Warm Lemon Water:
Healthy or Hype?
Warm lemon water is the health trend of the moment. It’s been touted for its magical benefits, each one seemingly more incredible than the last.
When high-profile celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Naomi Campbell start drinking it, you can be sure the popular wave of interest is not far behind.
In The Food Pharmacy, Jean Carper expounds on the mythical reputation of the lemon:
“In the third century A.D. the Romans believed that the lemon was an antidote for all poisons,
as illustrated by the tale of two criminals thrown to venomous snakes; the one who had eaten a lemon beforehand survived snakebite, the other died.
So great is the reputation of the lemon that, so the story goes,
it became an accompaniment for fish in the belief that if a fishbone got stuck in the throat, the lemon juice would dissolve it.”
Folklore aside, many claims about lemon juice have surfaced over time.
But is drinking warm lemon water really all it’s cracked up to be? Let’s sort out the hype from the real health benefits.
Warm Lemon Water Myths
Warm Lemon Water Truths
- Can lemon water keep you hydrated? Yes. It is water, after all.
- Can lemon water boost your Vitamin C levels? A little. It depends on how much lemon you add to the water. Lemon also contains calcium, iron, and potassium.
- Can lemon water be a good replacement for juice or coffee? Absolutely. There is no sugar in lemon water so substituting it for juice or sugary coffees is a healthy option.
Why You Should Really Try Drinking Warm Lemon Water
The real magic of warm lemon water may be psychological. Adding lemon to water can be more interesting and flavorful than just drinking plain water.
If the lemony flavour helps you to drink more water, that’s good. If you’re used to a hot coffee or tea in the morning,
drinking your lemon water warm can offer that same bit of comfort, especially on a cold day.
Furthermore, simply feeling like you are making a healthier choice
(if it’s replacing sugary coffee or juice you actually are) can have positive benefits for brain and body.
Science has shown that the placebo effect can be a powerful phenomenon with real physical and emotional effects.
When to Drink Warm Lemon Water
- First thing in the morning: rehydrating upon waking up is a good idea, as you’ve just spent around eight hours not consuming any liquids. You can lose water through skin perspiration but did you know you can even lose it through your breathing?
- When you feel hungry: if you’re feeling hungry, it could actually be that you’re actually dehydrated. Try drinking a tall glass of lemon water before deciding whether or not you need food. If you have a goal of eating less at meals, drinking water right before a meal can be a good way to help you feel fuller so you won’t be as tempted by those second helpings.
- Post-workout: immediately after exercise is a crucial time to rehydrate. Try bringing a bottle of infused water with you to the gym. Try to drink small sips throughout your workout (to avoid getting cramps midway), and then fully hydrate immediately after.
- Alongside alcoholic drinks: keeping a glass of water handy while you’re enjoying a round of drinks is always a good idea. Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning that it causes your body to lose more fluid than normal when you urinate. Drinking water alongside your favorite libations can help to replenish that fluid.
In spite of all the old folklore and current hype surrounding warm lemon water,
there are plenty of reasons why it’s a good habit to incorporate into your daily routine.
Personally, I’m always trying to stay hydrated, and the fact that adding lemon makes water much more enjoyable to consume is benefit enough.
It’s a healthier option than juice or sugary coffee, and much more affordable too.
So why not buy a bag of lemons, invest in a water filter, and give it a try?