Experts Weigh in on the Health Benefits of Hot Lemon Water

PHOTO: Hollywood and wellness experts alike have embraced hot lemon water as a healthful way to start their days.

Given the staggering number of freshly pressed juices, herb-filled supplements and complicated cleanses that have flooded the nutritional market, it is perhaps surprising that the most popular elixir in the wellness community of late is made of just two simple ingredients.

Nutritionists, celebrities and healthful eating enthusiasts all over the Internet seem to agree: A single glass of hot lemon water before breakfast can not only help you stay hydrated but may also improve digestion and regulate an overactive appetite.

Miranda Kerr told Net-a-Porter that she begins each day with warm water and lemon, which she claims cleanses the body. On her blog, Lauren Conrad termed the citrus fruit and still water a "match made in heaven." And Stacey Kiebler confirmed in People Magazine that she, too, relies on the beverage to jump start her day.

Between them, these imbibers have claimed that the brew has helped them lose weight, cleared up their skin, and even equipped their body to better absorb vitamins and minerals.

Celebrity nutritionist Keri Glassman, who launched Nutritious Life magazine, told ABC News that she often drinks water with lemon in the morning.

If for nothing else, she said, as a method to ensure that she stays hydrated. "Many people like the taste [of lemon] and if that gets you to drink water then that alone is positive," she said.

As far as resolutions go, the habit is certainly not a difficult one to pick up. According to Melisse Gelula, the co-founder and editorial director of Well + Good, an online wellness bible, the ease with which enthusiasts can find hot water and lemon feeds its widespread appeal.

Unlike so many other fitness and health fads, this one does not require a substantial investment of time or money.

"You don't need to be a member of the wellness cognoscenti to do it," Gelula surmised. "It has become one of those 'Health 101' things that people all across the spectrum can do. ... You don't have to be a green juicing kind of person to enjoy it."

And while the drink is most popular in the morning, Gelula recommended it as an after-dinner drink.

"Right after you've had something a little rich or a little indulgent, I kind of like lemon water," she said. "If it's post-Thanksgiving dinner, for example, have some lemon water."

The warm citrus can settle your stomach, she said, and clear your palate.

Dana James, the founder of Food Coach NYC, said that though she think the trend is perhaps "over-hyped," it is not without nutritional merit.

"What it does do is increase detoxification because the bitterness of the lemon activates the bile flow," which, she said, "helps emulsify and remove fat soluble toxins."

Furthermore, James said the habit often makes her clients "feel virtuous, which leads to better all-day eating habits." Ultimately, the thrice-certified nutritionist concluded that there is "no reason not to be doing it."

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