Health Benefits of Drinking Water and Lemon
Lemon water is a simple and surprisingly healthy internal cleanser to start your day with. I certainly noticed a difference myself when I first started having the juice of a whole lemon in water first thing in the morning. I really like the way the sharp taste wakes you up and gets you going.
Some resources say that it’s good to have it in warm or even hot water. I suppose in this way you could use it as a healthier replacement for your morning coffee, but I personally prefer it in room temperature filtered water. It’s best to not have it in chilled water though as this can be a bit of a shock to your digestive system when you’ve only just woken up.
It’s also far better to use real lemon juice rather than lemon juice concentrate as these products usually contain sulfites, a preservative some people have a negative reaction to. Natural enzymes, antioxidants and vitamins are also likely to be lost in the manufacturing process so go for real lemons for the most benefits.
Quick and Simple Lemon Juice in Water
- Grab a lemon.
- Squeeze it in a citrus juicer like this.
- Remove the seeds and pour water over the juicer to get as much of the lemon as possible.
- Then pour it into a glass and drink it straight down.
There are a lot of health benefits associated with fresh lemon water with 12 of the best listed ahead. With a little practice you can make it up in under a minute so there’s no good excuse not to give it a try.
12 Good Reasons to Drink Lemon Water
1. Fresh lemon water, especially first thing in the morning, can help relieve or prevent digestive problemslike bloating, intestinal gas and heartburn and stimulate better digestion in general.
2. Lemons are antiseptic and have a powerful cleansing effect on you liver, kidneys and blood. An overworked liver in particular has an influence on how good you feel so having a simple way to cleanse it each morning can make a big difference to your daily energy over time.
3. Lemon water in the morning is a great way to get a good portion of your essential daily vitamin C. They are also a good source of folate and minerals like potassium, calcium and magnesium.
4. The high mineral content of lemons makes them alkalizing to the body, despite their citric acid. It’s actually not the acid content of a food outside the body that determines whether it will have an acid or alkaline effect, but rather the way it is metabolized during digestion that counts.
5. Lemon water assist in elimination and will help prevent either extremes of constipation or diarrhea. Another good reason to have them first thing in the morning.
6. Drinking lemon water is even said to be good for improving your skin. The high vitamin C content would help here, but the overall cleansing, detoxifying, antibiotic and antioxidant effects are likely to be even more important.
7. Limonoid glucosides are an interesting flavonoid compound present in lemons that some research has shown may have anti-carcinogenic properties. Its protective effect also seems to last much longer in the body than most other natural anti-cancer compounds.
8. Lemon water helps your liver to produce more bile to aid in the digestion of fats. This makes them particularly beneficial if you’re planning a big breakfast fry up after a heavy night. And realistically, the nutrients in lemon are far more likely to help clear your head than greasy and potentially dangerous sausages or bacon.
9. The antibacterial properties of lemon can help in curing a throat infection. If you have a sore throat you could make a warm lemon drink to sip every couple of hours. That said, if you are having a lemon water every morning you’re probably unlikely to get one in the first place.
Personally, I can’t remember ever having a throat infection since I started regularly having fresh lemon water first thing.
10. Lemon water is also thought to decrease the amount of mucus and phlegm produced in the body. If you’re drinking cow’s milk often (a big culprit in mucus production) then lemon water each morning may help to lessen mucus levels in your body.
11. Many weight loss resources cite the benefits of lemon water and its citric acid in fat burning.
I’d be cautious of too many miracle claims – you’ll still need to avoid the kind of foods that make you fat, get some good exercise and ideally change your meal frequency to one that improves weight loss potential – but lemon water is certainly a beneficial addition to any body fat reduction plan.
12. Lemon water is great first thing in the morning to reduce bad breath. The high antioxidant and antibiotic compounds may also help reduce body odor over time. There really are a lot of good reasons to start your day with the freshly squeezed juice of a lemon in a glass of water.
Lemon Water Precautions
A few precautions to go along with all the lemon water benefits.
To start with, citrus seeds are not good for you. While one or two won’t hurt, it’s best not to swallow or particularly chew them. If you use a citrus juicer with slots to catch them just leave them in the strainer. If any do make it through then the smaller ones will usually float and are easy to remove with a teaspoon, while the larger ones can be left at the bottom of the glass.
Try to avoid having sugar, honey (unless it’s local raw or manuka honey), maple syrup or other sweeteners with your lemon water as the simple sugars will reduce the benefits.
If you don’t like the sharp citrus tang then just shot it down quickly and you’ll barely taste it.
That said, what’s with our obsession with everything having to be sweetened? The human palate is designed to enjoy a variety of different flavors and tastes. Ayurvedic medicine for instance, recognizes the importance of having a range of different tastes in your diet to maintain both physical and emotional balance.
Some people are also concerned about the citric acid in lemons having a sensitizing effect on their tooth enamel. Personally, I haven’t noticed any problem with this but it would make sense not to let the lemon water linger in your mouth and just drink it straight down.
I tend to follow my glass of lemon water with another glass of plain water and swirl it around a bit to wash my mouth clean. If you’re concerned about this another option could be to use a straw to sip it so less comes into contact with your teeth. It’s also probably best to wait half an hour before brushing your teeth.
Having a glass of fresh lemon water first thing in the morning can have a lot of health benefits. Even the busiest person should be able to find the time for this simple step to better health and energy,
As with any new habit, I’d suggest trying it for at least two weeks every morning and see how it is making you feel. I’d love to hear your thoughts and results in the comments below.