Habits for the New Year and Beyond – #1 Drink Lemon Water

The new year is just around the corner – a time where a lot of people make resolutions to get healthier and lose weight… The gyms get CRAZY, wellness books jump to the top of best seller lists, and people get radical with their diets. A lot of us start doing all sorts of things we don’t intend on doing for the rest of our lives. This is where the problem lies with new year’s resolutions.

Instead of doing something just because it’s the new year – why not take it a step further and develop a healthy habit for the rest of your life? This might seem crazy and idealistic considering the rate of people that fall off the wagon come March, but it’s really not.  Especially since your health should be your number one priority for the rest of your life. Period.

For the next few days – I will share some habits that are really worth developing this year and strategies that will hopefully help you stick to them beyond this year’s resolutions.

Here’s the first one…

#1 Drink Warm Lemon Water and Cayenne Pepper first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.

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How does one successfully do this every single day?

Every night I fill my electric tea pot with filtered water, place one lemon on the counter from the fridge, along with the cayenne pepper bottle and a cup filled half way with water. As soon as I get up in the morning, I put on my robe on and walk into the kitchen to turn the electric kettle on. I then go into the bathroom and by the time I finish putting in my contact lenses and splash my face with water to wake up – the electric kettle has finished warming up my water. I then pour the water in the glass half full with room temperature water, squeeze one half of the lemon on top, sprinkle with cayenne and drink.

I usually drink this mixture with a straw, so my teeth aren’t exposed to the acid and I gulp down at least 15 ounces. Followed by another 8 ounces of water later before I eat or drink anything else. I’ve done this every morning for last 5 years. I even bring lemons with me when I am on vacation or when I am not sleeping in my own house. I just throw a few lemons right into my luggage – it’s too easy not to do…

Adopting this daily habit has amazing health benefits. Imagine getting sick less, feeling lighter, having regular eliminations, clearer skin, more energy and having a boost in your metabolism leading to weight loss over time…

Doing this ritual every morning provides a super stimulant to the liver, your main detoxing organ in the body. Your liver will release uric acid and create bile to safely eliminate environmental and lifestyle toxins that would otherwise be trapped in your digestive system longer. Remember keeping your liver and digestive system clean and in optimal condition will help your body prevent diseases like cancer in the future. Combining cayenne with lemon increases the detoxing effect and raises the temperature of your body increasing your metabolism.

Drinking this combination will cleanse your body every single day safely and naturally. I plan to do it for the rest of my life. Join me and watch your vitality increase!

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A few more tips about lemons –

  • Store your organic lemons in the fridge – they will last longer because they do not contain fungicide like conventional lemons. I take one lemon out of the fridge each night, because lemon at room temperature is easier to juice.
  • Remember not to squeeze your lemon directly into boiling water, you will destroy the live enzymes in the lemon. This is why I use half of water at room temperature and half hot water.
  • Using a stainless steel lemon juicer will allow you to get most of the juice from the lemon and is much easier on your hands too. You can get one off the Food Babe Shop here.

Want more motivation? Check out these articles on the additional benefits of drinking lemon water –

Who’s already adopted this habit? I’d love to know! Leave a comment here or visit my Facebook Fan Page and share your story!

When life gives you lemons, make lemon water with cayenne. Duh. :)

Food Babe

P.S. Check out 4 other habits that will change your life!

Habit #2Habit #3, Habit #4 and Habit #5….

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497 Responses to “Habits for the New Year and Beyond – #1 Drink Lemon Water”

  1. Leslie

    Does anyone else do oil pulling with coconut oil? I do this first thing in the morning on and empty stomach also. Just wondering if I can do both and if so which one should I do first? Also, how long do you wait before you eat or drink anything else?

    • Kati (to Leslie)

      I do oil pulling first thing in the morning and then I drink my lemon water

    • anne (to Leslie)

      I also do coconut oil pulling first thing in the morning, and have been for a couple of years. It was recommended by my dentist. I do that first. While I’m doing the oil-pulling, I’m heating up my water, squeezing my lemon, listening to my morning music, and doing some stretches. Then I’m ready for my warm water, lemon juice, and cayenne.

