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Struggling with weight gain and indigestion? Word of mouth is – Have a glass of warm water infused with lemon juice on an empty stomach each morning! Even though there's limited scientific research supporting this claim, many people, including some nutritionists and doctors, maintain that lemon water has a tremendous impact on our overall health.
And indeed, lemons are filled with antioxidants, vitamins (especially vitamins A and C), and minerals that are essential for maintaining the health of our immune system, gut, skin, and others. And here, we'll examine all the potential benefits of drinking lemon water every day.
Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water
Lemons are chock-full of nutrients, like vitamins C and A, potassium, magnesium, iron, and vitamin B3, and certainly, make for a much healthier alternative to sugar-loaded sodas or flavored drinks.
Many people say that having a glass of warm water with freshly pressed lemon juice first thing in the morning helped them kick-start a day full of energy. In addition, lot of folks claim that introducing this small ritual into their daily routine helped them achieve several health goals, such as:
#1: Improved Digestion
Having a warm beverage when you wake up will get your bowels moving, helping your body flush out waste and prevent constipation and bloating. Plus, according to Ayurveda, lemon juice will help you digest food more efficiently as well. Ayurvedic medicine claims that the zesty lemon taste boosts agni in your body, which means fire in Samskrita, and is essential for digestion, absorption, and assimilation of nutrients.
#2: Stronger Immune System
Lemon is good for the immune system due to its high content of vitamin C [source]. Therefore, it will protect you against flu, asthma, and other respiratory diseases and help you recover more quickly. In addition, lemon water promotes the absorption of iron in the body [source], and iron also plays a vital role in the normal functioning of the immune system.
#3: Better-Looking Skin
Vitamin C, together with other antioxidants in lemons, is important for the health of our skin as well [source]. Vitamin C protects the skin against pollutants and UV-induced damage. In addition, this essential vitamin strengthens the skin's natural barrier function and helps it produce more collagen. As a result, sipping lemon water every morning will keep your skin firm, tout, and well-hydrated, which can even lead to fewer wrinkles over time [source].
#4: Weight Loss
According to a 2008 study, which was done on mice, polyphenols in lemons induced the metabolism of fats, leading to decreased fat accumulation, suppressed insulin resistance, and hyperglycemia. Therefore, lemon water not only helps with weight loss in mice but also with preventing diabetes.
#5: Fresh Breath
Lemon juice exhibits antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antifungal properties, killing odor-causing bacteria in the mouth. In addition, lemon acid stimulates saliva, preventing dry mouth, which can sometimes cause a bad mouth odor.
#6: Preventing Kidney Stones
According to a 2009 study, dietary citrates may help reduce renal stones and protect against future stone formation. This is because citrates minimize the saturation of calcium salts in the urine and inhibit crystal aggregation.
Furthermore, citrates interact with certain proteins in the urine, preventing calcium oxalate accumulation, the most common mineral in kidney stones. Natural sources rich in dietary citrates are citrus fruits, such as lemons, oranges, limes, grapefruits, and some other non-citrus fruits, such as melons.
#7: Reduced Cholesterol
Fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants have long been considered essential in maintaining heart health and preventing various cardiovascular diseases.
In a 2010 study, the effects of lemon juice on serum cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein, and triglycerides were investigated in rabbits after a four-week high cholesterol diet. The study revealed that 1 ml of lemon juice per day drastically decreased the bad cholesterol and showed a significant increase in high-density lipoprotein.
Another study, including people with moderate hyperlipidemia, showed that the combination of garlic and lemon juice is the most effective in decreasing total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, fibrinogen, and body mass index.
Possible Side Effects of Drinking Lemon Water Every Day
Having lemon water daily isn't without any downsides. Since lemons are exceptionally acidic, you may experience specific side effects. Some of the most common are:
Suppose you have problems with stomach acid reflux, a condition when the muscle at the lower end of the esophagus is unable to prevent the stomach acid from flowing back into the esophagus. In that case, it's highly likely that water infused with lemon will exacerbate the issue.
You may experience an unpleasant, sometimes painful, burning sensation in your upper chest area, hence the name heartburn. If this sensation intensifies after drinking lemon water, you should probably avoid consuming it in the future.
#2: Tooth Enamel Erosion
Studies show that lemon juice has a potential erosive effect on human dental enamel, changing the color of the enamel and causing the loss of dental tissue. This is due to the high content of citric acid in lemons.
Luckily this issue can be easily avoided. For example, you can drink your lemon water with a straw to minimize contact with your teeth. Also, dairy products can neutralize acidity. So, you can have a sip of milk or yogurt and swish it in your mouth right after your lemon drink, or simply have a small slice of cheese.
How to Make Lemon Water
Making a quick morning lemon water is pretty straightforward, all you need is a bottle of warm water and some lemons:
- Step #1: Avoid using artificial bottled lemon juice as these usually contain various additives and flavor enhancers;
- Step #2: To reap all the amazing benefits from your daily lemon drink, use fresh organic lemons and warm water. Compared to ice-cold lemonade, warm lemon water has a better effect on digestion, speeding up the metabolism and helping you lose weight;
- Step #3: Simply, squeeze half a fresh lemon into one glass or mug filled with warm water. You can also slice some additional lemons and throw the slices in. If you're preparing it for the whole family, you'll need two to three lemons per bottle;
- Step #4: For extra flavor and health benefits, you can infuse it with a piece of ginger, several mint leaves, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and a little bit of organic honey for sweetness;
- Step #5: If you're having your lemon water with a straw, make sure to use a non-plastic straw, and don't make your water too hot as you can easily burn your throat. And that's all there is to it!
It would be best to consume it first thing before breakfast. This will boost your digestion and make your bowels move. Also, it will give your body all the hydration it needs after a long overnight fast.
Now that you know all the great benefits of lemon water, all you have to do is arm yourself with a sufficient amount of lemons and start drinking this delicious, and above all, healthy drink tomorrow morning. Filled with vitamin C and with a slightly acidic taste, lemon water makes for a refreshing and far more nutritious alternative to other drinks with artificial flavors.
How much lemon water should you drink a day?
You should drink one glass of lemon water a day. And it would be best to have it in the morning before breakfast to kick start your metabolism and digestive tract. Always use freshly pressed lemon juice from one or two lemons.
What happens if I drink lemon water every day?
Drinking lemon water every day can help you lose weight, improve your immune system and heart health, and make your skin look better. However, be mindful of the potential side effects, such as acid reflux and tooth enamel erosion.
Can lemon water burn belly fat?
Yes. Research suggests that lemons contain polyphenols that help metabolize fats and decrease fat accumulation. So, over time, drinking lemon water can help burn belly fat and alleviate related disorders, such as diabetes and insulin resistance.
Is lemon water good for the skin?
Lemons are chock-full of vitamin C and plenty of other skin-loving nutrients. Vitamin C protects the skin from pollutants and sun damage. In addition, it supports collagen production in the skin and, thus, has an anti-aging effect.
Should lemon water be warm or cold?
If you're drinking your lemon water first thing in the morning, it would be best to drink it warm but not scorching hot. This is because warm water will boost your digestion, make your bowels move, and jump-start your metabolism.