Warm lemon and cayenne pepper water is touted as a detoxifying and metabolism-boosting natural remedy. Why? Does it actually work? And do you need to do some drastic “cleanse” to get all of the benefits? (Spoiler: NOPE!) Let’s take a closer look…
I want to be clear upfront: no, this is absolutely NOT a post about a cleanse where all you drink is lemon and cayenne pepper water for a week in the name of detoxification or to achieve drastic weight loss.
Eek, does that thought make me cringe!
While I’m all about detox, I believe in gentle boosting your body’s detox pathways and with a food-based approach. Yes, you can still eat and detox! (And eat and lose weight, for that matter.) YUM!
Related Post: 8 Simple Daily Detox Habits for Gentle Cleansing
However, drinking a warm glass of water with fresh-squeezed lemon juice and cayenne pepper is something I do every morning to give my body’s detoxification pathways a little boost.
So how does it work?
Both are great at giving the body’s detox pathways, digestion, and metabolism a boost.
The vitamin C in lemon transforms toxins into digestible material. Lemons are also packed with antioxidants and electrolytes like potassium, calcium, and magnesium. This tart fruit is also known to stimulate the liver’s natural enzymes by helping to oxygenate the body.
Lemon also stimulates the secretion of gastric juices, aiding the digestion of your breakfast that will follow. Since proper digestion is absolutely critical to a healthy body, this drink is a great way to set the stage for a day of healthy digestion.
To boot, lemons, though acidic, helps neutralize the body’s pH by making it more alkaline. pH imbalance has been attributed to numerous disorders as well as chronic illness.
Cayenne pepper stimulates the circulatory system by opening the capillaries, aids digestion, and helps regulate blood sugar. It can also increase your body temperature and speed up your metabolism.
NOTE: Be sure to always buy non-irradiated cayenne pepper (and all spices) since irradiation can reduce the health benefits!
Though lemon and cayenne pepper have achieved quite a bit of fame thanks to “The Master Cleanse” — a protocol that involves drinking water, lemon, cayenne pepper, and maple syrup for a few days to detox and achieve quick weight loss (no, it doesn’t sound very pleasant to me either!) — you don’t need to do this drastic cleanse in order to reap the rewards.
Instead, I do a “mini master cleanse” each morning. It’s such a super simple addition to your health and wellness routine and a great way to start the day off on the right foot.
So here’s what I do: sometime after waking but before eating breakfast, I warm a pint of water (slightly warmer than body temperature but not hot), juice half a lemon directly in the glass using a wooden citrus reamer, and top it off with a few sprinkles of non-irradiated cayenne pepper (since, again, the process of irradiation reduces the nutritional profile and natural medicinal properties of herbs and spices, and we don’t want that!). Lastly, I mix everything together and chug*. I follow this with about a half glass of plain water, and wait 15-30 minutes before eating breakfast to let the drink work its magic.
*Note: I use a glass drinking straw with this drink to keep the acidic lemon from wearing away my tooth enamel. If you choose to try or adopt this practice, I highly suggest investing in these straws. Unlike plastic straws, they will not leech any harmful chemicals.
Yes? Well then you’re in the right place!
You’ll also enjoy…
Sprinkling red cayenne pepper on barbecuing chicken gives it a feisty, spicy kick. Squeezing lemon juice onto a salmon fillet imparts a citrusy freshness. Both cayenne pepper and lemon juice offer distinctive taste and nutritional benefits, but be cautious about embracing diets emphasizing these two ingredients as mainstays. Highly restrictive diets, sometimes touted as “cleansing” or “detoxifying” eating plans, haven’t yet been shown to have short-term or long-term benefits to justify the potential negative side effects.
Red cayenne pepper might be an appetite suppressant among both spicy food aficionados and individuals who don’t enjoy spicy foods, according to health columnist Tara Parker-Pope in “The New York Times.” The effect is slightly stronger among people who don’t typically consume spicy foods, however. Consuming red cayenne pepper may also boost metabolism and encourage the body to burn additional calories. Lemon juice might help weight loss by stimulating digestive enzymes and improving indigestion, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research. Its acidic qualities may help regulate blood sugar levels, so that after consumption you’re less likely to crave more food. Adding lemon juice to foods can add flavor without additional calories.
