Part of my morning routine is making sure that I drink at least a litre of water before I go about my day. Doing so ensures that my body gets the hydration it needs after not taking in any fluids throughout the night. A litre of cold water also signals to my body that it is time to start the day.
However recently I’ve been trying something new. Instead of drinking only water I now cut a few pieces of lemon and let it soak into the water. I’ve noticed that the difference over regular water is quite noticeable. Not only is it tastier, it is also more refreshing and has become a must in my morning ritual.
First watch the video above to learn about the health benefits of lemon water over regular water.
The Benefits of Lemon Water
Whilst the video above mentioned a lot of benefits here are some more.
1. Strengthens Your Immune System
One of the salient things about lemons is that it has a relatively high concentration of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is essential for proper immune system functions, ever wonder why drinking hot lemon keeps the flu at bay during the cold season?
There is no debate about the importance of maintaining a strong immune system. Preventing viruses and bacteria from invading the body, recovering from infections and diseases, neutralizing and eliminating toxins are some of the major functions of the immune system. The importance of Vitamin C in keeping the immune system healthy has been backed by substantial research.
2. Drink Your Vitamin C
Unlike most animals, we humans cannot produce Vitamin C in our bodies, so we must obtain it from the foods we eat. You may question the practicality of drinking lemon water when Vitamin C is found in larger amounts in fruits such as kiwi. That is a valid argument, but it takes time for the body to digest foods, whereas the body will be able to use the vitamins a lot quicker if taken in liquid form.
Moreover, lemons are relatively cheap compared to other fruits that have similar benefits, and drinking a few glasses of lemon water every day should provide enough Vitamin C for your immune system to perform at its peak.
3. Reduces Acidity and Inflammation
It may seem counter intuitive that lemons which contain citric acid and ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) actually help reduce acidity. It turns out that although lemon juice itself is acidic, it has an alkalizing effect on your body.
Alkalizing, for those who aren’t chemistry prodigies, means increasing the pH levels. When the lemon juice is metabolized by your body, the minerals present such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium dissociate and raise the pH of the body tissue.
Why does it matter if your body is in an acidic or alkaline state?
For a healthy person, the pH level of the blood should be around 7.3, which is slightly alkaline. Moreover, acidic environments are likely to break down body tissue. The foods we eat are metabolized in the acidic conditions of the stomach so that we can get fuel from them, but if our cells or organs are broken down, they simply turn into waste that is toxic to the body. Furthermore, bacteria and cancer cells thrive in acidic environments.
Due to stress, negative thought patterns, and prolonged consumption of unhealthy or acid-producing foods; it is common for people to have an acidic state of the body; therefore, taking steps to reduce the acidity in your body should be a priority.
4. Reduces Joint Inflammation
Another problem you may be facing is inflammation in your joints. Joint inflammation is caused by higher levels of uric acid in the joints, so the alkalizing effects of drinking lemon water will help ease the inflammation and perhaps even eliminate it if you continue to consume lemon water over a long period of time.
5. Helps With Weight Loss
Drinking lemon water contributes to your weight loss goal by reducing the number of calories you consume.
Lemons, like many other fruits, contain a type of fibre called Pectin. When you consume pectin fibre, you feel satisfied for a longer period of time, which means that you are likely to consume a smaller number of calories.
6. It’s a Great Post-Workout Drink
Lemon water can be extremely refreshing after an intense workout that leaves you covered in sweat. Rich in potassium and magnesium, lemon water will help restore all those electrolytes you lose from sweat along with rehydrating your body.
Again, if you’re trying to lose weight, drinking this after a workout will help you stay away from binging on any unhealthy foods.
7. Helps Clear Blemishes and Keeps Skin Healthy
The key to keeping your skin healthy lies in the consumption of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is crucial when it comes to the production of Collagen, a protein which is responsible for upholding the strength and structure of your skin (collagen is actually found throughout the body). Vitamin C also prevents free radicals from damaging the skin and causing things like dark spots and blemishes.
Wrinkles appear on your skin due to the reduction in the levels of collagen produced as you age. This is inevitable however, you can take steps to keep collagen production at a good level and slow down ageing as much as possible.
Now, the best way to ensure collagen production is diet and I don’t claim that drinking lemon water alone will keep your skin looking young forever, but like I previously mentioned, it provides a lot of Vitamin C which can help collagen production.
Furthermore, keeping your skin hydrated is an integral aspect of skin care. Dehydration may cause your skin to be dry and flaky. Dry skin has been known to be more prone to acquiring wrinkles. As much as it is important to moisturize your skin, it is equally important to ensure that the skin cells are provided with water in order to flush out toxins and maintain that radiant glow.
