Blog Nutrition Which Is Better Lime or Lemon for Weight Loss?

Which Is Better Lime or Lemon for Weight Loss?

The answer to which is better lime or lemon for weight loss comes down to understanding the nutritional values, nutrients, and beneficial properties of each. You’ve heard that lemon and lime water could aid weight loss but wonder about the truth beyond the claim. 

Questioning what would help you is the right start to any healthy lifestyle. Let’s help you discover whether either works for weight loss and what other benefits they may hold.

Which Is Better Lime or Lemon?

Certain lime benefits might be said to outshine lemons and vice versa. Here are some quick differences between lemons and limes:

  • They have almost the same calories and similar carbs, protein, fat, and fiber contents  (17, 18)
  • Lime has slightly more calcium, phosphorus, and vitamins A and E (18, 17
  • Lemons give you more vitamin C, magnesium, and potassium (17, 18)
  • One citrus tends to be more popular in weight loss trends than the other (15, 2223, 17, 18, 4)

Let’s dive deeper into which is better, limes or lemons for weight loss and other benefits.

Are Limes Healthier Than Lemons? 

Lemons and limes have key nutrients for weight loss and other benefits. Let’s discover the taste, look, and basic differences before looking at the potential benefits of each citrus fruit.

Difference Between Lemon and Lime Flavor

Lemon and lime both have an acidic, sour, and tangy flavor. However, lemons taste slightly sweet with a strong tang and a refreshingly zesty flavor. Meanwhile, limes taste slightly bitter, with a tart flavor blending into the tangy and sour undertones.

Lime Water vs. Lemon Water Nutrition Breakdown

Start by understanding the nutritional breakdown of each before looking at the potential benefits. Firstly, water has zero calories or carbs, with perhaps a tiny amount of magnesium or other dissolved minerals (3). Meanwhile, the table shows the nutrients, vitamins, and macros in lemon or lime. 

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The sizes are 100 grams to accurately compare nutrients in the exact amount of each citrus. However, the USDA shows the average whole lemon is 58-84 grams and 67 grams for a whole lime, so 100 grams is much higher than a typical serving of either fruit (17, 18). 

Macronutrients 100 g Lemon 100 g Lime
Calories 29 30
Carbs 9.32 g 10.5 g
Fat 0.3 g 0.2 g
Protein 1.1 g 0.7 g
Fiber 2.8 g 2.8 g

which is better lime or lemon for weight loss  

The two fruits have almost the same number of calories with very similar amounts of carbs, fat, protein and fiber per 100 grams. Any slight differences would be negligible in a more typical serving size.. Both fruits also contain vitamins and minerals to support your health (17, 18). 

Vitamins/Minerals 100 g Lemon 100 g Lime
Calcium 26 mg 33 mg
Magnesium 8 mg 6 mg
Phosphorus 16 mg 18 mg
Potassium 138 mg 102 mg
Vitamin C 53 mg 29.1 mg
Vitamin A 1 µg RAE 2 µg RAE
Vitamin E 0.15 mg 0.22 mg

Which Has More Sugar Lemon or Lime?

100-grams of lemon has 2.5 g of natural sugar, while the same amount of raw lime has 1.69 g of natural sugar (17, 18). As mentioned before, 100 grams is more than a whole fruit, and much more than a typical serving size. A squeeze or a wedge of lemon or lime in water will contribute a negligible amount of natural sugar, and will likely have little to no impact on blood sugar.  

Lime vs. Lemon Acidity

Limes and lemons have similar acidity. A quantitative assessment by the University of Wisconsin shows that lemons and limes have 1.44 and 1.38 grams of citric acid per ounce respectively (22). Commercial concentrates typically have 1.1 grams per ounce of lemon and 1.06 grams per ounce of lime. 

According to that analysis, lemons contain slightly more citric acid than limes, and raw citrus juice has more citric acid than commercial juice products and concentrates. Ultimately, lemons and limes have the most concentrated natural form of acidic acid found in fruit.

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A multiple linear regression analysis in Japan found that higher lemon intake as well as walking were associated with greater improvements in blood pressure among 101 women (12). A higher blood citric acid level combined with the physical activity of walking could improve blood pressure. 

Additionally, a small randomized Japanese study found that men who consumed citric acid-rich citrus fruit juice better-absorbed calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus while eating fish (10). Also, a UK review found that citric acid salts may reduce calcium-based kidney stones (5).

