Managing your health and focusing on your nutrition isn’t always easy. There are so many different rules, which seem to change depending on who you are talking to. Some people advise cutting out meat, while others promote eating more meat through low-carb and Paleo diets. This happens with just about everything, from carbs and sugar, to how much protein you need and whether a vegetarian or vegan diet is a good idea.
However, one thing remains true for every new diet or lifestyle change: you need to drink more water. You are not going to find someone who argues with this fact. While it is good to have as much water as you can (within reason) throughout the day, another thing to keep in mind is adding fruits to your water, like lemons.
Lemon water is actually really good for you, tastes delicious, and can help you lose weight. If you are not trying to lose weight, it is still beneficial in many ways you might not have considered. Here is more information about lemon water.
Health Benefits of Lemon Water
Before you learn about the different ways to drink lemon water and provide some helpful tips for drinking it daily, let’s go over some of the main health benefits. The reason lemon water should be consumed regularly isn’t just because it is tasty – though it definitely is! But lemon water is actually very good for you, providing a lot of different health benefits.
From helping you to lose weight to improving your digestion, you will notice the positive impact it has on your body very quickly. Here are some different health benefits to remember when deciding if lemon water is right for you.
Lemon Water Has Tons of Nutrition
The first thing you should know about lemon water is that it is loaded with nutrients, including many vitamins and minerals. One of the best vitamins is vitamin C, including over 100% of your daily amount in just one cup of lemon juice. However, vitamin C isn’t the only nutrient you should be aware of.
Lemon water is extremely low in fat and calories, with a small amount of sugar as well. It has a lot of potassium, copper, and magnesium, along with some fiber, thiamin, vitamin B6, and vitamin E. These are all nutrients from the lemons themselves, so the more concentrated your lemon water is, the more of the vitamins and minerals you will be consuming each day.
It is Great For Digestion
If you have been having difficulties with your digestive system, then lemon water is the perfect addition. Even just drinking more regular water in general can really help to get things moving and decrease abdominal cramps and other digestion issues. However, when you add in some lemons to your water, you are giving it an extra little boost. The reason it helps so much is because there are digestive juices inside your stomach, similar to the structure of lemon juice. They work together really well, so while you might be concerned the acidity of lemons would make you feel ill, it usually has the opposite effect.
You Can Boost Your Immune System
Lemon water also happens to be ideal for giving your immune system a nice boost. Lemon water has a good amount of lemon juice, which as you know, is an excellent source of vitamin C. This is the vitamin that helps keep you healthy and will help to prevent cold, flu, and other immune system illnesses. When people around you are ill and you are afraid of catching their cold, start drinking more lemon water to boost your vitamin C, and hopefully it will help to boost it enough to where you can fight the illness.
Lemon Water Gives You Fresh Breath
Believe it or not, just drinking a glass of warm lemon water in the morning can give your mouth a refreshing feeling and others will notice it too. Lemons are great for getting rid of bad breath, and can even help to relieve your toothaches. However, be careful and don’t brush your teeth directly before or after drinking it. The citric acid has the potential to wear away at your tooth enamel.
Your Skin Will Thank You
The vitamin C in lemon water isn’t just good for your immune system; it can also give you healthy, clear, glowing skin. The vitamin C can also boost the natural collagen production in your skin, making you look more youthful.
It Makes it Easier to Lose Weight
While just drinking lemon water on its own won’t necessarily help you lose weight without other changes, it can boost your weight loss efforts when combined with other diet and exercise changes. Add in lemon water to your morning routine, and suddenly you are drinking more water because it tastes great. The lemon water can also help to raise your metabolic rate, which helps you burn fat much faster.
How to Make Lemon Water
Contrary to popular belief, just putting a few lemon slices or wedges into a glass of water does not mean you are drinking lemon water. While this is a great way to make water taste good when you are trying to hydrate and drink less soft drinks and other beverages that aren’t good for you, you won’t get the same health benefits as making real lemon water. This is because it isn’t just the flavor of the water, but the concentration of the lemon juice. You need the actual juice of a lemon in order to get all the vitamin C and other nutrients.
