Drinking lemon and water in the morning is a topic that has been much written about here at elephant journal and elsewhere.
Although I may not visibly have lost weight nor feel especially detoxified since I started doing it, it seems it has become my latest addiction. I have been drinking it every morning for two months now. When I wake up in the morning, it is as if my entire body craves the drink. The lemon and water drinking ritual has replaced the need for coffee and a cigarette first thing in the morning, both of which I gave up a couple of years ago.
I do not need to repeat all the potential benefits of drinking lemon juice on a daily basis—they have been described at length by others.
However, I do have a few practical tips to share to make life easier for those (who intend to embark) on a similar lemony journey.
1. How many lemons should I buy?
I use half a lemon per day and fortunately lemons keep relatively long, especially in the fridge. When I buy a kilo of lemons (8-10 lemons depending on their size), it can last me up to three weeks.
2. Do I add sugar?
Of course not! The whole point is to cleanse and feel better. Adding sugar will undo all of that and worse. Some people like to add (raw) honey, but I find sweetening my lemon juice unnecessary. Remember, half a lemon will give about 10 calories and a tablespoon of honey is about 64 calories, thus increasing the calorie intake of the drink by over 600 percent. If it’s too sour, I just add more water to dilute it, but I have actually come to appreciate the sourness more and more.
3. How do I spare the enamel on my teeth?
Opinions vary on whether lemon juice can be damaging to the teeth. I used to have very sensitive teeth until I started using natural, fluoride free toothpastes a couple of years ago. The sensitivity has not returned, not even with the daily lemon juice. I do take a few precautions though, better safe than sorry.
I have a glass straw that I bought in Bali for my daily coconuts. It’s a fantastic gadget and I drink my lemon juice with that straw whenever I can. And if possible, I brush my teeth at least half an hour after drinking my lemon juice but if I can’t wait that long, I make sure to at least drink a glass of fresh water after my lemon drink, just to rinse my mouth.
4. I don’t have time to use a juicer/press every morning—what’s the best way to make juice ahead of time and keep it fresh?
Using a citrus press and cleaning it is usually not the biggest of chores, but it can become a drag if it has to be repeated after squeezing only one measly half lemon every single morning of the week. When in a rush, I sometimes just squeeze the lemon with my fingers, but somehow I feel that I don’t get as much juice out as I do with the press.
A great solution is to press all the lemons in one go and immediately freeze the juice in ice cube trays, one small ice cube is enough for one cup/mug. The faster the juice gets frozen, the more of its beneficial properties are kept. Now all there is to it in the morning, is to get a lemon juice cube out of the freezer, chuck it in a mug, boil a bit of water and pour it over the ice cube. Voilà, breakfast is ready!
I would recommend letting the boiled water cool down for about a minute or so before pouring it over the frozen lemon juice. As with herbal teas, boiling water might kill all the good stuff in the lemon juice.
Oh, and the lemon ice cubes are actually also delicious in a glass of sparkling water and—even better—perfect to spike a refreshing gin and tonic at the end of the day…
On that note—it’s almost drinks and dinner time here in Australia—I say cheers and happy lemon drinking!
Author: Yaisa Nio
Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: Pen Waggener at Flickr