Text: Joel Marion / Transformation Insider
Lemon water is a very hot topic in the health and fitness industry right now… People all over the web are touting its many health benefits. Lemon water for weight loss. Lemon water to cleanse and detoxify. Lemon water for acid reflux and digestive health. Lemon water for healthier skin. Lemon water forhydration. Lemon water for kidney stones. Lemon water to prevent cancer. Lemon water to cool down inflammation. Lemon water for energy. And the list goes on and on.The claims are endless. But is it legit or not? And what exactly does it do to your body?
Let’s take a look at what the published research and scientific studies have to say and set the record straight once and for all about this trendy health drink.
HISTORY OF LEMON WATER
While people have been drinking lemon water for ages, it’s only recently that the many benefits of this beverage have
made their way to the fitness and health community, which is exactly why more and more people are deciding to add this
delicious liquid to their daily regimen. The lemon itself first originated in Asia around 500 AD and this is when lemonade was developed.
Called qatarmizat by the Egyptians who created it, this beverage was made from lemon juice and sugar. At that time, it was a beverage that was fit for a king – literally speaking. Only the pharaoh and the royal family were permitted to consume this lemonade. In 1630, lemonade became more mainstream and was being sold as a beverage in Paris.
Created from lemon juice, honey, and sparkling water, it’s not too far off from what most people drink today – now we just omit the honey to avoid taking in excess sugars and swap out sparkling water for plain water to avoid the effects of carbonation when consumed in high doses. While you can always swap out water for club soda when making your lemon drink,
water is the most natural solution and will promote better all around health.
8 EVIDENCE-BASED HEALTH BENEFITS OF LEMON WATER
Lemon water offers a wide array of health benefits because you not only get the benefits of fresh squeezed lemon juice you also get all the benefits that water alone has to offer. By combining the two, you really do have a powerful, calorie free beverage on your hands.
Health Benefit #1: Promotes Hydration. It’s no secret. If you hope to maximize your health, staying hydrated is a must.
Whether you’re a high level athlete performing intense training on a daily basis or a weekend warrior who likes to hit the trails with your significant other, keeping your body well hydrated will both help ensure you sustain optimal health and promote a better overall performance in any activities you do.Sadly, many people fall short on the hydration front.
We tend to wake up in the morning, down a cup of coffee, and then follow that with another coffee mid-morning. Lunch includes soda and when you get home from work and prepare dinner, you may treat yourself to a beer or a glass of wine.
All of these beverages are only going to dehydrate you further, moving you away from the place you want to be. This is why it’s critical that you take extra steps to ensure that you are adequately hydrated on a day to day basis.
And what better way than with lemon water? Truth be told, adding a hint of lemon to your water makes it more palatable ensuring that you’ll meet your body’s daily requirements.
Health Benefit #2: Excellent Source Of Antioxidants (fights free radicals)
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant in the body, which is why everyone should be getting more of. Since vitamin C is water soluble, it needs to be taken daily in order to reap its many benefits. The excess vitamin C not used inside your body is excreted so it’s important to get an efficacious dose every day. Vitamin C is important for improving your immune health and protecting your cells from the damage that occurs from any free radicals that you may encounter.
Remember, these are the same free radicals that are linked to accelerated aging and many of today’s modern health challenges.
Health Benefit #3: Boosts Heart Health
Whether heart problems tend to run in your family or you just want to ensure that you do everything you can to prevent heart disease, lemon water can help.The benefits of lemon water and heart health could be strongly linked to the extra
vitamin C. Research suggests it may decrease your risk of both cardiovascular disease as well as stroke.
On top of that, it can also help lower your overall blood pressure levels. And since high blood pressure levels may eventually lead to heart disease, lemon water is a great allnatural alternative you can use each day.
Health Benefit #4: Improved Digestion
Your digestive system will also benefit from getting more vitamin C into your daily diet. Research published in the Postgraduate Medical Journal has noted that consuming lemon water first thing in the morning may help get things moving along by easing constipation and improving bowel regularity. Adding more water to your diet will also help to improve the digestive processes as it’ll ensure that food moves through your body at an optimal speed and the stomach enzymes
are better able to complete their role of breaking down the foods that you are eating. Furthermore, fresh squeezed lemon juice can help break down the foods you eat so you can reap their full nutritional value.
Health Benefit #5: Promotes Younger, Healthier Looking Skin
Looking to keep your skin looking young and radiant? Of course you are! Everybody, including me, wants to keep our skin healthy and wrinkle free.Lemon water will definitely help. Dehydration tends to lead to lackluster, dry and dull skin, so adding more water to your day by drinking lemon water will help bring back the moisture to your skin cells, giving
you a glowing complexion in the process. In addition, the vitamin C that comes from the lemon water will help with improving the production of collagen in the body, which is required for replenishing skin cells and keeping a firmer looking appearance to your skin. If you are hoping to fight fine lines and wrinkles, collagen can help. Drinking a daily dose of lemon water ensures that your body can produce sufficient levels of collagen as needed.
