Do you ever go through a whole day, thinking you’ll drink that glass (or 8) of water, but never quite get to it? When you’re occupied by other concerns, like taking care of your kids and juggling all your other responsibilities, it’s easy to ignore basic necessities. I know plenty of parents who do. But if you wait until you’re thirsty, you’ve already waited a bit too long.
During the years I spent trying to unravel the mystery of my fatigue problems, I met with more practitioners than I can recall. One suggestion many of them (including the integrative and Ayurvedic doctors, a gastrointenstinal specialist, a naturopath, and a holistic nutritionist) made was this:
Drink water with lemon every morning, preferably warm.
What’s the Magic?
If you’re like me, you’re always searching for that magic elixir that will restore your health, make you feel energetic and help you look radiant. But does lemon water really work wonders?
Claims about lemon water include that it aids digestion, detoxifies the liver, boosts immunity and makes your skin glow. While there is some evidence that these claims are true, there are also the skeptics. (It seems there’s data to prove whatever you want to believe!)
What we DO know is that adding a little lemon to your water in the morning will help you rehydrate and get your whole system moving and flowing.
Hydration Under Stress
Back to my health quest for a moment: When I was experiencing the worst of adrenal fatigue issues (from chronic stress), it seemed like I could drink all the water in the world and still feel thirsty. It turns out that wasn’t just my imagination.
According to Dr. James Wilson, author of Adrenal Fatigue: The 21stCentury Stress Syndrome, most people who suffer from adrenal fatigue experience an imbalance of electrolytes, which can mess up the body’s ability to retain and balance fluids. (You can read more on electrolytes and adrenal fatigue in this article by him.) Adding lemon to my water helped. A squeeze of citrus adds electrolytes (potassium, magnesium and copper), providing the minerals you need to rehydrate.
Whether or not you have a health issue, staying hydrated is a fundamental human need. We are made of 50-65% water after all. In addition to physical symptoms such as thirst, headaches, and muscle cramps, studies show that mild levels of dehydration can cause brain fog and even disruptions in mood. Not what we need!
- Aids Digestion & Detoxification
Lemon stimulates bile production, which helps keep food moving through your body smoothly. The acids in lemon juice also encourage your body to absorb nutrients better.
Lemon water supports the enzyme functions in your body, making it a lovely way to stimulate your liver and flush out toxins.
- Boosts Immunity
Lemon provides a little shot of vitamin C, which can boost your immune system, help you fight stress, and rejuvenate your skin.
- Adds Electrolytes
A squeeze of citrus adds electrolytes (potassium, magnesium and copper) to your water, giving you the minerals you need to rehydrate.
Try to use pure filtered water, and a little bit warm. Ayurvedic medicine claims warm water is better for a number of reasons, including that it improves digestive fire.
A Super Simple Act of Self-Care
I’ve found that starting the day with warm lemon water sets me up for a healthier, more self-caring mindset in general. And it’s easy! This is a micro habit you can sneak right into your regular routine. You can drink it while you’re waiting for your coffee to brew (or boiling water for your matcha, my recipe here). Your body and brain will thank you.
*Make it Easier Tip:
I squeeze one or two lemons into a pitcher of water and keep it in the fridge. In the morning, I mix a half glass of that with a splash of hot water to warm it up. As a back-up, I also keep a jar of organic lemon juice on hand.
Try it for a week and let me know if you feel any different.