pH and need to thus be noticed as acidic, not alkaline.

This short article examines why some persons contemplate lemon juice to be alkalizing, in spite of its acidic pH, and what that does to your physique.

What is pH?

When discussing acidic versus alkalizing foods, it is vital to fully grasp the notion of pH.

Place merely, pH is a rating of how acidic or alkaline a resolution is on a scale from 0–14. A pH of 7 is regarded as neutral. Any pH worth under 7 is regarded as acidic, and any pH worth more than 7 is regarded as alkaline (1, two).

On the pH scale, the distinction in between adjacent numbers represents a tenfold distinction in acidity. For instance, a pH of five is ten instances much more acidic than a pH of six and one hundred instances much more acidic than a pH of 7.

Simply because they include a higher quantity of citric acid, lemons have an acidic pH.

Lemon juice has a pH in between two and three, which suggests it is ten,000–100,000 instances much more acidic than water (1, two, three).


A food’s pH is a measure of its acidity. The pH of lemon juice falls in between two and three, which means it is acidic.

The supposed rewards of alkalizing foods

The Alkaline Eating plan has gained reputation in current years.

It is primarily based on the principle that the foods you consume might alter your body’s pH.

To set the record straight, there is no proof to help the Alkaline Eating plan. According to study, the foods you consume have incredibly tiny impact on the pH of your blood.

Nonetheless, the Alkaline Eating plan categorizes foods into 3 groups:

  • Acidifying foods: meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs, and alcohol
  • Neutral foods: all-natural fats, starches, and sugars
  • Alkalizing foods: fruits, nuts, legumes, and vegetables

Proponents of the diet regime think that consuming substantial amounts of acidifying foods can trigger your body’s pH to turn out to be much more acidic, escalating your vulnerability to illness and illness.

For instance, several think that your physique steals alkaline calcium from your bones to buffer the acidifying effects of the foods you consume.

Some also think that cancer grows only in acidic environments and that you can stop or even remedy it if you consume an alkaline diet regime.

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Thus, followers of this diet regime try to boost their well being and decrease their threat of illness by limiting acidifying foods and favoring alkalizing ones as an alternative.


Specific persons think that alkalizing foods reduce their body’s pH, thereby advertising well being and stopping illness.

Why lemon juice is believed of as alkalizing in spite of its acidic pH

No matter whether a meals has an acidic or alkaline impact on the physique has tiny to do with that food’s pH prior to it is digested.

As an alternative, it depends on no matter if acidic or alkaline byproducts are made as soon as it is digested and processed by your physique.

A single process of estimating which form of byproduct a meals will generate is the “ash analysis” method.

In this process, foods are burned in a laboratory to simulate digestion. The pH of their ash is made use of to classify the foods as either acid or alkaline. Ash evaluation is the purpose foods are occasionally mentioned to generate acid or alkaline “ash” (four).

Even so, ash evaluation is an imprecise estimation, so scientists now favor to use a unique formula that grades foods primarily based on their possible renal acid load (PRAL).

The PRAL of a certain meals is the quantity of acid that is anticipated to attain the kidneys following the physique metabolizes that meals (five).

Commonly, the kidneys preserve the blood’s pH continual by having rid of excess acid or alkali by means of the urine.

Acidic nutrients such as protein, phosphorus, and sulfur improve the quantity of acid the kidneys should filter out. Meats and grains, which have a tendency to include these nutrients, are thus offered a good PRAL score (five).

On the other hand, fruits and vegetables are higher in alkaline nutrients such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium. These eventually decrease the quantity of acid that the kidneys will need to have to filter out and are as a result offered a adverse PRAL score (five).

Like other fruits, lemon juice produces alkaline byproducts as soon as it has been metabolized. Thus, it has a adverse PRAL score.

This is why some persons contemplate lemon juice to be alkaline even although it has an acidic pH prior to it is digested.


When digested and metabolized, lemon juice produces alkaline byproducts, which make the urine much more alkaline. This is why some persons consider of it as alkalizing, in spite of its acidic pH prior to it is digested.

Lemon juice might alkalize your urine but not your blood

Quite a few proponents of the Alkaline Eating plan use pH test strips to verify the alkalinity of their urine. They think this assists them figure out how alkaline their physique definitely is.