8. Aids Digestion
Before trying to understand how drinking lemon water will aid digestion, it is important to understand that different parts of the digestive track work best in different levels of acidity.
Enzymes in some parts of the digestive track work best in an acidic environment whereas enzymes in other parts work best in a slightly alkaline environment.
You’ve read about how lemons have an alkalizing effect on the body after being metabolized. Now, this alkalizing effect won’t make a difference in the stomach where hydrochloric acid is present so it won’t affect the enzymes that prefer an acidic environment. In the intestines, however, the enzymes work best at a pH level of around 7.5 (slightly alkaline), so a habit of drinking lemon water will help those enzymes be more efficient, aiding the digestive process.
Furthermore, the pectin fibre found in lemons help the intestinal bacteria soothe the irritated intestinal walls. Along with this, pectin also fights off bacteria that cause diahhrea and has been linked to easing constipation.
It turns out an apple a day is not the only way to keep the doctor away.
9. Cleanses the Urinary tract
Lemon juice is a natural diuretic, which means that it increases the frequency of urination. Urinating more frequently will improve urinary tract health by removing any bacterial build up in the tract.
Furthermore, our body flushes out toxins through urine, so consumption of lemon water can help detoxify the body over a period of time. Think of it as a swimming pool, the more frequent the water is changed, the cleaner it will be. Just like that, our bodies will become cleaner and healthier if the waste fluids are flushed out frequently.
10. Freshens Your Breath
Bad breath is usually caused by a build-up of bacteria and dry mouth. If you suffer from this problem, drinking lemon water may be an effective way to overcome it.
Lemon water can combat the dry mouth, and lemon juice’s antibacterial properties can help get rid of the bacterial build up. Another idea is to use lemon water as a homemade mouth wash to freshen your breath.
11. Improves Your Mood
Sipping lemon water throughout the day will not only keep you hydrated and full, it can actually enhance mood.
Our body receives energy from food when the positive ions from the digestive tract react with the negative enzymes. It turns out that lemons are one of the few foods that contain more negative ions, so they provide our bodies with a boost of energy and mood when they enter the digestive tract.
One of the biggest speculated causes of binge eating is depression or bad mood, so drinking lemon water will help you prevent losing the progress you’ve made towards that healthy body.
Buying and Preparing Your Lemons
Picking the Right Lemon
To get the most out of drinking lemon water, you should be aiming to buy organic lemons as these are free of toxins and chemicals.
If you do not want to spend on buying organic, normal lemons are still better than nothing.
Here are some tips to select the best lemons:
- Look for lemons that have a good yellow colour (green ones are generally not as ripe, and may be more acidic).
- Avoid lemons that look wrinkly.
- Pick out lemons that have thick skins, these are the ones with the most juice in them.
Furthermore, you may want to buy a lemon squeezer to make your job a whole lot easier. Using a squeezer will prevent you from having to constantly spit out the seeds while drinking.
Preparing Your Lemon Water
Now when it comes to preparing, I don’t think it gets simpler than lemon water.
All you have to do is add some lemon juice to water. You should opt for water that is either warm or at room temperature. Hot lemon is good for sick days or in the cold season.
Pretty simple, right?
Still, here’s a video you might enjoy that demonstrates how to prepare lemon water and addresses things like benefits and buying the right type of lemons:
One glass in the morning should be good for beginners, but as you build a habit and slowly become accustomed to the sourness, aim to drink at least 2 or 3 glasses a day. I myself drink two glasses in the morning and sometimes one in the evening, and have experienced better energy levels and more radiant skin.
Lemon also has many other uses than just lemon water, and it can be a useful ingredient for many healthy recipes. Try to incorporate lemon into your cooking, and you will reap the benefits, albeit they might not be significant as you will likely use small amounts.
Concerns & Warnings of Lemon Water
The main concern with drinking lemon water is that the acidic nature before it is metabolized may erode the enamel in your teeth; however, small amounts should not make much of a difference since the juice is diluted with water.
To prevent any damage to your teeth, here are some things you can do:
- Drink from a straw to prevent the lemon water from coming into contact with your teeth.
- Wait for about 20 minutes after drinking lemon water before brushing.
- Rinse your teeth with baking soda in order to neutralize any acid that may have come into contact with your teeth. Additional tip: Rubbing a baking soda paste on your teeth has been said to make them whiter.
Get Started Today!
I hope that you have found this article enjoyable and informative. I have found that drinking lemon water to be beneficial and have incorporated it into my life, and I hope that you will do the same. There is no one practice that will help you lose weight or become a super healthy person, but it is the little things you do that contribute towards improving your health.
If you have any additional thoughts or tips for our other readers, feel free to share in the comments below and if you enjoyed the post, don’t be shy to share it.