In a 2006 study, capsaicin in red cayenne pepper was shown to prevent the growth of cancer cells in the prostate, according to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Capsaicin also helps sinus infections, reduces inflammation and offers gastric relief, according to Medill Reports. In a 2004 study, lemon juice was shown to effectively reduce the presence of human immunodeficiency virus, HIV, in lab dishes, according to ABC News.
The spicy taste in cayenne peppers comes from capsaicin, which also has pain-relieving qualities, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Two tbsp. of lemon juice provides 11 mg of vitamin C.
Some restricted diet plans promote the use of red cayenne pepper and lemon juice to aid in detoxification, cleansing and weight loss. Although lemon juice and red cayenne pepper diets have accumulated somewhat of a cult following, according to “The New York Times,” nutritionists warn against dramatically reducing calorie intake for extended periods of time. This can lead to hunger, dizziness and other problems. Some dieters may find that they quickly regain the weight lost through drinking lemon juice and cayenne mixtures once the diet concludes. A more moderate approach to enjoying the benefits of consuming lemon juice and red cayenne pepper would be to incorporate these ingredients into your regular diet in moderation.
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A few years ago, the lemon and cayenne diet was hugely popular with celebrities as a weight-loss “detox.” The diet consisted of lemon water sweetened with honey and spiced with cayenne pepper. In order to detox, it was recommended that this alone should be consumed for 10 days. The diet naturally led to rapid weight loss, but for most people, it had no long-term benefits.
As with most diets, a less extreme approach is often more effective in the long run. The properties of cayenne pepper and lemon are ideal for detoxing the body when used as a supplement to a healthy lifestyle. A drink of lemon water, honey and cayenne pepper consumed daily can provide a wealth of benefits as part of a healthy diet.
Much of the health benefits of this natural elixir come from the powerful active ingredients found in both lemon and cayenne pepper. Lemon contains around eight percent citric acid, which has historically been used as a natural preservative. Not only that, citric acid also aids in smooth digestion, helps dissolve kidney stones and actually helps to alkalize the body.
Cayenne packs it’s own incredible health punch with the aid of capsaicin, a compound that has received considerable attention in the scientific world. Capsaicin has been proven to treat anything from headaches to osteoarthritis. Research continues to reveal more wonders of this antioxidant every year.
As individual ingredients, lemon and cayenne are forces to be reckoned with. But together, they provide a truly nourishing elixir of health. Here are 17 reasons to detox with a lemon water and cayenne pepper drink every day:
Lemons contain a large amount of vitamin C, which boosts the immune system. Cayenne pepper contains an ingredient called capsaicin, which also has immune-boosting properties. A 1998 study published in the International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research showed that mice fed with capsaicin had better immune responses than those that were not given capsaicin.
The mix of vitamins and minerals in lemon and cayenne pepper helps to stimulate the liver. The combination provides the liver with the right balance of nutrients to detox from harmful substances, such as sugar and alcohol.
Cayenne pepper stimulates the digestive system and intestines. It can soothe gas, a sour stomach and other digestive problems. Lemon is also a natural stimulant for the digestive system and helps to balance acidity in the body. Drinking lemon water can even reduce heartburn and acid reflux.
Cayenne and lemon are both powerful allies in the fight against bacteria. The properties in lemon and cayenne are so strong, they can be used as antibacterial cleaners. Drinking lemon water with cayenne can prevent you from getting sick. If you do happen to pick up an infection, the combination of lemon and cayenne can work to reduce your symptoms.
Cayenne is stimulating to the circulatory system, which can help keep blood pressure low. It may even fight common heart problems that can lead to serious conditions. Cayenne works to strengthen the blood vessels, keeping blood moving efficiently and cholesterol levels low.
Lemon has appetite-suppressing properties, which may also reduce sugar cravings during the day. Cayenne boosts the metabolism, which burns fat while suppressing the appetite. The combination is the ultimate painless weight-loss aid. It encourages your body to stay at a healthy weight and discourages overeating.
Cayenne is an overall stimulant. It encourages the cells to work more efficiently. This not only improves blood circulation but also improves lymphatic health as well.
Lemon and cayenne have short-term and long-term benefits. A 1998 study found that capsaicin has 22 anticancer properties. In some studies, capsaicin intake has been linked with a reduction in lung cancer.
