Drink Hot Water with Lemon in the Morning for Weight Loss and Immunity

|Updated Jan 4, 2021
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Drinking hot water with lemon in the morning is a popular health ritual among celebrities and models alike, and there is mounting evidence that it is beneficial for digestive health and immunity, and even helps spark weight loss. New research shows that this habit can help flush out the digestive system, jumpstart metabolism, and give your body a dose of immunity-boosting vitamin C first thing in the morning.

Drinking hot water helps remove excess bloating and increases the body's core temperature and aid in your digestion, studies have found. "This energy expenditure promotes metabolism," according to medical writer Dr. Naveed Saleh, MD, MS, who has a degree in biology from Cornell and published the findings in MDLinx.

Lemon water in the morning works for weight-loss and immunity; models use it

Dutch supermodel Romee Strijd considers hot water with lemon her "8 a.m drink" and points out on the popular YouTube series "What I Eat in a Day" that "it has a lot of vitamin C, it's really refreshing, it gives me a healthy feeling and mindset." The model adds, "I think it's really good for digestion, so when you drink it on an empty stomach, it kickstarts your digestion."

She is actually correct, according to mounting research that shows this practice boosts digestion and helps with weight loss and immunity. The lemon juice is high in vitamin C, which is an immunity helper, with 30.7 milligrams of C in one lemon, which is nearly half of the Daily Recommended amount for a woman (75 milligrams) and one-third of the amount men should get daily (90 milligrams). But be careful not to boil the water or actually cook the lemons which can reduce the amount of vitamin C and diminish their nutrients.

@romeestrijd @romeestrijd

Gisele Bundchen, who's known for following a strict plant-based diet to maintain a healthy lifestyle (along with her husband Tom Brady who at 42 is the oldest starting QB in the NFL) tells followers that she prefers her lemon and water "lukewarm" and drinks it every morning at 5:30 am, the time she wakes up to workout before the kids get up. Lukewarm is better than scalding since research indicates that too-hot can possibly lead to an increased risk of esophageal cancer, according to studies.

Yolanda Hadid, the mother of sisters Gigi and Bella Hadid, calls herself the "queen of lemons" in the Food Diaries series by Harper's Bazar. She starts the day with a glass of water with lemon because they "have so many health benefits", she names a few, "One, it alkalizes the gut. Two, It's cleansing. Three, it has a lot of nutrients in it. Four, it's a great way to start your morning."

So Romee drinks her lemon water hot, Gisele drinks it lukewarm and Yolanda drinks it chilled. Here are the 10 health benefits of drinking hot water, with or without lemon. So which should you do? Here are the studies that show the benefits of starting your day with hot water, with or without lemon. But adding lemon gives you that important immunity boost.

Studies Show Hot Water with Lemon in the Morning is a Digestive Booster

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Hot water in the morning can contribute to weight loss, research finds

Experts suggest drinking hot water in the morning helps to "prep your gut," or aid in clearing the intestines, halt bloating, and remove excess water weight. "It also increases core body temperature, which causes the body to expend energy to lower its temperature back to normal. This energy expenditure promotes metabolism," according to Dr. Saleh.

Hot water on an empty stomach vs. after a meal helps digestion in different ways

Timing matters: If you drink hot water on an empty stomach it dilates blood vessels in the gut, which makes you feel fuller, according to Dr. Saleh. This boost is most notable when hot water is consumed at the beginning of the day, research shows. Drinking hot water after a meal emulsifies fats, which aids digestion. Drinking hot water before bed may increase satiety, and curb the desire to snack in the middle of the night.

Drinking hot water helps to improve circulation and may even relieve muscle pain

Drinking hot water circulates blood through arteries and veins. Hot water is a vasodilator, meaning it opens up the blood vessels. The flow of blood is increased and blood pressure is decreased, helping the muscles to relax, Dr. Saleh writes.

Drinking hot water is healthier for your teeth

The next time you go to the dentist, ask your professional if you should brush your teeth with cold water or room temperature or warmer. Your dentist is likely to suggest brushing with warm water because using too-cold water can destroy dental work by causing materials to break loose. This excludes lemon water since the one downside of lemon is the acid can erode tooth enamel. (If you are concerned you can drink it through a straw.)

Hot water promotes hydration

Water should always be your main source of hydration, especially if you're an athlete. If you're losing too much sweat, you can add salt or electrolytes into the mixture to help replenish your body's electrolytes, especially when you're working out in the heat. If the water tastes boring or you don't love drinking it for any reason, adding lemon to your bottle will enhance the flavors and naturally make your body want to drink more.

Drinking hot water calms the central nervous system and helps your burn energy

When you drink water it signals the nervous system to burn energy, which can actually calm you down, as part of the fight or flight response. By drinking and burning off energy your body gets calmer. People with arthritis should take advantage of drinking hot water to calm their central nervous system and stay active.

Drinking lemon water purifies the skin and body

Hot water with lemon hydrates the skin. Vitamin C, a prominent vitamin in lemons naturally boosts collagen, "helping the skin serve as a functional barrier to keep harmful compounds from entering your body," according to a recent article in Healthline.

Water with lemon enhances the immune system

It's always a good time to build up your immune system, but now is an especially vital moment in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  Lemons and all citrus are high in vitamin C, which is a natural antioxidant that decreases inflammation and improves immune function. As we said above, one lemon delivers 30 grams of vitamin C which is about half of the daily requirement for women and one-third of the requirement for men. Water and the juice of one whole lemon is a great way to get vitamin C naturally first thing in the morning.

Hot water with lemon can promote weight loss

Drinking hot water with lemon does not replace meals, of course, but it could lead you to eat fewer calories overall. Drinking water throughout the day can make you feel fuller and be an easy way to limit your calorie intake. According to the National Academies of Science, and the Mayo Clinic, your daily intake of water should be 11.5 cups of water for a woman and 15.5 cups of water for a man. This is hard to achieve, and by adding lemon, you will be likely to drink more because of the enhanced flavor. In addition, hot water raises the body temperature which increases the metabolic rate and burns more calories.

Hot water with lemon helps get rid of constipation

In a study by the National Library of Medicine, researches found that the citrus acid in the lemon stimulates the colon, which is key if you suffer from irregular bathroom habits. In a different study, Michael F. Picco, M.D. explains that warm water helps break down food so the body can absorb nutrients and soften stools "which helps prevent constipation."

All in all, these studies have us at The Beet thinking: We are going to add this ritual to our morning routine. Try it yourself and let us know if you feel a difference on the days when you drink it. Leave your feedback in the comments below or on our Facebook page.