“You should be drinking more water!” or what about “How many glasses do you drink per day?”
These are things that everyone has heard at some point in their life. However, when was the last time someone said to you, “Don’t you put lemon in your water?”. See the thing is, everyone, knows water is essential to drink, but not everyone is fully aware of the health benefits of drinking lemon water.
Most people understand the basic concept behind why we should be drinking water, but did you know that adding lemons to your water is more than just for flavour? It actually has a multitude of additional and very worthwhile benefits. That’s right! Adding a few slices of lemon to your daily water intake actually takes all the benefits of drinking water -which you can learn about HERE and increases them!
Now keep in mind that this is not an article about making fancy, fun infused drinks. Although water infused with berries or cucumbers is fun, and great summer barbeque idea-this article is about the health benefits of drinking a specific kind of infused water. Lemon water.
Honestly, though, let’s start with just water. Some people drink it a lot, others hardly ever. The reality is that you be drinking a significant amount daily. There are so many reasons why, but if you just want the shortlist about water, though, it’s pretty simple. Our bodies are already made up of 60% water. So, drinking it only makes sense. We know we need water to survive, literally. Humans can only go three days without any source of water before death becomes inevitable. Not to get too dark here, but it is the truth. So, with that in mind, it’s easy to see how crucial water is to our existence.
It has been said that we need to drink eight glasses of water a day to stay hydrated and healthy. This is because water hydrates all parts of the body and keeps it good working order. It hydrates our skin, which is the biggest organ in the body and helps clear out any toxins throughout the body. All that in itself is great, and actually, it sounds perfect. So, what are the added benefits of adding in a lemon? And will it even taste good? Typically, lemons are not fruits that we eat right off the tree. So, what will happen when we put one in our water glass?
What is a Lemon?
This is probably a question that you have never asked yourself. Yet still, it is one worth spending a minute or two on because once you understand the make-up of a lemon, it becomes more evident as to why we should be using them in our water.
Lemons are fruits that belong to the citrus family. Their juice has approximately 5% to 6% citric acid and is valued to have a pH of 2.2. These numbers are what accounts for its sour taste. Lemon trees can be grown in any warm climates. Although they are thought to have originated in northeast India or China, they are now grown everywhere from Europe to California and in South America.
Lemons are a rich source of vitamin C and B. They also contain something called phytochemicals as well as nutrients such as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and even fiber. A little known fact is that the potassium levels of a lemon are actually higher than those of apples and grapes. Lemons actually have a lot more going for them than most people imagine!
So Why Drink Lemon Water?
Hydration and detoxification are the answers, as well as many more, but these two are really the biggest. Hydration is from the water, and detoxification comes from the added lemon. Detoxification is a necessary process to have a healthy body. Almost all people are knowingly or unknowingly creating toxins in their bodies. Toxins cause instability and, ultimately, disease. Therefore, the idea of detoxification is to eliminate the toxic matter in the body. The only way to do this is to control what you are putting into the body. It’s all about the pH really, the more alkaline your body is, the healthier you will be, and the better you will feel. Lemon water helps to alkalize the body and counteract the toxins that build up from poor food choices. Animal products, carbs, and sugars all create a more acidic pH in the body. Whereas fruits, vegetables, and legumes help create a more alkaline pH. Even if you are a person who is generally conscious of what you consume, adding lemon water to your regime can really help you. It will help to create a more alkaline environment in your body, which ultimately will enable you to have a longer and healthier life.
What Happens if There are too Many Toxins in the Body?
The body typically eliminates what it doesn’t need in the following ways:
Through the skin by sweating through the lungs, as we exhale, through the kidneys which filter and clean the blood and through the bowels which eliminate everything else it doesn’t need. When the body becomes bogged down with toxins, it doesn’t work as well. Just like a clogged machine, it will slow down, cause disruptions, and ultimately cease to do its job. This is what happens in an acidic environment. This is when we start to see health issues and diseases that begin to show up in a previously healthy body.
Some symptoms of this can include constipation, acne breakouts, shortness of breath, bloating, and even clogged arteries. Our main cleaning organs: skin, lungs, kidneys, and bowels are essential components of the machine that help to maintain an alkaline environment so they can best do their job.
