I’ve become a hot water and lemon junkie

When I have my journalist head on, two things make me scream (inwardly obviously) when someone I’m interviewing mentions them as tips – they are….

  • Drink lots of water to make your skin look good.

  • Start your day with hot water and lemon

As soon as I hear either of these my heart sinks – partly because I wish there was a little health journalist fairy that paid out every time I heard them as I’d be rich – and partly because my editors will not let me get away with putting them in my article as they too have heard them a million times before and now I have to find a nice way of saying that and getting another tip from the person. This however, does not mean that they don’t work.

I can categorically say that my skin looks its best if  I’m not drinking any alcohol, if I’m taking a daily fish oil and I’m drinking over a litre of water a day. It’s smooth, plump and the red veins on my cheeks are less prominent.

I am now however also convinced of the benefits of the hot water and lemon thing. A few months ago I wasn’t hugely well – and in an attempt to find out why I cut out a heap of things in my diet that I thought might be aggravating my condition – one of which was tea.

I started off replacing it with hot water, then I decided to add lemon. Soon I noticed that my body started to feel different – it was like my skin was tighter in some areas – mostly noticeable around my ribs and bra strap at the back. Normally, even when I’m exercising hard, this area on me feels doughy –  but now it was like my skin had shrunk closer to the muscle. I thought it was down to exercise – and then I started back on the tea, gave up the lemon and it came back. I’m now back on the hot water and lemon and it’s shrinking again.

Intrigued, I dropped nutritionist Vicki Edgson a line. She is queen of all things to do with alkaline eating – and drinking hot water and lemon is said to put your body in an alkaline state – so I thought she would know if there was a rational explanation for what I was feeling. She did, here’s what she told me…… ‘We store fluid in the skin when we are trying to protect the main organs in the body from being exposed to toxins. Drinking hot water and lemon helps to flush out toxins, allowing the skin to let go of stored fluids.   Hot water and lemon also supports good kidney function – flushing our natural waste matter through the kidneys more efficiently.’

So there you have it, if you’re a fluid retainer like I am, the benefits of hot water and lemon may help lean you out a bit (NB: It doesn’t work miracles, you won’t drop a dress size or anything, nor will it help you atone for sins like shedloads of wine entering your system).  I do also have to mention that dentists really don’t like it. Despite the whole, it turns alkaline in your body thing, it’s very acidic to your teeth and may increase your risk of erosion. Either rinse your mouth after drinking – or, if possible, wait for it to cool a bit and drink it through a straw so it doesn’t touch your teeth at all.

Oh, and if you want to find out more about alkaline eating, that’s a whole other post – instead, I’d suggest checking out Vicki’s new book – Honestly Healthy: Eat with your body in mind, the alkaline way. It explains alkaline theory and gives you recipe ideas to try.

NB: I am an Amazon Associate so if you do click the link above I do make a small commission if you make a purchase.

Images: freedigitalphotos.net


  1. narcissista1

    Great tip Helen. I do this now and then with cold water, but does it make a difference if it’s hot? Also was the tea you were drinking green tea or regular? I am trying to drink more green tea to be “good”:)

    1. healthehelen

      Good question – as far as I know it doesn’t really matter though there’s a few theories that tepid water is absorbed best by your body. might aid digestion more effectively etc. Personally, I use hot water. I find it gets more juice from the lemon (After I’ve squeezed it I throw a lump in and drink it with it in there giving it an extra squish now and then). First thing in the morning it also seems more soothing.

      As for the tea – it’s full on builders tea with the tea bag in it. I can’t drink green tea, it does something very strange to my blood sugar and makes me feel sick within about 30 minutes, but also black tea isn’t the bad cousin.

      Another one of the things that makes me groan when interviewees say it is the idea that black tea dehydrates – studies say it doesn’t unless you are caffeine naive (I never drink it, or have had a break from it). If you like black tea, it’s fine to drink it – although green does have more antioxidants and other benefits.

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