Warm Lemon Water
When I started my journey of changing my diet from processed foods to whole, clean foods, one of the first things I did was start drinking warm lemon water in the mornings. I like to add a little bit of raw, local honey to my morning lemon water. It is best to drink first thing upon waking and wait 20 minutes before eating breakfast or drinking your morning coffee.
It is best to use warm water because if the water is too hot, it can damage the enzymes and other nutrients in the lemon juice. Always use 8 to 16 ounces of clean, filtered water and half of a fresh lemon, preferably organic. Bottled lemon juice is pasteurized (which destroys its nutrients) and often contains preservatives. Warm lemon water has amazing health benefits and is an easy habit to start today!
1. Helps your Body Detox.
Warm lemon water aids your liver in creating quality bile which is what your body uses to break down fat and flush out toxins from your body. The minerals and vitamins in the lemon also play an important role in processing and eliminating toxins.
2. Jump starts your Metabolism.
Lemons are high in pectin fiber which reduces hunger. The vitamin C in lemons helps your body produce glutathione, which is important in the process of your liver breaking down and eliminating fat. Warm lemon water is an excellent way to help your body lose weight naturally and safely.
3. Balances your pH.
An alkaline pH is essential to good health and disease prevention. Even though lemons are acidic outside the body, once they are metabolized they create an alkaline environment. Lemons are rich in minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, sodium, and manganese, all which help alkalize your pH level.
4. Boosts your Immune System.
Lemons are rich in Vitamin C and potassium, which are important in the function of the immune system. Warm lemon water will help your body fight off colds and keep you feeling great.
5. Helps with Digestion.
Warm water encourages peristalsis, which is the contraction of the intestine to move food through your digestive track and to eliminate waste. Lemon juice is also a gentle, natural diuretic which means it helps your body flush out toxins and keeps your urinary tract healthy.
6. Hydrates your Body.
Your body is mostly dehydrated when you first wake up in the morning. Starting your day off with warm lemon water is a great way to replenish your body’s water reserves. If you find yourself feeling thirsty during the day, you are already past the point of dehydration. Make sure to drink enough water that you never feel thirsty. The amount of water you need is roughly half your body weight in ounces (example: 150 lbs. /2 = 75 ounces.)
7. Clears the Skin.
Warm lemon water is hydrating, detoxifying, and full of vitamin C, which are all important factors when it comes to clear, healthy skin.
If you do not have half a lemon on hand, a lime will work as well! A trick you can use if you find you do not have time in the mornings to squeeze a fresh lemon is to squeeze multiple lemons ahead of time and freeze the juice in an ice cube tray. This way you can just pop out an ice cube and add it to your cup of warm water in the morning!
I also recommend keeping the lemon peel and throwing it into your green smoothies! Lemon peel contains a compound called limonene. Limonene is a powerful phytonutrient that has been shown to increase the level of enzymes in the liver that are able to remove cancer causing chemicals! (1) Just make sure that your lemon is organic if you use the peel. This will ensure it is not covered in toxic pesticide residue.
If you suffer from reflux and cannot drink the lemon water, just a cup of warm water in the morning will still help your body hydrate, eliminate toxins, and stimulate the digestive track. With so many great benefits, I encourage you to make warm lemon water part of your daily morning routine!
1. Dee McCafferey, CDC, The Science of Skinny (Boston Massachusetts, 2012), 206-207.