Lemon water in the mornings can be just the tonic for a troubled tummy, writes Emma Gliddon
Recently I’ve noticed my gut health isn’t quite so resilient, and this manifests in a series of symptoms that I won’t go into! Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) covers a wide range of problems and I was beginning to suspect that my grumpy guts were included.
I’ve tried everything: colonic irrigation, a gluten-free diet, and I always top up daily with a range of probiotics.
Then I discovered lemon water. Now I’m doing this, which is simple, effective and cheap, everything seems to be running so much more smoothly. I’ve even noticed a difference in my skin and the whites of my eyes seem brighter. It’s a very simple quick fix: every morning on rising I drink a large glass of warm water laced with a little fresh lemon juice.
Make it a big one, at least a pint, or two half litres, whatever your glassware allows. I think volume is crucial because I did this before and it didn’t do anything, but I was only drinking a small glass.
Don't have too much lemon in there either, or it can give you a sore tummy. I cut an organic lemon in half, just squeeze a bit of the juice with my hands into the glass and put the rest in the fridge for tomorrow. So I reckon it’s about the juice of a quarter of a lemon, per litre, every day.
The water has to be warm. Ice cold water can be a shock to your delicate insides first thing in the morning and drinking water at body temperature is recommended by Ayurveda.
Can you use filtered water? We have a water filter tap in the kitchen which is great, but there are lots of ways to filter your drinking water and it can make a huge difference to gut health. I fill the kettle and boil it, fill my ginormous glass about three quarters full with cold water and top up the last quarter with hot water.
Don’t swig it back in one! Make it last about 10 minutes while you’re pottering about or maybe even use this time for a short meditation, a spot of journalling or setting an uplifting intention for the day.
Hopefully, you should start noticing the difference to both body and mind in a few days; it’s so much kinder on the psyche to wake up this way than with a harsh jolt of caffeine.
You’ve probably heard of this morning ritual before, but if you haven’t used the tips above, then try again and check the results for yourself.
Remember: make it large, warm, weak, and drink it slow…it’s the perfect tonic to start your day.
Emma is a senior yoga teacher based in North Somerset. She leads classes and retreats through her company Do Yoga