11 Warm Lemon Water Benefits
In the old days, i.e. those before today’s modern lifestyle, you had to preserve all your own food, doctors were not readily at hand, and the cure for everything was grown right in your own backyard. Prescription medicine was something unheard of. There were no over-the-counter drugstore remedies for an aching head or a hurt toe. They did not exist. During this time, warm lemon water benefits were utilized by many.
One of the earliest known uses for warm lemon water benefits was in the practice of traditional Chinese medicine. From there, it made its way to Europe in the first century AD, where the Romans began enjoying lemon water as well.
Over the years, the natural remedies that mothers concocted in their kitchens have faded into a fond memory, having been replaced by drugs mass-produced by pharmaceutical companies. Much of the traditional healing remedies have been lost in this way.
A lemon tree was for a long time a popular tree to have growing in the backyard, and for good reason. Warm lemon water benefits the human body in many ways. Unfortunately, people have forgotten this.
Warm Lemon Water Benefits for a Healthy Body
Lemons offer a variety of benefits to health. They are a particularly great source of Vitamin C. A single tablespoon of lemon juice provides about 15% of your recommended daily serving of Vitamin C. Potassium, magnesium, and other essential electrolytes also make their way on the benefits list.
Historically, lemons have been used for their high Vitamin C content in order to prevent scurvy. These days, lemons are also touted for their antioxidant properties, acting as a method of natural detox. Eating a lemon or drinking lemon diluted in warm water helps cleanse the body while providing certain essential nutrients at the same time. Additional warm lemon water benefits include the following:
Fights Infections and Boosts the Immune System
A problem that plagues many people is urinary tract infections. The vitamin C found in lemons helps reduce acidity while supplying antioxidants that support the immune system. Urinary tract infections tend to thrive in an acidic environment.
The vitamin C in lemons also help with building up the body’s immune system while the potassium found in the fruit promotes your cardiovascular health. Additionally, lemon added to warm water is great for a sore throat and congestion.
Detoxifies Liver and Aids Kidney Function
Kidney stones are the result of a calcium build up in this organ. Passing kidney stones is a very painful experience. Although warm lemon water does not break up kidney stones, it is beneficial in that it prevents a calcium build up in this area.
In addition, the liver is the body’s detoxing agent. When too many toxins are stored in the liver, the organ, and those that work with it, are impacted negatively. Lemon juice is a natural cleanser that reduces the load on the liver and helps it to function properly.
Improves Digestive Health
Lemons contain citric acid. When lemon juice mixed with water is consumed, it benefits the stomach. The lemon juice helps the stomach to break down foods thereby ensuring better digestion while it also aids in the production of stomach juices. It also signals the brain to produce more bile, which in turn helps keep your food from lingering in your stomach. Those who suffer from indigestion will find this most beneficial.
Lemon juice also encourages the body to absorb nutrients from food more efficiently. When absorption of these nutrients is improved, the body is less prone to bloating or nutritional deficiencies, heading off many other potential health complications.
Enhanced Nerve and Brain Function
The vitamin C and potassium found in lemon water help combat stress. As potassium is necessary for clearing the mind as well as enhancing brain and nerve function, a glass of warm lemon water, early in the morning, is beneficial for your state of mind throughout the day. Too much potassium can, however, be harmful, so it needs to be in balance with your sodium (salt) intake.
Restores the pH Balance
The pH value of any food refers to its acidity or alkalinity. Although lemons are naturally acidic, the composition, once inside the body, is alkaline. Lemon juice in warm lemon water benefits your body’s pH balance.
The pectin found in lemons helps decrease one’s hunger. Research shows that when your body has a balanced pH, there are fewer toxins and weight loss is promoted. It also helps the liver with its fat metabolizing process.
Most joint pains, including gout, are the result of a buildup of uric acid. Lemon juice has proven successful in dissolving uric acid, thereby promoting healthier joints.
Research shows that vitamin C (as is found in warm lemon water) protects against diabetes. Vitamin C, which is an antioxidant, helps prevent the oxidative damage due to diabetes. It helps to lower the levels of sorbitol, a sugar that collects in and causes damage to the nerves, kidneys, and eyes.
A Natural Beauty Aid
Lemons have natural antiseptic and antibacterial properties. This makes them great for acne treatment.
The citric juice in lemons also helps reduce unsightly dark spots and blemishes, while a mixture of lemon juice and baking soda are great for whitening teeth.
