While some people swear by drinking their lemon water in the morning, others hold off on taking their citrus potion until the evening. Does it make a difference? We’ll explore the many benefits of drinking lemon water at different times of day and what makes this concoction so healthy. We’ll also share our favorite lemon water recipe so you can reap the benefits yourself.
But First: What Makes Lemons So Powerful?
One of the healthiest fruits on the planet, lemons are full of essential vitamins and minerals. They are a potent source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium and fiber. They also contain pectin, a soluble fiber that aids digestion. The terpene limonene can also be found in lemons and it possesses anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-stress properties.
Research says that lemons are teeming with benefits that range from better digestion to more radiant skin. Some evidence shows that lemon water may even strengthen your immune system and soothe symptoms of the common cold.
Why Lemon Water?
More palatable than eating a lemon on its own, lemon water is an easy way to incorporate the benefits of this citrus powerhouse into your diet and hydrate your body at the same time. It’s also low in calories; so if your aim is to lose weight, this drink is a smart choice. But there is an ongoing debate amidst lemon water enthusiasts about when you should be drinking it. The answer depends on your personal health goals.
The Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water in the Morning
From freshening your breath to jumpstarting your metabolism, drinking lemon water first thing in the morning is one of the healthiest things you can do. Before brushing your teeth or having breakfast, start your day with a glass of lemon water and enjoy the following reported benefits:
- Excellent rehydration after sleep.
- A boost to your metabolism, which may aid weight loss.
- An energy jolt to get your morning going.
- Fresher breath.
- Reduced inflammation.
The Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water Before Bed
Whether you’re fighting off a cold or struggling with stress, lemon water also makes for a fantastic nighttime elixir. When taken before bed, lemon water works its magic while you sleep so you can wake up feeling and looking more radiant, thanks to its detoxifying properties. Drink lemon water before bed if you hope to enjoy these health benefits:
- Detoxified colon to aid fat loss.
- Maintained hydration throughout the night for clearer skin.
- Decreased symptoms of cold and cough for better sleep.
- Eased heartburn and acid reflux due to alkalizing effects.
- Less stress, owing to vitamin C content.
Try This Easy Lemon Water Recipe
If you’re ready to integrate lemon water into your diet, try this easy recipe:
- Squeeze fresh lemons (not lemon juice concentrate) into 8 ounces of warm or cold water.
- Add a little more flavor with a teaspoon of honey or a few sprigs of mint.
If you become fond of drinking lemon water and it becomes a regular habit, consider drinking through a straw to protect your tooth enamel, as lemons are acidic and don’t become alkaline until they are digested. No matter what time of day you decide to drink lemon water, one thing is certain: You’ll be making a healthy choice.
Erica Garza is an author and essayist from Los Angeles. Her writing has appeared in TIME, Health, Glamour, Good Housekeeping, Women’s Health and VICE.