  2. Diana

    I drink water with lemon/ginger/cayenne pepper/turmeric all day. I fill my water bottle with it and drink it all day. It increases metabolism and detoxes you. I’ve been doing it for the past year. It also kills acidity that is caused by caffeine, red meat, wine, etc. So even if I have a cup of coffee or eat a piece of meat that day, I feel good that I’m neutralizing the acid with my alkaline water.

    • ~Christine (to Diana)

      hi Diane…. would you mind sharing the amounts of your ingredients? Mine didn’t taste too good, haha….. thanx!! :D

      • Millie (to ~Christine)

        I drink this every morning with an empty stomach. 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon of ginger, 1 teaspoon of tumeric, 1 teaspoon of honey, and 1 lemon. Instead of boiling plain water, I add 1 green tea in the boiled water and add all the ingredients together, squeeze the lemon into it and drink. I started doing this about three months ago and is fantastic. Free bowl movement, energetic, no more headaches, and I sleep better.

  3. Paula

    I guess I need to add cayenne pepper to my morning drink, which is this:

    1 container plain So Delicious coconut yogurt
    1/4 lemon, (the whole thing, rind, juice and all, well except seeds of course)
    1 organic banana
    1 TBS local raw honey
    8 oz Ginger Green Tea (I use Traditional Medicinals brand)
    A few ice cubes
    …..and now, some cayenne pepper :)

    Blend into a delicious morning smoothie :)

    • cynthia (to Paula)

      The warm lemon water should be first and by itself. This will wake everything up, especially your liver. : )

    • naya (to Paula)

      I wouldn’t recommend ingesting the So Delicious yogurts… they have carageenan which causes intestinal inflammation and colon cancer. I used to eat them until I found that out!

      • Paula (to naya)

        Naya – did you replace with another brand or type of yogurt? Is there a coconut or almond yogurt that you use or are aware of that does not contain the carageenan (or guar gum)? Thanks!

      • danielle (to naya)

        sodelicious makes “Greek style” which does NOT contain carageenan – FYI

  4. Teresa

    Just curious, but how much lemon juice and how much cayenne pepper? Thanks!

    • Claire (to Teresa)

      “pour the water in the glass half full with room temperature water, squeeze one half of the lemon on top, sprinkle with cayenne and drink.”

      • Shannon Simmons (to Claire)

        This didn’t say how much of each? Can you be more specific. Example 16oz of hot water and 8oz of room temperature……

  5. Janet

    Will the same thing work with limes?

  6. Carla W

    Can this be effective in the evening? Most mornings I workout at 5 or 5:30 am so I have something in my stomach.

  7. Eva

    I do this every morning and feel it makes my day.

  8. Holly

    I was just wondering…..about how much cayenne pepper should I use, food babe? Oh, and don’t mind the haters…..you should have corrected her grammar and REALLY sent her through the roof!!! :D

  9. Sara

    I had my gallbladder removed years ago. Does the added bile affect me differently? Thanks!

  10. Richard

    Here is my daily routine with lemon juice,
    Wake up get a glass of baking soda water swig that down, then shower, dress and get ready for the day.
    Pull out a 1/2 pint jar of pre-made lemon water with honey, ginger and water. I take 8 lemons and squeeze them all and divide the juice between 4 jars then add all of the ingredients and store in fridge. Drink 1jar per day. Drink water all day.
    Been doing this for 6 months now and I feel great. I could do with out the 20 rest room breaks but oh well.

  11. Shark7

    Interesting but what’s wrong with just drinking water? I do it before bed and soon as I wake and I feel great all day. (In addition to eating well and drinking more water throughout the day.)

    Also thanks for the article I’m going to stop buying the pictured brand of lemon and lime juices.

  12. Trix

    I have been doing the lemon thing but found I have a food sensitivity/intolerance to lemons, limes and grapefruits. Any suggestions to replace lemon juice? Apple Cider vinegar?

  13. Paula

    Every morning on an empty stomach I pour 2 table spoon of Braggs Apple Cider vinegar in a half full glass of water…I started this year and so far I haven’t gotten sick at all and I have been around people that been sick…does anyone else drink this? And is it as good as drinking this versus the lemon and cayenne pepper? Thanks :)

    • Mary (to Paula)

      When I feel a cold coming on, I take a tablespoon (sometimes two if congestion has already started) of apple cider vinegar and it burns it right out! I’m better almost right away, and by the next day I have no symptoms. Works every time.

