My love of the stage blossomed when I was in elementary school. In sixth grade I got to play a clown in a strange Jack and the Beanstalk production, and just before graduation I played Miss Hannigan in a production of Annie Jr. I also wrote, directed, and produced some weird skit for a Christmas concert about Reindeer Coffee that could help Rudolph and the rest of the team get through the long hard night of delivering gifts all over the world (I told you before, I was a strange kid).
Fast forward to high school and I couldn’t get enough of it. I was a part of every play, assembly, and coffee house that the school had. I don’t know if it was the constant projection or just the fact that I was a loud-mouthed kid (Hey, at least I can admit it), but I ended up getting laryngitis twice a year and sometimes more often. During the winter months (and all through competition season), I ended up consuming quite a bit of warm lemon water with honey and cinnamon in it. I found that not only did it taste great, but it also seemed to help me get my voice back quicker and my throat didn’t get as irritated overall. I don’t recall getting sick very often back then either.
I never really thought any more about it after that. I still drink warm lemon water from time to time (and ocasionally I add some lemon to my cold water in the summer to make it a little more refreshing), but more because I like the taste of it than for any other reason. In the last decade I’ve learned a lot about the benefits of ingesting raw, natural (preferably local) honey and cinnamon, but I still never really thought twice about how good the concoction really was for me.
In the last couple of weeks I’ve noticed several variations of the same article floating around on my Facebook newsfeed – X amount of reasons lemon water is good for you.
Some of these articles had some exceptionally high numbers (25+ reasons!), many of them made the same claims. Intrigued, I started to look into some of these claims a little more – After all, I drink the beverage on a regular basis, I should be as healthy as a horse!
After a (very) little bit of digging, what I learned was this – Although some of these claims are completely validated, most of them are at the very least exaggerated, and few of them have research to back up the claims (In fairness I didn’t spend a whole lot of time digging, but the point is that I shouldn’t have to). Here’s a quick rundown of what I learned to save you some time.
5 Reasons Lemon Water Is Good For You
Lemons Are Chalked Full Of Vitamins
Lemons have tons of vitamins and other nutrients packed into them that can help your body function at its full potential. Obviously, they have Vitamin C in them, but what you might not know is that they’re also packed full of B-complex vitamins and that they also have potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, and even fiber in them. In fact, they contain even more potassium than apples or grapes.
Those Vitamins Can Help Defend Against Illness
We all know that Vitamin C can help strengthen your immune system and that a healthy immune system is your best defense against cold, flu, and other sicknesses.
While you could always take some supplements to boost your vitamin intake, there’s no denying the best vitamin sources are real foods, and lemons are in that category as well.
It Can Help Cleanse Your Liver
Ensuring that you drink enough water during the day can help ensure that your liver is able to do its job while you sleep (when your body is restoring and regenerating to get you prepared for the next day). This is especially important in the morning (after you’ve essentially fasted for (ideally) eight hours), but does apply to the day as a whole.
Lemon Water Can Help Your Digestion
Drinking any type of water will do the trick if you’re not a fan of lemon, but it’s possible that lemon and other citrus fruits will help boost the effects a little more. Lemon water can also be quite effective in helping you battle with low stomach acid by balancing it out (Don’t know if you have low stomach acid? Click here to find out) and helping to reduce heartburn, bloating, and even excessive burping.
And Helps Clear Up Your Skin
Lemon can be used externally as an incredibly effective astringent if you’re not too dark and you have oily skin (it can end up actually bleaching your skin with extended use), but did you know you can also use it internally to help clear your skin from the inside out?
When you consider that it helps your liver flush out toxins and gives your digestion system a boost, it becomes an absolute no-brainer that your skin would begin to look better (and it shouldn’t take very long at all for you to start seeing the results.
That’s where the concrete stuff stops and the speculation begins.
What Lemon Water Isn’t
A Miracle Weight Loss Cure
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism in 2003 reported that lemon water can help you maintain a healthy weight when you pair it with a balanced, nutritional diet. Many of the articles floating around are implying that by simply beginning to drink lemon water you’ll start to notice the pounds melt off you immediately, when that’s simply not the case.
In a matter of speaking, it can help with weight loss, but not because it burns fat, like many people claim. Drinking lemon water will give your stomach a bit of extra acid, thus help it better digest the foods you ate (obviously you’d have to drink it before, during or right after a meal to get this effect). One of the most important aspects of weight loss is improving digestion, and lemon water can definitely help with that.
Furthermore, lemon water has a negligible amount of calories and if you choose to drink it instead of sugar-heavy sodas, fruit juices (which usually have high amounts of sugar, even if they’re 100% natural) and other sweet drinks, you will automatically cut some calories out of your diet.
A Form Of Cancer Prevention
Another one of the claims I found interesting (and therefore felt the need to investigate a little further) was that lemon water would help raise your pH levels to such an extent that cancerous cells wouldn’t be able to survive.
While it’s absolutely true that certain foods (and even water) can have an alkalizing effect on our bodies, it only affects your urine’s pH; your blood levels won’t be affected in any way whatsoever. Since your cells live in your blood, any claims that state you can drink lemon water to fight or prevent cancer are misinformed and misleading.
Some Amazing Detox Tool
It’s not that this one is a completely offbeat or outrageous claim, it’s just that it bothers me when people claim that everything is a detox tool. All water is going to help your kidneys and liver flush your system out, adding a little bit of lemon to it doesn’t make so much of a difference that it turns it into some miracle detox cure.
Some Magical Concoction That Can Make You Smarter
This I think was the most hilariously outrageous claim I read. It’s true that lemon can help you focus and make you more alert because it’s a very stimulating scent, but I couldn’t find one bit of evidence to support the claims that lemon water could actually make your IQ higher.
How To Make Lemon Water
One of the greatest things about lemon water is that it’s so versatile – There’s a variation of it for everyone, regardless of what your tastes are.
Lemon water can be made with hot or cold water. They’re perfectly fine on their own, but if you find that your lemon water is bitter or you think that it could just use a little something extra, try adding one or more of these:
Using Hot Water
– Raw, natural, preferably local honey
– Stevia (the plant, not the processed variety)
– Chamomile Tea
Using Cold Water
– Strawberries, blueberries, and other sweet berries from your local farmers market or CSA farm.
– Cantaloupe and other melons.
– Homemade iced tea
Why You Need To Be Careful When Drinking Lemon Water
Because lemons are so acidic they can easily wreck your teeth if you’re not careful, especially if you’re someone that drinks lemon water all day long. To minimize damage to your teeth, consider sipping your water through a straw whenever you’re able to and try to avoid brushing your teeth for at least a half hour after drinking your lemon water.
It also might be helpful to use a remineralizing toothpaste every once in a while, even if you haven’t yet committed to switching to natural toothpaste full time. We’ll have an article with a remineralizing toothpaste recipe coming up soon that you can use.
Now that you know what lemon water really can and can’t do for you, you can make a more educated decision as to whether or not you’d like to add it to your daily routine. If you’re someone that drinks lemon water on a regular or semi-regular basis, what are some of the benefits you’ve experienced after making the switch? We’d love to hear about it – Tell us in the comments section below.
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