You heard it once and you’ve been hearing it again and again – adding lemon to your water is good for you. Health advocates recommend it, your mum told you to drink it, fitness experts advise you to have it every day and even health and fitness articles live and breathe for it.
The question is, why?
Sure, this citrus fruit is rich in antioxidants and has been used as a treatment for various skin conditions such as acne and skin pigmentation but what can lemon do for your whole body and why is it recommended by health buffs around the world? Read on to find out.
The citrus family is a healthy family, and... one stands out: lemons. This is because a glass of lemon juice contains only less than 25 calories, a number you will appreciate especially if you’ve been hanging out in the weight department for quite some time.
Scientifically known as Citrus limon, lemon is an excellent source of various nutrients such as vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, calcium and pectin fiber, making it ideal for those who have heart problems. In fact, it has more potassium comparing to apples and grapes. It may not be a lot but this citrus fruit also has traces of vitamin A and iron.
Aside from its nutritional content, lemon is known for its medicinal, antibacterial and therapeutic properties. Although it is not some sort of cure-all superfood, it does contain antioxidants that boost your immune system and protects you against different types of infections. It is also antiseptic and plays the role of a blood purifier – properties your body can always benefit from.
Health benefits of Lemon Water
Given these properties, here’s a list of specifically how you and your body can benefit from drinking lemon water.
- Lemon Water Keeps You Hydrated
You already know that drinking plenty of water every day is important. After all, hydration helps a lot in keeping your skin healthy and your body functioning well. Apparently, not everyone is a fan of plain H2O so this is where lemon water comes in.
Lemon can be a good addition to compel you to drink water in order to maintain hydration. At the same time, it helps revive your interest in water. Plus, nothing feels better than a cup of water with citrus flavour after that tiring day or a workout.
- Lemon Water Is a Good Help against Constipation
Do you have trouble letting go? If you have difficulty pooping, then warm water and lemon might do the trick. Generally, drinking lots of water is helpful if you want to relieve constipation. However, adding fruits, especially those rich in fiber can offer extra push and help your body get things moving inside.
Through this, you will be able to say bye-bye – finally – to your body’s well-kept toxins. It will make you feel generally so much better too.
- Lemon Water Boosts Your Immune System
There is a reason why oranges are favorites during flu season. Once again, you need enough vitamin C to boost your immune system and fight infections. The good news is lemon is also full of this vitamin too.
Even better news is that you don’t have to pop so many pills anymore because lemon water can already supply much of the vitamin C your body needs to fight those dreaded colds.
And yes, it keeps your immune system up and running too.
- Lemon Water Improves Digestion
You might ask, “Lemon is a citrus fruit with high acidity levels. How can it improve my digestion?”
Good question. Believe it or not, lemon acts as your first line of defense against possible tummy upset. Based on Ayurvedic teachings, drinking a glass of warm water with lemon stimulates the digestive tract and encourages regularity.
Aside from this, lemon helps to remove toxins trapped in your digestive tract, thereby encouraging healthy digestion. This can minimise, bloating, heartburn and even burping.
- Lemon Water Is an Effective Treatment against Urinary Tract Infection
Move over, coconut juice. There is another way to stop and shoo urinary tract infection or UTI eventually. Say hello to lemon water.
It turns out that lemon water can change your blood and urinary tract’s pH levels. This means that it can alter the environment so harmful bacteria have no more reason to stick around and grow in number. This can be a perfect alternative especially when you don’t have access to coconut water 24/7.
Drinking lots of lemon water and cranberry juice is a really good idea if you are predisposed to urinary tract infections.
- Lemon Water Kicks Away Bad Breath
Ohh, this could be embarrassing, don’t you think? While morning breath is acceptable, bad breath the entire day is something hard to deal with. And if you are battling with this problem, then a glass of lemon water after brushing your teeth every morning could do the trick.
Lemon is antiseptic, which means it can act as disinfectant and kill bad bacteria in your mouth. Once the bad bacteria are gone, bad breath goes with it too.
- Lemon Water Reduces Nausea
Feeling nauseated? Blame it on morning sickness, motion sickness or whatever illness you have. The point is you don’t have to resort to pills just to make you feel better. All you have to do is to grab a glass of warm water, squeeze lemon and drink.
In fact, the National Cancer Institute refers to lemon as a food that is “easy on the stomach.” This is recommended not just on cancer patients but people in general because lemon water can neutralise your sour stomach and gets rid of that nauseated feeling. Plus, it’s natural too.
