Drinking an adequate amount of water, especially with the addition of lime, may provide some health benefits, such as aiding in weight management, skin health, and helping to prevent kidney stones.

The body needs water to survive, and drinking enough is crucial for maintaining optimal health.

Water ensures the human body is adequately hydrated. People stay hydrated by drinking liquids and consuming foods with high water content.

The amount of water a person needs to drink varies according to:

  • their age
  • their sex
  • the amount of physical activity they do
  • whether or not they are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • the temperature and other environmental factors
  • whether or not a person has a fever, diarrhea, or vomiting

Many people do not drink enough water.

Some people may find that a squeeze of lime improves the taste of water, encouraging them to drink more of it. By drinking lime water, people can also take advantage of the many health benefits it offers.

This small citrus fruit with origins in Asia has many nutritional benefits. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, one lime with a 2-inch diameter contains just 20 calories.

The same size lime also contains the following nutrients:

  • 22 milligrams (mg) of calcium
  • 12 mg of phosphorus
  • 68 mg of potassium
  • 19.5 mg of vitamin C, which is approximately 22% of the daily value (%DV) recommended for adults

In addition to the nutritional value of limes, lime water may have the following benefits:

1. Promotes water consumption

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest that people who do not drink enough water could add a squeeze of lime or lime wedge to enhance the flavor, which may encourage them to drink more water throughout the day.

2. Might reduce the risk of certain cancers

Several studies show a link between citrus fruit, such as limes, and a reduced risk of some types of cancer. A 2015 meta-analysis of observational studies published in Medicine showed a possible link between increased citrus fruit consumption and a diminished risk of esophageal cancer.

Researchers have also demonstrated that people with the highest intakes of citrus fruit, compared with those with the lowest, experienced a 9% reduction in lung cancer risk.

However, scientists require more research on citrus fruit intake across different cancer types, including when people add lime to water, before they can make definitive conclusions.

3. Could play a role in overall skin health

Limes are an excellent source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that the body needs to make collagen, which is a compound involved in supporting overall skin health.

According to a study in the journal Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, researchers suggest that drinking higher amounts of water (more than 13 cups per day) may have positive effects on skin hydration and appearance.

Not only does adding lime to water make it easier to drink, but the combination of water and lime juice can help improve the appearance and health of the skin. While medical professionals commonly understand the health benefits of both lime and water, they currently do not have any supporting scientific studies.

4. Might support weight loss

Several studies have looked at the relationship between drinking water and weight loss. While there is some scientific evidence in support of this link, scientists are unclear why this relationship exists and suggest they need further research.

A review paper from 2019 on drinking water and weight loss confirms that the current evidence on water and weight loss is low to moderate in quality.

Citrus fruits, such as limes, may have bioactive compounds that could help control weight, but doctors require further research to better understand the role limes and water may play in promoting weight loss.

5. Could help support immune function

The body needs vitamin C to support the normal functioning of the immune system. A person’s body cannot make vitamin C on its own so they must get it from foods or other sources. One lime contains 19.5 mg of vitamin C.

When a person consumes it regularly, lime water can help strengthen the body’s defenses and may shorten the lifespan of colds and cases of flu, although there is limited scientific evidence to support this.

6. Might contribute to a lower risk of heart disease

According to the CDC, following a healthy eating pattern that contains fresh fruit, including citrus fruits such as limes, is important for preventing heart disease and its complications.

Researchers recently addressed this in a 2020 systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Findings from this study suggest that higher total fruit intake has links with a lower risk of heart disease, and the researchers saw greater benefits specifically for citrus fruits among other fruit and vegetable sources.

Scientists need additional clinical studies to confirm the role that citrus fruits, such as limes, play in reducing the risk of heart disease.

Because drinking enough water daily is important for normal function of the body, including the heart, using limes may be an effective and tasty way to promote increased water consumption.

7. Could have anti-inflammatory properties

With 22% of the daily recommended value for vitamin C in one lime, they are rich in this nutrient. Among many other potential benefits, vitamin C acts as an anti-inflammatory agent in the body.

There are also bioactive components in citrus fruits and juices, including limes, that may have involvement in supporting a functional response of the immune system and controlling inflammation, according to a review paper in Frontiers in Immunology.

Scientists need additional well-designed studies in humans to explore the role that citrus fruits may play in lowering inflammation.

8. Might help prevent kidney stones

Limes contain both citric acid and vitamin C. Several research studies in a 2015 scientific review paper have shown the ability of citrus fruits containing these nutrients to break up or prevent the formation of some types of kidney stones.

The National Kidney Foundation suggests that a risk factor for kidney stone formation is not drinking enough water. Lime water could be one solution to help a person meet daily fluid recommendations.

Lime water is easy to make:

  • Wash a fresh lime before cutting it.
  • Fill a glass with water and squeeze the juice from the lime into the water.
  • To make lime water ahead of time, fill a pitcher with water and squeeze in the juice of 2 or 3 whole limes.
  • Add lime slices to the pitcher for added flavor.
  • Drink the water within 1 day for the best flavor.

For people who have trouble drinking the amount of water each day that doctors recommend, lime water may be a good alternative.

In addition to extra flavor, lime water also offers additional nutrients that may have a variety of health benefits. However, it is important to note that these health benefits may be more likely in people who make it a habit to drink lime water daily.

Lime water is easy to prepare, and almost everyone can add it to their diet.