ice water with lemonAh, lemon water. The tonic used by so many to “cure” what ails you. In fact, there are reports of the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans using lemons for medicinal purposes. Lemons contain a good amount of Vitamin C as well as trace amounts of folate and potassium. Some suggest that lemon water promotes healthier skin, some say it helps with weight loss and others swear by it as an excellent way to detox.

Lemon juice, in its natural state, is acidic. It’s about a 3 on the pH scale (your tap water hovers at around 7 pH). In spite of its low pH, some say that lemon water is alkaline.

lemon juice on the ph scale Lemon water (water with a bit of lemon juice) is not alkaline, but rather, it has an alkaline effect on your body.

Whether food has an acidic or alkaline effect on the body has little to do with the food’s pH before it is digested. Something called the PRAL (Potential Renal Acid Load) Score calculates the amount of acid expected to reach your kidneys after your body metabolizes that food. Your kidneys help to regulate blood pH by removing excess acidic or alkaline substances through your urine.

Foods with a positive PRAL score are acid-forming, foods with a negative PRAL score are alkaline-forming. Lemon has a negative PRAL score because it produces alkaline byproducts once it’s been metabolized.

Other foods that have a negative PRAL score include:

 -  Asparagus
 -  Broccoli
 -  Zucchini
 -  Spinach
 -  Carrots
 -  Celery
 -  Tomatoes
 -  Potatoes
 -  Apricots
 -  Pears
 -  Pineapple
 -  … and more

Bottom line? Lemon water, in itself, is not alkaline. However, it has an alkalizing effect on the body. Be careful with the type of water you mix lemon juice with. You want to be sure it's free of contaminants.

The best way to get clean, alkaline water is from a water ionizer, right at your countertop. Add a squeeze of lemon, too - it's good!