Your daily routine matters.
For some, that means getting a workout in before breakfast. For others, that means taking a few minutes to meditate each day. While these options are effective at maintaining optimal health, there’s one must-do that should be added to everyone’s list: drink a glass of warm lemon water in the morning.
While many people have been drinking lemon water for centuries, only recently have the health benefits been discovered by the general public. The potential benefits are simply too good to ignore!
1. It promotes healthy weight
Lemon water helps keep your weight in check. Lemons contain a type of fiber called pectin, which is commonly found in fruits. Pectin is effective in helping you feel fuller for longer periods of time, which in turn helps to cut down on the amount of food that you might crave throughout the day.
2. It improves digestion
If you have problems with digestion and constipation, warm lemon water may help. That’s because the structure of lemon juice is similar to the digestive juices that naturally occur in the stomach. As such, lemon juice stimulates the liver to produce bile, which keeps ingested food moving through the gastrointestinal tract.
The acids that are found in lemon juice also stimulate the body to process vitamins and minerals in foods more slowly. This helps the body absorb more nutrients from the foods consumed and helps reduce bloating.
3. It aids in detoxification
The liver is a key player in detoxifying the body, and lemon water can boost enzyme functions that stimulate this organ to flush out toxins. It’s somewhat of a diuretic, and although that may lead to more bathroom visits, the urinary tract will eliminate toxic elements more habitually.
Studies have also shown that the citrus flavonoids in lemon can protect the liver against toxins and reduce the amount of fat in the liver and therefore help lower the odds of developing a “fatty liver”.
4. It keeps your skin healthy
Lemons are loaded with vitamin C. This water-soluble antioxidant is powerful at combating damage caused by free radicals, which helps to keep the skin looking smooth, fresh and more youthful. In addition to fighting free radicals, lemon water also stimulates the production of collagen in the body, which is a critical component to smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles in the face. Studies have also found that regular consumption of vitamin C can result in fewer wrinkles and younger-looking skin.
5. It boosts energy levels
A lot of people depend on their morning cup of coffee for energy. But while caffeine in coffee can stir up some temporary energy, warm lemon water is a much healthier, safer and more effective way to boost energy levels. The negatively-charged atoms that exist in lemons naturally provide the body with energy after entering the digestive tract. Warm lemon water is a legitimate substitute for coffee and won’t cause caffeine jitters.
6. It can prevent kidney stones
It’s been suggested that the citric acid in lemons can help to prevent the build up of calcium kidney stones. Consuming half a cup of lemon juice contains the same amount of citric acid compared to what is found in prescription alternatives. Some kidney stones develop as a result of the precipitation of calcium salts, which is believed to be reduced by the acidification of the watery environment in the gut. This may help prevent formation of kidney stones.
7. It can reduce bad breath
Lemons are natural deodorizers and can kill germs. That’s why they’re often used in many cleaning solutions. But not only can they deodorize regular household surfaces, they can also neutralize odors in the mouth, especially after eating foods such as onions, garlic or fish. A glass of warm lemon water first thing in the morning may also stimulate saliva, which helps prevent a dry environment in the mouth where bacteria thrive.
8. It strengthens the immune system
All that vitamin C found in lemons can help to strengthen the immune system needed to fight off infections and viruses. That’s because it stimulates the production of white blood cells which are critical for optimal immune system function. Vitamin C in lemons also helps protect the cells of the body from oxidative damage.
9. It balances pH levels
Lemons are highly alkaline. While they may be acidic on their own, they’re actually alkaline when they’re ingested in the body. After the lemon’s citric acid is metabolized, it doesn’t create acidity in the body. An alkaline environment in the body is critical to good health, including stronger bones, better heart health and reduced pain from chronic illness.
In addition, this alkaline effect that lemon water has when digested can actually help to alleviate symptoms of heartburn or acid reflux. By neutralizing the acid in the stomach, the effects of acid reflux and heartburn can be effectively reduced.
10. It keeps you hydrated
Warm lemon water can help keep you hydrated. When the body is dehydrated, any number of issues can arise—including toxic buildup, stress, headaches, constipation, weakness, dizziness and even heart palpitations. Staying hydrated is critical to good health, and water in general can help keep you on that path.
The hydration also extends to the lymphatic system. When the body is well hydrated, adrenal fatigue can be avoided. The adrenals are small glands that sit on top of the kidneys and create energy, along with the thyroid. They’re also responsible for the secretion of hormones (such as aldosterone) which regulates water levels and concentrations of minerals (like sodium) to help keep the body hydrated.
11. It increases potassium levels
Bananas might be the first fruit you would think of that contain high levels of potassium, but lemons are high in potassium as well. Potassium is important for proper cell function, metabolism and transmission of nerve signals. Studies show that potassium is also an electrolyte, a substance that conducts electricity in the body , which helps skeletal-muscular function.
Potassium is also important in supporting digestive and kidney health, regulating blood pressure, building strong bones, keeping the heart strong and even reducing anxiety and depression.
12. It helps improve circulation
The citrate contained in lemons can naturally improve circulation, particularly in the lower extremities. Studies have shown that ingesting lemon juice can have a positive effect on blood pressure, especially for anyone at risk for high blood pressure and high levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.
13. It can relieve toothaches
Tooth pain may be alleviated with lemon water thanks to the high levels of citric acid and vitamin C that are present in this fruit. The ability of lemons to destroy bacteria and boost the immune system can have an impact on relieving toothaches. Lemon water seems to work best as the lemon juice is diluted, therefore it reduces the odds of the breakdown of tooth enamel as a result of the acid.
The bottom line
You may already know that warm lemon water is good for you, but now you understand some of the science behind it. It’s such a quick, simple and refreshing beverage to whip up, and the potential benefits are too good to ignore. Embracing this one habit can significantly improve your day and your long-term health. So bottoms up!