One of the most consistent recommendations for better health is always to drink more water. It is almost certain the majority of people do not drink as much water as they need. (Take your weight, divide it in half, and that is how many ounces you need per day. For example, a 200 pound man needs about 100 ounces of water.) The next most common advice I have found is to drink lemon water, possibly with cayenne pepper and/or honey every day.
The reasons for doing so range from boosting the immune system to cleansing the liver, kick-starting the metabolism and weight loss to a burst of natural energy. Lemon juice itself has several health benefits associated with it. It is well known as a useful treatment for kidney stones, detoxifying with Vitamin C, reducing diabetes risk, and aiding in alkalinizing the body. Lemon is antioxidant, astringent, and contains boatloads of vitamins and minerals.
Cayenne pepper is recommended because it contains capsaicin, a spicy compound which stimulates the circulatory system. It opens capillaries, aids digestion, and helps to regulate blood sugar levels. It also kick-starts the metabolism and increases your internal body temperature, which can contribute to weight loss over time.
And finally, honey can also help in weight loss when consumed with warm water and lemon juice. Honey is packed with 22 amino acids and a number of valuable vitamins and minerals, many of which benefit the body’s metabolism. By regulating metabolic function, food is broken down and utilized properly, fat is converted into usable energy, and overall health is improved. Be sure to use local, raw, unfiltered honey whenever possible.
I gave this a try for 4 weeks. I could not handle the full-glass-of-warm-spicy-water, so I distilled it down into one shot. I know, the whole drink-a-big-glass-of-water is part of the deal, but I always followed it with a 16 oz glass of water. Here’s what I did:
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice (fresh when I had it, bottled when I didn’t)
- 1-2 tsp local honey
- Pinch chipotle pepper (I didn’t have cayenne, but it is basically the same thing)
Mix those in a shot glass, down it, and follow with a big glass of plain water.
Well, the horrible taste of sweet/acidic/spicy does kinda wake you up a bit. Overall I didn’t notice a huge variation in energy levels, in the morning or throughout the day. Neither did I notice a big difference in how I felt, health-wise. This may be because I already eat a pretty nutritious diet full of things that help detox and alkalinize me, but I didn’t notice a big enough difference to stay with it long term.
How about you guys? Have you ever tried a lemon water/cayenne detox, or is it part of your daily life? What benefits have you seen? Please share your experience in the comments!