One of the signs of adrenal fatigue is dehydration. Optimal hydration is achieved when the fluid intake is adequately balanced with electrolytes. Lemon juice fulfills the role admirably.
Aids in the Prevention of Adrenal Fatigue
Warm lemon water benefits hydrate the lymphatic system. When dehydrated, the adrenal glands and thyroid, both of which are part of the HPA axis, become overworked.
The Importance of the Adrenal Glands
The adrenal glands, which are situated on each of the kidneys, manufacture adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones put your body in an alert phase when anything goes wrong. This includes any stress that is physiological or psychological in nature.
The cortex, the outer part of the adrenal gland, produces hormones that help to control the kidneys, gastrointestinal tract, heart, and immune system, amongst others.
The three main hormones produced by the cortex are:
Androgens and estrogen
These sex hormones control the development of one’s male or female characteristics and certain behavioral traits. Estrogen controls a female’s reproductive system, and androgens a male’s.
It helps control the liver’s glucose production and with the breaking down of proteins in the muscles. It also helps suppress inflammation and protects the body during stressful situations.
It helps to control blood pressure. It increases body fluid by influencing the kidneys in such a way that it retains more fluid. Too much fluid retention, however, can cause your blood pressure to rise. It also has an effect on blood vessels and the heart.
Problems usually arise in the adrenal glands when there are either too few or too many of these hormones.
The NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress Response
Most of the responsibility for coping with stress lies with the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis that forms part of the neuroendocrine system. Once the body is put under stress, the adrenal glands produce increasing quantities of hormones to cope with the situation. At some point, however, they are unable to carry on doing so, and the first stages of adrenal fatigue set in. The NEM stress response kicks in automatically. Other organs are tasked to produce the hormones needed by the body in order to function properly.
When the third and fourth stages of adrenal fatigue are in motion, the system crashes, and complications occur. The symptoms of AFS include:
- Constant stress
- Salt cravings
- Constant fatigue
- Weight gain
- Joint pain
- Brain fog
- Blood sugar problems (can lead to diabetes)
- Blood pressure problems
- Imbalance in electrolytes
What Happens to Your Body As Stress Increase?
The NEM stress response is activated as stress increase in our body, with the following consequences.
1. Hormonal Response
The adrenal glands, thyroid, and gonads determine the hormonal response. Because the adrenal glands cannot function properly, it has a negative impact on the thyroid gland, which in turn can no longer function optimally. Once the thyroid gland slows down, constant fatigue is experienced. This, in turn, has a negative effect on one’s libido.
2. Metabolic Response
The main metabolic organs are the thyroid, liver, and pancreas. One of the first metabolic responses to stress is the production of more glucose. The brain needs it in order to stay on the alert.
The thyroid determines metabolic speed. When the thyroid slows down, however, all metabolic functions are compromised. The pancreas, which produces insulin, regulates our glucose, while the liver is the organ that removes all toxic buildup.
The advanced stages of adrenal fatigue, has, as symptoms, the onset of type 2 diabetes, weight gain, and reactive hypoglycemia.
3. Neuro-reactive Response
When the hormonal and metabolic responses are negatively impacted, the neuro-reactive response follows suit. The brain, gut, and autonomic nervous system are involved.
The body’s response to stress is initiated by the hypothalamus in the brain. Besides the brain, many of the body’s neurotransmitters, which tell the different organs what to do, are formed in the gut. Once the intestinal tract is compromised, it is no longer able to produce these neurotransmitters. This leads to symptoms such as anxiety, panic attacks, and insomnia.
4. CardioNomic Response
The lungs, heart, and blood vessels, in response to stress, have more oxygen-filled blood during this period. The excessive release of adrenaline over a long period disrupts the body’s cardiac response and results in symptoms such as high blood pressure, shortness of breath, cardiac arrhythmia, heart palpitations, and dizziness, to name but a few.
Constant stage 4 AFS can damage the heart.
5. Inflammatory Response
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to any harmful situation. Inflammation has as its intent, the elimination of the cause of a cell’s injury, the elimination of damaged tissue, and the repair thereof. It also influences our brain’s response with regards to stress.
Signs of inflammation in the body include leaky gut, food sensitivities, bowel irritation, and musculoskeletal pain.
6. Detoxification Response
Oxidative stress is increased by the presence of toxins and excessive stress. The liver, extracellular matrix and immune system are tasked with clearing the body biotoxins, extracellular waste, and metabolites. When these are not cleared, it can lead to a toxic overload that crosses over into the cells and causes damage to the cellular organelles.
