How do you get yourself going each day? Do you drink coffee first thing in the morning? Do you eat food shortly after you wake up? Do you workout right away?
Since my Ayurvedic training in the early 1990’s I have made sure to start the day with hot water and lemon. I thought this ritual was something that most people did until I started asking around. One person told me that she drank green tea first thing, another said he ate food before drinking anything. Yet another said that coffee was the first thing she ate or drank each day.
For me, starting the day off right means heating up a kettle of water. Next, I get a 3-cup Mason jar out and put a small wedge of lemon in it. When this easy beverage is prepared, I sit down to drink it and read the local paper.
This relaxing ritual is a great way to start my day and get my body working. Additionally, I find this simple drink incredibly warming and grounding. Here’s why it’s great to start the day with hot water and lemon.
Start the Day with Hot Water and Lemon
After a night of sleep our bodies need liquid and hydration; doing so with water is your best option.
2. Kickstart Digestion
Hot water stimulates the digestive tract, encouraging peristaltic action which can get things moving.
3. Eliminate Toxins
Lemons are high in minerals and vitamins that purge toxins from the body; they are also a natural diuretic and beneficial for the urinary tract.
4. Boost Immunity
Lemons are full of immune boosting vitamin C which is a fantastic antioxidant in fighting off cold, flu, and viruses.
5. Liver Support
Drinking hot water with lemon supports alkalinity in the body, assisting the liver in filtering out toxins.
Recently a friend told me that his digestion was a little off after traveling. The first thing I suggested to get him back on track was drinking hot water with lemon when when he gets up each morning. It really makes a big difference!
Some mornings if I’m not in the mood for the lemon, I’ll skip it and simply hydrate myself with three cups of hot water. What tricks do you have up your sleeve when it comes to starting out your day? Leave a comment and let me know. I’m all ears!
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Danny Lynn O'Hern says
What about alkaline water, or sodium bicarbonate added to water? What does that do?
Danny, I haven’t tried that so not sure :-)
Danny Lynn O'Hern says
If you are worried about exposing tooth enamel to acids in beverages would a straw allow the liquid to bypass the teeth? There are reusable straws made of metal, plastic, silicon rubber, bamboo, and biodegrable paper staws for the environmentally concious.
Danny, that sounds like a great idea!
Ever since TruLemon packets came out I am never without them. I am disabled and getting out can be hard so using theses instead of Lemon so much easier. However I always use with cold to warm water, sooo will theses packets give me same results?? Thanks
Sandi, thanks for your comment! I haven’t tried those so not sure :-)
I used to love drinking water and other beverages with a little bit of fresh lemon or lime in it, and I’d have it throughout the day (including in a water container that I’d keep at my desk during the day and take on hikes and so forth) but my dentist at-the-time scolded me and said that she could really see that my tooth enamel was suffering from it.
She said that even if I didn’t brush my teeth (or otherwise abrade my teeth) for an hour after the lemon or lime juice was in my mouth (thereby giving the tooth enamel the recommended time to re-harden, after being softened by the acids), the juice itself, by being a small part of the beverage that was passing through my mouth and flowing over my teeth, would be enough to wear away a little enamel, and being exposed to that day after day, for many months in a row, had harmed my teeth. She said that I had thereby lost enamel that I’d never get back, and that I should stop having lemon or lime juice in beverages.
I was sad about that, but I took her advice and stopped putting it in hot and cold drinks.
(I also even try to limit the amounts I use when I’m making certain dishes that call for some lemon or lime juice, like guacamole.)
Now, 15 years later, I am so glad I stopped it when I did. I have moved several times and changed dentists, but every dentist I’ve had since then has commented on how I have pre-maturely lost enamel (for my age) — and I explain to them how it was lost, before I understood the repercussions.
As a very occasional treat, maybe 3 or 4 times a year, I will have a squeeze of fresh lemon in a small glass of cold, sparkling mineral water, and I savor every sip. :-) I still love it!
I’m sure it’s very healthy for the *body* (and that scolding dentist agreed that it was), so it’s a shame that I have to avoid it for the sake of my tooth enamel.
Other people who drink it quite a lot don’t seem to mention having issues with their tooth enamel, so the susceptibility of one’s enamel probably varies somewhat from person to person.
However, I would be careful with encouraging younger people (say, teens and 20s) to have a lot of this, because their teeth will have to be as strong as possible to last them for potentially another 70-80 years.
By the way, a common “solution” for bypassing the teeth when drinking something that could damage or stain them is to drink it with a straw, but that is impossible for me – when I drink with a straw, the incoming liquid goes all around my mouth just as it does when I drink from a mug/glass. I don’t know how people manage to drink with a straw and just have the liquid go down their throat without touching the teeth, but I believe them when they say it’s easy for them… it’s not for me, though!
Thanks for pointing that out Constance :-)
Lemon water erodes tooth enamel
Kristina, thanks for pointing that out. I haven’t had any problem with this but it’s good to be aware of :-)
Does it have to be real lemons?? When the powder “real lemon” came out its my choice since lemons sky rocketed in price and really puny ones at times. I use daily in my cold water. Would this have same affect if I used hot water in the morning?? Thanks
Sandi, I haven’t tried this without real lemons so not sure :-)
Do you need the rind in the drink? To me it makes the water bitter and I find it hard to drink? Do you need the pith?
Hi Stacey, I use the rind and pith in this drink and enjoy it, but feel free to experiment and turn this into something that is delicious for you!
Jaci Hunt says
isn’t it the same to put lemon in my herb tea? why does it have to be hot water?
Jaci, thanks for your comment! I find that the simpler the drink, the more cleansing it is. I like to give my body a chance to get going before I add in things like tea, or herbs, both of which can be very healing.
I have been doing lemon water & room temperature water for quite some time. Several months ago I added a teaspoon of chia seeds. I put it in a water bottle & shake it periodically for about 15 mins till the seeds soften & rehydrate. I find this also suppresses my appetite.
I make a pot of hot water and add fresh oregano and fresh ginger my sister in law come from the islands and said this is great for digestion I have celiac and it has been helping with acid reflex. I really don’t do well with meds anymore and coffee is out all together. Thank you for all your post and ideas I follow you daily.
I start my day drinking room temp water with 1/2 a lemon OR A TBL of apple cider vinegar and glass o water. ??