I don't know about you, but I love, love, love having a warm, cozy mug in my hand first thing in the morning while I check email and reconnect with the world. There's just something about it. And, to be honest, ideally not just any mug, but one that fits just nice and cozy in my hand.
I haven't quite kicked my coffee habit yet, but I've found an alternative that not only does the trick, but also has significant health benefits. Nope I'm not talking about tea. I do enjoy having a cup of tea, but for some reason I just don't enjoy it first thing in the morning. Lunch, afternoon, evening you bet, morning yeah I'll pass. What I do enjoy is a mug of warm lemon water. I know, I know I sound like your grandma, but seriously it does the trick and I really enjoy it and feel good knowing all of the wonderful benefits I'm providing my body.
So what benefits am I talking about? Warm water with lemon:
1. Boosts your immune system
Lemons are high in Vitamin C and potassium. Vitamin C is great for fighting colds and potassium stimulates brain and nerve function and helps control blood pressure. Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) found in lemons demonstrates anti-inflammatory effects, and is used as complementary support for asthma and other respiratory symptoms plus it enhances iron absorption in the body; iron plays an important role in immune function. Lemons also contain saponins, which show antimicrobial properties that may help keep cold and flu at bay. Lemons also reduce the amount of phlegm produced by the body.
2. Balances pH
Lemons are an incredibly alkaline food. Yes, they are acidic on their own, but inside our bodies they're alkaline (the citric acid does not create acidity in the body once metabolized). An alkaline body is really key to good health.
3. Helps with weight loss
Lemons are high in pectin fiber, which helps fight hunger cravings. It also has been shown that people who maintain a more alkaline diet lose weight faster.
4. Aids digestion
The warm water serves to stimulate the gastrointestinal tract and peristalsis—the waves of muscle contractions within the intestinal walls that keep things moving. Lemons and limes are also high in minerals and vitamins and help loosen ama, or toxins, in the digestive tract.
5. Acts as a gentle, natural diuretic
Lemon juice helps flush out unwanted materials because lemons increase the rate of urination in the body. Toxins are, therefore, released at a faster rate which helps keep your urinary tract healthy. The citric acid in lemons helps maximize enzyme function, which stimulates the liver and aids in detoxification.
6. Clears skin
The vitamin C helps decrease wrinkles and blemishes. Lemon water purges toxins from the blood which helps keep skin clear as well.
7. Hydrates the body
Drinking a warm cup of lemon water helps start the day on a hydrated note, which helps prevent dehydration and rehydrates your body after going all night without significant liquid. When your body is dehydrated, it can't perform all of it's proper functions, which leads to toxic buildup, stress, constipation, etc.
8. Energizes You and Enhances Your Mood
The energy a human receives from food comes from the atoms and molecules in your food. A reaction occurs when the positive charged ions from food enter the digestive tract and interact with the negative charged enzymes. Lemon is one of the few foods that contain more negative charged ions, providing your body with more energy when it enters the digestive tract. The scent of lemon also has mood enhancing and energizing properties. The smell of lemon juice can brighten your mood and help clear your mind. Lemon can also help reduce anxiety and depression.
9. Freshens Breath
Besides fresher breath, lemons have been known to help relieve tooth pain and gingivitis. Be aware that citric acid can erode tooth enamel, so you should be mindful of this. Do not brush your teeth just after drinking your lemon water. It is best to brush your teeth first, then drink your lemon water, or wait a significant amount of time after to brush your teeth.
Adopting just this one practice of drinking a cup of warm water with lemon in the morning for a month can have a big impact on your experience of the day. The recipe is really simple—a cup of warm (not hot) water and the juice from half a lemon.
Do you already enjoy warm lemon water each morning? If you do, I would love to hear if you've noticed any changes since incorporating this into your morning routine. Please tell me about it in the comments below.