To Lemon Water or Not?

As a young girl, my mother has taught me to drink warm lemon water (with a dash of honey) first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.  “It cleanses the blood”, I remember her saying.  And, as it goes with beliefs, to this day I still drink my lemon water (40 plus years down the road).

My lemon water ritual has been tweaked over the years.  For instance, I have dropped the honey.  The current version consists of fresh juice from one lemon with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (ACV) and a dash of cayenne pepper.  I am a bit of a health food fashionista and ACV seems to be one of the current darlings of the health catwalks.

As a health coach, I am always searching for quick and easy ways to add value to the wellness of my clients. I truly believe this simple ritual has health benefits. What I am not sure of, is the existence of scientific evidence to yay or nay my belief.

At least, one can claim that warm lemon water is hydrating and a healthy substitute for sugary beverages such as juice and sugary coffees or teas.  I believe it aids the digestive system and makes the process of eliminating the waste products from the body easier.  In other words, it is supportive to the body albeit not a magic wand to perfect health.

If we deconstruct the components of this elixir, we can state the following:

Lemons: – are a good source of Vitamin C, potassium, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. That we know.

Apple Cider Vinegar – is full of enzymes and good bacteria.  It contains acetic acid, which has been shown to assist in lowering blood pressure.  Word on the street (interwebs) is that it aids digestion because it is enhancing stomach acid.  Important to note that the ACV must be raw, unfiltered with the mother culture (cloudy substance) present to reap the optimum benefits.  I use the Bragg’s brand.

Cayenne Pepper: – is purported to increase metabolism.  I must admit that I am one and off with this ingredient.  One must remember that cayenne pepper hails from the nightshade family and a number of folks report sensitivity to nightshades.

In the preparation of the lemon water drink, it is advisable to add the lemon juice and ACV to room temperature. Then top it up with hotter water to ensure that the delicate minerals, enzymes and cultures are not damaged.

It is easy to prepare for the drink ahead of time by juicing several lemons into an ice cube tray and freeze. Pop a few cubes in a glass of water to have fresh lemon juice ready anytime.

While lemon water is a safe drink to ingest, the acids in lemon and ACV can eat away at your tooth enamel.  To prevent this, drink lemon water before brushing your teeth.  Apparently, the overnight bacteria will protect your teeth to a certain extent.  You can also consider drinking from a glass straw (reusable) to avoid direct contact with the teeth.  Drink from a straw and rinse with baking soda to neutralize any acid that might be left on your teeth.  Rinse your mouth thoroughly after drinking the lemon water.

Old wife’s tale or not, I will be kicking off my day with my lemon water tomorrow early.