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What they do not understand is that whilst lemon juice might make the pH of your urine much more alkaline, it does not have the exact same impact on the pH of your blood.

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According to study evaluations published in 2013 and 2012, the foods you consume have a incredibly restricted impact on your blood pH (six, 7).

Some considerably older research estimated that you’d need to have to consume the equivalent of 18 pounds (eight kg) of oranges — which have an alkalizing possible comparable to that of lemons — all in 1 sitting to improve your blood pH by just .two (eight, 9).

Foods have such restricted effects on the pH of your blood for the reason that your physique requires to keep pH levels from 7.35–7.45 for your cells to function correctly (six).

If your blood pH values fall outdoors this variety, you are in a state referred to as metabolic acidosis or metabolic alkalosis, which can be harmful or even fatal if left untreated (ten).

Even so, this seldom happens, for the reason that your physique is incredibly fantastic at stopping your blood pH values from falling outdoors the typical variety. A single of the strategies it keeps the levels continual is by employing your kidneys to filter out excess acids by means of your urine (ten).

This is why your urine can turn out to be much more acidic a couple of hours following you consume a substantial steak or significantly less acidic following you comply with a diet regime higher in alkalizing foods (six, 7).

But whilst the acidity of your urine can differ as a outcome of the foods you consume, the pH of your blood remains continual. So even if drinking lemon juice outcomes in much more alkaline urine, it is unlikely to have any impact on the pH of your blood.


Lemon juice might have an alkalizing impact on your urine. Even so, contrary to the premise of the Alkaline Eating plan, it has incredibly tiny influence on the pH of your blood.

Does the pH of meals matter?

Proponents of the Alkaline Eating plan appear to think that the foods you consume can impact your well being by influencing the pH of your blood. They normally claim that alkalizing foods stop bone loss and can stop or treat cancer.

Even so, as discussed above, this theory totally ignores the function your kidneys play in regulating the pH of your blood, amongst other techniques your physique makes use of to keep pH (six, ten, 11).

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In addition, contrary to preferred belief, several substantial evaluations have concluded that acidifying diets have no effect on calcium levels in the physique (12, 13).

In truth, a number of research truly hyperlink higher protein diets, which are believed to be acid-forming, with healthier bones (14, 15, 16).

As for the effects some persons consider acidifying foods have on cancer, research show there is no direct hyperlink in between the quantity of acidifying foods you consume and your threat of building the illness (17, 18).

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Nonetheless, an alkaline diet regime might present some well being rewards to particular folks.

For instance, persons with kidney illness generally need to have to restrict their protein intake. Consuming an alkaline diet regime might slightly lower the need to have for this (7, 19).

It might also decrease the threat of kidney stones in these prone to building them (20).

Even so, much more study on these purported rewards is required prior to robust conclusions can be created.


Your physique is developed to preserve the pH of your blood inside a narrow, healthful variety. The foods you consume have incredibly tiny impact on this pH.

Other rewards of lemon juice

Regardless of obtaining incredibly tiny alkalizing impact on the blood, frequently drinking lemon juice might market a number of other well being rewards.

For instance, lemon juice is higher in vitamin C, a robust antioxidant that assists preserve the immune technique robust and prevents and fights illness (21).

A single fluid ounce (30 ml) of lemon juice truly offers about 13% of your everyday vitamin C requirement (22).

What’s much more, drinking a vitamin C-wealthy beverage, such as lemon water, with meals might assistance improve your absorption of some minerals, which includes iron (23).

Lemon juice also consists of tiny amounts of antioxidants that might assistance decrease the threat of heart illness by strengthening blood vessels, decreasing inflammation, and stopping the accumulation of plaque (24).

In addition, some study suggests that frequently consuming lemon juice might assistance stop the formation of particular forms of kidney stones (25).


Consistently consuming lemon juice might strengthen the immune technique, improve mineral absorption, decrease threat components of heart illness, and stop particular forms of kidney stones.

The bottom line

Lemon juice has an acidic pH prior to it is digested. Even so, as soon as metabolized by the physique, it produces alkaline byproducts.

These alkaline byproducts can make your urine much more alkaline but have incredibly tiny impact on the pH of your blood.

Thus, any well being rewards lemon juice might present are unlikely to come from its purported alkalizing impact.


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