Lemon water will help to alkalize and keep your body running smoothly and the toxins at bay. Now, this doesn’t mean you should rely on a steady diet of junk food and then drink lemon water to counteract it. Of course, a solid health and nutrition plan is just as important. However, even if the only you did to change your daily habits right now, was to add lemon water-you would still its results. It’s that powerful!
How to Properly Use Lemon Water
Honestly, it’s about as simple as pouring a glass of water. Using room temperature water (this is because it is more easily absorbed by the body than cold water) simply slice a lemon and drop a slice or two into your water. That’s it. You could also juice it and add the juice to your water glass; however, that will take a minute or two longer.
The thing is that lemon juice (either from the juicing or from the slower eventual release of the juice from a sliced lemon) will help you digest your food and detoxify the body by cleaning out all the residue that clogs it up. It’s really one of the easiest things you can do to better your health.
Pour yourself a glass at night and leave it by your bedside. Then in the morning, drink it as soon as you wake up. Yes, even before you have a coffee. In fact, it actually works best on an empty stomach. Then wait thirty minutes before ingesting anything else. Only after that, should you have your coffee or breakfast.
Then throughout the day, continue to have multiple glasses of lemon water consistently. Before each meal is also a great time. This will help you not to overeat and will increase satiety during the day.
Health Benefits to Drinking Lemon Water
There are actually so many health benefits to drinking lemon water that once you know them all, it’s hard not to jump on the lemon water bandwagon. One of the most significant reasons though is how it makes you feel. Unlike other things like better nutrition, you will feel the difference lemon water gives you almost immediately. No waiting days or weeks, results happen right away.
- Lemon water boosts the immune system
Lemon water is an easy way to boost your immune system. Lemons are packed with Vitamin C, which is a great way to help the body ward off sickness and disease. Think of it as a preventative measure that will help keep you healthy, especially during cold and flu season. It’s a great overall immune booster and specially great for upper respiratory infections.
- Drinking lemon water maintains the proper pH balance in the body
So, here’s the thing, there really isn’t another way that is as effective as drinking lemon water first thing in the morning to start your day with the right pH balance. The chemicals that are released are just so beneficial for the body. It is packed with antioxidants and flavonoids. These protect the cells from the inevitable damage that will be inflicted on the body throughout the day and the inflammation that will occur because of it. It’s all about maintaining the proper balance between alkalinity and acidity in order to stay healthy.
- Lemon water is an incredible source of potassium
Lemons are not just all about Vitamin C, they also pack quite a punch in the potassium department. More so than many other fruits. As well, they have calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. All things that the body craves and needs to work correctly. If you can do all this from simply adding a slice of lemon to your water, then why not?
- Use lemon water to aid with digestion
Many people have issues with digestion. Mostly because of a lack of fiber but also from consuming fast food, junk food, eating too quickly or too late at night. As well, eating foods that don’t necessarily agree with them, like spicy food, is often the culprit. And although these things should be curbed, adding lemon water to your diet can help you maintain better digestion and regulate your bowel movements. In fact, you may find when you start consuming lemon water each morning and throughout the day that you have more frequent and easier bowel movements than previously. This is because the lemons act as a digestive aid and help clean out the body more frequently. You will find that when you begin using lemon water regularly, you will also use the bathroom quite a bit more.
- Lemon water provides a thorough cleanse of the system
Which brings us to how lemon water cleanses out the system effectively. As mentioned above, drinking lemon water will clean out your bowels, but it also very effective at cleaning out the liver. It helps to flush toxins out, and therefore, if you have had issues with kidney stones, lemon water can really help. Kidney stones are painful crystals that form in the kidneys and must be passed through your urine. They are formed by calcium, uric acid, and oxalate, and adding lemon water to your routine can help break them down, so they are easier to pass and help keep them at bay in the future.
- Lemon water freshens your breath and promotes dental hygiene
There’s really no getting around the fact that everyone gets bad breath at times. However, drinking lemon water consistently throughout the day will help with this. The water keeps you hydrated, which is often the primary source of halitosis. And the lemons detoxify the smells from food and cleanse the mouth. It can even help to prevent toothaches and gingivitis. Some might think that because the lemon has citric acid that it would destroy tooth enamel. However, because it is diluted in water, this doesn’t happen. Only the good side effects come through!