One thing to note is that when you are drinking lemon water for all the health benefits, it should preferably be warm water. This isn’t going to be the case every single time, but in the morning if you want to boost your metabolism, try to drink at least one small cup of warm lemon water. Then the rest of the day, enjoy your cold pitcher of lemon water or infused water with lemons.
Easy Lemon Water Recipe
To make a single glass of lemon water, you need about ¼ cup of water, juice from ½ lemon and about 1/3 cup of boiling water added in. You should add the lemon juice to your empty glass first, using a lemon reamer or handheld juicer to extract as much lemon juice from it as you can. This will increase its concentration. Now add the cold water and boiling water to the glass, which is going to make the water warm enough for the health benefits.
You could also just add lemon juice to a glass of warm water from the tap, but this is another method to try out. If you are having cold lemon water, add the juice of a lemon to a glass of cold water, or you can follow the directions further down in this report to make lemon infused water.
Add Lemon Zest
Another great thing to do when you are making lemon water is to add some lemon zest to the glass or pitcher of water. The zest from a lemon comes from the rind. The rind not only has a lot of lemon flavor, but it also contains quite a bit of vitamin C and other nutrients. Use a zester to add a little bit of lemon zest to every glass or pitcher you make.
What to Add to Your Lemon Water
While you can definitely have just lemon juice, zest, and water, you might occasionally want to add something to it. There are certain additions that taste great with lemon to make it a little more interesting and add to the flavor, but also increase the overall nutrition of your lemon water as well. Here are some different things to consider adding to your lemon water.
The first ingredient you might want to add to your lemon water is ginger. In fact, many detox drinks and detox water recipes ask for both lemon juice and ginger. They work great together, both are loaded with vitamins and minerals, and are a good flavor combination without being too overpowering. It is best if you can get a ginger root and grate it fresh with a zester. Go ahead and use the exact same zester you use with your lemon zest. For every tall glass of water, you should be using the juice from ½ lemon and about ½ inch knob from the ginger root.
Don’t forget you can also add some honey to your lemon water. Honey really works great at helping your water taste delicious and is really good in warm lemon water. With honey, you can help with ulcers and digestive health, provide antibacterial properties, and allow you to get more antioxidants in your body.
Try to use only raw or organic honey, not the processed bottled honey. Regular honey from the grocery store is often filled with additives and goes through a chemical process that often contains extra sugar. You don’t want to make your lemon water unhealthy just by adding honey for flavor and nutrients. The amount of honey you use is up to you, but start with just a teaspoon per glass of water, stir it, and taste it to see if you are happy with that amount. The honey blends well when the water is warm.
Fruits and Herbs
As you will find out in the next section about making infused lemon water, fruits and herbs combined with lemon water can also be perfect for your healthy water. While you can choose any fruits or herbs you want, there are some that tend to taste a little better with it. Herbs like mint and rosemary are good additions, as well as most berries and other citrus fruits like grapefruit and lime.
Infused Lemon Water Recipes
If you want to add to your warm lemon water, you can enjoy it cold. This is where infused lemon water comes in. Many people find this to be a new concept, but you might have already made infused lemon water and not realized it. If you have ever filled a pitcher with water and added lemon slices to it overnight, then you have made infused water.
The trick here is to slice the lemons just right. You don’t want to use lemon wedges, because so much of it is covered in the rind, where not much of the actual lemon juice is released into the pitcher of water. This won’t taste as concentrated as when you use lemon slices. These thin slices allow more of the lemon juice to hit the water, giving you all those nutrients.
How to Make Infused Water
Before getting into some recipe combinations, let’s discuss the basic steps to making infused water. It is really easy to make, and when you start finding your own flavor combinations, it can be a lot of fun too! Here are the basic steps to making infused water:
Use a Glass Cup or Pitcher – While you can put your infused water in a plastic container, glass is highly recommended. This makes it taste fresher for longer, and plastic has some health disadvantages. However, it is more important to make sure whatever container you use, is food-safe. Mason jars are great for smaller amounts of water, as well as tall glass pitchers.
