When life gives you lemons, then why not make lemon water and start your day off right! Lemon, a rich source of vitamin C not only boasts antibacterial and antiviral properties but it’s a powerful antioxidant too (slows down the aging process). On top of all that, it also supports the digestive system and weight loss efforts.
But it’s not just the endless health benefits of drinking lemon water in the morning that keep the 8fit team coming back for more. Lemon’s up there as the most versatile and popular citrus fruits. It has a sweet acidic note that adds warmth and lightness to anything it touches. With its distinctively refreshing tang, you’ll find lemon everywhere: from drinks to juices, mains to desserts, teas to cocktails, and even in non-food products like candles and perfumes.
8 benefits of drinking lemon water in the morning
We like drinking lemon water in the morning on an empty stomach to rehydrate after a good night’s sleep. Plain water is A-OK too, but adding fresh lemon juice to your tall glass of H2O can elevate each gulp into a vitamin-rich and mineral-packed experience. Not only will it add a delicious zing to your water but it will enrich it with an array of health benefits.
To truly maximize the effect, make sure to add more than a single wedge to your glass, and try to drink it consistently over a significant amount of time.
1. Boost your immune system
Lemons are probably most well-known for their vitamin C (ascorbic acid). It has been found to have anti-inflammatory effects on the body, which combined with its iron enhancing properties, is perfect to keep your body safe from potential health dangers.
Also packed with saponins, lemons come equipped with anti-microbial traits that can help prevent or fight that pesky common cold circulating at the office. If you do happen to have a cold or flu, lemons will help reduce the amount of phlegm produced by the body.
2. Aid digestion
If you’re struggling to stay ‘regular’ and want to stimulate your bowel movements, lemon water can support your digestive system by acting as a natural laxative.
To explain how this works, let’s get nerdy: The chemical composition of lemons is similar to that of saliva and the hydrochloric acid found in digestive juices. As such, it promotes bile production, which is necessary for digestion. It also contains vitamins and minerals that help eliminate toxins in the gastrointestinal tract, allowing you to flush toxic waste from your body.
3. Balance pH levels
It may initially seem odd that an ‘acidic’ lemon actually has an alkalizing effect in our bodies. The acids they contain are pretty weak, which means that once metabolized, the citric acid is no longer acidic.
In fact, the mineral content in lemons goes a long way to help alkalize the blood. As disease and health issues tend to develop when the body’s pH level is out of balance, drinking lemon water on a regular basis can be part of a healthy daily preventative routine — like brushing your teeth to keep cavities at bay.
4. Feed your skin
Sipping on lemon water in the morning has been a popular remedy for a multitude of skin problems ranging from rashes and dark spots to acne. The vitamin C as well as other antioxidants in it help reduce blemishes and fight free radical damage. And, once again, the alkaline properties of lemon play a big part in eradicating the types of bacteria that trigger acne.
Lemon can even be applied directly onto age spots or scars to help lessen their appearance. And, as we know, lemon contains vitamin C which helps form collagen, helping keep your skin clear of impurities and radiating with health from the inside out.
All the above, coupled with the hydrating properties of water, your skin is sure to feel fresh, stay moisturized and rejuvenated.
5. Boost hydration
Though it’s true that water is the best beverage for staying hydrated (especially after a long night’s sleep), adding a good squeeze of lemon to it can provide you with all the electrolytes you need to get your day started. On top of that, adding lemon to your drink can enhance the water’s flavor and this could, in turn, encourage you to drink more of it.
6. Cleanse your system
If all the benefits we’ve already mentioned weren’t enough, lemon water can also be an effective way to cleanse the liver. It’s the toxin flushing qualities and enzyme promoting citric acid that stimulates the detoxification process in the liver.
Another reason why lemon water comes in handy when trying to clear the body is that it’s also a diuretic. This helps the body release toxins faster and therefore keep your urinary tract healthy.
7. Support weight loss
Wondering what to drink first thing in the morning to help you reach your weight loss goals? Put down that weight loss shake and pick up a tall glass of lemon water. Lemon water can increase your metabolic rate, which in addition to lemon’s digestive qualities, can promote weight loss in some people.
Moreover, the polyphenol antioxidants found in lemons have been shown to reduce weight gain due to a high-fat diet and also has a positive effect on insulin resistance. Finally, high-pectin fiber found in lemons is yet another effective component when it comes fighting hunger and cravings.
8. Refresh your breath
If you’ve ever rubbed lemon on your hands to combat a strong smell, you’ll know that lemon is a powerful odor-neutralizing agent.
Now take that quality and apply it to your mouth. Excess bacteria as a result of dry mouth is often the culprit when it comes to bad breath, so drinking lemon water in the morning will stimulate your saliva (lemon) and keep your mouth hydrated (water). Bonus: The vitamin C content will support your gum health.
So drink a glass of lemon water first thing in the morning and after meals and to make sure your breath is as fresh and sweet as can be.
Lemon water basics
We hope that everything we shared above gave you a new found enthusiasm for spending every morning with a glass of lemon water. Here are some additional tips on how to supercharge your lemon water and benefit fully from all the vitality it has to offer.
Aim for quality
It can be tempting to use concentrated lemon juice so you don’t have to worry about the shelf-life of fresh lemons, but using processed variants will decrease the health benefits of the lemon juice considerably. Instead, try to use fresh organic lemons, and stick to filtered water if possible.
Up the quantity
Make sure you get enough lemon-packed goodness into every glass. Use at least half a lemon for every eight ounces of water you drink.
Lemon water hack
To make it even more exciting, why not try pouring fresh lemon juice to an ice-cube tray and freezing them into the perfect little portions of lemon for a cold, refreshing drink. Add them to a cup of boiling water, and you’ll get the perfect room temperature water to sip on.
Get creative and infuse
Alternatively, if you want to keep things fresh and exciting with new combinations, try infusing your water with some invigorating ingredients like:
- Fresh mint
- Fresh basil
- Maple syrup or honey (if you feel like a treat)
- Chili or cayenne pepper
- Fresh ginger
- Other citrus fruits
The easiest way to drink lemon water to your heart’s content is to make sure you keep a lemon-infused pitcher or thermos to hand at all times. Warm it up in the morning, drink it cold as a midday refresher or pair it with one of our scrumptiously nutritious 8fit recipes at lunch. Our advice: Do them all!