Together, lemon and cayenne have properties that help soothe minor viral infections, specifically sore throats. Lemon boosts the immune system. Cayenne contains compounds that soothe sore throats and reduce congestion. This beverage is ideal for use during cold and flu season.
Lemon contains high levels of vitamin C, which can be effective in fighting gingivitis. Most adults suffer from a lack of vitamin C in the diet, which can cause the spread of bacteria in the mouth. Researchers have found that the capsaicin in cayenne pepper is linked to a reduction in toothaches and tooth pain.
Drinking cayenne can help to alleviate gastrointestinal irritation. It reduces inflammation and other irritable responses to food intolerances or limited digestive capacity. This means that getting more cayenne in your diet can help to ease upset stomachs, reduce (and even remove) peptic ulcers and help decongest your airways.
The atomic structure of lemon juice is similar to the digestive compounds found naturally in your stomach. Drinking a lemon water and cayenne pepper drink can actually help your stomach to produce more bile, thereby helping food move through your stomach more efficiently. This reduces the amount of time food spends in your stomach and also prevents certain protein-rich foods from rotting in your gut. The result is reduced stomach irritation, lower risk of developing stomach ulcers and ultimately a better outlook on food!
The ability of cayenne pepper to dramatically reduce nerve and joint pain has received considerable scientific study. One of the ways in which cayenne achieves this is through actively reducing mast cells in the body, which are associated with inflammation and pain.
Not only that, the capsaicin found in cayenne pepper actively blocks the body’s production of substance-P, a compound which activates the pain mechanism in the brain. Countless studies have shown that by exhausting the body’s production of substance-P, patients found significant decreases in both joint and nerve pain. Research even shows that consuming cayenne and other hot peppers every day can make a big difference with regards to back pain.
Lemons make a good partner to cayenne when it comes to pain alleviation, as they are highly anti-inflammatory. Because inflammation is one of the key markers of pain, more lemon in your life can only be a good thing!
The skin-healing abilities of lemons are legendary. A quick Google search brings up hundreds of natural remedies for anything from dry, itchy skin to serious epidermal conditions like psoriasis or eczema.
Much of the benefits derive from the high vitamin C content in lemon, a well-known antioxidant and fighter of free radicals. Because free radicals undermine the health of your skin through oxidative damage of your skin cells, more vitamin C from lemon means healthier, younger-looking skin.
Cayenne isn’t exactly loaded with vitamin C. Still, people have been using it for hundreds of years as a treatment for various ailments of the skin. These include snake bites, open sores and wounds, bug bits and anything in between. With these two ingredients together in a zesty drink, your skin will be looking and feeling better in no time.
As many people know, blood clots can be very dangerous if left undiagnosed. These occur when blockages occur in your arteries and blood vessels, limiting the flow of blood through your circulatory system and starving your body of much-needed oxygen and nutrients.
Cayenne may help to reduce your risk of developing blood clots due to its high concentration of capsaicin. This wondrous compound is believed to help clear away artery-narrowing lipid deposits, along with dilating arteries and blood vessels, thereby clearing away potential clots.
We’ve all looked for that mystical weight-loss superfood at some point in our life. And while it may not be the holy-grail of dieting, cayenne certainly shows promise in reducing appetite and speeding up weight loss. A 2009 study published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that capsaicin “suppressed hunger and increased satiety,” making it a useful ally in your fight to lose the pounds.
Lemon can also be a great way to keep off weight, due to its digestion-supporting abilities. Increased bile production from drinking lemon every morning can ensure that your digestive system is more capable of breaking down the foods you eat, meaning you utilize more nutrients from every mouthful. Therefore, you won’t need to eat as much to stay satiated. Not only that, researchers have shown lemon to significantly reduce blood sugar spikes after eating carbohydrate-rich foods, thereby lowering your risk of putting on weight.
Do you struggle to get started in the morning without one or more cups of strong coffee? While certain types of coffee are good for your health, you should only drink coffee in moderation and stick to the good stuff.
An excellent, healthy alternative is a lemon water and cayenne pepper drink first thing in the morning. Lemons help to boost your energy levels by providing your body with plenty of negatively-charged ions. When these ions enter your digestive tract, they provide an almost instantaneous source of energy without the repercussions associated with caffeine or sugar.