Gather Your Ingredients – When choosing the ingredients for the infused lemon water, try to use fresh produce that isn’t visibly bruised. Also avoid produce that is a little older. You should try to get produce close to being ripe, then make the water quickly. Fresh fruits and vegetables, organic if possible, are good for infused water. The same goes for herbs; try to find them fresh.
Prepare the Produce and Herbs – For infused water, you want to get as much of the nutrients from your fruits and veggies as you can, which usually means the juice and zest. As you know with lemons, you want to slice them but also use as much juice as you can. For these, the recommendation is to first cut the lemon in half, then add as much lemon juice to the container as possible. Then slice each half thinly, and add those to the pitcher. Don’t forget the zest!
With most other produce, you just want to remove the skin and slice it up so you get as much of the juice or inside of the produce as possible. Muddling herbs can be good in order to release the vitamins and minerals. Add all the prepared ingredients to the pitcher or cup, then cover with water.
Leave the Water Overnight – After everything is added to the pitcher, you want to leave it overnight. The infusing process doesn’t happen quickly. If you can, leave it out on the counter for an hour or so, then place it in the refrigerator overnight. Remember also that you can use the same pitcher or cup multiple times. Keep the fruits, vegetables, and herbs in the container, and when the water is empty, refill it a few times to keep getting those nutrients and the yummy flavor.
Lemon Infused Water Recipes
These are all some fun combinations that allow you to make infused lemon water with ingredients that complement it well. But don’t be afraid to try your own concoctions as well!
Strawberry, Lemon, Mint – This is a really fun and sweet lemon water to try. You will make the lemon infused water as you normally would, also adding in some fresh mint (no muddling needed), and some sliced strawberries. Slicing them helps to release the nutrients into the cup or pitcher.
Lemon and Lime – This pretty and citrus infused water combines lemons and limes, both sliced thinly with the juice and zest added to the water. You can also add in any other citrus fruits you think would work well with it. This is a really refreshing infused water.
Lemon and Blackberries – A lemon and blackberry infused water combines the health benefits of these fruits, with the beauty of combining lemon with a dark blue-purple color.
Lemon, Cucumber, Cilantro – Don’t forget veggies can also be used in infused water! When using lemons, you can’t go wrong with cucumber. It really is the perfect combination, plus slicing cucumbers is easy to do and provides all the flavor you need from the green vegetable. A little cilantro also works great in this water.
Lemon, Thyme, Rosemary – If you want to try more herbs, give this combination a try. It uses lemons, along with both rosemary and thyme. It is pretty to look at, so pour it into a clear container like a mason jar!
Tips For Drinking Lemon Water Daily
Before finishing up, there are just a few more things to know about lemon water and adding it to your daily healthy habits. Here are some additional lemon water tips to keep in mind.
Drink Lemon Water in the Morning
As we mentioned, you really want to have a glass of lemon water first thing in the morning. This should be an hour before brushing your teeth, or at least 30-60 minutes after brushing your teeth. Soon you will create a routine where you do certain steps at the same time each morning. This helps you to remember to drink it every day.
Try it Between Meals to Fill You Up
Another way to drink more lemon water is to enjoy it between meals. When you are hungry for a snack, drink a full glass of lemon water first, then decide if you are still hungry. You may find that it is enough to keep you full until your next healthy meal, helping you to lose weight and get all those nutrients at the same time.
Make Infused Water the Night Before
Infused lemon water is good for getting a lot of concentration from the lemons and other ingredients. Making it the night before lets the fruits, veggies and herbs release their nutrients, but it also makes it convenient for you to pour a glass when you wake up the next morning.
Pay Attention to Oral Health
One important thing to remember is that you don’t want the lemon water to do damage to your teeth. You can avoid this by drinking it with a straw as much as possible. This helps the acid to bypass the front of your teeth, saving the enamel. You should also not brush close to when you drink it, and rinse your mouth with plain water after drinking it.
Remember that lemon water poses dozens of health benefits and is easy to make. Try different ways to make it and give infused water a try as well!