Although my morning ritual has changed a lot over the years, one component has always remained – my morning cup of hot lemon water on an empty stomach. Beginning the day with a cup of warm to hot lemon water is a tradition which originated in Ayurvedic times, in order to cleanse the body of any toxins which had developed overnight and kickstart digestion for the day.
Here’s why you should incorporate it into your morning routine:
Alkalises the body
Despite their acidic taste lemons are highly alkalising for the body due to the presence of ascorbic and citric acid, allowing them to aid in alkalising the blood.
Strengthens immune system
Lemons are rich in vitamin C which boosts the immune system and aids in warding off colds and flus. Vitamin C also boosts non heme iron absorption (iron from non-meat sources), so it’s a good idea to take an iron supplement or some blackstrap molasses with your hot lemon water for an early morning iron boost.
Helps with weight loss
Although simply drinking lemon water in the morning won’t drastically help you lose weight, lemons can increase your metabolic rate (metabolism) which allows you to burn more calories and thus store less fat.
The vitamin C and antioxidants in lemons aid in fighting free radical damage which is responsible for symptoms of aging. Vitamin C allows your skin to maintain its elasticity which prevents the formation of wrinkles and other blemishes.
Aids digestion and cleanses the body
Lemon juice assists in cleansing the bowels by efficiently flushing out waste, and aids digestion by stimulating the release of gastric juices.
Wean yourself off caffeine
Many people find it difficult to start the morning without a cup of coffee, however hot lemon water gives you an energy boost similar to that of coffee – try it for a week and see how you feel!
To make hot lemon water, simply slice up half a lemon, place in a large mug and fill with boiling water – for bonus points add some freshly grated ginger! If you’re in a rush (or don’t have fresh lemons available) just squirt some lemon juice (can find pre-packaged lemon juice in most supermarkets) into a mug of boiling water. Aim to drink this on an empty stomach, and then follow up with a hearty breakfast.