I try to make it the first thing I drink every morning.
I’ve heard so many great things about lemon water, although much of the evidence supporting lemon water’s health benefits is anecdotal.
Little scientific research has been done specifically on lemon water’s impact on health as a whole, but some research exists on the benefits of lemon and water separately. Here is a list of some perceived health benefits and the research behind them:
1. It promotes hydration.
According to the Food and Nutrition Board, the dietary reference intake for water is 91 to 125 ounces. This includes water from food and drinks.
Water is the best beverage for hydration, but some people don’t like the taste of it on its own. Adding lemon enhances water’s flavor, which may help you drink more.
2. It’s a good source of vitamin C.
Citrus fruits like lemons are high in vitamin C, which is a primary antioxidant that helps protect cells from damaging free radicals.
While lemons don’t top the list of citrus fruits high in vitamin C, they are still a good source. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, 1/4 cup raw lemon juice provides about 23.6 grams of vitamin C. That’s over 30 percent of the recommended daily allowance (RDA).
3. It improves your skin quality.
Vitamin C found in lemons may help reduce skin wrinkling. A study published in the American Society for Clinical Nutrition concluded that people who consumed more vitamin C have less risk of wrinkled and dry skin.
How water improves skin is controversial, but one thing is certain. If your skin loses moisture, it becomes dry and wrinkle-prone. Whether it’s better to apply moisturizer to the skin or drink more water isn’t clear, but UW Health recommends drinking at least eight glasses of water daily to stay hydrated.
4. It supports weight loss.
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition showed that polyphenol antioxidants found in lemons significantly reduced weight gain caused by a high-fat diet in mice. In addition, insulin resistance was improved.
While the same results need to be proven in humans, anecdotal evidence is strong that lemon water supports weight loss. Whether this is due to an increase in water intake and fullness, or the lemons, remains to be seen.
5. It aids digestion.
Ayurvedic medicine believes the sour lemon taste helps stimulate your “agni.” In Ayurveda, a strong agni jump-starts the digestive system, allowing you to digest food easily and helping prevent the buildup of toxins.
Adding Apple Cider Vinegar into the mix:
Apple Cider Vinegar
I found this Apple Cider Vinegar (with the mother) at my local Farmers Market in Peachtree City, GA. I love that it is infused with Thyme, it adds such a wonderful flavor!
Apple Cider Vinegar is rich in Acetic Acid. Acetic acid by itself is not a vinegar, it is a bacteria found in vinegar that is a byproduct of the fermentation process. During this process, the acetic acid bacteria grow inside the liquid. As the fermentation process goes along, it slowly grows to become a nontoxic slime. People call it the “mother”.
Research studies have suggested that acetic acid may help control fat accumulation. A study in Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry found that mice who were given acetic acid were less likely to gain body fat.
The mice that were given the acetic acid had higher energy expenditure, oxygen intake, and burned more fat for energy than those given just water. The authors state that this suggests acetic acid could help suppress body fat buildup. However it is unclear if that was the sole cause.
A similar article in the same journal found that consuming vinegar did help reduce body fat, though the reduction was small. This study used 155 people who were considered obese with a body mass index (BMI) of 25–30.
Over 12 weeks, three groups were given either 15 milliliters (ml) of vinegar, 30 ml of vinegar, or a placebo. Overall, those who consumed 15 or 30 ml of vinegar had a lower body weight, smaller waist, and less abdominal fat than those who did not have the vinegar.
There are vinegar manufacturers that remove the “mother” using a filtration process, but if you’re consuming it for the health benefits, you should avoid using distilled vinegar but opt for the raw, unfiltered variety, that contains the mother.
HOW I MIX IT: I typically warm up some water in my kettle pot, squeeze two lemon slices into a glass, add 2 teaspoons of my Apple Cider Vinegar, then pour in my water. It actually is quite delicious. You could also try adding some freshly grated ginger or pinch of cayenne pepper for a different twist. Both having added health benefits as well!
I have been drinking this every morning for over a month now, and I can honestly say I do feel a difference. I am not as sluggish in the morning, I feel more refreshed, and I find myself making healthier choices throughout the day.
If you don’t have access to locally sourced apple cider vinegar, I also use Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar*, with the mother.