In the past few years, everyone from Gwyneth Paltrow to Lauren Conrad has been singing the praises of lemon water. Whether it’s for detoxing or hydrating, lemon water has become an iconic health drink to start your day with. But what does it actually do for you? Drinking lemon water is a practice that goes back to Ayurvedic medicine and it has been recommended by many health professionals since. While it’s no magic potion, it is about as healthy as a beverage can get. Drinking water in the morning is important because we tend to get dehydrated overnight. Getting a good dose of water when you wake helps get your body back on track, because a lot of bodily functions don't work properly when you're dehydrated. When it comes to beverages, water is always the best choice, because it’s hydrating and calorie-free. And adding a little lemon juice only makes it better. The fresh flavour comes with basically no calories or sugar, and a healthy hit of vitamin C, folate, potassium and special flavonoids with anti-cancer properties. Many people also report clearer, brighter skin when they start their day with lemon water. As for the detoxifying properties of lemon water? Your body knows how to detoxify itself, so it’s generally good to question things that claim to detox you. But some foods can help the process, and lemon is one of them. It stimulates the secretion of bile, which helps remove waste from the body, and triggers liver enzymes that help with the organ’s cleansing process. Some tips to make the morning beverage as healthy as possible: 1. Drink the water at room temperature. Ice cold water might be more refreshing (it even burns calories because your body expends energy heating it up), but there are some drawbacks: The extreme cold shocks your stomach, making it slightly more difficult to absorb nutrients. If you're concerned about absorbing all the lemon's vitamins and phytochemicals, enjoy your water warm or at room temperature. 2. Drink it through a straw. The citric acid from the lemon juice can soften enamel, damaging your teeth. Drinking through a straw limits the exposure to your teeth. 3. Add a few sprigs of mint. Mint leaves give the drink a little boost of refreshing flavour, and they help promote healthy digestion.