Are you ready for the world’s easiest habit?
I like to think of this as the perfect healthy starter-habit. Because it’s cheap, simple and effective.
Not to mention it can have amazing positive impacts on your health.
I’m a big believer in sharing the strategies that I’ve found helpful on my nutritarian journey. I present them to you as tools that you can explore, implement and analyze whether they have a positive impact in your own life and health goals.
I’m going to share:
- why I started drinking hot lemon water
- the health benefits of drinking hot lemon water
- a simple hot lemon water recipe
Why I Started Drinking Hot Lemon Water
If you hang out with me on Instagram you probably already know that we have a lemon tree in our backyard and I’m smitten.
Now, this has always been a really great thing since we bought our house in 2013 because so many of my nutritarian recipes use lemon juice.
But at the beginning of last year I decided I wanted to step up my game.
It took me almost 4 years to get my nutrition in order. From 2013 to mid-2016 I was trapped in the on-again-off-again merry-go-round of relapse. I was trying to turn my nutritarian “diet” into a real sustainable part of my life.
During that time I was 100% focused on experimenting and learning how to make this my forever lifestyle. And that singular (and honestly daunting) pursuit left little time to develop the other areas of my health.
But by the end of 2017, having created and implemented my prep program–eating nutritarian had become a solid and dependable habit in my life.
I could finally, and very-proudly say: “nutrition: check.”
And that meant I was ready to start developing new health-promoting habits that would work in tandem with my nutritarian lifestyle to level up my physical and emotional health.
I went into 2018 with a mission to improve my circulation, increase my strength and better manage my stress.
And that’s when I found out about the incredible benefits of drinking hot lemon water first thing in the morning…
Hot Lemon Water Increases Circulation
One of the first resources I encountered at the beginning of last year was a book by Jame Hesket, M.D. called The Well Path.
The Well Path lays out a 6-part approach to overall wellness that begins with improving your circulation.
Now, to understand how circulation works we’re going to have to get technical (a.k.a. here comes the science-y stuff). Let’s overview the information Dr. Hesket lays out in The Well Path so you can better understand how hot lemon water supports your circulation.
Your circulatory system is crucial for fat loss and healthy aging (The Well Path, p. 58).
There are two parts of your circulatory system: (1) your bloodstream and your (2) lymphatic system.
Blood Circulation and How You Free Your Fat
Your bloodstream carries oxygen and nutrients to every cell of your body. But it also carries liberated fat from your fat cells.
Guys, really pay attention here, because this is the juiciest stuff–this is the how fat gets released by your body (a.k.a. how your fat cells shrink)…
When your body senses a need for energy your fat cells leak free fatty acids and glycerol (a sugar molecule). But for that “freed fat” to be mobilized via the bloodstream and sent to the liver to be metabolized, your body needs healthy blood vessels interspersed among your fat stores.
If all you have is small, weak blood vessels among your fat deposits, all that leaked out fat from your fat cells just gets “slurped right back into [your] fat cells” (The Well Path, p. 59).
Your fat is trapped. Even though it doesn’t want to be.
And that’s not fair.
But that’s not the end of the circulation story…
What is Lymph?
Blood is pumped through your arteries, veins and capillaries. And when it gets to down to the smaller capillaries a special fluid is squeezed out. That special fluid is called lymph and it’s main job is to sweep up toxins and cellular waste (The Well Path, p. 60).
Your body seriously thinks of everything, amiright?
So what does lymph clean up exactly? It cleans out our individual cells.
Each individual cell takes in nutrients and oxygen. After those goodies are processed the cell is left with waste that it needs to get rid of. And lymph is right there to to take that waste away for your cells.
Before dirty lymph rejoins your bloodstream your kidneys, liver and intestines filter it out. It passes out with the rest of our waste excretions (think stool, urine, sweat and saliva).
But lymph doesn’t have a heart that manually pumps to keep the show rolling along. And problems arise when slow-moving or stagnant lymph gets trapped in the spaces between your cells (The Well Path, p. 60).
How Hot Lemon Water Helps
Hot lemon water primes your circulatory system first thing in the morning. Before you add in another load to be processed, you can give your body an invigorating wake up call to get the ball rolling.
And it can all be broken down to 3 simple elements:
Water is pure hydration.
“Hydration in and of itself boots circulation and gets fluids moving faster through the body. Picture a trickle through a drainpipe versus an overflowing gutter. A big glass of water in the morning instead of dehydrating coffee will make you feel like a fresh dewy rose.” (The Well Path, p. 63)
Now hold on just a second before you get defensive about your daily cup of joe. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over 6 years of helping readers get healthy it’s no one likes to give up coffee. And I’m not suggesting that you do (unless you’re ready to go for health-excellence-gold right out the gates).
