Matcha, mushrooms, and dark leafy greens all prove that there’s no shortage of functional food options to pile on our plates. In the same vein, just as we’re getting ready to reach for our PSL, the lemon water movement still holds strong. And when it comes to the Ayurvedic practice, we’re proponents incorporating a citrus-spiked mug into our morning routines. Why? Because drinking lemon water in the morning comes with plenty of health-boosting benefits.
It’s said to promote digestion, flush out toxins, and be the ultimate gut detox. Many of the wellness elite claim to start every morning sipping the elixir and reaping the benefits day in and day out. But is lemon water really as good for you as it sounds and do its magical, purported benefits hold up? Is this holy grail of health really worth the hype?
Featured image by Michelle Nash.
Today, we’re separating fact from fiction. For all the deets on this detoxifying beverage, we tapped Georgia Thompson, an Austin-based Integrative Nutrition Health Coach whose healthy hot takes and gentle approach to wellness keeps our social feeds positive, informed, and inspired.
Ahead, Georgia’s sharing everything you need to know about lemon water—from a breakdown of its benefits to how to make it a part of your own morning routine.
1 of 4Image by Michelle Nash
The Benefits of Lemon Water in the Morning
I’m personally a huge lemon water fan! Above all, when we infuse water with anything that we enjoy—lemon, mint, cucumber, berries, etc.—we tend to be enticed to drink more of it. While, yes, lemon juice specifically does provide some health benefits, I think simply drinking MORE water is the biggest health benefit of adding lemon water into your daily wellness routine.
To get more specific, though, lemon juice contains a healthy dose of vitamin C (1/6 of your daily recommended amount in 1/2 lemon). The benefits of vitamin C include:
Supports our immune system.
Provides antioxidants that protect cells against free-radical damage.
Necessary for collagen production, iron absorption, and wound healing.
Likewise, the citric acid found in lemon juice can aid in digestion as it has been shown to boost gastric acid secretion, a digestive fluid that allows you to break down and digest food in the stomach. Just be careful as TOO much lemon might trigger acid reflux.
I wouldn’t go as far as to say that lemon water is a weight loss or metabolism cure, but it certainly can be a part of the larger picture. Making small tweaks to your routine like swapping a sugary soda or juice with lemon water could indeed help weight loss. Yet it’s more about choosing this healthier alternative than the lemon water itself.
2 of 4Image by Michelle Nash
How to Make Lemon Water a Part of Your Morning Routine
I recommend drinking lemon water on an empty stomach first thing in the morning as a reminder to hydrate before coffee (a common habit for many of us!). Plus, it can also be a wonderful way to wake up your digestive system.
If you’re looking for digestive benefits, I recommend enjoying lemon water before meals as the boost in gastric acid will help you more efficiently digest your food. But overall, anytime you remember to drink water is a good thing!
[Lemon water is] thought to help kickstart your digestive system which can be sluggish in the morning for many people. I likewise think it’s become popular in the morning as a way to hydrate and replenish first thing (especially before coffee or other dehydrating, caffeinated drinks).
3 of 4Image by Michelle Nash
Do you drink lemon water? If so, what benefits have you noticed?
I love my “morning drink” which consists of warm water, lemon juice, a splash of apple cider vinegar, and cayenne pepper. This might be a bit intense for some people, so I’d recommend starting with just lemon water, adding some honey to the concoction or swapping cayenne with cinnamon. These additions add to the digestion-boosting benefits of lemon water.
I’ve personally found this drink helps when my digestion is sluggish, and it makes me mindful of hydrating more throughout the day when I make it a priority first thing in the morning.
This post was originally published on August 19, 2022, and has since been updated.