The way you begin your morning sets the tone for the remainder of your day. Since you and I are not Cinderella, waking up singing and getting dressed with the help of some rather noisy birds, my advice is to create a sunny disposition with the next best thing - warm lemon water. Doesn't exactly seem thrilling now does it? But trust me, for a fruit that's so sour, lemons provide some sweet benefits. After reading these facts, I think you'll agree!
You should aim to drink 3 litres of water a day. It's easier to reach that goal if you start your day off right, with a healthy and hydrated foundation. When sleeping, you spend hours without consuming anything. When your body is dehydrated, or deeply dehydrated (adrenal fatigue), it can’t perform all of its proper functions. This leads to toxic buildup, stress, constipation and more. The word "breakfast" actually stems from "break fast" meaning, you guessed it, breaking the fast. The "fast" was the interval of time you spent sleeping without eating or drinking. Rather than breaking the fast by eating something right away, (or not having breakfast at all which is just as bad), gently prep your body for food by having lemon water first. Use the juice from half a lemon in a large glass of water. Use warm water as cold water shocks your system - picture leaping into an ice cold shower as soon as you open your eyes in the morning ... Not fun! Be gentle.
2. Lemony Fresh Breath
Morning breath is unavoidable, but it doesn't have to be so ... pungent. Think of lemon water as nature's answer to Scope. Lemon water is great first thing in the morning to reduce bad breath. Besides fresher breath, lemons also help relieve tooth pain and gingivitis. An added bonus, the high antioxidant and antibiotic compounds may also help reduce body odor over time.
3. Helps Cut out Caffeine
Try drinking warm lemon water in the morning instead of coffee, and soon you'll be converted to this new routine. Coffee is a diuretic. That's fancy talk for you pee more. The more tinkle time you have because of coffee intake, the more water loss you have, which in turn causes dehydration. If being dependent on coffee has had you frequenting Starbucks so often it's become a second home, (with your monthly bill adding up higher than your current rent cheque!), why not make the switch to lemon water and put those dollars you saved from nixing the coffee shop toward a new outfit, or maybe a yacht! Lemon juice provides your body with energy when it enters your digestive tract, by oxygenating the blood. Unlike coffee, you won't have an afternoon crash, but you will have afternoon cash!
4. Cleanses System
Lemon water acts as a gentle, natural diuretic - there's that word again! However, unlike the negative diuretic effect of coffee, with lemon water you're adding more water to your system and thus it keeping hydrated. Lemon juice helps flush out unwanted toxins that are in your body at a faster rate, keeping your urinary tract healthy. It's like a daily, mini-cleanse!
5. Boosts Immune System
Vitamin C helps your immune system by fighting off colds and flus, and also helps with the absorption of iron into your blood stream. Ascorbic acid (a form of vitamin C), helps in wound healing and fighting inflammation by removing uric acid from your joints. Oranges are always praised for their high levels of vitamin C, but did you know that lemons are ALSO high in vitamin C? Lemons are often the unsung hero of the citrus family. No wonder the little guy is so sour! The difference is, lemons are the fruit lowest on the glycemic index. Though it seems like these guys just can't catch a break, in this case being the lowest is a good thing! The glycemic index measures the affect of a food on a person's glucose (blood sugar) level. Having a low Gi means that lemons won't spike your blood sugar like an orange, or even a banana, would. AND lemme tell ya, like bananas, lemons contain high levels of potassium which stimulates brain and nerve function and helps to control blood pressure, without that pesky sugar spike. Betcha lemons are sounding pretty sweet right about now!
6. Clears Skin
Vitamin C also does wonders for you on the outside by helping to decrease wrinkles and blemishes. As a result of lemon water purging toxins from your blood, your skin is more likely to stay clear. More flow, more glow!
7. Helps with Weight Loss
The more sugar you eat, the more sugar you crave. The more sugar you crave, the more sugar you consume. Suddenly, it seems many of your jeans have been "shrunk by the dryer". But don't blame the wash and dry cycle just yet. Instead, look to your eating cycle to find the pound-packing culprit! When your blood sugar is raised, your body is triggered to release a rush of the hormone insulin. A sudden surge of insulin will leave you feeling tired and hungry, and will slow down your metabolism. The low Gi of lemons keeps your blood sugar steady which keeps you feeling full and energized longer. The pectin fibre in lemons also assists in fighting hunger cravings. So, grab that lemon water, then grab those skinny jeans. No jean acrobatics necessary!
8. Balances PH Levels
Your body's pH needs to be balanced in order for you to be healthy. Excess acidity in your body, caused by eating acid forming foods, such as sugar, dairy and meat, is a major cause of disease and hormonal imbalance. Lemons are one of the most alkalizing foods for the body. You might be thinking, "Hold on a second ... Aren't lemons acidic? What about citric acid? Is this a trick?" Good points, but here's the thing - lemon juice is acidic outside of the body, BUT once your body absorbs it, it turns alkaline - opposite of acidic on the pH scale. Mischievous lemons! Drinking lemon water every day can help to remove overall acidity in the body improving your overall health.
9. Aids Digestion
Having warm lemon water in the morning also aids in proper digestion. The warm water serves to stimulate the gastrointestinal tract and keep things *ahem* "moving" - if you get my meaning. Maybe I should have made this "fact number 2" instead! Lemon juice prevents constipation by encouraging the production of bile and ensuring smooth bowel functions.
10. Enhances Mood
So there you go! As far as routines go, adding warm lemon water to your morning is very simple. I hope now that you've read about the amazing health benefits it has, you try it out for yourself and kickstart your day on the road of health. Will you try it out?