The Life-Changing Magic of Hot Lemon Water

lemon water

I know that title sounds dramatic, but simple daily habits like drinking a cup of hot water with lemon each morning can really change the way we think and feel.  Usually I’m a firm believer in the mantra “there are no shortcuts to health,” but this little trick may be one of the simplest and easiest life hacks with significant health benefits.  With this daily habit there’s really no excuse for “no time.”  It’s as simple as filling your cup with hot water and tossing in a slice of lemon.  And for that little effort each day you can expect a variety of improvements in your health:

  1. Promotes Digestion
    • Starting the day with a cup of hot water, with or without lemon, helps flush the GI tract and rehydrate the body after 8 hours without fluids (while you were sleeping).  The lemon juice helps activate the digestive system by imitating gastric juices, prompting the liver to release bile to break down food.  
  2. Stimulates the Metabolism 
    • Once you’ve activated the digestive system, the metabolism will naturally increase.  I often recommend hot water to patients who are retaining water, especially those who have been drinking iced drinks.  The body is a warm environment and it’s systems, especially metabolism, work more efficiently on warm foods and fluids. When my patients make the switch to hot water they are often pleased to discover they lose weight seemingly effortlessly.  Throwing in a slice of lemon, which contains pectin, helps you feel full longer, consequently curbing your appetite.  
  3. Cleanses the Skin
    • The skin is a reflection of the health of our internal organ systems.  By flushing the body and promoting digestion, daily hot water with lemon can lead to cleaner, more vibrant looking skin.  Lemon juice also promotes collagen and protects against oxidative cell damage to promote a healthy, youthful glow.  
  4. Boosts the Immune System 
    • Kudos go to the lemon for this health benefit.  The Vitamin C in the lemon promotes the production of white blood cells, which are vital to the proper functioning of the immune system.  Vitamin C also protects cells from oxidative damage, responsible for premature aging of our bodies’ organs and other tissues.  
  5. Invigorates the Mind
    • A dose of hot lemon water in the morning is like a refreshing splash of water for your internal organs.  When you start your day by stimulating your digestion, it gets the wheels turning and powers up all of the other systems.  When the lemon juice enters the GI tract it increases physical and mental energy, which in turn enhances your mood. 

So tomorrow morning instead of reaching for the coffee, fill that mug with some hot water, toss in a slice of lemon and enjoy the health-promoting, life-changing magic of this new daily habit.