Updated: Sep 10, 2019
So a lot of you ask me from time to time what my morning routine consists of. And.... I do my best to answer that question, but it is unfortunately inconsistent as some days I have to be up for work super early and need a quick & easy breakfast alternative, and then some days I'm able to ease my way into the day and make a big ol' protein and fat filled breakfast.
BUT, regardless of what I end up being able to prepare food-wise, I ALWAYS start my day with a glass of warm lemon water with a dash of cayenne pepper. I got this tip from one of my favorite health advocates and researchers, more commonly known as Food Babe, and ever since I started adapting the habit, I have not been able to start my morning routine without it! I have gotten to the point where I will even bring extra lemons with me when I travel....whoops.
Back before I adapted this habit, whenever I woke up groggy, or felt like I needed a little extra kick, I used to rely on coffee to wake me up. But honestly, coffee gives me an upset stomach (especially when I drink it in the morning without much food in my body) and I personally am not a huge fan of the taste (or the yucky breath that always comes as a result of drinking it). I do like tea a lot, but typically like to end the day with it (Tradicional Medicinals) is my favorite brand) right before I relax and get into bed rather than drinking it in the morning.
Warm lemon water with cayenne sounds a little intense, BUT I truthfully have so much more energy (and feel extremely off if I do miss a morning) than I ever did when drinking coffee, and I also just feel clean, refreshed and ready to start the day. In addition, the cayenne really adds a little boost to help fight food cravings throughout the day. Sounds like an awesome way to start your morning off if you ask me!
Besides it making me feel this way, drinking warm lemon water first thing in the morning has many other benefits as well:
Detoxes your liver.
Your liver is responsible for supporting so many vital functions within our bodies: clearer eyesight, improved moods, balanced weight, healthier and clearer skin, etc. After having all night to properly rest, the liver is the most active in the morning and the lemon helps to eliminate a lot of toxins from your body from the previous day and start fresh!
It's nearly impossible to shed pounds or even keep tabs on your weight if your digestive system is not working to its best ability, and this helps to keep everything working smoothly.
Makes your body more alkaline.
Lemon has an alkalizing affect on the body, and it helps to balance out our bodies different levels of acidity and alkalinity. Keeping a proper balance of your acidity/alkalinity levels will help your body maintain its blood pH levels as well.
Adding in the cayenne helps to enhance your blood circulation and also assists with fighting food cravings throughout the day to prevent any 3PM binge snacking opportunities at your desk (we've all been there...).
Helps to prevent sickness.
Lemon is full of so many key vitamins and nutrients that our bodies need on a daily basis! Vitamin C plays a huge part in fighting cell damage, preventing chronic inflammation and strengthening your immune defenses to prevent you from getting those annual cold and flu symptoms. In addition, limonin (another phytonutrient found in lemons) has been shown to help prevent cancerous cells from growing.
So, as you can see there are MANY benefits of adding this step into your morning routine everyday. If you can't stand the lemon and cayenne, simply grab a teaspoon of some Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar, and dilute it with some water, and drink that as an alternative. I've never gotten on that train, but it's an option!
How to prepare lemon water:
Your goal: To fill a 12oz glass up with half hot water, half room-temperature water (why? drinking warm water first thing in the morning is the best way to help the body flush the digestive system and rehydrate the body as well as allow for the full enzymatic properties of the lemon to kick in)
To make the hot water, either use a tea pot or place into the microwave (I try to use a tea pot whenever time allows!)
You can simply turn it on while you're brushing your teeth to save time.
Once you have the hot water, pour it into a glass and fill the other half of the glass with regular, room-temperature water (to create a "warm" temperature)
Squeeze a lemon (either with your hands, or a lemon squeezer) into the glass, sprinkle a dash of cayenne (optional for an extra kick) on top, and drink up!
Make sure that to avoid your teeth being exposed to the acid, that you drink with a straw.
Try to drink on an empty stomach and first thing when you wake up, and then wait about 15-20 minutes before you eat anything else to allow the lemon & cayenne to go to work.
Follow with breakfast or your daily cup of coffee (if still desired!)
Give this routine a shot for a few days this week, and let me know what you think! You might be surprised at how it makes you feel.