But what I am suggesting is that you don’t have your coffee first thing. Because it’s putting a toll on your body instead of giving it a lovely, morning system-salutation.
It’s like taking a few minutes for a restful morning stretch in bed instead of sleeping through 5 alarms and rushing out the door, hands full, and your keys hanging from your mouth.
Hotter is Better.
“Whenever heat is near a blood vessel, it opens and expands. Drinking hot water before your first bite of food increases blood flow to your gastrointential system, preparing it to absorb the nutrients you put in afterward.” (The Well Path, p. 63)
So, let’s check in for a second. Could you get massive health benefits from just drinking hot water first thing in the morning? Absolutely! You’d be hydrating your body which gets those fluids rolling and you’d be opening up those blood vessels priming them for maximum nutrient absorption.
So, there you go! The simple act of warming up a mug of water and drinking it first thing in the morning is going to do incredible things for your health.
But why not double-down all the goodness by adding in lemon? What makes lemons so special anyway?
So glad you asked…
Lemons Are Magic
So we’ve got the water, we know we want it hot, but what’s all the hype about the lemons?
Is all this attention justified?
“The lemon has many wonderful properties that are beneficial for digestion, PH balance, nutrition, and detoxification, and it makes your hot water taste great.” -Dr. Jame Heskett, The Well Path, p. 63
But it wan’t enough for me to just hear it from Dr. Heskett.
Dr. Fuhrman lists lemons in his book, 100 Best Foods for Health and Longevity.
And Dr. Greger sites studies showing lemons cut DNA damage by a third in his video Which Fruits and Vegetables Boost DNA Repair.
And it’s not just the vitamin C in the lemons that’s responsible for the DNA protection because the researchers removed it just to be sure. Vitamin C is just one of thousands of different phytonutrients found in fruits and vegetables.
In the DNA damage studies, lemons were found to cause a dramatic drop in cancer proliferation at just tiny doses.
Finally, in Anthony William’s book Medical Medium Life Changing Foods, we get further confirmation that lemons (and limes) are the real-deal when it comes to superior nutrition, mineral bio-availability, and organ detoxification.
Here’s what lemons (and limes) can do according to William’s work:
- ultra-hydrating and electrolyte-producing because they’re a top source of mineral salts and trace mineral salts, containing bioavailable sodium
- most highly absorbable vitamin C
- they contain specialized phytochemicals called limenoids that bond together vitamin C and calcium creating alkalinity in the body that helps prevent the growth of almost every type of cancer
- cleanse the liver, kidneys, spleen, thyroid and gallbladder
- they purge the many toxins we accumulate from exposure to plastics, synthetic chemicals, radiation, and poor food choices
So, what’s happened to me over the past year that I’ve been sipping on hot lemon water?
I feel pretty darn magnificent.
Now there’s a lot of things at work making me feel that way, most important of which is nutritional excellence following a nutritarian lifestyle. But I absolutely know that the increased circulation I’m getting from my morning hot lemon water has helped me release even more fat this year.
I’ve never been a coffee drinker but I can attest to the fact that hot lemon water wakes me up in the morning with a tart pucker and is infinitely more enjoyable than hot water alone.
But probably the most interesting bit of information I discovered in researching my daily hot lemon water practice is this:
“Once detoxification has drawn the gunk out of your cells and tissues (your liver does much of its work overnight), it needs to be flushed out when you wake up–otherwise, those toxins settle back in. Lemon or lime water is more beneficial for this process than plain water, because filtration has often taken the life out of drinking water, and these citrus stars reawaken its healing abilities.”
– Anthony Williams, Medical Medium Life Changing Foods
Simple Hot Lemon Water
Cultivate this simple, cheap and effective habit to increase your circulation and over-all health. Here's an easy recipe to get you started!
- 1/2 to 1 lemon
- 8 to 10 ounces water
Heat water over stove top or in a microwave-safe mug until just before a rolling boil. For microwave, about 120 seconds on high.
While water is heating juice the lemon. Use 1/2 lemon if you weigh less than 150 pounds use the whole lemon if you weigh more than 150 pounds.
Pour lemon juice into mug with hot water and stir well. Drink with the temperature as hot as possible.
You can use lime juice instead of lemon juice, if you prefer, and still retain most of the health benefits (the only question would be DNA-damage repair properties).
I like to batch-prep my lemon juice for the week. Buy a 1-pound bag of lemons for the week and juice at once. If you follow this approach you'll want to add 2 tbsp. as the equivalent for 1 whole lemon. And 1 tbsp. as the equivalent for 1/2 lemon.
Lemon or lime juice will last for 2 months (or more) when properly stored in a glass Mason jar in the fridge.
Right bout now you might have some questions about coffee or tea, if so you can read up my FAQs here to learn more about those topics when you’re following the nutritarian lifestyle.
Did you find this article to be helpful for you? Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think!