- Lemon Water Cleanses Your System
Did you know that lemon is also diuretic? This means that adding lemon to your water can help flush out unwanted substances inside your system. That’s not all. It can also increase the number of times you pee in the day, which makes your urinary tract healthy.
In line with its cleansing capabilities, lemon water also helps cleanse your liver. The citric acid found in lemon triggers the liver to create more enzymes that can aid in detoxification and give your organ a health boost.
- Lemon Water Is an Excellent Detox Friend
There’s so much buzz surrounding detox and detox drinks these days. Well, you have to blame the unhealthy lifestyle for America’s or Australia's growing waistlines, right? This is where water lemon takes the spot. Take a look at the detox ingredients and you’ll surely see lemon as part of the list.
Lemon contains d-limonene, an antioxidant that activates enzymes in your liver to help convert toxic materials such as ibuprofen and caffeine into less toxic ones. It is capable of cleansing your system, remember?
- Lemon Water Balances Your pH Levels
One of the major benefits you can get from lemon water is its ability to balance your pH levels. Despite its acidic nature, lemons are one of the most alkalising foods for your body. In fact, the citric and ascorbic acids are easily metabolised inside your body, thereby allowing the fruit’s mineral content to alkalise the blood.
Therefore, adding lemon water in your daily routine helps get rid of your body’s overall acidity. It also removes uric acid, one of the primary causes of inflammation and pain.
- Lemon Water Helps Overcome IBS
Yes, that is irritable bowel syndrome. This condition comes with bloating, painful stomach cramps, constipation and diarrhea. In worst-case scenarios, IBS can affect your daily life and activities. The good news is lemon water is an IBS-friendly drink.
Start your day with lemon water to kick-start your system. Since lemon is diuretic and good for your liver, it won’t come as a surprise when lemon water is recommended when you have this condition.
- Lemon Water Clears Your Skin
One of the most sought after natural treatments for skin condition is lemon. Here’s why.
Lemon’s vitamin C component and antioxidant properties decrease the formation of wrinkles, get rid of blemishes and brown spots, and combat free radical damage. If acne keeps on bothering you, lemon’s alkaline nature is capable of controlling bacteria that cause the said condition.
And yes, thanks to its vitamin C content, lemon water rejuvenates your skin from within. The result: a better looking skin clear of blemishes, dark spots and other conditions you don’t want to see on your face.
- Lemon Water as a Post-Recovery from Workout
What do you usually get after workout? Aside from water, there is a tendency to grab a sports drink to help you “rehydrate,” right? Well, sports drinks are usually full of sugar or artificial sweteners, which is not what your body wants after sweating it out in the gym.
In this case, lemon water should be your post-gym buddy. Lemon water provides you the hydration you need. It’s so much healthier too.
- Lemon Water Enhances Your Mood
Did you know that one in every five adults in America and Australia is depressed? Alarming number, don’t you think? Sure, antidepressants can make you feel better; however, there are side effects you have to deal with such as low libido and even... more depression. If you want to keep your mind sane without having to go through unwanted side effects, then make sure to have lemon water ready.
A lemon’s scent has mood enhancing and energising properties. This means the smell of lemon especially first thing in the morning can clear your mind and brighten your mood. It’s cheaper, safer and definitely an effective way to combat mild anxiety.
- Lemon Water Promotes Healing
When you were younger, your mum always had Betadine and a whole box of band-aids in cute designs to treat your bruises and scratches. Of course, this method can heal your wound but did you know that lemon water could help you to ensure that you heal faster?
Thanks to its anti-inflammatory and vitamin C properties, lemon helps maintain good health and allows you and your body to recover from injury. Further, the ascorbic acid found in lemons promotes wound healing. At the same time, it helps maintain healthy bones, cartilage and connective tissues too.
- Lemon Water for Heartburn
Heartburn happens when your esophageal sphincter or that area between your esophagus and stomach, doesn’t function properly. When this happens, the acid from your stomach goes up to your throat and this usually causes pain and discomfort.
The truth is lemons may trigger heartburn because of its citric acid content. However, it all depends on your intake. If taken in small quantities, lemon water is fine and won’t trigger any heartburn. On the other hand, anything in excess can lead to something you don’t want, so make sure to take note of what goes inside your body.
