This post was originally posted at Rowdy Crowd S&C.
To achieve peak performance, it’s essential for athletes—especially those involved in action and combat sports—to care for their bodies inside and outside the gym. Here at Rowdy Crowd S&C, we emphasize the importance of proper nutrition and lifestyle habits just as much as functional strength and conditioning. One beneficial morning habit that I advocate for is drinking lemon and pink sea salt water first thing in the day. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But why? And what can it do for your performance and overall health? Let’s dive in.
Hydration is critical for overall health and wellness and is a key factor in athletic performance. Starting your day with a glass of lemon and pink sea salt water helps your body reach optimal hydration levels right out of the gates. As soon as you wake up, you’re in a state of mild dehydration after a night’s sleep without water intake. Lemon water, particularly with a pinch of pink sea salt, replenishes the water and electrolytes your body lost overnight, kick-starting your hydration for the day (Popkin, D’Anci & Rosenberg, 2010).
A 2011 study published in the “Journal of Renal Nutrition” found that lemon juice can help prevent kidney stones by increasing urinary citrate, a compound that helps break down crystals in the urinary tract, thus aiding in digestion and detoxification (Penniston et al., 2011). Moreover, sea salt helps stimulate stomach acid production, which can improve digestion and nutrient absorption.
Lemons are an excellent source of vitamin C, a potent antioxidant that helps strengthen the immune system and reduce inflammation, which is essential for athletes who put their bodies under significant stress (Carr & Maggini, 2017).
Pink sea salt, harvested from the Punjab region of Pakistan, contains a blend of minerals including potassium, magnesium, and calcium. These minerals work together to maintain the body’s electrolyte balance, which is crucial for muscle function and recovery. Athletes, particularly those in action and combat sports, need a constant supply of these minerals to ensure optimal performance (Sampson et al., 2017).
While the exact effects of an alkaline diet are still debated, some research suggests that alkaline diets may enhance muscle efficiency, improve cardiovascular endurance, and increase bone density. Lemons are one of the best alkalizing foods, helping restore a healthy pH balance (Schwalfenberg, 2012).
Of course, this morning routine is not a magic bullet solution for all health and performance woes, but it’s a simple, small step towards better hydration, digestion, immunity, and mineral balance – fundamental factors to improve and sustain your performance in the ring, on the mat, or wherever your battlefield may be.
At Rowdy Crowd S&C, we’re all about helping our athletes find those incremental improvements that, over time, result in big performance gains. So why not try starting your day with a glass of lemon and pink sea salt water tomorrow morning and see how it can benefit you?
- Carr, A. C., & Maggini, S. (2017). Vitamin C and Immune Function. Nutrients, 9(11), 1211. doi: 10.3390/nu9111211.
- Penniston, K. L., Nakada, S. Y., Holmes, R. P., & Assimos, D. G. (2011). Quantitative Assessment of Citric Acid in Lemon Juice, Lime Juice, and Commercially-Available Fruit Juice Products. Journal of Endourology, 22(3), 567-570.