Should You Drink Warm Lemon Water in the Morning?
Mornings. You either love them or you hate them. Regardless, there is no denying that the first few minutes of your day will set the tone for the rest of it. More often than not, mornings can look and feel like a crazy rush out the door after pressing snooze repeatedly and (barely) making it to work on time, leaving you in a sour mood for the day. Let's keep the sour stuff in the citrus where it belongs and try some warm lemon water in the morning instead.
- Lemons provide the body with a plethora of vitamins and minerals that keep us healthy, happy, and fully functioning.
- Drinking warm lemon water in the mornings can boost your immune system, help with weight loss, support your brain, aid digestion, and keep your skin hydrated.
- The best time to drink warm lemon water is in the mornings on an empty stomach, but actively staying hydrated throughout the day is key.
Trying to craft the perfect, productive morning ritual can feel like the ultimate headache. Fortunately, I know the perfect place to start. Whether you already have an established morning ritual, or you’re trying to start a new one, adding warm lemon water to your mornings can make for the (ironically) sweetest start to your day.
5 benefits of warm lemon water in the morning
When life gives you lemons, make… lemon water? At least that’s how the classic saying should go from now on.
Among all the colorful, delicious fruits and vegetables that Mother Nature has so graciously provided us, lemons are really just bitter, sour, tart, and extremely unpleasant to eat alone. However, the abundance of antioxidants and the multitude of minerals that comprise this fruit are too often overlooked.
Lemons are most commonly associated with their high levels of vitamin C like most citrus fruits; however, the list of vitamins found in lemons is extensive. Specifically, they contain vitamin B6, vitamin A, vitamin E (to name a few) that bring tremendous benefits to our bodies. Not to mention, lemons are notoriously low in sugar!
Okay, so lemons are packed with various vitamins that our body needs to survive… So what? How does this translate into goodness for our bodies? Let’s delve into some of the benefits of drinking a glass of warm lemon water in the morning.
Boosts the immune system
As previously mentioned, lemons are chock-full of vitamin C. Vitamin C enhances your immune system by helping to increase your white blood cell count. And in case you forgot, white blood cells protect against unhealthy bacteria. Furthermore, vitamin C reinforces your already-existing immune system cells to make them stronger and continue producing antibodies to fight against infections.
Additionally, vitamin C is necessary to support the pH levels of your body to ensure all your systems are functioning properly; keeping your pH levels under control helps to further prevent diseases and other disorders.
Helps with weight loss
Lemons are also filled with pectin, which is a distinctive fiber found in fruits and veggies that betters your blood sugar levels and encourages healthy weight and digestion, likely because fiber fills you up and keeps you full longer (AKA stops us from mindlessly snacking).
One study found that polyphenols (micronutrients commonly found in plants) found in lemons and lemon juice essentially subdue how the fat accumulates in the body. As an antioxidant, polyphenols work to safeguard the body against oxidative stress, as well as coronary heart disease, cancers, and inflammation everywhere.
Most importantly, one of the primary benefits of adding lemon water to your morning routine is starting your day with a big ole glass of water. The perks of drinking water are irreplaceable; water naturally suppresses appetite (also limiting mindless snacking), helps the body burn fat and calories, and helps fuel you through your workouts. *This is your daily reminder to hydrate!*
Supports your brain
One lemon contains 80 milligrams of potassium; for reference, the recommended daily amount of potassium each day is around 4700 milligrams. Potassium fuels the brain, so starting off the day with a big glass of water and a head start on potassium intake sounds like a win-win!
Specifically, potassium facilitates communication among our brain cells, so increases in potassium have been linked to better learning, metabolism, and support of memory function. Keep this in mind before you kickstart a long day of work or studying at the library!
Additionally, when you get stressed out, one of the first things exhausted is vitamin C. Lemons are filled with the aforementioned vitamin C, which has been shown in numerous studies to reduce the physical and mental effects of stress. Boosted vitamin C levels reduce stressful feelings in demanding situations, and allow you to *metaphorically* bounce back from those inevitable stressful moments quicker, thus, keeping you centered throughout the day.
Sipping on your lemon water in the morning will effectively get your digestive system movin’ and groovin’ in the mornings without going overboard. Some people even take this opportunity to use lemon water as a daily laxative in the AM.
The acids found in lemon juice can be especially helpful in keeping our stomach acid levels up to par. Acids help to break down our food, so boosting and supporting our stomach acids (with a little extra in the morning!) make digestion a little easier. Acid levels also tend to decline as we get older, so let’s all just take what we can get. We aren’t getting any younger!
Keeps your skin hydrated
The skin is the largest organ in the human body, so it makes sense that we’re able to give it a little TLC from the inside out! Diet is one of the biggest factors of skin health, and that includes fueling our bodies with H2O. Vitamin C from the lemons also has been linked to a reduction in wrinkles and blemishes by flushing out toxins from our blood.
This vital nutrient also has impressive antioxidant properties that help to stave off damage from UV rays and increase the production of collagen, a protein that is vital for skin elasticity. Also, drinking water in general (with or without the lemon) is likely to reduce clogged pores and plump up your skin to keep it looking clear, fresh, and glowing for days.
When is the best time to drink it?
Theoretically, the best time to get your fill of warm lemon water is in the mornings, on an empty stomach. This will help your body truly reap the benefits of aided digestion and a boosted brain. Drinking a full glass in the morning and establishing a consistent morning ritual will surely start your day off on the right foot.
For all the coffee addicts out there who open their eyes and immediately turn on the Keurig (I’m talking to myself), swapping out your first sip of the day can replenish nutrients that were lost in the night prior, and at least give you somewhat of a head start in your daily water intake.
The most important thing to remember is that drinking water, at any time, with or without lemons, will help you not only attain, but maintain better health. Besides the fact that we literally need it to survive, staying extra hydrated and actively drinking water throughout the day is a game changer for better sleep, moods, and awareness (just to name a few of the advantages.)
Lastly, warm lemon water can definitely be consumed before getting a good night’s sleep, but there is insufficient evidence that shows that drinking it right before hitting the hay is any better or worse for you.
If there’s one takeaway from this, I think we can all agree that between the superpowers of vitamin C and water, we should all be indestructible if we choose to drink lemon water. And realistically, I’m only seeing benefits. There are virtually no downsides to adding warm lemon water to your morning ritual, so it can’t hurt. Unless you have sensitive teeth! Then watch out for the effects of acid on your enamel.
In order to reap the benefits, it is recommended to squeeze at least one-eighth of a lemon into 8 ounces of warm water. To spice things up, you can consider adding turmeric for additional antioxidant and anti-inflammatory advantages.
Finally, whether you decide to drink warm lemon water or not, just remember to stay hydrated! Your body will thank you!
Written by Morgan Taylor