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Training & Nutrition

The Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water to Stay Hydrated

It's said that lemon water is great for the body and mind, but why?

We’ve tried and tested many dietary fads that promise us slimming benefits and cycling glory – purely for research you’ll understand. But sometimes less is more, especially in the case of simply lemon water.

Staying hydrated is essential for our bodies, being that we’re made largely from water, we need to maintain a healthy balance. This is especially important in training as water boosts the metabolism and being dehydrated is well documented to have a negative effect on performance. It’s recommend we drink roughly 8 pints of water per day, but that amount increases if you’re exercising regularly and therefore sweating a lot. For some of us, drinking enough to keep our pee the right colour is a challenge.

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Hot or Cold, lemon water has become a thirsty quenching choice amongst health buffs and it’s a great way of making sure you get enough liquid in – but what’s so great about it?

When Life Gives you Lemons…

Lemons aren’t your typical fruit. You don’t just chomp into a lovely lemon for a snack, it’s commonly used for flavouring in foods and drinks, or as an accompaniment to a meal.

Lemons are packed full of Vitamin C, B, potassium and fibre which are essential nutrients for the body.

Whilst it’s commonly believed that chugging down lemon water is a great way to lose weight, it doesn’t actually have that direct effect. Instead, it’s thought that by drinking lemon water, you’re replacing an otherwise more sugary and high calorie drink. So this substitution affect is the reason you may see the pounds melt off.

So, it isn’t the miracle drink for losing weight, but drinking lemon water on a regular basis has some other perks.

Immunity Boost

The high Vitamin C content of lemons helps give your immunity a little kick in the right direction. When we’re stressed, or under the weather, our Vitamin C levels are the first thing to crash.

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Drinking warm lemon water is brilliant when you have a sore throat as it helps fight off viral infections. Lemons have natural antibacterial and antiviral properties such as: citric acid, calcium, magnesium, Vitamin C, bio-flavonoids, pectin, and limonene. These properties all help promote a healthy immune system and fight infections.

Weight Loss

Somewhat a point of contention, lemon water is widely believe to help you lose weight. Don’t be deceived, this is not a miracle weight loss drink. Weight loss sometimes occurs due to the substitution effect as mentioned before.

However, there is a high fibre content found in lemons which actually helps fend off hunger pains, even in small quantities. And, of course, it keeps your digestive system running as it should.

Potassium

Potassium is great for a healthy heart, brain and nervous system, and luckily lemons have a rich supply of the stuff. Potassium assists the cardiovascular system, helping to regulate blood pressure in the body.

By introducing more potassium in your diet, you can help reduce your chances of developing blood pressure issues in the future.

Healthy Gut

The nutrients found in lemons helps improve your digestion by loosening up digestive toxins and unwanted particles from the body, which can led to indigestion and heartburn. By flushing out any toxins, you’re promoting liver function to produce more bile which is necessary for the body to breakdown foods. Think of it as a mild natural detox.

A healthy gut is a happy gut as your stomach is the main producer of the happy chemical serotonin.

Reduces Inflammation

Along with flushing out the bad toxins, lemon can also help decrease uric acid build up in the joints where inflammation occurs. This is due to their alkaline properties once metabolized in our bodies.

The anti-inflammatory effect comes through the abundance of Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) found in lemons. It even helps support asthma and other respiratory symptoms, and it improves the uptake of iron in the blood which is vital for a strong immune system.

pH Balance

We think of lemons as being highly acidic because they have citric and ascorbic acid, which is true. However, lemons aren’t acidic once digested. Lemons help keep our pH levels more alkaline which is great because only when we’re in a more acidic state can we develop serious diseases.

The alkaline pH balance is also great for promoting clearer skin because it helps purify the blood. You can even directly apply lemon water to your blemishes for a similar effect.

Alternatives

If lemon water isn’t doing it for you, then how about a refreshing lemon water ice lolly? These are simple and easy to make at home, and what’s best it that they’re free from all the sugary additives that are usually found in store-bought iced treats. Perfect for summer too!

If you’re really just not into lemons, drinking plain black coffee before a workout is said to help burn more calories by giving you that little energy kick. It can even help with your cycling performance.

Green tea is another brilliant beverage to rehydrate with through the day. With its natural caffeine, no sugar nonsense, it’s a tasty and warming brew after any ride. It’s also packed with great anti-oxidants too!

Try it for yourself, have a light summery start to the day with warm lemon water and see if you feel the benefits over time.

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