How many times have you been advised to take warm water with lemon and honey on an empty stomach first thing in the morning to reduce weight? Of all the “effective” weight loss tips floating about the Internet, this is the most-quoted one. Anyone who has ever tried to lose weight has tried honey lemon water. Does honey lemon water help lose weight? Why is it being suggested as the best drink to be had first thing in the morning?
Lemon has citric acid and is rich in vitamin C giving it medicinal properties. It is an antioxidant which fights harmful free radicals in the body and reduces inflammation. Honey, on the other hand, is a natural sweetener and has antibacterial, antiseptic, and some antioxidant properties.1 Both lemon and honey are health foods and a combination of these two cannot disappoint.
Choose darker honey for better antioxidative properties.
If anecdotes are anything to go by, the weight-loss properties of honey and lemon in water is an exaggeration. What it actually does is burn fat, which is not the same thing as losing weight. The drink, however, has a plethora of health benefits. Here’s a look at the benefits of drinking honey lemon water.
1. Boosts Energy In The Morning
It gives instant energy that will sustain you for a long time. Honey is an energy food, composed mainly of simple sugars like fructose and glucose, which burn to provide 64 Calories per tablespoon. During digestion, the principal carbohydrates, fructose, and glucose are quickly transported into the blood and can be utilized for energy requirements of the day.2 Also, lemons have the ability to kickstart your metabolism. The citric acid in lemons yield citrate salts, which are part of the citric acid cycle – a chain of reactions important for energy metabolism.
2. Can Help In Fat Burning
How does honey lemon water aid fat burning? It seems to be entirely the doing of vitamin C in lemon. Nutrition researchers at Arizona State University have found that the amount of vitamin C in the blood stream is directly related to fat burning both during exercise and at rest.3 Research has also shown a lemon detox diet that comprises lemon juice mixed with organic maple and palm syrups is effective in burning fat.4 But do note that a lemon detox diet is essentially a very low-calorie diet. Since it’s not feasible to survive on such low calories, keep your calories constant but get some exercise after you drink your regular glass of honey lemon water.
3. Helps Detox The Liver
If you suffer from urinary tract infections frequently, have honey lemon water.
Do you know why so many detox diets have lemon playing the lead role? Lemons are rich in vitamin C which is an antioxidant that helps manufacture glutathione.Now, glutathione is a natural antioxidant in the body which helps neutralize toxins and aids the liver in detoxification.5 Plus, honey lemon water serves as a diuretic, which means you can get rid of toxins faster through urine.
4. Aids In Digestion And Nourishes Good Gut Bacteria
Citrus fruits like lemon are antioxidants, thanks to the vitamin C and flavonoids that help digestion and assimilation of food into the body.6
The ascorbic and citric acids in lemon stimulate gastric acid production to aid digestion.7 Honey, on the other hand, prevents and treats gastrointestinal disorders such as peptic ulcer, gastritis, and gastroenteritis. It also has a prebiotic effect on the gut – that is it nurtures the good gut bacteria.8
Both lemon and honey when mixed with water can actually increase peristalsis (contractions to help food move) in the gastrointestinal tract and help relieve constipation. It is a popular home remedy and user reviews suggest it really works!
[Also Read: Foods That Are Good For Digestion]
5. Prevents And Cures Acne
There’s nothing in honey lemon water that cannot give you a clean, young, and acne-free skin. Like we said before, honey lemon water helps flush out toxins and nourishes your gut. A good gut directly leads to good skin. Plus lemon juice has a proven antibacterial effect on Propionibacterium acnes.9
Drinking honey lemon water is effective in preventing acne. If you have an acne outbreak, you can also apply honey lemon directly.
The vitamin C in lemons ensures that enough collagen is produced to keep your skin tight and free from wrinkles. It also fights free radicals that leave age spots on the skin.10 Honey, on the other hand, is an antimicrobial agent. It is also known for locking in moisture and healing wounds; which is why it is such a common ingredient in cosmetics.11 The honey lemon combination when applied topically on the skin has the same effect as drinking it.
6. Fights Throat Infections
The honey lemon combination is especially wonderful in taking care of a throat infection. Honey has wound-healing properties and can soothe a sore throat.12 We have already mentioned the antibacterial properties of lemon. In combination with honey, lemon works like magic against infections. Heat your drinking water to a temperature that you can drink without burning your throat. Mix a teaspoon of honey. Now add the juice of half a lemon and drink up immediately.
7. Boosts Immunity And Prevents Diseases
If you fall ill frequently, honey lemon water is the best drink to start your day with. Citrus fruits like lemon are rich in vitamin C and phytonutrients like saponins, alkaloids, and flavonoids that promote health and strengthen the immune system.13
In the long run, however, regular intake of honey lemon water can keep many diseases at bay. As you know, lemon is rich in vitamin C, flavonoids, beta carotene, limonoids, folic acid, and dietary fiber which make them potent against diseases like cataract, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and even cancer.14
How To Make Honey Lemon Water
Considering the many good health benefits of the drink, it would do you the world of good if you make drinking honey lemon water a habit. How does one make the drink?
- Squeeze half a lemon into a cup of lukewarm water.
- Add a teaspoon of honey into it and mix well.
- Drink this water first thing in the morning every day, preferably after brushing your teeth.
|↑1, ↑7||Kumar, Vijaya. The Secret Benefits of Lemon and Honey. Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd, 2013.|
|↑2, ↑8||Abeshu, Motuma Adimasu, and Bekesho Geleta. “Medicinal uses of honey.” Biology and Medicine 8, no. 2 (2016): 1.|
|↑3||Vitamin C depletion correlates with lower body fat, not weight loss during short-term diet. American Association for the Advancement of Science.|
|↑4||Kim, Mi Joung, Jung Hyun Hwang, Hyun Ji Ko, Hye Bock Na, and Jung Hee Kim. “Lemon detox diet reduced body fat, insulin resistance, and serum hs-CRP level without hematological changes in overweight Korean women.” Nutrition Research 35, no. 5 (2015): 409-420.|
|↑5||Johnston, Carol S., Claudia G. Meyer, and J. C. Srilakshmi. “Vitamin C elevates red blood cell glutathione in healthy adults.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 58, no. 1 (1993): 103-105.|
|↑6, ↑13||Okwu, D. E., and I. N. Emenike. “Evaluation of the phytonutrients and vitamin contents of citrus fruits.” Int. J. Mol. Med. Adv. Sci 2, no. 1 (2006): 1-6.|
|↑9||Shinkafi, S. A., and H. Ndanusa. “Antibacterial Activity of Citrus Limonon Acne vulgaris (Pimples).” International Journal of Science inventions Today 2 (2013): 397-409.|
|↑10||Cosgrove, Maeve C., Oscar H. Franco, Stewart P. Granger, Peter G. Murray, and Andrew E. Mayes. “Dietary nutrient intakes and skin-aging appearance among middle-aged American women.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 86, no. 4 (2007): 1225-1231.|
|↑11||Burlando, Bruno, and Laura Cornara. “Honey in dermatology and skin care: a review.” Journal of cosmetic dermatology 12, no. 4 (2013): 306-313.|
|↑12||Blair, S. E., and D. A. Carter. “The potential for honey in the management of wounds and infection.” Australian Infection Control 10, no. 1 (2005): 24-31.|
|↑14||Silalahi, Jansen. “Anticancer and health protective properties of citrus fruit components.” Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition 11, no. 1 (2002): 79-84.|