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How to Do a Mini Cleanse With Lemon in the Morning

By Jody Braverman

Drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning replenishes your fluids after a night's sleep and kicks off healthy hydration for the day. Some fresh-squeezed lemon juice in your water may make it more palatable; while some holistic health advocates claim it can cleanse your colon, assisting the bowels in eliminating toxins and decreasing gas and bloating, most doctors -- such as Elizabeth Matzkin, chief of women's sports medicine at Harvard Medical School -- say there's no scientific evidence to support this claim, and the body is able to effectively remove toxins itself. Speak to your doctor before beginning any detox or cleansing routine.

  1. Pour yourself a glass of water upon waking and before eating. Whether you use cold water, room temperature water or warm water doesn't make a difference. A glass of water could be 8 ounces, or it could be 16 ounces. There's no daily recommended intake for water; the Institute of Medicine set an adequate intake for men and women of 15 cups and 11 cups of fluids, respectively. This is the total amount of fluid from all beverages, including water, and food. Drinking 1 or 2 cups first thing in the morning makes it easier to reach those recommendations.

  2. Rinse your lemon under running water to remove dirt or pesticides.

  3. Slice the lemon in half. Use a citrus reamer to extract the juice, or just use your hands. Use one-half or a whole lemon, based on your preference. Squeeze the juice directly into the glass of water, or pour it from the reamer into the glass.

  4. Drink the entire glass of water with lemon juice. Wait an hour or two before eating breakfast, or follow your lemon water with breakfast.

  5. Tip

    Room temperature lemons are not as firm as lemons straight from the refrigerator and may be easier to squeeze. You can store lemons at room temperature for about a week; for longer storage times, place them in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator. You can take one out and pop it in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds before juicing it.

    Lemon juice is a good source of vitamin C. The juice of one whole lemon provides 18 milligrams, almost 30 percent of the daily value.


    Drinking a glass of water with lemon juice in the morning has no negative side effects, unless you use it to replace meals or go without food for long periods, which can lead to fatigue and nutrient deficiencies.

    Cleansing diets that advise this regimen are fad diets and not recommended by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics as safe or effective.

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