    • Kaaryne (to Paula)

      Hi Paula, I start the day with lemon juice and Braggs apple cider but was wondering the same is the pepper better or similar??

  14. Tamara

    What do you use when lemons are not in season?

    • Kaaryne (to Tamara)

      I fill up some ice trays with fresh juice to use when I’ve run out of lemons on the odd occasion

    • Cathy (to Tamara)

      Purchase bottles of Lakewood Organic Lemon Juice.
      I find it at grocery and health food/vitamin stores.
      It is 100% pure organic lemon juice!

  15. Dayana

    I prefer cold lemon water in the morning. Wouldn’t that have the same effect? I’ll try the cayenne pepper tomorrow morning.

  16. Jon

    add a tbsp of organic apple cider vinegar to the lemon and cayenne and you’ve got the ultimate start to your day.. imho bragg’s is the best choice for the vinegar

  17. Luai Al Rantisi

    I am trying to do this every day….

  18. Alisa

    Would using lemon essential oil work the same way? Thanks

    • Karie (to Alisa)

      Yes! I’ve actually been told that the oil from the rinds have more healthy benefits, cheaper and easier than real lemons. I’ve been doing this, but now may add on the cayenne.

      • Melanie (to Karie)

        How many drops of oil per her 16oz portion? Oils would be much easier for me.

  19. Diane Stelling

    What about us folks with acid reflux????

    • Patti Goldberg (to Diane Stelling)

      Use apple cider vinegar mixed with water for acid reflux, or GERD.

    • reg (to Diane Stelling)

      Try chewable papaya enzyme pills – they are amazing!!! (I hear eating actual papaya has the same effect). I get the post-meal supplement kind at our local health food store. I’ve known people who have been able to get off of prescription meds for GERD by switching to these. I myself was on a prescription years ago but hated taking it, so I was careful to eat healthier but could not give up coffee.. now I can have coffee, etc, and just take papaya after if I feel symptoms. So if the lemonade irritates your reflux, I think it would work find to just take the papaya right after? Wouldn’t think it would affect the results?

  20. Danielle

    I’ve been doing this for the last few years, ever since I gave up coffee. However, I also add cinnamon and coconut oil

  21. Karen

    Exactly what is ” oil pulling”? Lately, I’ve been hearing that coconut oil is good for us. Why is that and how do I take it, pull it?

  22. Lisa

    What do you mean ‘regular eliminations’? I don’t understand this term?

    • sandy (to Lisa)

      They poop daily :)

    • Toni Culpepper (to Lisa)

      Regular Elimination is more one bowel movement a day. Regular elimination is a bowel movement as often as you have a meal. Three meals, three bowel movements. That is how our bodies are designed to work.

  23. Patty

    I have been doing 2 tbsp of Apple cider vinager and local honey in 20oz of water in morning for over a week… It has helped with flushing stuff out and has kept my appetite in check. I am now curious about the lemon and cayanne in the morning. Can’t hurt to do both I suppose? :)

  24. Cara

    Does anyone else get nauseous? Does your stomach get used to it??

  25. ralitza

    I started this about a week ago and I am having some side effects I think- dizzy, blurred vision, nausea, irregular heartbeat…. This happens couple of hours after I drink it. Anyone else experiencing this?

    • Kaern (to ralitza)

      This is a common side effect of your liver detoxifying..and that is a good thing. Maybe just start with lemon water, after two weeks add a pinch of cayenne, then build up to tolerance level. You are doing a good thing, don’t stop, just start slowly :)

  26. Mike omalley

    Does taking the lemon juice and cayenne the first thing in the morning have any effects on the supplements I take right after drinking it?

  27. Jan

    Hi, I recently attended a Young Living essential oils class. In that class there was mention of the health benefits of lemon water first thing in the morning. The person conducting the class advised it would be better to not use a fresh lemon but to use a few drops of the lemon oil b/c it would not have the acids but would have all the same benefits. I’d like to hear your opinion on this advice? Thanks!

