These days, my mornings usually start with my new liquid addiction.
Coffee? Nope. I can count on my fingers the number of cups I’ve ever had, with the last one being at least five or six years ago. Tea? Not that either. I make a cup of tea every few months, but even then it usually acts as a hand warmer. Soda? No, definitely not. Can you guess what it is?
What: It’s lemon water with cayenne pepper! (OK, so there wasn’t a lot of suspense.) I began this ritual a few months ago, and more often than not, I chug a tall glass of warm lemon water mixed with cayenne pepper first thing in the morning. Interesting concoction, no?
Why: Let me be clear, this is not the Master Cleanse or part of a fast (though I understand why many fasts and cleanses incorporate these ingredients). Basically, the claim is that it is a natural anti-fungal, immune-boosting, detoxifying, hydrating drink. The lemon and cayenne stimulate the liver, the kidneys, and the digestive system (and more), helping to push out toxins. Some people report more clarity and improved skin tone. It slightly warms your body temperature as well — always welcome on a cool morning!
Both my husband and I love starting our day with lemon and cayenne water and miss it on the days we don’t drink it. It just makes us feel extra good. And, to boot, a hydrating glass always seems to give me a boost of energy to make it through my morning workout.
When: In the morning, on an empty stomach.
Where: Anywhere! Lemons and the cayenne pepper are easily portable, and you can get warm water no matter where you go.
How: In a glass, combine about 16 ounces of warm (not hot) water, the juice of half a lemon (fresh, not from a bottle!) and a pinch of cayenne pepper (it doesn’t take much — start with a little and add more if you’d like). Stir it all together and drink up! Drinking it through a straw helps it go down more easily, and it also protects the enamel on your teeth, as does following it with a small glass of plain water. Easy peasy! Give it a little time, say 30 minutes or so, to do it’s work, and then feel free to dig into breakfast.
If you’re like me, you’re doing all you can to get out the door in the morning and you hesitate to add something else to your to-do list. For me, however, this drink is worth a few extra minutes. I effortlessly work it into my mornings by putting a small pot (or kettle) of water on the stove, and then proceeding to get ready while it heats. When I am ready, I pour the water into a glass (if it’s too hot, I simply add enough room temperature filtered water to bring the temperature down a bit so that it is comfortable to drink). Then I press the juice from half a lemon into the glass, add the cayenne and drink it as quickly as I can. Then I’m out the door. :)
Have you ever tried lemon water with cayenne pepper — if so, what was your experience like? What’s your favorite way to start the day?