Do This One Thing Every Morning If You Have Problems With Constipation

Of all the unpleasant conditions you might experience when you wake up in the morning — stale breath, stiff muscles — constipation is one of the most undesirable. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), constipation occurs when one's bowel movements become hard, dry, and difficult to fully pass. The frequency of bowel movements is also a factor. Those who experience less than three bowel movements per week are considered to be constipated.

According to the NIDDK, many factors can influence constipation, including changes in your routine, digestive health conditions, various medications or supplements, as well as your age. Dehydration also plays a role. According to research published in StatPearls, three-quarters of people in the U.S. are chronically dehydrated. If you find that you're routinely dealing with constipation, it's possible that you may be in need of more fluids — specifically, water. Starting off your morning with a glass of water is great for the gut, and you might do away with your constipation for good if you add one special ingredient to your H2O.

Drink warm lemon water first thing in the morning

Lemons are rich in vitamin C, and vitamin C can aid digestive health by pulling water into the gut, which helps loosen stool and get things moving again (via Medical News Today). "Lemon juice can stimulate digestive enzymes that assist with elimination," certified clinical nutritionist and personal trainer Autumn Bates told PopSugar. By squeezing some lemon into your water first thing in the morning, you may find that constipation symptoms ease throughout the day — particularly if you heat the water to a specific temperature.

In a 2016 study published in Gastroenterology Nursing, researchers looked at 60 post-op patients, half of whom were given 200 milliliters of warm water heated at 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit to drink after having undergone surgical removal of their gallbladder (via Mayo Clinic). Study findings showed that warm water provided the most effective relief from constipation symptoms (via LiveStrong). Meanwhile, some research has shown cold water to actually exacerbate constipation.

So what is the ideal temperature for our morning glass of water? According to the study, a glass of water heated between 130 degrees and 160 degrees Fahrenheit is just warm enough, but without running the risk of burning your tongue (via LiveStrong). Additionally, PopSugar suggests adding slices of at least half a lemon to an 8 to 10-ounce glass of lukewarm water. This way, you're getting vitamin C from both the juice and the peel to help get things moving as you start your day.