- Lemon Water to Treat Ulcerative Colitis
Ulcerative colitis is a type of condition that affects your digestion. This can lead to bloating, diarrhea, fatigue, cramping and even depression. The good news is it can be treated through proper diet. By proper diet, this means an alkalising diet.
Despite its acidic content, a glass of lemon water everyday helps bring pH levels back into its balanced state and reduce acidity. Plus, lemon water helps cleanse your body to get rid of toxins – something that can be important if you suffer from ulcerative colitis.
Why Drink Lemon Water in the Morning?
What do you usually drink first thing in the morning? Coffee or hot tea, right? However, there is a better alternative that can jumpstart your day without adding too much in the belly area – lemon water.
The truth is drinking lemon water as soon as you wake up could already stimulate your digestive system. This means that it can easily absorb nutrients and makes you feel fuller, longer. Plus, you can enjoy the benefits mentioned when you start your day with this power drink.
So the next time you feel like grabbing a cup of coffee in the morning, try your best to substitute it with lemon water.
Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water at Night
You always hear about the importance of drinking lemon water first thing in the morning. Did you know that it can benefit your body when you drink it before bedtime? The truth is having a glass of lemon water at night provides the same benefits it can give during the day.
However, make sure not to drink too much. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself waking up in the middle of the night just to pee. Take it easy.
Lemon Water for Weight Loss
Type "tips on how to lose weight" in the Google search bar and you will surely find “drink water with lemon every morning” in it. Why? Because lemon water will help you lose weight.
There are theories as to how lemon water helps you in your weight loss goals. Some say it helps you feel full because of the pectin content. However, this claim has not yet been proven. Still, one thing is for sure. Drinking lemon water is an excellent choice if you want to get rid of unwanted fats.
Water doesn’t have any calories while juice from one lemon contains 25 calories only. This means that every time you drink a glass of lemon water, you only add a few calories in your diet every day. Without a doubt, drinking lemon water has fewer calories than many other juices or drinks, which can add up over time.
Why Warm Lemon Water is Better
Here’s the truth: the temperature of your water doesn’t really matter when making your own lemon water. Hot or cold, the benefits still are most likely the same, though warm water or water in room temperature is recommended. Cold water may shock your system and might prevent lemon from making its magic work inside your body.
However, if you are constipated, then lemon and warm water will work best for you. According to the American Cancer Society, warm lemon water help stimulate bowel movement, which makes it easier to release what needs to be removed from your system.
In other words, just go for lukewarm water with lemon, especially in cold weather. It is closer to your body temperature so your body doesn’t have to adjust anymore.
How to Prepare Lemon Water
According to an article published in Idaho Observer in July 2004, mix one lemon with a glass of water to enjoy all the health benefits. Of course, you can adjust this according to your own taste since lemon water is only one of the many ways to get you to drink more water and less soda.
Here are some tips on how to prepare lemon water first thing in the morning.
- In the kitchen, pour water in a glass or any container you wish to drink your lemon water from.
- Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the lemon directly into the glass of water. It is important to use fresh lemons only since bottled lemon juice might contain preservatives. You can use as much or as little lemon juice as you want.
- Once squeezed, the water should turn cloudy.
- Drink and enjoy
Lemon can work with any water, regardless of its temperature. You can even use sparkling water to get that bubbly beverage without calories and sugar. Mix lemon juice with warm water or water in room temperature. Boiling hot water can destroy some of lemon’s enzymatic properties and vitamin C, while too cold can hinder the fruit’s digestive benefits.
A piece of advice: make sure to roll the lemon under the palm of your hand on a flat surface. This helps extract more juice from the fruit.
Lemon Water Precautions
Okay, fine. Everything has its flaws and imperfections, including lemons. Despite its many health benefits, lemon may not be friends with your teeth’s enamel due to to its acidity level. Before drinking, make sure to dilute the lemon with water in any temperature.
Since lemon is acidic, adding too much of this citrus fruit can lead to heartburn and potentially worsen gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. If you suffer from GERD, then you might have to look for other alternatives with lower acidity levels or drink it very diluted.
Also, be careful in treating lemon as your detox friend. Yes, it can aid in cleansing and detoxification but drinking too quickly and in high amounts can cause symptoms such as tiredness, headache and bowel changes.
So, are you ready to include lemon water in your daily diet? Go ahead - make it part of a healthy diet and enjoy all of these benefits for a better and healthier you.