QUESTION: Some say lemon water has to be warm or at room temperature - does it really matter?
ANSWER: It is best to drink lemon water at room temperature because this will preserve all of the enzymatic and nutritional properties of the lemon.
Hot water will destroy enzymes and nutrients, not only in lemons but in most foods.
Warm water will not destroy as many enzymes as boiling water, but it will still destroy some.
For the same reason, eating raw or steamed vegetables is more nutritious than eating boiled or fried veggies. The hotter the temperature and the longer vegetables are cooked, the less nutritional value they will have.
Icy cold water will also prevent the full utilization of nutrients and enzymes in the lemon water.
Every digestive process in our body requires a chemical reaction which generates heat. So when we drink icy cold lemon water (or any icy cold drink for that matter), our body has to work overtime to generate the heat necessary to utilize the nutrients and digest the food.
For this reason, I always encourage my clients to sip only room temperature water or warm herbal tea with meals. Ideally, we should not drink anything with meals because it dilutes the digestive juices.
Thus, room temperature, fresh-squeezed lemon water is best if you are interested in the optimum health benefits.
However, drinking lemon water at any temperature is still going to provide some nutritional benefits.
So, if you feel like having a cool glass of lemonade during the summer just for the refreshment, go for it!
Read more about Drinking Lemon in Water - How Much, How Often, Hot or Cold
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