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Why I Drink Lemon Water Every Day

Side angle shot of a clear glass of lemon water on a blue plate, with more lemons and water in the background

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I’ve been drinking warm lemon water—or my fancier version: My Morning Elixir—for nearly a decade now. Starting your morning off with a warm glass of tangy water is a great way to kickstart your body’s systems after a long slumber. In fact, you’d get a lot of benefits by just drinking warm plain water right after waking—but adding lemon to the mix is even better!

If you suffer from any kind of intestinal sluggishness, adding lemon water to your routine is a great way to make sure your digestion gets started first thing in the morning—and can really help things move along. I’ve struggled with life-long constipation, and after years of trying different remedies, I was amazed by how well regularly drinking warm lemon water in the mornings helped (among other things—another post for another time).

Overhead shot of a whole lemon and half of a cut lemon on a gray background

Lemons are nutritional powerhouses, but are often overlooked for daily consumption because of their sourness. And when they are used, they are paired with so much sugar that it counterbalances the positives. Now, I love a good slice of lemon meringue pie as much as the next gal, but that pie isn’t going to nourish your body in the same way that regular consumption of unsweetened fresh lemon juice will.

Since my Lyme diagnosis, I’ve increased my intake of lemon water to beyond my morning routine. Lemon helps to optimize our body’s natural detoxification systems—which is great news for someone like me who is trying to flush out an invader from my body. Even if you aren’t fighting an illness, I highly recommend adding lemon water to your day. Here are some reasons why:

  • Digestion. Lemon naturally assists the body’s digestive process. Drinking lemon water in the morning “jump starts” the body’s digestive system after the long overnight dormant period.
  • Purification. Lemon is a natural antiseptic and helps to flush impurities out of the system. This means healthier skin, healthier hair and nails, and a generally well-functioning body.
  • Neutralization. While lemons taste acidic, they actually have akalizing properties once inside our bodies. The typical American diet is very, very acidic, so the lemon helps to balance this acid.

Overhead shot of a clear mug of lemon water on a blue plate, with a bowl of whole lemons nearby

Overhead shot of whole and halved lemons on a blue background

If you want to try lemon water, I highly recommend using organic fresh lemon juice instead of the bottled stuff. While the stuff in a jar might be great for adding tangy flavor to your hollandaise sauce, it isn’t the best choice for medicinal or nutritional purposes. They use extremely high heat to process the juice and make it shelf-stable—and that high heat kills a lot of the beneficial enzymes in lemon. Fresh is the way to go (plus it tastes better, in my opinion).

I tend to mix up my personal routine when it comes to lemon water. Sometimes I keep it as simple as squeezing half a lemon into a mug of hot (filtered) water and sipping on it while I check my email in the morning immediately after I wake up. If the sour lemon is just a bit too much for me to take at 5am, I’ll put a few drops of honey in just to balance.

Side angle shot of a clear glass of lemon water on a blue plate, with more lemons and water in the background

Overhead shot of hand holding half of a cut lemon

Sometimes I make My Morning Elixir. Sometimes I make a big batch of lemon infused water and sip on that all day. And most recently, I’ve been squeezing a full lemon into a quart of fresh ginger tea that I sip on before breakfast every morning. No matter which way I drink it, I make sure I get lemon water in every day.

A word of warning: Lemon can be damaging to your teeth enamel (more so with concentrated juice than fresh lemons). I’ve asked my dentist about this, and he said there is no problem as long as you have good teeth health and aren’t directly sucking on lemons everyday. He did recommend that if you are concerned, you can use a straw to help deflect the lemon water from your teeth. If you have any teeth issues, I recommend chatting with your dentist before regularly consuming straight lemon water.

Side angle shot of whole and halved lemons in a blue bowl on a light background

Some things I’ve observed as a lemon water drinker:

  • I had to give up coffee recently (I’m so sensitive to caffeine—even the caffeine in decaf), and warm lemon water in the mornings helps satisfy the desire for something warm and cozy in the morning.
  • I can definitely feel my digestion engine jumping to life when I drink water. Usually I can wait 2-3 hours after waking up before I start feeling very hungry. If I drink lemon water as soon as I wake up, my tummy starts growling almost immediately after finishing my glass.
  • It’s helped with my chronic constipation. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, they assign a time-of-day to each organ in the body—the time when it’s most active. For the colon, it is between 5-7am—which just happens to coincide with when I wake up and drink my lemon water. When I start to get constipated again, I can almost always trace it back to two things—not drinking my lemon water and not taking my magnesium supplements.
  • Recently, whenever I’m suffering from a herxheimer reaction (that is: a die-off reaction from killing Lyme bacteria), if I increase my lemon water intake, it really helps to alleviate some of the symptoms. This is because water in general, but more specifically lemon water, really helps accelerate the body’s natural detoxification.

