Lemon water is healthy, refreshing and easy as heck to make. There are just a couple of key things to keep in mind when making yourself a glass, but don’t worry, after your first sip, you’ll be hooked, and these simple steps will embed themselves into your lemon-loving brain forever.
How to make lemon water
If it sounds like it’s super intuitive, that’s because it is. But here’s how to make the absolute best lemon water possible to fully reap all the health benefits.
Step 1: Juice your lemon
Grab a fresh lemon with a little give to it. (Roll it against the cutting board if you need to break it down a bit.)
Avoid lemons that are too hard, because they’re probably not ripe enough to release all the healthy juices. Psst: Steer clear of those lemon juice containers from the grocery store since they’re usually loaded with preservatives and other additives.
Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the entire thing into a bowl so you can pluck the seeds out when you’re done. (Or use a lemon squeezer.) Pour the juice into a 16-ounce water bottle.
Ripe Lemons: Organic lemons ($5 for 2 pounds at Amazon)
Step 2: Use room-temperature water
The temperature of your water matters majorly here, so if you’re using water from your refrigerator, pour it into a microwave-safe glass and nuke it for five to ten seconds to bring it up to room temperature. Don’t have a microwave? Heat a kettle and let it cool down before you pour.
Why is this important? Temperature can alter the molecular structure of the lemon juice and compromise the benefits you’d otherwise receive. Per nutritionist Wendy Leonard, room-temperature water helps to “ensure the best absorption and utilization of the phytonutrients and vitamins.” Room temp it is!
Step 3: Mix the juice with the water
Pour the lemon juice into your bottle and top it with enough room-temperature water to fill the bottle. Cap it, give it a shake, sip and enjoy all day long.
The health benefits of lemon water
1. It jump-starts your digestive system.
Drinking warm water with lemon stimulates the gastrointestinal tract, making your body better able to absorb nutrients and pass food through your system with ease. Lemon juice also works to relieve heartburn and bloating.
2. It could help you lose weight.
Lemons contain pectin, a fiber that supports weight loss by keeping cravings at bay. Sip on this concoction between meals and you just might find yourself hitting the vending machine less often.
3. It boosts your immune system.
Hello, vitamin C. Always a good thing for fighting off illness. Keep in mind that your natural levels are prone to drop when you’re stressed, making you more likely to get sick, so it’s advisable to up your intake during particularly crazy times.
“One lemon has about half the recommended daily amount of vitamin C, a natural antioxidant,” Leonard says.
4. It improves your skin.
Vitamin C is also important for skin, as it plays an important role in collagen synthesis (which boosts skin’s elasticity) and repairs damaged cells. On top of that, warm lemon water has astringent properties, which could help to heal blemishes and even scars from past blemishes.
“Lemons also have phytonutrients—it’s what gives them their signature yellow coloring—which promote healthy skin,” Leonard says.
5. It reduces inflammation.
If you’ve ever dealt with sore joints, you might have a uric acid buildup. Warm lemon water just so happens to dissolve that.
Additional reporting by Sarah Stiefvater.