Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Benefits Of Lemon Water - The How's & Why's?

The benefits of drinking lemon water are bountiful and plenty, but it seems many people are not quite understanding exactly how or why they should be drinking lemon water on a daily basis and there seems to be a few misconceptions. So I thought I'd write a quick post to clear a few things up!

Before moving on to the benefits of drinking water, first lets cover how to drink lemon water. I know this sounds like it should be self explanatory, but from the amount "half a slice of lemon in water" pictures I see, it's clearly not as self explanatory as I'd imagined.

How To Drink Lemon Water


1. When To Drink Lemon Water?


The time of day is important. Ideally it should be first thing in the morning and on an empty stomach. Why? Lemon water helps to wake your digestive system up gently before you throw solids at it or worse, coffee!
Imagine being woke up by your boss suddenly and having the mornings workload thrown at you. I'm guessing a) you wouldn't be very happy about it and b) you probably wouldn't perform as well as you should. 

The same can be said for our digestive system. Although it doesn't completely shutdown while we're asleep, it does slow down considerably. Drinking lemon water first thing in a morning, about 15 minutes before any solids helps to wake it up gently and therefore able to function optimally. 

For additional health benefit, I also drink aloe vera gel. I have a shot of aloe vera first. Followed by my lemon water. Followed by a light breakfast about 15 minutes later.

You can also drink lemon throughout the day. Around 15-30 minutes before meals preferably.

2. How Much Lemon Juice?


This is where most of the confusion seems to start. A half slice of lemon in a large glass of water IS NOT lemon water. It's water with a half slice of lemon in it!

To get the benefits of lemon water you need to be using about half a lemon per large glass of water. Sounds a lot, especially if you're used to using only a slice, but if you want the therapeutic dosage and to reap the benefits, then half a lemon is what you need.

I strongly recommend investing in a lemon press. Like a garlic press, but for lemons. I got mine for about £3 in Aldi. Probably the best find of the year!

If you find the taste too strong, start with a little less and work your way up OR add more water. The additional hydration will be beneficial.


3. Temperature Of The Lemon Water?


There is definitely a divide on this one. Most people say the water should be warm / hot, others say room temperature and some say cold. There are pros and cons to each but ultimately it's personal taste and how weak your digestive system is.

Drinking lemon water room temperature allows for the most enzymatic benefit from the lemons and therefore the most health benefits. If you have a particularly weak digestive system you can drink lemon water warm. I'd avoid using hot water however. Two reasons, firstly boiling hot water will destroy the benefits of the lemon juice and secondly, the hotter the water the more corrosive the acid will be on the enamel on your teeth.

Drinking lemon water cold requires more energy, so if you have a weak digestive system, it's best to avoid. Especially if drinking first thing in the morning. If you have a well performing digestive system though, drinking lemon water iced cold may help burn fat so could be beneficial if drinking throughout the day before meals.

4. Don't Forget To Rinse!


This is really important. You must rinse your mouth after drinking lemon water with plain water to neutralise the acid from the lemon. Lemon juice is a strong acid, with a pH of 1 so will corrode the enamel on your teeth very quickly if you're drinking it everyday.
What ever you do, don't brush your teeth directly after drinking lemon water. This will only enhance the corrosive properties. Neutralise with plain water first.

Benefits Of Drinking Lemon Water


Now we've covered how to drink lemon water. Lets more on to why drink lemon. Drinking lemon water everyday has numerous health benefits. Including;

1. Lemon Water Is Alkalising


You probably know the pH of skin is slightly acidic (between 4.5-5.5) but did you know internally we are slightly alkaline? The pH of blood is 7.4 and it's really important it remains at a constant 7.4! Even slight fluctuations can have a serious impact on our health. For for the blood to remain at a constant 7.4 it stores excess acids in surrounding fat cells and tissues. If the tissues become too acidic, they die. Drinking lemon water has a alkalising effect on the body and helps to lower the pH of the blood, therefore allows acids to be flushed from the tissue, rather than excess being stored. I also get additional alkalising and anti-inflammatory benefits from drinking aloe vera gel.

Quick note on internal pH. A rough guide to testing your internal pH, is how bitter you find the taste of lemon water. The more acidic you are internally, the more bitter you'll find the taste. In other words, the more you dislike the taste, the more you need it! To learn more about this, I definitely recommend reading the "Acid / Alkaline Diet".

2. Lemon Water Eliminates Toxins & Waste Products.


Lemon water increases the detoxifying capability of the liver, by encouraging toxins to be flushed by the body and increasing enzyme function. 

3. Lemon Water Aids Digestion


Lemon water encourages healthy digestion by loosening toxins from digestive tract and also helps relieve symptoms of indigestion.

4. Lemon Water Is Rich In Vitamins & Minerals


Lemon water is rich in vitamin C, vitamin B, riboflavin and minerals including calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium.

5. Lemon Water Helps To Loose Weight


If the liver and digestive tract are functioning optimally and the body's toxic load is reduced, it's better able to burn fat as it's energy source for effectively. Drinking lemon water cold would increase the fat burning potential!

6. Lemon Water Improves Skin Health.


It's only natural that by reducing internal inflammation and acidity, it would also have a positive effect on the skin. The skin is one of our elimination organs, therefore by reducing the amount of strain on the liver and digestive tract, will also reduce the strain on our skin. Meaning a clearer complexion!


There we have it. The how's & why's of drinking lemon water. Hope this clears a few things up and explains why everyone can benefit from including this simple but effective drink in their daily diet for better skin health and ultimately, better over all health.

Andy

3 comments:

  1. Great post Andy! I didn't realise you needed so much lemon, I am one of the guilty ones of using just a slice! xx

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  2. Awesome post, I learned a lot from it! I love lemon water and this post was was so informative. I'm a dental hygienist, so I loved that you stressed its effects on enamel. Rising with water after is key, you're so right, and waiting about 20 minutes before brushing is even better - it will allow the ph in your mouth to neutralise so you're not brushing away your enamel (quite literally). Healthy mouth, healthy bod! :) xx

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  3. lovely post :) I've always done this as my mom has done it since I was a little girl. I love the benefits! xx

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