Not only that, the capsaicin found in cayenne pepper plays an important role in thermogenesis. This is the process by which your body converts energy into heat. More thermogenesis means more heat, which in turn increases your metabolic rate and provides you with a boost of energy.
If you constantly suffer from debilitating migraine headaches, you either rely on prescription meds or retreating to a dark room. Neither of these options is ideal. These meds can often present harmful side effects. Plus, you don’t always have time to retreat to a dark room every time a headache hits!
Research shows that cayenne pepper is able to significantly reduce migraines and cluster headaches due to its ability to impair the body’s production of substance-P. This occurs when the capsaicin in cayenne simulates the sensation of pain in another part of the body, eventually depleting substance-P and therefore lessening the sensation of pain or throbbing in your head.
Drink lemon and cayenne pepper daily first thing in the morning to receive all of the benefits they provide. We do not recommend the extreme diet of drinking lemon water and cayenne alone. This is not a healthy way to lose weight or detox, and it should not be your only source of nutrition during the day. Balance the intake of your detox drink with a healthy diet filled with vegetables and fruit, and you will feel much better in no time.
In this day and age, being overweight or obese is one of the biggest concerns in people’s lives. Based on the statistics, these issues are common in individuals who consume processed and junk foods in high portions. It has been observed that people’s consumption of processed foods have replaced fruits and vegetables, thereby aggravating the risk of suffering from multiple metabolic diseases. Such unhealthy foods leave junk and toxin in our body, compromising energy generation as well as other metabolic processes, thereby leading to accumulation of fat deposits.
Detoxifying diets are now widely accepted by health-conscious people as a supplement to boost the body’s processes of eliminating toxic compounds. These diets are also helpful in cleansing the bodily systems to increase the basal rate of metabolism. The lemon and cayenne pepper water diet is one popular choice among such cleansing diets.
A Lemon and cayenne pepper water diet is also known as the Master Cleanse. It is a diet without solid food, and should be followed for at least 10 days to achieve its fast weight-loss effect. The diet comprises of 4 cups of salt water in the morning, 1 cup of laxative tea at night, and 6-12 cups of “lemonade” during the day. The “lemonade” is made up of simple juices that are prepared from a combination of natural ingredients including lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of maple syrup (or honey) as a sweetening agent, a pinch of cayenne pepper, and 8 ounce of water. The ingredients are added then mixed in water; the mixture is then shaken and sealed for use. You can adjust the temperature of water, based on your liking.
For a demonstration of how to make lemon and cayenne pepper water, please refer to this video:
This diet is a quick solution for those who are interested in losing some pounds for special occasions, but it is not a permanent solution as the weight lost will be regained once you resume previous eating habits. You must control your dieting habits along with this diet in order to achieve fruitful results, but if this dieting is extended for longer periods of time, it can result in complications such as muscle wasting and nutrient deficiencies. The only solution to control and reduce weight is regular exercises and a healthy diet. If you’re already suffering from any medical conditions, you must consult your physician first for better recommendations regarding the use of this diet.
Along with weight loss, this water diet also possesses some other health benefits, such as:
As an alternative, if you don’t feel like adopting a liquid diet, you can also use some of the above-mentioned ingredients to prepare detox water and drink it daily.
Let’s hear a personal detox experience with lemon and cayenne pepper water.
Every day before I go to sleep, I take one lemon from the fridge and place it on the counter along with the cayenne pepper bottle. After waking up in the morning, the first thing I do is to switch on my electric tea pot. Then I pour that warm water in a cup and squeeze a lemon at the top, sprinkle the cayenne pepper and drink it. In order to limit the acidic exposure to my teeth, I use a straw. I drink around 15 ounces of this detox water before eating or drinking anything else. I have been continuing this ritual for the past 5 years. Even when I am not in my house, or out on vacations, I take a few lemons with me in my luggage, so that I can make and drink my detox water daily. This detox water provides your liver with a super stimulating power to remove toxic agents resulting from environmental and lifestyle factors out of your body, in the form of uric acid and bile. This cleansing provides your body with a protected environment for a long period of time and help prevents diseases such as cancer.
Following are some tips about lemons uses.