Why Lemon Water is SO Good for You

About a year ago, it seemed that everywhere I turned, social media, radio programs, tv shows, people were hailing the benefits of lemon water. Since then, I’ve repeatedly tried to make it a habit to drink it every day, but only recently have actually made it part of my daily ritual.

Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been more dedicated to my health than every. I do some form of exercise every day. I eat healthy probably 90% of the time. And, I drink 8 oz. of lemon water as soon as I wake up.

As a result, I’ve felt better, my skin is clearer, and I wake up much quicker. (Coffee doesn’t stand a chance against the instant-alertness you experience when chugging ice cold, tart lemon water.)

slicing-lemons-on-cutting-board

Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water

Lemon water helps flush out the body, which leads to clearer skin, and the innate vitamin C promotes collagen production for smooth and healthy skin. If great skin isn’t enough to sell you, consider these other benefits of drinking daily lemon water:

  • Helps digestion – drinking the concoction first thing in the morning can help flush the digestion system and rehydrate the body.
  • Boosts immunity – drinking lemon water when you wake up helps the body absorb the vitamin C and Potassium present in the fruit, helping the immune system and reducing the effects of stress.
  • Sheds weight – being properly hydrated helps increase your metabolism. Researchers in Germany found that, after drinking 17 oz of water, participants’ (both male and female) metabolic rates increased by 30%.

    Other theories on the benefits of drinking lemon water:
    -Balances pH levels
    -Detoxes the body
    -Prevents water retention
    -Boosts energy

lauren-cathleen-slices-lemons-for-lemon-water

To recharge your body with lemon water, follow these simple steps:

  1. Wake up and boil about 10 oz of water.
  2. Cut a lemon in half and juice–by hand or by press–into a glass. (If you weigh less than 150 lbs, only use half a lemon. If you weigh more than 150 lbs, use the entire lemon.)
  3. Pour your water into the glass and let steep for a few minutes. Feel free to use more water if it’s too strong.
  4. Wait 15-30 minutes after drinking your water before you eat breakfast.
  5. Brush your teeth! The citric acid in lemons can erode tooth enamel, so be sure to rinse your mouth after and/or brush your teeth.

Now, that’s what’s recommended. To be honest, though, I do not have time to boil water and let my lemon steep in it first thing in the morning. When I wake up, I have 15 minutes before I need to be out the door and headed to the gym.

So, every Sunday, I do all my lemon squeezing and water-mixing. I fill up two of these 34 oz. bottles from IKEA with the lemon water and store them in the fridge. When I wake up, I simply pour, chug and dash. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!

bottle of lemon water with lemons on cutting board
Have you used this tried-and-true method? What are your thoughts?

4 Reasons You Should Work Out in the Morning

I’m a huge proponent of working out whenever you can fit it into your day, but there’s something special about a morning workout.

I know, I know. Most people snarl at the thought of setting their alarms for 5 just to go to the gym. But, once you do it for a few weeks, you’ve already formed a habit and it gets that much easier.

Why should you bother with a morning workout, anyway? I’m so glad you asked.

 

You’ll Actually Work Out

Be honest with yourself: if you’ve had a long, stressful, exhausting day at work, how likely are you to go to the gym after work? Getting in your exercise first thing in the morning ensures that you’ll actually do your workout. You won’t be able to give yourself the excuses of “I had such a hard day,” “I’m exhausted,” or “What I really need is a glass of wine.” Plus, if you workout in the morning, that glass of wine at the end of the day will be guilt-free.

You’ll Have a Better Day

Beginning your day with a workout starts you on the right foot. Hopping out of the shower after a hard workout at the same time most people are waking up will give you the greatest sense of accomplishment. You’ll have more energy and less stress, be happier and be more ready to take on the day. I can’t guarantee that working out in the morning will keep your boss from being an ass, but it will definitely make you less murderous. At least at first.

morning-yoga-lauren-cathleen

You’ll Be More Likely to Make Other Healthy Choices

On Saturday, I went to an 8:30 spin class. Typically, for me, Saturdays offer a little more flexibility in my choices. I sit around all day, we might go out to dinner for a break from paleo or I may enjoy a glass of wine. But, starting my Saturday with a hard workout where I burned nearly 700 calories made me want to make sure it didn’t go to waste. After I showered, I kept moving all day. I cleaned, I finally put away the Christmas decor, I did the laundry, I took the stairs instead of the elevator and, my crowning achievement, I chose a healthy, low-calorie snack box over popcorn when we went to the movies. When you start your day with a workout, that’s what happens. Your whole day becomes healthier because you don’t want to nullify all the hard work you did that morning.

You’ll Have More Time to Yourself in the Evening

I detest coming home after a stressful day knowing that I, essentially, have to work again. When I finish work, I’m done. I want to come home, decompress and have that glass of wine I mentioned. When I get my a.m. workout in, that’s exactly what I get to do. I have time to enjoy a long, relaxing bath, watching a few episodes of Star Trek with Stephen or work on my side hustle. Working out in the morning gives your more time to enjoy your evening.

You’ll Burn More Calories

There’s nothing like HIIT, High Intensity Interval Training, in the morning to jumpstart your metabolism. These types of workouts burn fat up to 50 percent more effectively than low-intensity workouts and speed up your metabolism so you continue to burn throughout the day. I know that fat and calorie burning aren’t the priorities of a lot of people’s workouts, but, for many of us, that’s certainly one of the goals. If you’re not concerned about burning calories, then I refer you to my earlier point that jumpstarting your metabolism will provide you with more energy for the day ahead.

 

Obviously, not all of these apply to every person. For some, evening workouts may be your only options. Others are straight up night owls. The important thing is that you actually are getting in your workouts every day, even when that workout is walking. But, for me, I’ve found the most assured way for me to get in a daily workout and to feel better in general, is to work out as the sun rises.

What are your favorite fitness tips?

Follow my fitness journey on Instagram: @laurencathleenfitness