  28. Yannis

    I do the lemon thing and cayenne pepper for a long time now.
    Recently I found out about the benefits of wheat grass. Is it OK to mix 1 table spoon of wheat grass powder together with the lemon and the cayenne pepper and drink it in the morning ?


  29. Patty

    I am going to go back to drinking lemon in water! I had been doing this, but stopped. Definitely some good advice here- I had previously done it with hot water, oops! Why the combination of room temp water and hot water?Should it be hot when drinking it or is it more of warm water temperature? Do you use the other half of the lemon the next day?

  30. Sam

    Question, this may sound dumb, but does the water necessarily have to be room temperature or boiled? Could I just use cold filtered water and it have the same effect?

  31. Margaret

    After reading all the comments, I still would like to know what is “oil pulling”?

    • Sue (to Margaret)


      “Oil pulling is an age-old remedy that uses natural substances to clean and detoxify teeth and gums. It has the added effect of whitening teeth naturally and evidence even shows that it is beneficial in improving gums and removing harmful bacteria!

      The basic idea is that oil is swished in the mouth for a short time each day and that this action helps improve oral health. Just as with Oil Cleansing for the skin, the principle of “like dissolves like” applies, as oil is able to cut through plaque and remove toxins without disturbing the teeth or gums.”

  32. Heather

    Where can I find that electric kettle in the picture? Please and thank you!

  33. Stephanie M

    Just very concerned with the daily lemon eating my tooth enamel.
    Even through a straw, it still does damage.

  34. Sonia M


    I just wanted to say that I’ve been doing this regularly for a few months and have really noticed a big change to my digestive issues! TMI but I’ve never been so regular, and when I do occasionally eat an unhealthy meal- I don’t get stomach grumblings and pains I used to!

    I put a couple shakes of cayenne with 1/3 of lemon!

    thanks for the great advice!!

  35. Melanie Wade

    Hi….a caution here. I started doing lemon water during a detox last year. Felt wonderful. Kept it up. BUT when I went to the dentist he found I had several places where the enamel was eroding and asked what on earth I was doing? THIS is the only thing different. It did indeed affect my teeth! I’ve been told by 2 hygienists to use the glass drinking straws and to brush then oil pull first and wait about a good 20 mins to let the enamel harden again before doing the lemon water. So, some of us are blessed genetically w/better teeth than others, and if not, I’d say get yourself some good glass straws!!!! I don’t know if this is the same for ACV, but it wouldn’t surprise me. Both are acids that chg the body to alkaline. Still starts as acidic. Anyone else experience this?? Looking forward to adding in the cayenne too!

  36. debra

    Will frozen lemon juice work? You mentioned not putting the lemon juice in the boiling water as it will kill the live enzymes. I assume this is true of freezing lemon juice? We have a lemon tree and I’ve been juicing the lemons and freezing in ice cube trays. Would love to know if that is not as effective. Thanks!

  37. Sara

    Can I drink other liquids shortly after this lemon water? Like my much needed coffee??? :) And if I should wait, for how long? Thanks!

  38. Betty

    I love getting your newsletters and enjoy your recommendations. Regarding your lemon/cayenne water how does it differ from ACV with water. I also have a Kangen water machine which produces Alkaline water. Would love to hear your thoughts and knowledge on this matter. Many thanks

  39. Vernessa

    I was reluctant to comment because I am a distributor with Young Living Essential Oils but I decided to stop holding back. I put one drop of their lemon oil in a glass of water everyday for almost a year and my enamel hasn’t eroded and my teeth looks brighter. The oils comes from the rind being cold pressed so it isn’t acidic like the juice. I have a 22 oz glass water bottle and 1 or 2 drops of lemon oil at least 2 times a day and I wish I can say 3 times a day but I’m a work in progress. :) However, I am going to start adding the cayenne pepper and a drop of ginger oil alone with the lemon oil to my morning ritual.

  40. Terri

    Just wondering if it is ok to do Lemon water with Cyanne pepper with cold water?? I seem to be able to tolerate the spiciness better with it cold! And more refreshing in the morning to me to have it cold! Are the health benefits the same?
    Thank you!


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