Hot lemon water is a popular drink during the cold winter months and is often said to protect against colds. We’ll look into the effects and benefits of hot lemon water, as well as share an easy recipe for this popular drink.
Lemons are notorious for their high vitamin C content, but did you know that vitamin C is extremely sensitive to heat? It turns out that getting the benefits of hot lemon water might not be as straightforward as you thought.
Recipe for Hot Lemon Water
Hot lemon water is easy to prepare and only requires a few ingredients.
- One cup (250 ml) of water
- 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon honey
To avoid exposing yourself to chemicals and pesticides, opt for an organic lemon instead of a conventional one. And when you’re finished, reuse the lemon peel instead of throwing it away.
Tip: If you follow a vegan diet, try using one of these vegan honey alternatives.
How to make lemon water:
- Heat the water to about 100°-140°F. Alternatively, bring the water to a boil and allow it to cool back down.
- Press the lemon and add the juice to the warm water.
- Stir in the honey and drink the hot lemon water in small sips.
Important: Don’t add the lemon juice to the water when it’s too hot: make sure the water is 140 degrees or lower first.
The Temperature Problem
The benefits of hot lemon water are many, but there is one not-so-minor detail that makes a big difference in terms of how healthy this drink really is: vitamin C is not very heat stable. In fact, vitamin C begins to denature at temperatures as low as 86 °F. The negative effects of heat increase significantly at 140°F and become even worse at 170°F. That means that if you prepare lemon water with boiling hot water, you will destroy much, if not all, of the vitamin C, that it contains.
To prevent losing the health benefits of the lemon, make sure that your water isn’t over 140°F when you add your lemon juice.
Benefits of Hot Lemon Water
Lemons are rich in antioxidants and have a positive impact on your overall health. Here are some of the benefits of this citrus fruit:
- May help strengthen your immune system (that’s why it is such a popular ingredient in tea for colds)
- May lower blood pressure
- Protects against damage caused by free radicals
- May aid digestion
- May have a detoxifying effect
Tip: To get even more benefits, add lemon juice to your ginger tea.
This article has been translated from German to English by Christie Sacco. You can read the original here: Heiße Zitrone: Rezept, Wirkung und Nachteile des Getränks
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