Can I have lemon juice for breakfast?

Q) I was just wondering if it would be okay to have a fresh squeezed lemon in hot water in the morning. I have read that this is very good for getting your metabolism going, I just wonder what you think about it, do you think it is beneficial? I’ve read your books and can see the extensive research you have done and value your opinion.

A) This is a question I haven’t had before! They’re always my favourites! The simple answer to your question is – yes it is OK, unless you care about the enamel of your teeth, as lemon juice in the mouth (let alone warm lemon juice!) is really not good for your teeth. Teeth aside, in
terms of is it beneficial or not, I can’t see any real benefit. The key thing to get your metabolism going in the morning is to ‘break’ the ‘fast’ i.e. to have breakfast/eat something. The body won’t register that anything has changed if you drink plain water and I can’t see that a tiny bit of lemon juice added is going to ‘wake the body up’ in any significant way. You’re so much better off just getting your bowl of porridge down you soon after waking!

I found the article below (from the Daily Mail Dec 2007) about the idea of lemon being of benefit to digestion. I can’t buy into this at all….

The mouth is alkaline (a good environment for teeth) and the stomach is highly acidic. So, 1) you don’t need lemon juice to make the stomach even more acidic (it may just give you tummy ache) 2) you don’t want to turn the mouth acidic instead of alkaline a) for teeth and b) because
the alkaline state of the mouth is perfect for carbs to start being digested. Hence, if you have your lemon juice and then porridge while the mouth may still be acidic, you will be trying to digest a carb in the wrong environment.

The bottom line would be – if you really enjoy it and your teeth are not a worry then it won’t do too much harm but I can’t see it doing any good!
Hope this helps
All the best – Zoe

Lose weight for Christmas with the Lemon Juice Diet (extract from The Daily Mail)

Last updated at 15:54 11 December 2007

Drink lemon juice with warm water every morning to stimulate your digestive system.

Hoping to lose a few pounds before Christmas but gloomy about your chances of success with conventional diets? Then lemons could be the answer.

In a new book, The Lemon Juice Diet, leading health writer Theresa Cheung suggests that the reason so many of us battle with our weight is because our digestive systems are not working properly – and that the conventional dieting process tends to exacerbate that.

However, including lemons in your diet – both juice and peel – will boost your digestion and, if you also eat healthily and exercise, can help you lose weight.

“Research seems to show that if your digestive system is not working correctly, healthy weight-loss is almost impossible,” says Cheung. “The problem is that poor digestion can stop your body getting the nutrients it needs to burn fat. It can also cause a build-up of toxins in your body, leaving you feeling sluggish and depressed.

“This, in turn, slows down your metabolism, making any weight-loss goals unattainable.”

The solution is lemons. “When it comes to boosting the body’s digestive and detox systems, lemon is a natural powerhouse,” says Cheung.

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Website Comments

  1. avatar Jane

    Hello, are lemons allowed in P1? I’ve read no fruits, but have seen lime juice and lemon as ingredients in some P1 recipes. I want to use 2 tablespoons in a salmon parcel recipe which would be ideal for P1 if lemons are allowed. Please can you advise?
    Thank you

  2. avatar Ruth Watts

    I wonder if ginger tea would be a good alternative to lemon tea, first thing? There’s no acid and it’s a natural spice.

  3. avatar Mavis

    Hi Zoe,
    Me and my husband has just found out about your diet and we have bought the book and on our 4th day of phase 1. Thank you and much respect for your extensive research and hard work put into making this way of losing weight the best we have encountered.
    I would like to ask a question if you would kindly help. I have been taking Ginkgo, CoQ10, and Pure fish oil and Magnesium. The later, I find very effective for asthma which I suffer from and the other two for obvious reasons. Since I started the diet, I have stopped taking any of the tablets mentioned and I find that the condition is returning, especially very painful legs and thighs during the night.

    I wonder, can I continue taking these tablets while still on the diet? Can you please advise.
    Thank you.

  4. avatar Jo Levett

    I pretty much cut caffeine out of my diet about 10 years ago, after following Carole Vorderman’s detox diet for a month. For a long time I have been starting and finishing each day with a mug of hot water – straight water in the evening and water with a slice of lemon in the morning. I have also been drinking a lot of fruit teas. Once you get into the habit of hot water and/or fruit tea, they are really refreshing, and must help me be hydrated.
    BUT I’ve recently been to see my dentist who threw up her hands in horror. My new rules are:
    – no lemon in hot water. It will slowly thin teeth enamel.
    – fruit teas only with a meal, not between meals, for the same reason.
    – brush teeth before breakfast or at least half an hour after breakfast. Otherwise the acid from the fruit tea is being brushed into the enamel and gradually weakening it.

  5. avatar Bev

    Having hot water with a very small squeeze of fresh lemon juice every morning has really helped me to stop drinking tea and coffee. I found it was the hot drink that I wanted most and not the caffeine, so hot water with just a very small fresh taste works very well. I have been very surprised, and pleased, at how quickly I have been able to cut out regular tea and coffee by doing this.


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