Crisp, clear, refreshing water. It makes me a little thirsty just writing those words. Water is an essential nutrient to sustain life. It flushes out toxins from our bodies. It hydrates our organs and skin. It helps our blood flow and keeps our bodies in working order. Yet sometimes, water can feel a little…boring. And even if you’re not tired of “plain old water,” you may be looking for ways to elevate the wellness properties of life’s hydration elixir. I’m sure you have probably tried adding some fruit or herbs to your water to give it a zing. There is something truly refreshing about some cucumber mint water on a hot summer day.
But today I want to tell you all about the benefits of lemon water. This is good stuff, and it does some really magical, okay, scientific things for you beyond basic hydration. I like to start my day with some lemon water while I do a ride on my Peloton every morning.
What Are the Benefits of Lemon Water?
Let me tell you, there are tons of benefits. One of the key benefits of lemon water is that it is a great way to wake up your body for the day. Before you reach for your herbal tea or cup of joe, try drinking a cup of warm water with a teaspoon or two of fresh lemon juice. This can help stimulate bile production in the liver and aid digestion before you take your first bite of breakfast.
Pep in Your Step – Speaking of coffee, drinking lemon water instead of coffee is a great way to kickstart your energy supplies and wake up your body without the jitters or crashing later in the day. The invigorating flavor of the sour citrus makes you feel more energized, awake, and focused.
Alkalinize Away – One of the really cool things lemon water does is that it helps to alkalize the body while balancing your body’s pH levels. Even though lemon juice is considered acidic, it actually alkalizes the body once fully digested. If you eat refined sugars or processed foods, the chemical additives in these foods can produce excess acid in the blood. Alkaline foods can combat these effects.
Kickstart Immune System – Another great benefit to lemon water is that it is jam-packed with Vitamin C and can support a healthy immune system. Did you know that sailors used to drink lemon water to treat scurvy? Now I’m sure you probably won’t encounter scurvy in your lifetime, but you will get colds and possibly the flu. Before you get the tickle in your throat, make it a habit to consume lemon water daily.
May Help Treat Kidney Stones – Studies show that drinking lemon water may help treat kidney stones. So, kidney stones are made from a buildup of calcium oxate. Traditionally, kidney stones are treated with citrate. The more citrate you have in your body, the less chance the kidney stones have to form and grow. Guess what has a lot of citrates naturally? You’re right…lemons!
May Support Weight Loss – As if these benefits weren’t enough, drinking lemon water daily may support weight loss. Research shows that adding lemon or lemon juice to your daily diet can possibly increase your insulin sensitivity and lead to weight loss.
Aids Digestion – Lemon water can help reduce the amount of toxins found in the digestive tract while providing relief for common GI ailments such as heartburn and bloating. The acid from the lemon can also aid in breaking down food particles in the stomach more efficiently.
Increases Potassium – We get a lot of our daily potassium intake from fruits and vegetables. Potassium is essential for nerve-muscle communication as well as waste regulation. Luckily, lemon water is an excellent source of potassium.
Improve Skin Health – We all know drinking water can do wonders for your skin, but when you combine lemon and water, the superpowers are pretty great! Lemon water contains powerful antioxidants that help clear blemishes from the skin and promote a bright and youthful complexion. The Vitamin C from the lemon water also helps support collagen production, making your skin appear firm and smooth.
Supports Oral Hygiene – Another benefit to lemon water is that it can help relieve a sore throat, toothache, and gum pain. Don’t forget to brush your teeth after drinking, though! The citric acid can erode tooth enamel if you let it sit on your teeth for too long. You may want to brush your teeth before drinking lemon water and rinse your mouth with regular water afterward. Or you can wait an hour before your brush your teeth since acids soften tooth enamel.
Making Your Own Lemon Water
It isn’t hard at all! But you may be wondering if you should drink your lemon water hot or cold, what type of lemons to use…etc. First off, the temperature of your lemon water is up to you. Warm lemon water first thing in the morning is gentler on the stomach, but if you wake up parched, you may find cold lemon water to be more refreshing.
All you need to do is slice a lemon and put a few slices in boiled water. You can also squeeze the lemon juice from a lemon into the water or use a juicer. If you’re opting for cold water, your best bet is to squeeze the lemon juice straight into the water; otherwise, you’ll have to wait for the lemon flavor to infiltrate the cold water, which can take a few minutes.
Fresh lemons are best! But if you only have lemon juice on hand, that can work too. When lemon shopping, I like to pick the thin-skinned lemons. These are bright yellow and don’t have any green spots. They are also mostly wrinkle-free. Store your lemons away from sunlight at room temperature for a few days. To keep them longer, store them in the refrigerator.
And if you don’t like the flavor or find lemon water too sour, just plain water is all you really need. Lemon just adds a little beneficial zest.