Another Italian review found that a higher magnesium, potassium, and citrate intake may reduce calcium-based kidney stones in children (9). Citric acid appears to aid essential nutrient absorption and prevent certain types of kidney stones, and both lemons and limes are rich sources of citric acid. 

Does Lime Have the Same Cleaning Benefits as Lemon?

Lemons may have a slightly higher acidity than limes, but the juices of both fruits have a pH between 2 and 3, which may help with certain household cleaning tasks (22). However, an interesting but small study in Uganda showed that a high-pressure steaming process using citric acid could detoxify mycotoxins in food, a fungus-produced toxin with potentially deadly implications in large doses (16).

Another preliminary study found that lime extract has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties (21). However, more research is necessary to compare lime and lemon juice to other disinfectants, antibacterials, and antimicrobials in clean environments. 

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Is Lime or Lemon Better for Hair?

Limonene is one key compound of lemons vs. limes to look at for hair. Both lemon and lime contain limonene (7). Limonene is sometimes said to be able to strengthen hair and reduce inflammation on the scalp, which might prevent hair loss or promote hair growth. However, these claims have yet to be researched. 

Differences Between Lime and Lemon for Face

A review on the dietary compounds of lemons and limes confirmed that both are rich in flavonoids, a key ingredient in many skin care products (7). 

A small Croatian comparative study found that certain flavonoids may modulate collagen production to speed up wound healing in the dermal fibroblasts, the main connective tissue in your skin (11). 

Meanwhile, lemons and limes have plenty of antioxidants to help reduce oxidative stress (7). A small Sao Paulo review found that antioxidants may have benefits for skin, including for psoriasis, sun damage, dermatological aging, and dermatitis (2). 

A Harvard blog article suggests topical vitamin C may help protect your skin from sun damage, reduce wrinkles, and give you even-toned skin (27). Both lemons and limes provide antioxidants, flavonoids, and vitamin C. So, both lemons and limes may support skincare. However, it is not advisable to apply lemon or lime juice directly to the skin as it may cause irritation. Instead, look for products specifically formulated to be applied to the skin.

Read more: Somatic Healing Techniques: A Holistic Approach to Physical and Emotional Recovery

Do You Drink Lime or Lemon for Weight Loss?

A Chinese systematic review suggests citrus fruits may promote weight loss and maintenance (8). That said, which one promotes weight loss more? A randomized imaging study in France found that drinking lemon juice alongside eating bread increased gastric secretions, sped up gastric emptying, and lowered the glycemic response compared to water with bread (15). However, there were no significant differences in appetite perception between the meals. 

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In addition, a review at Arizona State University suggested that inadequate vitamin C status could reduce how much fat people burn after exercise by 30% (23).

Both lemon and lime are rich in vitamin C and can contribute to your daily vitamin C intake (17, 18). Additionally, drinking water or sparkling water with a splash of lemon or lime contains a negligible amount of calories. Replacing sugary drinks with lemon or lime water can help you achieve a calorie deficit.  WebMD suggests at least a 500-calorie deficit daily to lose weight and recommends the following methods to lose weight (4):

  • Eating more vegetables, whole grains, fruits, lean proteins, nuts, and seeds
  • Doing 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week

Weight loss isn’t the result of drinking lime or lemon water alone. Instead, choose lemon or lime water over sugary drinks if you’re cutting calories while eating healthy and exercising. Also, lemon or lime water may help you burn fat by contributing to your vitamin C intake.  

which is better lime or lemon for weight loss  

Lime Water vs. Lemon Water Health Benefits

Drinking lemon or lime water in the morning is a popular trend. People believe that it supports digestion and immune health. A Nova Southeastern University review pointed out that it is currently advised to maintain adequate vitamin C status through diet to support your immune system in the fight against viral and other infections (25). 

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Lemon water may contain slightly more vitamin C, but lime water also has a sufficient amount. Women should consume 75 mg and men 100 mg of vitamin C daily to uphold immune functions and overall health (25). Both lemon and lime water aid toward your daily requirements. 

Meanwhile, a Chinese review found that citrus fruits like limes and lemons have plenty of metabolites such as flavonoids, essential oils, alkaloids, and carotenoids (6). The review also pointed out that these phytochemicals may have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-cancer, cardioprotective, and neuroprotective effects. 

Is it OK to Drink Lime Water Every Day?

It’s okay to drink moderate amounts of lemon or lime water daily. However, be careful of the potential side effects of too much citrus. A small Chinese microscopic and citric acid solution study found that too much acidic exposure may cause tooth enamel erosion (13). 

Some people with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or heartburn also find that drinking acidic liquids can be irritating.  

