When life gives you a lemon, slice it in half, squeeze the juice into a glass of water and drink it first thing in the morning.
If your body says, “Nooo, not before a cuppa joe,” each morning, try this before your caffeine fix: Drink a glass of water with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice (about half a lemon) about 20 minutes before eating or drinking anything else. If you’re trying this for the first time, begin with a quarter of a lemon and over several days, work your way up to half a lemon. Fresh squeezed lime juice works just as well if that is your preference.
1. It gives you an energy boost. So much so, you may not even miss your morning coffee. Relying on caffeine has long-term consequences, including taking a toll on your adrenal glands (which are already overworked thanks to stress, late nights, and too many stimulants). Instead, lemon water oxygenates and energizes the body – a great jump start to your day.
2. It promotes good digestion. According to Dr. Jonn Matsen, ND, lemon water stimulates the stomach to increase its production of digestive juices and improves peristalsis, the muscular contractions that push food through the entire digestive system. Improved digestion means better nutrient absorption and less bloating.
3. It stimulates elimination. So does coffee, you say? Yes, but coffee acts as a laxative, unnaturally ‘shaking things up’ in your colon to move them out. A simple glass of lemon water stimulates the liver’s production of bile. This, combined with improved peristalsis of the entire digestive system, is a more natural method of waste removal. Lemon water also acts as a mild diuretic, increasing the frequency of urination and gently flushing out toxins from the urinary tract. The result: better waste and waist management.
4. It gives your immune system a boost. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice gives you a shot of the antioxidant vitamin C (about 44.5 mg per lemon), but more importantly, it helps the body maintain a balanced pH. Although a lemon tastes acidic, inside the body it is alkaline – and an alkaline body is an important key to good health.
5. It helps detoxify the liver. With more than 500 functions, the liver is a very busy organ. Its most important role is to filter blood of waste products, drugs, pesticides, and other poisons. The two-phase process needs bile to carry the neutralized toxins into the intestines for safe removal. Lemon juice is a powerful cholagogue, a substance that stimulates bile production and promotes the flow of bile into the small intestine. A morning glass of lemon water gently detoxifies the liver – and thus, the entire body.
6. It helps you lose weight. The liver is an important fat-burning organ. It regulates fat metabolism, breaking down fats and shipping them out via the large intestine. A daily glass of lemon water stimulates fat loss and may also help rid your legs and other body parts of stubborn cellulite.
7. Better skin. The detoxifying action of drinking lemon water will release impurities through every exit point (or detoxification channel), including skin. You may experience a mild bout of acne at first, but that will soon be replaced with healthy glowing skin.
8. Hydration. Lemon makes water taste better, and if it tastes better, you’re likely to drink more of it. Plus, it’s virtually calorie-free. We recommend starting your day with a glass, but if you enjoy it, drink it throughout the day.