By: Natasha Archary
Believe it or not, there are people who don’t like the taste of regular water. It’s a struggle for some to drink a glass let alone the recommended 8 glasses a day. It is for this reason that many have adapted their daily water intake to include sliced fruits and veggies.
Vitamin water, more popularly referred to. Still the preferred choice of many – including restaurants, health spas and even gyms – is good old fashioned lemon water. Slices of fresh lemon are added to chilled or hot water and served as a refreshing, cool drink or a comforting warm drink, the latter replacing morning tea and coffee.
Are there any benefits to drinking lemon water daily? The short version, yes. More than you would have imagined possible. With every pro there is a con however, so let’s break it down for you.
Benefits of lemon water
The properties of lemon for purifying the body of harmful toxins can be traced back to Ancient Rome, India and Arab cultures. Lemons were used to treat cold sores, cleanse the kidney, skin and as a natural remedy for many daily health ailments. Consuming lemon water daily helps maintain your immune system and acts as a blood purifier, thus protecting you from the clutches of most cold and flu-like symptoms. Lemon water also helps prevent and treat kidney stones.
The acidic nature of lemon juice is similar to the digestive juices produced by your body. It tricks the liver into producing bile, which aids digestion and helps relieve an upset stomach. The acidity also enables your body to digest the good nutrients in food more slowly. The slower absorption means insulin levels remain steady and so keeps you fuller for longer.
Another benefit of lemon water is the antioxidant properties in the Vitamin C it contains. Promoting restoration of cell tissues against damage, lemon water is said to help in renewed skin glow, less defined wrinkles and younger looking skin.
- Weight loss
Lemon water can boost metabolism, if consumed daily in regular amounts. The point above with aiding digestion and curbing hunger is a contributing factor. This does not mean that lemon water is a solution to all your weight loss goals. Instead it should be included as part of your daily diet and work out routine.
5. Mental Health
There is a reason most ancient cultures swear by the properties of lemon water. In Zen and Buddhist cultures for example, honey and lemon water is consumed in small amounts throughout the day. This aids mental clarity and apptitude. So the next time you feel a little foggy adding some lemon slices to your regular water may help you think clearer.
- Fresh Breath
Lemons are natural odour neutralizers. It is for this reason that many swear by an all natural lemon mouthwash to cure bad breath. Swirling lemon water around your mouth is thought to stimulate saliva production which curbs bad breath caused by excess bacteria.
Side effects of lemon water
Few and far between but worth mentioning:
- Bad for teeth
Lemons contain citric acid which can erode tooth enamel and cause sensitive teeth or cavities. This can be remedied by drinking lemon water through a straw.
Not a common side effect but there are people who can’t consume lemons without it causing mild heartburn. If you are prone to heartburn it is best to avoid lemon water.
Drinking litres of lemon water may cause you to run to the bathroom more frequently. This is due to the diuretic properties which increases urine production as it detoxifies your body.
While the temperature that lemon water should be consumed is debatable, the benefits far outweigh the side effects. If you are on the search for an inexpensive alternative to regular water then lemon water is for you. Be it for its flavour-enhancing abilities or for the number of health benefits listed above.