If you've been checking out natural health websites at all, chances are you've almost certainly come across the recommendation to drink lemon and warm water first thing in the morning. And there's good reason for this.
Overnight, the hydration levels in your body start to drop, and the concentration of excreted waste materials increases--you'll notice this results in a much darker urine colour first thing after waking up. The period when we sleep is when the body's waste management systems do much of their work because, while we're asleep, we're not asking them to do anything other than cleansing and repair. They've had a tough little job over night, and when we wake up, the kindest thing we can do for ourselves is to give these systems--the liver in particular--an immediate injection of the things they've used up overnight. Water, yes, to rehydrate the cells and the blood and get things moving and liquid. And lemons. Lemons are special for a few reasons, of which this is only a short list:
So, you might be wondering why I want to reinvent something so simple as lemon and warm water. It doesn't get more basic or healthy than this, right?
Well... Most of the advice out there is too basic, at least in my opinion. Just squeeze some fresh lemon into hot water. Voila! But we can do better than this. Not least of which is because, if you really do use hot water, as in the temperature for making coffee or tea, the health-bringing substances in the lemon start to be damaged. And we burn our mouths! So, we want to keep the water around 40 degrees Celsius/104 degrees Fahrenheit. We can also make the water much more hydrating--e.g. bio-absorbable--by making it isotonic through the addition of trace mineral electrolytes. And what about the benefits of the peel itself? Don't want to forget that!
One suggestion if you wanted to take this recipe even further is the use of organic coconut water instead of plain water. In this case, you wouldn't need to add the trace minerals since the coconut water is already full of minerals and electrolytes. It would probably be easiest to use room-temperature coconut water in this case, but you could also briefly warm it on the stove (please don't use the microwave).
Finally, since I have this lovely tea faithfully every morning, I like to use a straw for drinking it in order to reduce the acidic wear and tear on my tooth enamel. Glass straws are fantastic for this (and relieve that terrible first-thing-in-the-morning guilt about wastefulness and the environment).