Drinking lemon water first thing in the morning has been a popular trend for years. It’s been touted as rejuvenating your skin, boosting metabolism, fighting off viruses, and more — but is it really so absolutely, incredibly, fantastically beneficial and life-changing? Read on!
What do you do?
When you first wake up, pour a glass of filtered, room temperature water. Water that is too hot or ice-cold requires more energy for your body to process, so it’s best to slowly wake up your body with warm water. Squeeze juice from a lemon into your water. (If you are under 150 pounds, use half a lemon. If you are over 150 pounds, use a whole one.) Drink it fairly quickly, and wait at least a half hour before eating to reap the most benefits.
What are the benefits?
1. Rejuvenates your skin: Lemons have loads of vitamin C, which assists in the production of collagen, helps in the prevention of wrinkles, and defends your skin against free-radical damage. Water also helps carry nutrients to your cells, so staying properly hydrated is important!
2. Boosts energy & alertness: The potassium in lemon helps with brain and nerve function, which can increase your alertness. Plus, according to Natural Health Magazine, scientists found that just a whiff of lemon can boost your feel-good hormones and reduce stress levels. Drinking water also helps in this arena, as dehydration can drain your body’s energy and make you feel sluggish.
3. Hydrates your body: When your body is dehydrated, it holds on to fat cells, and dehydration can also make make you feel hungry. Staying hydrated is crucial for your overall body health, so starting your day with a glass of water is a no-brainer. Plus, the lemon gives it a flavor boost.
4. Helps your immune system: The ascorbic acid (vitamin C) found in lemons is necessary for healing wounds. Lemon water is also touted as helping break up phlegm during a cold and soothing sore throats. Drinking water during illness is crucial, as your body’s defenses are working overtime to fight off sickness. Consuming lemon in order to tackle and prevent illnesses like the common cold hasn’t been proven, however, unless you live in severe climates.
5. Eliminates toxins: The liver responds to fresh lemon juice more than any other food source because it amps up its enzyme production, according to Dr. Alexander F. Beddoe. This boosts the liver’s efficiency in secreting bile for digestion and releasing toxins. Lemon juice is known as being a diuretic, which means it helps your kidneys eliminate water and some toxins by increasing the frequency of urination. This could potentially help people who suffer from UTI’s.
6. Could aid in weight loss: In addition to helping regulate your metabolism, lemons also contain pectin fiber. This fiber makes you feel full, and therefore can help stave off hunger and prevent cravings. Drinking plenty of water also contributes to this full feeling. By combining two natural ingredients, lemon and water, you’re already starting your day on a healthy note — and this can lead to better eating habits throughout the day.
7. Improves digestion: The acidity of lemons stimulates your digestive system and liver. This can help regulate your metabolism and bowel movements, thus helping your body absorb nutrients — and potentially leading to weight loss.
What are the drawbacks?
Citrus erodes enamel.
* Brush your teeth before your lemony beverage, or wait an hour. Acid softens enamel, so brushing too soon after consuming acidic foods and drink can aid in erosion.
* Rinse your mouth out with purified water after you drink the lemon water.
* Drink through a straw and be sure not to swish the lemon water around in your mouth.
* Drink the lemon water within a few minutes, rather than sipping on it all morning.
Too much acidity can cause heartburn. If you’re prone to heartburn, a dose of zingy citrus in the morning may not be your best route. Discuss it with your doctor.
So is it worth it?
Water and lemon are easily accessible and cheap, and that has contributed to its popularity. Besides helping you stay hydrated, lemon water’s star component is vitamin C, which can also be found in high amounts in other fruits and vegetables, like citrus fruits, green vegetables, and peppers. So while lemon water may not be a miracle-worker, it can certainly help you lead a healthy, energized lifestyle.