I don’t know about you, but I sure have heard a lot of chatter over the past year or two about the many benefits of drinking warm water with fresh lemon juice squeezed into it first thing in the morning, with one of those benefits being – yep, you guessed it – fat loss. And while it is true the practice does offer advantages, there are some potential drawbacks, too. So, should you add lemon water to your morning regimen?
Let’s examine this citrusy drink, starting with the benefits, and see if we can make any sense of the idea that it may aid in fat loss.
It helps keep the “cues” straight – Are you thirsty? Hungry? Both? Does your body know?
- Sometimes when we’re really thirsty, the body sends a signal that can be confused with hunger. Therefore, those who don’t drink enough water upon waking in the morning may overeat at breakfast, simply because their body is dehydrated and sending what feels like hunger pangs. Having a mug filled with warm lemon juice water – or WLJW, if you will – may be just what the body needs to calm those confusing dehydration cues…which, could result in eating a more appropriate amount of breakfast…which would mean less calories consumed…which could lead to fat loss.
- You may be wondering, “ If this is the case, would drinking a big glass of plain water upon waking have the same affect?” My answer: If you’re not already drinking a big glass of water first thing in the morning, then yes, that is certainly a possibility. But let’s dig a little deeper into what exactly the lemon juice has to offer…
The balancing act – The body operates best when it’s blood pH levels are balanced; not too acidic and not too alkaline.
- Many people who suffer from an unbalanced pH are too acidic. This comes from choosing to eat an abundance of foods that have an acidic affect on the body, such as milk, ice cream, beef, pork, soda, chocolate, aspartame, coffee, wheat, beer, peanuts, and so on. When a body is too acidic, it is forced to borrow minerals from the organs and bones, which can eventually lead to diseases, illnesses, premature aging and bone fractures. Besides that, having too much acid in your blood makes losing body fat very difficult. Now, as acidic as lemons taste, their end products after digestion are very alkaline, therefore, lemons are alkaline-forming in the body. Who would’ve thunk it?!
- Considering most people need more alkaline forming foods in their diet, drinking this WLJW can really help start the day off on the right foot…and yes, potentially aid in fat loss, depending on what else you eat, drink or do physically throughout the day.
- BONUS: the alkaline nature of lemons is believed to kill some types of bacteria known to cause acne!
Lemons + Liver = Best Friends Forever – The liver is a major multitasker in the body, and this multitasker tasks best when it has help from it’s good buddy, the lemon.
- Since the liver works as part of the body’s filtration system, WLJW is welcomed with open arms by the liver, since lemons have a detoxifying affect on the body.
- Lemons also aid in digestion because the liver produces bile (stomach acid) needed for digestion, and lemons help stimulate that production.
- The bottom line is: if the liver is overworked due to a person’s poor health habits, the body has a really tough time digesting and breaking down fats, which leads to weight gain, bloat and feeling sluggish. Therefore, my vote at this point is: bring on the WLJW!
Take a Whiff – Did you know that the smell of citrus has been proven to be a mood booster? True story!
- So if every morning you are handling lemons and drinking WLJW, you are exposed to the wonderful smell of lemons, whether you realize it or not. Talk about a happy way to start the day!
- According to a study published in Experimental Biology and Medicine, the smell of lemon and grapefruit activates the body’s ability to burn fat, all while suppressing further weight gain. Pretty amazing stuff!
Alrighty, so far, so good! But now let’s take a look at the downsides to drinking WLJW every morning…
Unhappy Teeth – Ok, ok… We all know teeth don’t have feelings. But they do have the ability to be sensitive at times, which is 100% not fun. Anyone who has experienced the pain caused by sensitive teeth knows what I’m talking about! Since lemons are loaded with citric acid, it is in fact true that our tooth enamel may erode with daily WLJW consumption. And when your tooth enamel erodes, your teeth become much more sensitive and much less pretty.
- The amount and temperature of the water used makes a difference. If you decide to try adding this drink to your morning routine, be sure to add at least 8 oz. of purified water to the juice of just ½ – 1 whole fresh lemon. Organic, if possible. Also, make sure the water is warm and not hot. Erosion is more severe at higher temperatures.
- It helps to rinse your mouth out with a couple swishes of plain water after drinking a mug of WLJW.
- Avoid brushing your teeth for about one hour after WLJW consumption because the citric acid leaves your tooth enamel loose and vulnerable. Brushing them prior to drinking WLJW is certainly an option, though!
- You could always drink this lemony concoction with a straw so that it bypasses your teeth for the most part!
Irritated Throat – After a few mornings in a row of WLJW, this drink may leave your throat feeling scratchy, which can stay with you for the rest of the day.
- Drinking a mild flavored decaffeinated hot tea, such as chamomile, may take care of the issue.
- Ironically, WLJW can help cure a sore throat caused by an illness due to it’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. A spoonful of honey is usually added to the drink for this purpose, though.
Time – Let’s face it, if you’re already super rushed in the mornings, adding one more thing to do before running out the door does not sound appealing.
- Try prepping your lemon(s) in advance. If your lemons are washed, cut in half and placed in a container in your fridge, say, the night before, the prep time for your WLJW each morning is quite short.
- Purchase a hand held lemon juicer to make juicing your lemons in the morning quick and easy.
I don’t know about you, but I’m thinking the mac-daddy list of benefits outweighs the few items on the downside list, just so long as our tooth enamel is properly cared for.
Confession time – A couple months ago, I added drinking WLJW to my morning routine, just to see if I’d notice any changes. I drink it before consuming breakfast or coffee.
The taste is slightly off-putting to me that early in the morning, so I always guzzle it via straw just to get it down at a faster rate. What I immediately and consistently notice afterwards, is a surge of energy and optimism. I almost feel like I can skip the coffee!… Almost.
The other great thing I’ve noticed is that my skin is looking better. It’s been nice and clear ever since starting on the WLJW.
But to answer the burning question… No, I have not lost any weight. It is important to note, however, that healthy eating and drinking were already big priorities to me long before starting this, and drinking a big glass of water upon waking each morning is something I’ve done for a long time, as well. It’s also important to note that every body is different. What does or doesn’t work for me, may or may not work for everyone else.
Regardless, WLJW is now a permanent part of my morning. Fat loss or not, it seems the liver can always use a little help, even if you already consider yourself a healthy person. This drink also sets a positive tone for the rest of the day, as one good choice usually leads to another!
For some of you, WLJW in the morning may be news, but for others, it may be something you’ve known about and have applied to your morning regimen for a long time now. If the latter is you, please share a comment below with your experiences! Thanks!