Overall, I think that drinking a few cups of lemon water in the morning is such a small and enjoyable change that everyone should try it out!

Cassie is the founder and CEO of Wholefully. She's a home cook and wellness junkie with a love of all things healthy living. She lives on a small hobby farm in Southern Indiana with her husband, daughter, two dogs, two cats, and 15 chickens.

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19 Responses
  1. Cheryl Moore

    Hi, I recently started making lemon water via a slightly different method. Thinly slice a lemon ( I slice it in half lengthwise and then cross slice each of the halves thinly), then put it into a pitcher (I use a 60 oz glass pitcher with a stainless steel infuser core – put the lemon slices into the core). Then fill with water and refrigerate overnight. The flavor that using the whole lemon gives is incredible – not as sour as only lemon juice. It supposedly has more health benefits too. Today I used some of the water to make my chia gel – 2 Tblsp chia in 2 C lemon water. Yummy! The pitcher I found at the popular online shopping area – I love it – bought a 2nd pitcher to make up a new batch before the first runs out

    1. Julie Grice

      Hi Ken, We recommend that you talk to your doctor/therapist. You might want to ask about the GAPS diet to see if it’s an appropriate way to supplement a treatment plan, but they may have other suggestions as well. Best wishes!

  2. Jamie

    Great article! I loooove lemon water. Anyone interested in this stuff should definitely check out the book Everyday Roots. It teaches you how to replace all the toxic chemicals in your life with healthy organic alternatives. Its completely changed my life and how I feel everyday! 🙂

    Heres a great review of everday roots:

    Keep up the great content!

  3. Tamie

    Thanks for this wonderful post. I always drink lemon water when out at a restaurant – need to start being more proactive at home. By the way, coffee always does the trick for me. LOL

  4. Diane R Minter

    I have fresh organic ¨ limones sin semilla¨ from my own tree since I live in Mexico. I add a tablespoon of chia since I do have digestive sluggishness in spite of all the fiber I eat as a vegetarian!(and my mag supplements) My husband doesn’t have that problem, but has started the lemon water routine since he has noticed that I haven’t been sick in the last 10 years or so. I think you are doing the exactly RIGHT thing to fight your Lyme disease. Do whatever you need for you. Congrats on keeping on until you got the right diagnosis.

    1. Les

      Hi! You’ve been drinking lemon water every day for more than 10 years? Have you had any problem with your teeth? Or how do you drink it? Maybe iif it’s just once per day it’s not that bad for the teeth 🤔

  5. JoJo Vasquez

    I’ve been drinking lemon water for probably a little over a year. I’d heard so many great things about it and when Hubby asked me why I drank it I replied with I feel better! 🙂

  6. Drew

    “Lemon also helps things move along in the bowels (if ya know what I mean).” No, I don’t know what you mean. Will you please explain this? I’m thinking of doing the lemon thing but don’t want a crappy experience (if ya know what I mean).

  7. Amanda :}

    I’m glad you reminded us of this practice 🙂 I’ve found I actually have more energy when i drink warm lemon water every morning (can’t remember why i stopped? I think the tooth enamel thing scared me out of it :/). It also removed the white cast on my tongue, which i believe may be an overgrowth of yeast in the body. I think I’ll be starting up this practice again! This time I’ve got my straws ready 🙂

  8. beabee

    Haha, regular water does *that* trick for me in the mornings already, but I do love adding in a little lemon or lime slices to my glass when I happen to be using one for something else! I put wedges on the rim of the glass when my hubby invited one of his work friends over and he said he felt “fancy”! 🙂

  9. Kimberly

    My family loves it whenever I make a pitcher of water with a bunch of lemon and or orange slices. So fresh! Your pictures are spectacular by the way! LOVE!

  10. Amanda

    I have a dentist appointment next week and I plan on asking my dentist more about this then.

    I hope you’ll post what your dentist says; I like the idea of adding lemon water to my daily routine, but not if it’s going to hurt my enamel in the long run.


Meet Cassie
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Hello. My name is Cassie, and I’m a healthy home cooking expert.

I'm a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, and I've been developing healthy recipes professionally for over 15 years. Food is my love language, and my kitchen tips and nourishing recipes are my love letter to you!

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