Whether you are following the latest health craze or just want to insert some healthy flavor to your water, ginger, cayenne pepper and lemon all have some potential benefits. The Mayo Clinic reports that water makes up nearly 60 percent of your body weight and that every system in your body needs water to function properly. The Institute of Medicine recommends that women drink approximately 9 cups of water per day.
Adding a slice of lemon to your water is more than just decoration. Lemons are a good source of vitamin C and potassium. A 1-cup serving of lemons contains 112 milligrams of vitamin C and 293 milligrams of potassium. Lemons also contain calcium, phosphorus, vitamin A and folate. These fruits are very low in calories, carbohydrates and are virtually fat-free. Although no research backs up the claims, proponents suggest that lemons can relieve a number of stomach issues, control blood pressure, cure throat infections and help with weight loss.
Putting cayenne pepper into your drinking water not only adds a little spice but also provides some health benefits. Capsaicin, a substance in cayenne pepper that is responsible for the heat, also has surprising health advantages. The University of Maryland Medical Center states that capsaicin may help with weight loss, treat heartburn and improve circulatory problems. Research on capsaicin is preliminary. Topical capsaicin does help to treat inflammation, and it aids in pain relief.
Ginger, a tropical plant, is a spice for cooking. Many cultures, especially in Asia, use ginger for medicinal purposes. Ginger is a folk remedy used to treat nausea. According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, ginger relieves short-term nausea that stems from pregnancy. Research is inconclusive on the other uses for ginger including pain relief for joint and muscle aches and relief of nausea from motion, chemotherapy or surgery.
Although adding lemon, cayenne pepper and ginger to your water is safe, it is unclear whether these substances provide any additional health benefits compared to plain water. These spices will increase the flavor of your water, but they likely will not help you lose weight. Some people recommend consuming this mixture as a tea. Add honey, sugar or a sweetener if you want to make the beverage sweeter. Consult your physician for specific weight-loss remedies.
- MayoClinic.com: Water-How Much Should You Drink Every Day?
- USDA Nutrient Database: Nutrient Data for 09150, Lemons, Raw, Without Peel
- The Dr. Oz Show: The Health Benefits of Lemons
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Cayenne
- National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Ginger
- The Dr. Oz Show: Supercharged Drinks to Make You Look Young
Ireland Wolfe has been writing professionally since 2009, contributing to Toonari Post, Africana Online and Winzer Insurance. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in psychology and Master of Arts in mental health counseling. She is also a licensed mental health counselor, registered nutritionist and yoga teacher.