Woman smiling drinking lemon water

Lemon water is purported to have a host of health benefits such as supporting digestion, reducing cell damage from oxidation, and providing us with a much-needed boost of vitamin C and potassium — just to name a few (via Cleveland Clinic). Not only that, but Healthline suggests that lemon water can also help fight off bad breath as well as preserve our skin health as we age. You may have heard that drinking lemon water also promotes bladder health.

As a member of the urinary tract, our bladder’s main function is to hold urine before expelling it from the body through the urethra (via Johns Hopkins Medicine). With its triangle-like shape, a functioning bladder can hold as much as two cups of urine for up to five hours.

While lemon water is thought to help maintain a healthy bladder, experts stress that lemon water does have its limitations. "Lemon water will not dissolve existing [kidney] stones … Lemon water also does not prevent or treat UTIs or urinary incontinence," says urologist Dr. Shenelle N. Wilson via Well + Good.

Lemon water may help you avoid kidney stones

Hand squeezing half a lemon over a glass of water

While lemon water may not be an effective treatment for urinary conditions, experts say that it can still impact our bladder health in positive ways. Primarily, lemon water may help protect against the development of kidney stones by boosting hydration (via Well + Good). While water alone is effective in fighting off kidney stones, the addition of lemon helps reduce the acidity of our urine (via LiveStrong), thereby protecting against calcium buildup which can otherwise lead to the formation of calcium oxalate kidney stones. In fact, urologist Dr. Justin Houman tells Well + Good, "Some patients who are prone to kidney stones are actually advised to drink freshly-squeezed lemon juice daily."

Ultimately, however, these benefits are not thought to be much different from the benefits of regular water. Still, if you’re wanting to give lemon water a try, Healthline suggests using half an organic lemon and squeezing its juices into an 8-ounce glass of filtered water. To get the most out of your lemon water, you’ll want to drink it on a regular basis, but keep in mind that acidic drinks can damage your teeth, so you may want to drink through a straw and rinse with plain water afterward. If you find yourself experiencing bladder discomfort or an increased urge to pee, experts at Well + Good suggest sticking to plain water instead.