- Drinking lemon water can help to keep your skin blemish-free
Lemon water is a great tool to help reduce acne and other blemishes. Things like wrinkles, rashes, and dark spots are also reduced by lemon water. This is due to the Vitamin C and the antioxidants in lemons and the fact that lemons can increase collagen synthesis in the skin. Collagen is the protein that keeps your skin young-looking. It plumps it up and keeps wrinkles and age spots at bay. So, for everyone who is trying to slow the aging process, lemon water is an excellent addition to your anti-aging routine!
- Lemon water is a significant help when it comes to weight loss
A little known fact is that lemon water can help you in your weight loss journey. It does this in several ways. Lemon juice promotes digestion and increases the body’s metabolic rate. This is why drinking a glass each morning on an empty stomach is so effective. Lemon water also increases satiety when consumed throughout the day. If you have a glass of lemon water every few hours or even right before a meal, your desire to consume more significant amounts of food will decrease. Lemon water can also help to reduce your cravings for sweets. Because of its bitterness, it reduces the cravings for sugars. And finally, it reduces the blood sugar response and controls it. The more stable the blood sugar is, the less likely your cravings for sweets will overtake you.
- Drinking lemon water can reduce inflammation
Inflammation in the body happens as a response to infection or injury. Drinking lemon water can help with this. Specifically, with joint pain and muscle pain. Therefore any soreness after a hard workout at the gym, a sprained ankle, or even chronic arthritis can all be helped by drinking lemon water.
- A glass of lemon water gives the body a considerable energy boost
Although most people look to a cup of coffee in the morning or late afternoon to help with energy, lemon water is actually a much better choice. Lemon juice mixed with warm water hydrates and send electrolytes coursing through the body at a faster and more effective rate than caffeine. When you get a boost like that so quickly, you can instantly feel your body waking up and becoming more alert. That’s not to say that you should not drink coffee (unless that’s your choice, and in that case, lemon water is a great replacement) however, drinking lemon water first before your coffee will yield better results in terms of energy and alertness.
- Lemon water also really helps to cut out caffeine
Speaking of cutting out caffeine. Lemon water does this so well! This is, of course, not everyone’s choice. Some of us are coffee aficionados and enjoy that status. However, if for health reasons, you must remove caffeine from your diet, then replacing it with lemon water will be the easiest way to do so. Lemon water will wake you up faster in the morning and help you to avoid that coffee withdrawal headache that often comes with trying to cut down on caffeine.
- Drinking lemon water can even help fight viral infections
We have already discussed how lemon water boosts the immune system, but did you know that it can also help you recover faster when you are sick? Its super powerful antibacterial properties help the body to fight infections like the common cold. Anything in the realm of upper respiratory infections such as sore throat, blocked sinuses, persistent coughs, ear infections, and inflamed tonsils can all be helped by drinking lemon water. This is an excellent reason for you to drink it and to give it to your family when they are sick too. Unlike some medications, lemon water is natural and can be consumed by children and teens just the same as adults.
Handy Tips to Help You Drink All Day Long
The best way to take full advantage of the lemon water phenomenon is to drink it all day long. Yes, the morning glass when you first wake up is the most important and most beneficial; however, contouring all day long should be the goal. Here are a few tips to help you stick to your goals so that you reap the most health benefits.
- Prepare your first glass at night and leave it by your bedside.
- Make a point of drinking a glass of lemon water before each meal.
- Each day place a fresh glass in the rooms of your house that you use the most. This way, there’s one close by! No need to carry your glass throughout the home.
- Carry a water bottle with you when you go out and refill as you go about your day.
- Ask for a lemon in restaurants and add it to the table water.
- Switch out your order of sodas or fruit juice for lemon water. These are really just filled with sugar and generally not very nutritious.
- Have a glass thirty minutes before getting into bed at night. This will help you remain hydrated during the night and wake up without that dry feeling in your throat, eyes, and nose.
Starting any new regime can some time to adapt to. Don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t all happen right away. If you miss a day or only have one glass, it’s okay. However, the more you stick to it and make it a habit, the more you will crave your lemon water. That instant refreshing feeling, clarity of the mind, and energy boost is something you will want, just as much as you need. As the lemon water hits your lips and travels down hydrating, detoxifying and clarifying as it goes, you will know that you are doing a great thing for your health. So why wait? Drinking lemon water is one of the easiest and incredibly beneficial things you can do for your body.