If you’ve been to practically any restaurant, you’ll find that if you order water, it will almost always come with a lemon wedge in the glass.

You may have thought that all this did was give your water a bit of a lemony after-taste — but you’d be wrong. In truth, infusing your water with a fresh lemon gives it numerous beneficial properties.

Why is that? Well, to put it simply, lemon juice is packed with numerous nutrients, ranging from vitamin C to calcium, potassium and iron. Not only that, but it also contains certain antimicrobial agents, allowing it to enhance your immune system.

I like my lemon water over ice (especially during the summer), but to get the most out of it, experts suggest drinking it warm, and also say that it’s best to imbibe it about 15 minutes before you eat. Many people use warm lemon water as a coffee replacement in the morning, but feel free to have a cup at other times during the day as well.

Now that you’ve gotten the basic rundown, what are a few of the specific benefits of drinking lemon water? Well I’m glad you asked. For one, it. . .

1. Banishes your acne.

Lemon water fights acne and other blemishes by giving your kidney and liver a boost, allowing them to purify your body more efficiently. Additionally, the antioxidants present within lemons (like vitamin C) work to fight the development of acne (teenagers take note!). Drinking warm lemon water in the morning is known to do wonders in terms of eliminating any toxins present in your system.

2. Aides your digestive process.

Drinking warm lemon water before eating is suggested because it helps to prep your body for the meal you are about to eat. It does this by kick-starting the production of bile in your system, which in turn is used to break down all of the things that you eat. As a natural diuretic, lemon water also helps to keep your digestive system running smoothly by clearing it of possible obstructions, which is key if you want to maintain your overall health.

3. Fights nasty hangovers.

When sleep, water, and ibuprofen aren’t enough, try fighting your hangover with some warm lemon water. Thanks to its medicinal properties, it can help speed along your body’s effort to remove any of the alcohol still affecting your system.

4. Helps you lose weight.

Lemon water itself won’t actually burn off any of your excess fat, but it does help you replace the empty calories in soda or sweetened coffee with something that is much healthier in comparison.

Lemon water can also help you shed a few pounds by tackling your hunger pangs. The pectin fiber present in lemons acts to give you a feeling of fullness, meaning you won’t have to eat as much to feel satisfied.

5. Attacks inflammation.

If you have sore or achy knees and joints, starting the day off with a nice cup of warm lemon water might be just what the doctor ordered. This is mainly because the beverage helps to eliminate the uric acid that is responsible for many of your aches and pains.

6. Serves as a natural antacid.

As a citrus fruit, you might think it to be a bit strange that lemons reduce the amount of acid in your system, but it’s true. What it does is replace acid with alkaline, essentially tackling your acid problems at the source instead of just addressing the symptoms (which is what many over-the-counter drugs do).

7. Gives your brain a boost.

It might seem crazy, but lemon water actually does give your brain a bit of an edge, which is nice to have (especially in the morning). This comes as a result of the potassium present within lemons. Maintaining your potassium levels is important, as a deficiency can lead to poorer mental performance and a clouded mind.

8. Eliminates bad breath.

This can be especially useful in the morning, when “morning breath” might persist even after you brush your teeth. Lemon water works to keep your mouth smelling great thanks to its antimicrobial properties. Additionally, the cause of most bad breaths is a dry mouth, and lemon water works to cure that. Almost everybody likes the smell of lemons, so that helps too!

9. Tackles your allergies.

Thanks to the vitamin C and antioxidants in lemons, as well as its antacid properties, it does a great job of both boosting your immune system and balancing your body’s chemical properties, thus better preparing it to fight off allergy attacks. So if there’s a lot of pollen in the air and you feel the sniffles coming on, grab a lemon and go to work.

10. Revitalizes your eyes.

The numerous antioxidants and nutrients present within lemon juice do a great job of fighting off many of the more common eye-related maladies, such as cataracts and macular degeneration. Though drinking lemon water alone won’t be enough to outright cure any eye problems you might have currently, it does serve as an easy way to take preventative measures against any further damage.

That’s a pretty nifty list, eh? Who would have thought that such a simple beverage could have so many benefits! If you drink lemon water on a regular basis, or start drinking it due to this article, tell me all about your experience in the comments below. I’d especially love to hear if you found that there was some kind of benefit not addressed on this list!

Featured photo credit: Splash of flavor/Krissy Venosdale via flic.kr

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