Contrary to popular belief, just putting a few lemon slices or wedges into a glass of water does not mean you are drinking lemon water. While this is a great way to make water taste good when you are trying to hydrate and drink fewer soft drinks and other beverages that aren’t good for you, you won’t get the same health benefits as making real lemon water. This is because it isn’t just the flavor of the water, but the concentration of the lemon juice. You need the actual juice of a lemon in order to get all the vitamin C and other nutrients.
One thing to note is that when you are drinking lemon water for all the health benefits, it should preferably be warm water. This isn’t going to be the case every single time, but in the morning if you want to boost your metabolism, try to drink at least one small cup of warm lemon water. Then the rest of the day, enjoy your cold pitcher of lemon water or infused water with lemons.
Easy Lemon Water Recipe
To make a single glass of lemon water, you need about ¼-cup of water, juice from ½ lemon, and about 1/3 cup of boiling water added in. You should add the lemon juice to your empty glass first, using a lemon reamer or handheld juicer to extract as much lemon juice from it as you can. This will increase its concentration. Now add the cold water and boiling water to the glass, which is going to make the water warm enough for the health benefits.
You could also just add lemon juice to a glass of warm water from the tap, but this is another method to try out. If you are having cold lemon water, add the juice of a lemon to a glass of cold water, or you can follow our lemon-infused water recipe available here.
Add Lemon Zest
Another great thing to do when you are making lemon water is to add some lemon zest to the glass or pitcher of water. The zest from a lemon comes from the skin. For every 1/4 cup of fresh-squeezed lemon juice, one extracts Vitamin C (23,61 mg) and Folate (12.20 mcg), along with the carotenoids – cryptoxanthin (2.44 mcg) and lutein and zeaxanthin (9.15 mcg). It’s best to use a hand zester to add a little bit of lemon zest to every glass or pitcher you make.
What to Add to Your Lemon Water
While you can definitely have just lemon juice, zest, and water, you might occasionally want to add something to it. There are certain additions that taste great with lemon to make it a little more interesting and add to the flavor, but also increase the overall nutrition of your lemon water as well. Here are some different things to consider adding to your lemon water.
The first ingredient you might want to add to your lemon water is ginger. In fact, many detox drinks and detox water recipes ask for both lemon juice and ginger. They work great together, both are loaded with vitamins and minerals, and are a good flavor combination without being too overpowering. It is best if you can get a ginger root and grate it fresh with a zester. Go ahead and use the exact same zester you use with your lemon zest. For every tall glass of water, you should be using the juice from ½ lemon and about ½ inch knob from the ginger root.
Don’t forget you can also add some honey to your lemon water. Honey really works great at helping your water taste delicious and is really good in warm lemon water. With honey, you can help with ulcers and digestive health, provide antibacterial properties, and allow you to get more antioxidants in your body.
Try to use only raw or organic honey, not processed bottled honey. Regular honey from the grocery store is often filled with additives and goes through a chemical process that often contains extra sugar. You don’t want to make your lemon water unhealthy just by adding honey for flavor and nutrients. The amount of honey you use is up to you, but start with just a teaspoon per glass of water, stir it, and taste it to see if you are happy with that amount. The honey blends well when the water is warm.
Fruits and Herbs
As you will find out in the next section about making infused lemon water, fruits and herbs combined with lemon water can also be perfect for your healthy water. While you can choose any fruits or herbs you want, there are some that tend to taste a little better with it. Herbs like mint and rosemary are good additions, as well as most berries and other citrus fruits like grapefruit and lime.
- Rinse the lemon under cold runinng water prior to cutting.
- You should add the lemon juice to your empty glass first, using a lemon reamer or handheld juicer to extract as much lemon juice from it as you can. This will increase its concentration.
- Now add the cold water and boiling water to the glass, which is going to make the water warm enough for the health benefits.
- Use a zester to add a little bit of lemon zest from the lemon's skin avoiding the rind which is bitter in taste - to every glass or pitcher you make.
- Get a ginger root and grate it fresh. Feel free to add it alongside the lemon zest. For every tall glass of water, you should be using the juice from ½ lemon and about ½ inch knob from the ginger root.
- The amount of honey you use is up to you, but start with just a teaspoon per glass of water, stir it, and taste it to see if you are happy with that amount. The honey blends well when the water is warm.
- Add desired fruits and herbs, such as twigs of mint or rosemary.
For every 1/4 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice, GI = 5, which is classified as Low GI (0-55).
However, if consumed in large quantities, it could cause stomach irritation in some people.