Without a properly functioning detoxification system, a range of symptoms emerges. These include hypersensitivity, paradoxical reactions, and intolerance to medications and supplements.
The Role of Vitamin C in Adrenal Recovery
The human body cannot synthesize Vitamin C on its own, so it’s very important that you are getting enough through your diet. Vitamin C is a very important cofactor for hormone production in the adrenals. That’s why taking adequate amounts of Vitamin C is vital to AFS recovery and allowing your body to have enough nutrients to make the hormones that it needs. Daily consumption of lemon water ensures that you are getting a decent portion of your recommended Vitamin C.
In fact, the highest percentage of your body’s Vitamin C is stored in none other than your adrenal glands where they are used in the production of adrenal hormones. The most notable of these is cortisol. In any given stressful situation, the adrenal glands’ supply of Vitamin C is quickly depleted, and this, of course, affects the production of cortisol.
Boosting Immune Function in AFS
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that not only stimulates the production of white blood cells but is a necessary component of proper immune function. As an antioxidant, Vitamin C also protects the cells from free radicals and oxidative damage, one of the most detrimental causes of the symptoms of AFS and lowered NEM stress response.
As an added bonus, high intakes of Vitamin C have been shown to provide support to the immune system, helping to keep cold and flu at bay.
On the other hand, a lack of Vitamin C has a negative influence on the immune system. A weakened immune system means your body is more vulnerable to disease, which in turn, puts even more pressure on the adrenals.
The Vitamin C in warm lemon water also stimulates the body’s production of white blood cells to fight off infections. At the same time, it plays a role in the production of antibodies that fight off disease. Additionally, it is a great liver stimulant as it helps with the production of certain enzymes used to detoxify enzymes and eliminate toxic waste.
Promote Skin Health
A common condition of those afflicted with AFSis premature aging. The antioxidants found in Vitamin C, help protect the skin from free radical damage. Vitamin C is also a vital cofactor in collagen production, the fibrous protein responsible for keeping skin smooth and firm. Ensuring a regular intake of Vitamin C from lemon water improves overall skin health.
Weight Management with AFS
AFS often leads to an onset of obesity. The simple lemon tonic can help you keep that weight at bay. Lemon contains pectin, the fiber commonly found in fruits. As a form of fiber, pectin helps you feel satiated for a longer period of time, preventing an excess of snacking throughout the day.
In addition to providing pectin, even the earliest stages of dehydration can cause various problems that might make you want to snack on something unhealthy. Drinking a tall glass of lemon water, first thing in the morning, helps to replenish the water that has been lost during the night, keeping you hydrated and happy.
A Natural Energy Drink for AFS
Most commonly, people resort to strong coffee, loaded with sugar, to help awaken tired and overstressed bodies after a less than adequate night’s sleep. This results in a temporary alleviation of fatigue, before coming back down due to caffeine and insulin crashes. People with AFS are no exception to this rule.
People with AFS are actually more susceptible to crashes compared to people without AFS. However, due to higher levels of fatigue in AFS sufferers, they can be more likely to rely on sugary coffee drinks to keep them in some form of alertness throughout the day. This simply masks the fatigue and does nothing to help the body actually repair the root cause of exhaustion. Our bodies get the energy we need from the food we eat. Lemon water helps to properly digest these foods, providing a more consistent energy in a much more beneficial way than consuming unhealthy amounts of coffee.
Lemon Water Elixir Recipes
The best part about this simple remedy is the ease in preparations. You can find all kinds of variations of lemon water on the internet. Some recommend adding grade A maple syrup, others even call for cayenne pepper.
The simplest and time-tested recipe, is a tall glass of room temperature water and a few tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice, combined together and consumed in the morning, preferably right upon waking, and about a half hour before breakfast. It can also be drank all throughout the day in order to keep energy levels raised.
There are so many wonderful benefits that a lemon water elixir can offer to those suffering from AFS. Whether it be a boost of energy, a natural liver detox, or a means to shed some extra weight, lemon water is a wonderful catch-all remedy that should be a part of everyone’s daily routine. Lemon water is generally benign and well tolerated by most with AFS. However, in those with advanced stages suffering from many food sensitivities, it is important to start slow before advancing the amount of lemon juice used. Oral cavity sensitivity and gastric irritation are reported side effects that often resolves when lemon use is stopped.
© Copyright 2017 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.