BY LAUREN FISCHER

A warm mug cradled in your hands, warming your palms on a crisp morning is
a peaceful way to start the day. What do you imagine is in the mug? Coffee? Tea? What about something much simpler to prepare that has multiple health bene ts? How about warm lemon water?

The bene t to consuming warm lemon water in the morning is hydration. During your 8-hour slumber, your body used up stored water to breathe, process toxins and create urine, leaving you mildly dehydrated upon waking. Even mild dehydration can cause unpleasant symptoms like fatigue, anxiety, headaches and hunger. While it’s natural for us to grab a cup of co ee in
the morning, caffeinated beverages like tea and coffee act as diuretics, which only perpetuate dehydration. Set your body up to feel great all day by rehydrating with warm lemon water before consuming caffeinated beverages.

Warm lemon water first thing in the morning helps your digestive system wake-up and prepare for breakfast. In order for digestion to function properly, the body must use the parasympathetic nervous system. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, the parasympathetic nervous system slows the heart rate down, increases intestinal activity, opens the blood vessels and allows us to take those deep, calming breaths and helps our bodies feel full and satis ed. For most of us, the morning tends to be more of a hectic, fight or flight, situation. Taking a few minutes to sit, breath and sip warm lemon water will settle your body into parasympathetic mode preparing you for digestion and a better mind set to tackle your day.

Warm water also directly prepares the digestive tract for proper digestion. First, warm water triggers saliva production in the mouth. Saliva contains amylase, the enzyme responsible for initiating the breakdown of carbohydrates. Next, the warm water reaches the stomach where it stimulates the production of hydrochloric acid (HCL). HCL breaks down proteins in the stomach as well as kills bacteria and parasites we unknowingly eat. HCL also triggers a cascade of hormones that keep digestion running smoothly. But add lemon to this warm water and the benefits are even more reaching!

Lemons contain some powerful nutrients for detoxification. Limonene is an oil found in lemon peel and it plays a role in both phases of liver detoxification and helps excrete bile from the body which keeps bile away from the gall-bladder, allowing the gall-bladder to more efficiently remove toxins from the body. According to a journal article published in Foundational Medicine Review Journal (formerly Alternative Medicine Review Journal), limonene also helps prevent depletion of the body’s master antioxidant glutathione as well as has been used to prevent and treat cancer in animal research. Additionally detox vitamin that lemons contain is vitamin C. Vitamin C helps convert toxins into their water-soluble form so that they can be excreted from the body through the bile that the limonene helps excrete.

Adding warm lemon water to your morning is a healthy habit for hydration, digestion, detoxification and mindset.

Wellness Tip:

Warm 6-8 ounces of water in the microwave or on the stove, squeeze in the juice of half a lemon, place the squeezed lemon in the mug (to get those lemon peel benefits) and sit, sip and enjoy as you prepare your body for the day ahead.