I am sure that you have heard about how drinking lemon in your water is healthy, but why is that? I recently began adding lemon wedges to my water as a way to flavor it, and hopefully encourage myself to drink more. The flavor was so mild and refreshing that it did indeed help me increase my water intake, and on top of that I noticed that my digestion seemed to improve. I already knew that lemons had all kinds of health properties to them, but I was inspired to learn more. Here are all the reasons that Lemons are a great addition to any water bottle.
- Lemon’s are full of vitamin C:
Vitamin C is an antioxidant and something that we can only get through our food. It is an important component of collagen production. I won’t get into the science of this, but it is basically a co enzyme that helps to convert other enzymes into the basis of the collagen structure. Collagen is touted for its anti aging properties, but it is also found in all of the connective tissue in our bodies, so basically everything that holds us together. If that weren’t enough collagen also helps in wound healing, and maintenance of healthy blood vessels. Vitamin C also aids in the metabolism of tyrosine (helps with depression and fatigue), folic acid ( aka B9, aids in red blood cell production), and tryptophan (precursor to serotonin, which helps with mood and sleep). On top of all of that vitamin C has had many positive studies that suggest that it invigorates the immune system and can help with the prevention and treatment of illness.
Fun fact, back when people were traveling primarily by boat, sailors on long voyages would get scurvy. On long ocean voyages people had very limited diets that did not provide much nutritional value. Scurvy is a disease directly linked to vitamin C deficiency and basically people’s connective tissue begins to break down, they bleed from their gums, become very inflamed, can’t heal wounds etc. This was remedied by adding citrus fruit to their diet. Sailors began eating a lemon or a lime daily while on the open ocean and they no longer suffered and died from scurvy.
- Lemon’s are full of Potassium:
Potassium is a blood mineral also referred to as an electrolyte. So when people say, are you taking electrolytes they are referring to potassium, sodium and chloride. Electrolytes basically help to regulate the water balance, and acid base balance in the blood and tissue. Electrolytes also have a tiny electrical charge potential, and therefore help in muscle contraction, nerve function and heart beat! Lastly potassium helps with carbohydrate metabolism.
- Lemon’s help the liver to digest fat:
Lemon’s have an astringent quality that are said to stimulate the digestive tract. Stimulating digestion increases stomach acid, and aides in the production of bile from the liver. Bile is made by the liver, stored in the gallbladder and secreted into the small intestine as soon as food begins to enter the small intestine. Bile is like our body’s soap, it helps to cut through grease / fat, and break up fat particles so that we can digest it properly.
Another fun fact, have you ever wondered why lemon peel is served with espresso? The astringent quality of the oil in the lemon peel, it is said to be antiseptic and antiviral. For this reason lemon essential oil can be a useful cleaning and sanitation product. It is said that when the English and American soldiers were fighting the second world war in Italy, they loved to drink espresso. However, in a wartime situation clean dishes may be hard to come by, so they would wipe the rim of an espresso cup with lemon peel to clean it before they would drink it. This habit was then adopted into popular culture, and so we still see lemon peel being served with espresso.
In conclusion, adding lemon to the water is not only a fun flavor additive, but also has some nutritional value. It is a great source of vitamin c which is an important antioxidant. It stimulates our digestion, and it helps to hydrate us and replenish our electrolytes. I like to keep organic lemons in my fridge. I carry a 32 oz water bottle around with me, and so in the morning I will slice up a full lemon and throw the whole thing into my water bottle. The first 32 oz of water has the most flavor, but all of the nutrients in the lemon are water soluble, so leaving the lemon in the water still adds a slight flavor and nutrient burst to water refills. At the end of the day I toss the old lemon out, and begin fresh the next day.
– Sugar Free Electrolyte Drink:
Fill you water bottle with water
Add an organic lemon
Add a pinch of Real Salt or sea salt (I like the celtic sea salt) to your water. A small pinch should not make your water too salty, and the slight salty flavor should be overshadowed by the lemon.
The sodium chloride in the salt, along with the potassium in the lemon give you electrolytes. This is a great way for people who work out and sweat a lot, or drink diuretics such as coffee and alcohol, to replace their electrolytes without added sugar. Many sports drinks, or electrolyte supplements can be very sugary or have food colorings in them, and so this is a nice natural alternative.
Danielle Reghi is a licensed Acupuncturist, and holds a Masters in traditional Chinese medicine from Oregon College of Oriental Medicine. She is the owner of Zen Space Wellness, and Cupping Studio where she currently practices. She is originally from Hawaii, but is living in Portland Oregon with her husband, two dogs, one cat, and studio baby. Feel free to follow Danielle on Instagram at: @cuppingqueenpdx , @zenspacepdx , or @cuppingstudio . Her business webpages are: www.zenspacepdx.com, and www.cuppingstudio.com.
Haas, E.M. (2006). Staying Healthy with Nutrition: The Complete Guide to Diet and Nutritional Medicine. Celestial Arts.
No Author. (2014). Modern Essentials: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils. Aroma Tools