Warm Water & Lemon: Why You Should Drink It at the Start of Every Day
T he way you start each day is incredibly important. Whether you’re a mom, a coach, a writer, a small business owner or a yoga teacher, what you do first thing in the morning matters.
According to Ayurvedic philosophy, choices that you make regarding your daily routine either build up resistance to disease or tear it down. And if you can only make time for one ritual that will improve your health, let it be this: Start the day out with a mug of warm water and the juice of half a lemon. It’s so simple, and the benefits are just too good to ignore. Warm water with lemon:
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.
Balances pH. Lemons are an incredibly alkaline food, believe it or not. 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). As you wellness warriors know, an alkaline body is really the key to good health.
Helps with weight loss. A study in the journal Obesity shows that replacing sugary beverages like fruit juice and soda with water reduces the number of calories you consume per day by about 200. Over a year this adds up to 21 pounds that you can shed with almost no effort. It has also been shown that people who maintain a more alkaline diet lose weight faster. And, my experience is that when I start the day off right, it’s easier to make the best choices for myself the rest of the day.
Aids digestion. Warm water stimulates 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 toxins in the digestive tract. (Cold water chills the muscles and blood vessels in your gastrointestinal tract, and hot water burns the enzymes in the lemons, minimizing their positive effects. Warm water is the key; it relaxes the muscles, dilates the blood vessels and maintains the integrity of the nutrients in the lemon.)
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.
Clears skin. The Mayo Clinic reports that vitamin C may improve the appearance of wrinkled skin. Lemon water purges toxins from the blood, which helps keep skin clear, as well.
Hydrates the lymph system. This cup of goodness helps start the day on a hydrated note, which helps prevent dehydration (obviously) and adrenal fatigue. Believe it or not, 75 percent of Americans are chronically dehydrated. 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, weight gain, and the list goes on. Your adrenals are two small glands that sit on top of your kidneys, and, along with your thyroid, create energy. They also secrete important hormones, including aldosterone. Aldosterone regulates water levels and the concentration of minerals, like sodium, in your body, helping you stay hydrated. Your adrenals are also responsible for regulating your stress response. So, the bottom line is that you really don’t want to mess with a deep state of dehydration!
Like I said, the recipe is really simple—a cup of warm water and the juice from half a lemon. Adopting just this one practice of drinking a cup of warm water with lemon in the morning for a month can radically alter your experience of the day. Don’t be surprised if you begin to view mornings in a new light.
This article appeared in Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, Issue #37.
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