Research published in the American Society For Clinical Nutrition has noted that those who have a higher intake of vitamin C in their daily diet tend to have a lower likelihood of a wrinkled appearance. In other words, the extra vitamin C, along with adequate hydration can help you look younger. Holla!
Health Benefit #6: Detoxifies Your Body
You’ll also receive excellent detoxification benefits by consuming lemon water as well. The composition of lemon water is remarkably similar to the digestive juices that are found in your stomach so it may help to increase the overall bile production of the liver, helping food move more effectively through the digestive tract. This helps speed up the removal of toxins out of the body, reducing the chances they have negative implications on your health. When your liver is producing sufficient amounts of bile research shows it can also aid in weight loss.
Health Benefit #7: Headache Remedy
Suffering from a killer headache? Do migraines get you down? If so, check your hydration status. Dehydration is one of the leading causes of headaches, so if you feel that throbbing pain a little more often than you’d like, this is a
good sign that you may not be getting enough fluid in your day. Start focusing on increasing your water intake. Adding lemon water encourages you to drink more, making it less likely that you suffer in pain.Research published in the Schmerz journal noted that dehydration is a contributing factor for increased headache frequency.
Health Benefit #8: Improves pH Balance & Prevents Acidity
Most people assume that fresh squeezed lemon juice is very acidic… but truth be told it’s actually the exact opposite. Once it enters the body it will help put you in a more of an alkaline state, which helps to maintain proper pH balance.
Maintaining a favorable pH balance in the body is a must if you hope to combat disease, improve energy levels, enhance sleep quality, keep your organs in proper working order, and fend off disease. Most people in today’s world are living in a state where they are too acidic. This is due to the overconsumption of foods like processed meat and dairy,
contaminated fish, and refined grains. Additionally, the lack of consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables can also contribute to an acidic environment. Because lemon juice is very alkaline after it moves through digestion, it can help bring your pH balance to a more alkaline state. This can greatly influence how you feel on a day to day basis.
Now that you know what the published research and scientific studies have to say about drinking lemon water every day, let’s look at the other side of the coin…
MYTHS ABOUT LEMON WATER
Some people hop onto the lemon water bandwagon thinking it’s essentially the cure all for diseases. While lemon water may help prevent disease by accomplishing all of the above benefits, it’s not going to specifically cure disease on its own.
It’s important to realize that increasing your water and lemon juice intake (along with all 10 fruit and vegetables for that matter) are just steps to take to prevent problems with your health from occurring. For example, drinking ten glasses of lemon water each day is not going to cure cancer, stop a heart attack from occurring, or prevent stroke if you are already of the high-risk group. Likewise, drinking lemon water isn’t going to stop diabetes from occurring if the rest of your diet is full of sugar. Think of lemon water as simply the icing on the cake of an already sound diet and
exercise program. If you add it to your protocol; it’s a great way to take your health to the next level. Lemon water on its own isn’t going to work miracles. Having realistic expectations is important.Simply put: lemon water should be a staple that’s included with a well balanced diet and exercise plan.
5 DIFFERENT WAYS LEMON WATER CAN SUPERCHARGE YOUR FAT LOSS RESULTS
Now that you see all the many health benefits that lemon water has to offer, how can it help to boost your fat loss results?
Fat Burning Benefit #1: Appetite Control
The first way in which lemon water is going to help with fat loss is by suppressing your appetite. As noted in the introduction, simply getting more water into your day can help fill up your stomach, reducing the desire to eat.
Many people often mistake thirst for hunger so they turn to food when all they really needed to do is simply drink more water. By drinking multiple glasses of lemon water each day, you’ll avoid needless snacking, therefore reducing your total calorie intake and helping to promote faster rates of fat loss.
Fat Burning Benefit #2: Increased Energy
By keeping yourself well hydrated, you’ll also notice you have better energy levels throughout your day as well.
This will especially come in handy when performing intense exercise sessions, allowingbyou to work harder, which will not only burn more calories during the workout session, but also help ensure you are burning as many calories after the workout is over as well.The added intensity is also going to help with increasing your lean muscle mass, which
will then also burn more calories 24 hours a day… and help keep your body looking and feeling younger.
Fat Burning Benefit #3: Faster Recovery From Exercise
An integral part of the recovery process from exercise is making sure that you are drinking enough water.
Water is required to help flush out any lactic acid that may be present in the muscle cells and to help with the process of protein synthesis, which rebuilds the muscle tissue that has been depleted of stored energy after exercise.
Drinking lemon water after intense exercise will help you recover faster. The faster yourrecovery is after each workout session, the easier it will be to get back into the gym to train again. More frequent workout sessions will yield faster overall weight loss results. Just make sure you listen to your body. If a body part is stiff or sore, make sure you let it fully recover before hitting it hard again. Of course, drinking more lemon water will help.
Fat Burning Benefit #4: Fights Food Cravings
Food cravings are the death of almost every diet and exercise plan. One of the best kept secrets to warding off food cravings is simply staying hydrated. With lemon water, not only are you going to get the great hydration that you need, but you’re also going to have added flavor as well; which will further help to minimize those cravings.
