Is lemon water really good for you? 5 things you need to know
The benefits of lemon water
You may have heard that lemon water acts as a miracle worker in that drinking it provides a quick and easy way to boost your health. But, is that really the case? Let’s look at the facts on lemon water benefits.
More often than not, it takes a lot of effort, energy and time to build healthy living routines. Luckily, some healthy habits are literally more low-hanging fruits than others. Water infused with freshly squeezed lemon juice seems to be an easy healthy habit to adopt. It only takes 30 seconds of prep time while delivering health benefits that supposedly can add years to your life.
But, is that so?
In this guide, we discuss 5 evidence-based benefits of lemon water and provide a simple, easy-to-prepare lemon water recipe at the end. Spoiler alert: by the time you finish reading this, you might be eager to start picking lemons from your nearest lemon tree (although for most of us the organic grocer may have to do).
Lemon Water Benefit #1: Source of Hydration
It is no surprise that water is the number one source of hydration for your entire body. As the main element of your body, in particular your blood, you need a lot of water every day for your organs to perform their best. Why? Because without water, for example, your blood could not supply the millions of cells in your system with the oxygen and nutrients they need.
How much water should you intake every day? The National Academy of Sciences actually recommends 11 glasses of water for women and 15 for men every day (one glass being 8oz of water). Note that for most people 80% of their required water intake comes from beverages, 20% from food.
Lemon Water Benefit #2: Immune System Boost
In the vitamin hall of fame, Vitamin C holds top status and lemon water is full of it. Vitamin C plays a powerful role in boosting your entire immune system which strengthens the body's internal healing abilities as well as its defense system against outside infections.
The amazing thing about lemon water is that drinking it easily covers the majority of your daily Vitamin C needs. The juice of just one lemon contains 51% of your recommended daily intake.
Lemon Water Benefit #3: Tangy Taste
Another benefit of lemon water: it is a tasty and tangy alternative to sipping plain water, making it a more refreshing and satisfying source of hydration that helps you drink more. For folks who don't like plain water, a lemon infusion makes it easier to meet the hydration goals set by the National Academies of Sciences ( 15 glasses of water for a man and 11 glasses for a woman per day).
Lemon Water Benefit #4: Detoxification
Lemons are a superfood and water is the body's greatest detoxifier. Together, they support your kidneys, gut and liver in eliminating toxins from the body, making lemon water an excellent cleansing drink. For this reason, nutrition experts actually recommend drinking two glasses of lemon-infused water as a morning detox routine.
Lemon Water Benefit #5: Energy
Lemon water helps your body more effectively absorb and use iron. Iron allows for a more optimal flow of oxygen throughout your cells which keep you energized. A lack of iron stops your body from producing sufficient amounts of red blood cells which leads to unusual tiredness, low productivity and other poor health factors.
The World Health Organization deems iron deficiency as the top nutritional disorder globally, with 80% of people world-wide not having enough iron in their system. You can remove yourself from the stat by drinking lemon water — lemons don’t contain iron but tons of Vitamin C. Studies show that just 100 mg of Vitamin C consumed during a meal increases your iron absorption contained in other foods by 67%.
Recipe: How To Make Healthy Lemon Water
Making your own lemon water at home is quick and easy with this bulletproof lemon water recipe. When preparing healthy lemon water at home, give preference to the actual fresh fruit rather than taking your lemon juice from a bottle.
Buy fresh, organic lemons at your local farmer's market or organic grocer to ensure they are free of pesticides. Otherwise, you may offset the benefits of cleansing your system by taking in toxic residue from the fruit's peel.
Cut the fruit in half and squeeze half the lemon's juice into an 8 oz. glass of cool or room temperature filtered water. If you throw the entire lemon in the glass be sure you clean the lemon’s skin well beforehand.
Don't strain out the pulp. It is rich in dietary fiber and a very important part of the fruit. Moreover, opt to drink your lemon water unsweetened, so you won't turn it into a high-calorie sugar bomb. If that’s too difficult, go with Stevia.
Depending on your palate, you may also enjoy adding one of these other superfoods to your lemon water infusion:
a few leaves of fresh mint
a 1/2 inch slice of fresh ginger root
a few slices of fresh cucumber
two or three sliced and peeled limes
the wedges of one full orange
As with any healthy drink – whether a superfood smoothie, a detox tea or a refreshing infused water – what is most important is that you find a concoction that you actually thoroughly enjoy.
Why? Because that is the single-best way of telling that you will drink it consistently and, thereby, over time reap the full spectrum of its health benefits.