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  • Is Lime Water Good for You?

Lime water is healthy for you. A glass of lime water contains negligible calories but provides a small amount of vitamin C and other nutrients  (18, 17).  Drinking lemon or lime water in place of sugary drinks can help you reduce your calorie intake for weight loss, or reduce your added sugar intake if you aim to do so for general health. 

  • Is it OK to Eat the Peel of a Lime?

The lime rind may contain more nutrients than pulp or juice. A small Polish study compared the mineral content of lime and lemon rind versus pulp (20). Lime rind contains more potassium, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium than pulp. The same results were true for lemon rind, which had more nutrients than the pulp. You can zest the rind of lemons or limes and use it to flavor various dishes. 

  • Why Is Lemon More Expensive Than Lime?

The American Farm Bureau Federation explains how bad weather and picky climates affect citrus fruit production in California, Florida, Arizona, and Texas (26). Citrus production is struggling with an uphill battle against unfavorable weather conditions, which affects lime and lemon prices. 

  • Can You Put Lime in Hot Water Instead of Lemon?

Yes, putting freshly squeezed lime in water is essentially as beneficial as using lemon. A 100-grams of lime has 30 calories and the same portion of lemon has 29 calories (18, 17). Meanwhile, 100 grams of lime has the same amount of fiber but slightly less calcium and vitamin C. However, the differences become minute when you compare the much smaller amount of lemon or lime which is squeezed into a cup of water. 

The Bottom Line

Lemon and lime have very similar nutrients and benefits. Replacing sugary drinks with either lemon or lime water can help you reduce overall calorie and added sugar intake.  Either citrus water will support fat burning and aid weight loss if you follow a healthy diet and exercise. Don’t overdrink lemon or lime water, but make yourself a glass of lime or lemon water whenever you feel like a flavorful drink.


This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!


  1. Acidic and Neutral Liquid Ingestion in Patients With Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (2014,
  2. Antioxidants in Dermatology (2017,
  3. Beverages, Water, Tap, Well (2019,
  4. Calorie Deficit: What to Know (2023,
  5. Citrate Salts for Preventing and Treating Calcium Containing Kidney Stones in Adults (2015,
  6. Citrus Fruits as a Treasure Trove of Active Natural Metabolites That Potentially Provide Benefits for Human Health (2015,
  7. Dietary Bioactives and Essential Oils of Lemon and Lime Fruits (2022,
  8. Dietary Citrus and/or Its Extracts Intake Contributed to Weight Control: Evidence From a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of 13 Randomized Clinical Trials (2020,
  9. Dietary Treatment of Urinary Risk Factors for Renal Stone Formation. A Review of CLU Working Group (2015,
  10. Effect of Citrus Fruit (Sudachi) Juice on Absorption of Calcium from Whole Small Fish in Healthy Young Men (2006,
  11. Effect of Different Flavonoids on Collagen Synthesis in Human Fibroblasts (2006,
  12. Effect on Blood Pressure of Daily Lemon Ingestion and Walking (2014,
  13. Erosion Behavior of Human Tooth Enamel in Citric Acid Solution (2009,
  14. Evidence-Based Treatment Recommendations for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease During Pregnancy: A Review (2022,
  15. Glycemic Response, Satiety, Gastric Secretions and Emptying After Bread Consumption With Water, Tea or Lemon Juice: A Randomized Crossover Intervention Using MRI (2022,
  16. High‐Pressure Acidified Steaming With Varied Citric Acid Dosing Can Successfully Detoxify Mycotoxins (2023,
  17. Lemons, Raw, Without Peel (2019,
  18. Limes, Raw (2019,
  19. Limonin, a Component of Immature Citrus Fruits, Activates Anagen Signaling in Dermal Papilla Cells (2022,
  20. Mineral Content of the Pulp and Peel of Various Citrus Fruit Cultivars (2020,
  21. Preliminary Study of the Potential Extracts from Selected Plants to Improve Surface Cleaning (2018,
  22. Quantitative Assessment of Citric Acid in Lemon Juice, Lime Juice, and Commercially-Available Fruit Juice Products (2009,
  23. Strategies for Healthy Weight Loss: From Vitamin C to the Glycemic Response (2005,
  24. Sugars and Blood Glucose Control (1995,
  25. The Role of Vitamin C in Human Immunity and Its Treatment Potential Against COVID-19: A Review Article (2023,
  26. U.S. Citrus Production – An Uphill Battle to Survive (2023,
  27. Why Is Topical Vitamin C Important for Skin Health? (2021,

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