Next time you feel a craving strike, try drinking a tall glass of lemon water and waiting ten minutes. Don’t be surprised if the craving passes entirely.
Fat Burning Benefit #5: Reduced Muscular Fatigue
Finally, the last way that lemon water may help with weight loss is by reducing your level of muscular fatigue.
As previously mentioned, lemon water will help put your body in more of an alkaline state, which reduces the impact of lactic acid on the muscle cells during exercise. When your body is in a more acidic state, as is often the case with most people eating diets rich in processed meat and low in fruits and vegetables, this can lead to early fatigue while exercising. By adding more lemon water to your diet, you can avoid this, allowing you to take the
intensity of your workout session up a notch.
PROS OF LEMON WATER • Calorie free
• Offers a nice light flavor that most people enjoy
• Doesn’t contain any sweeteners, additives, or preservatives
• Helps to improve the natural pH balance of the body
• Assists with the process of digestion
• Reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke
• Lowers the frequency and/or duration of headaches
• Improves youthful appearance by hydrating skin
• Assists with recovery from exercise
• Improves overall athletic performance
• Is very inexpensive and easy to prepare
CONS OF LEMON WATER
• Does take some time to prepare if you want a strong lemon flavor as the water will need to sit for a few hours to allow the flavor to come out
• If you are not a fan of anything sour, you may not prefer the taste of lemon water (note that this could be overcome by adding a small amount of Stevia, a natural
sweetener, to the water)
• If you drink too much lemon water, you may be at risk for electrolyte imbalances, as it is not going to provide you with sodium, potassium, or magnesium. Note that you would have to drink a lot for this to be a concern though (cups and cups a day!)
HOW TO DRINK LEMON WATER FOR OPTIMAL RESULTS
For optimal results, start your day off with a large glass by squeezing half of an organic lemon into fresh, filtered
water. For best results I recommend using a lemon squeezer. This is a great way to get your digestive system going and to provide excellent detoxification benefits to the body. Furthermore, by drinking a tall glass of lemon water first thing in the morning, you’ll fire up your metabolism, starting your day off in a position to burn more body fat throughout the day. It will also serve as an all natural appetite suppressant, causing you to eat fewer calories with your breakfast (or any meal for that matter). From there, continue drinking lemon water all day long. Keep some water in a large
water bottle with you at all times, making it easy to reach for it whenever you think of it.
SUPERCHARGED – DELICIOUS LEMON WATER RECIPES
Alkaline Cucumber Lemon Water
This refreshing beverage is a great way to reap all the benefits noted above while also helping reduce bloating thanks to the cucumbers added in. Treat yourself to a glass today and it’ll give you a little taste of the spa environment!
4 cups cold water
1 cup ice cubes
1 sliced lemon
½ sliced cucumber, sliced as thin as possible
Place all ingredients in a pitcher and let sit for 30-60 minutes. Serve.
Healing Honey Lemon Water
Have a cold you’re looking to fend off? Want something to sooth that sore throat? You might just try some honey
lemon water. The honey will help give your immune system a boost and the lemon may just help rinse away some of those
cold symptoms – or at the very least, lessen them. Honey contains antioxidant, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties that may help give your body the strength it needs to fend off that cold.
1 cup boiling water
2 slices lemon
½ tbsp. honey
Stir the honey into the water and then add the slices of lemon. Let stand for 2-3 minutes
and then serve.
Lemon Mint Thirst Quencher
If it’s a hot summer day, you’ll definitely want this recipe by your side. Lemon mint water is refreshing, natural,
and pure. It’s something you can feel great drinking. Many people also find that mint calms their appetite as
well, so you might just find that by drinking this water,you consume fewer calories as well.
4 cups water
¼ lemon, sliced
¼ cucumber, sliced
Handful of fresh mint leaves
Add all the ingredients into a pitcher and let stand for 3-4 hours. Pour over ice and then serve.
Cayenne Metabolic Booster
Want to elevate your resting metabolic rate? Get a jump-start on fat burning? If so, using a little cayenne pepper with your lemon water is a great way to go.While this beverage of choice will definitely have a bold taste, it’s one that can definitely improve your health. In addition to stimulating your metabolism, cayenne pepper may help to stimulate the
circulatory system as well; while also helping improve digestion and regular blood glucose levels.
2 cups of boiling
Juice from ½ lemon
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Stir all the ingredients together and let stand for about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
Lemon water is just pennies a glass and is extremely easy to prepare. By keeping some in your home at all times, you’ll encourage better hydration and help promote optimal health.
Just make sure you go out of you way to buy organic lemons whenever possible and avoid processed, pre-made, over-the-counter brands or you won’t reap the many proven benefits of this fat burning elixir. If you struggle to get your hydration needs met or you simply want to improve your overall health levels, lemon water will certainly make things easier for you. Prepare yourself a pitcher today and start experiencing for yourself why this is the beverage to be drinking.
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5. Holzhammer, J., and C. Wöber. “Alimentary trigger factors that provoke migraine and tension-type headache.” Schmerz (Berlin, Germany) 20.2 (2006): 151-159.