MONDAY BASICS: Lemon water to start your day

 

The ninth in this blog series of weekly easy upgrades for better health is a pretty simple one. It takes all of 3 minutes of prep once every two weeks, and a little forethought every night before hitting the hay. We're talking the pros of starting your day with a glass of lemon water.

 Omit the ice cubes for improved benefits. I just liked the colour here.

Omit the ice cubes for improved benefits. I just liked the colour here.

There are so many benefits to kicking your day off on the right foot with this lemon water business. This recommendation is one that just about every client I see on an individual basis will get early on in our work together. The benefits are many, as you will see by the list below.

But first, the how-to:

There are a few ways to do this. It's a good-better-best kind of deal if you simply add a tablespoon of bottled lemon juice to a glass of room temperature water first thing upon waking in the morning. Upgrade that to a freshly squeezed half lemon for even more benefits in the same glass of water.

Want to really knock this one out of the park? Purchase a bag of organic lemons and run the lot through your stand mixer or food processor in order to reduce them to a mushy paste. Yes, skin, rind, seeds, pith and all. Pour this paste into ice cube trays and tuck in the freezer for easy retrieval. Before heading to bed at night, pop one of those lemon ice cubes out of the tray and toss in a glass of filtered water, and set on your night table so that come morning, that lemon will be melted into the water. Down the zesty drink first thing before even getting up, and you've done your body a good deed already. And your feet haven't even touched the floor yet! GOOD WORK.

Now go about your morning routine, washing up, getting dressed, packing lunches, feeding others, and preparing your breakfast. Getting the water down the hatch first thing will allow your body to absorb that water and give a good 30 minute buffer before your breakfast is ready to eat. This buffer means that the water will not dilute your hydrochloric acid, and thus will not hinder your digestive prowess first thing in the morning. Again, GOOD WORK.

But why?

The reasons for implementing this daily ritual are many. First things first: after a good night's sleep, your body can be leaning towards dehydration as it hasn't consumed any water for a long period of time. Starting the morning with room temperature water will help rehydrate, and the added lemon will get your digestive system started. As our body does its restorative work during our sleep, starting the day with this bitter beverage will induce the liver to do a very gentle cleanse first thing, flushing out toxins and getting bile flowing. Water is the main component of our lymph system, and so by consuming this glass of water in the morning we are further supporting our body's natural detoxification job in moving toxins and antigens out.

As is well documented, citrus fruits are also good source of Vitamin C: this crucial antioxidant plays an important role in supporting the liver, a main player in immune and a necessary nutrient for supple skin and health for connective tissue (we need it to make collagen in our bodies). And let's not forget the adrenals, they too rely on Vitamin C and so think of this as a good support for you to better be able to handle stress. Vitamin C is also a big player in keeping free radical damage at bay, and so of good support to skin. 

As an added bonus, citrus fruit have been well documented to contribute to reducing overall inflammation be it systemic, chronic or acute in nature. What's not to love?

Make sure your glass of water is either at room temperature or a bit warm, as cold water will shock your system and reduce the benefits you may be seeking here. This is part of the reason why I recommend you prepare this morning wake up the night before, to ensure the temperature won't slow down the benefits we're seeking here.

If you're worried about any negative effects on the health of your teeth when consuming lemon water on a daily basis, you may want to consume your water through a straw, bypassing your teeth entirely.

Just adding this one easy task to your morning routine can bring support to your liver, lymph system, skin, digestive system, connective tissue, reduce inflammation, neutralize those free radicals and help rehydrate your body. It's really an easy add-on with myriad benefits. Try this one out, and let me know how you feel one week in!