Can you drink Shikanji on an empty stomach in the morning?
Can you drink Shikanji on an empty stomach in the morning?

Drinking Shikanji, a traditional Indian lemonade, can be a refreshing start to your day. But is it safe and beneficial to consume on an empty stomach? Let’s delve into the benefits, potential drawbacks, and best practices for enjoying Shikanji first thing in the morning.

What is Shikanji?

The Traditional Recipe

Shikanji is a tangy and spicy lemonade made with fresh lemon juice, water, sugar, and a blend of spices like black salt, cumin powder, and sometimes ginger. This drink is a popular summer cooler in India, known for its refreshing and hydrating properties.

Nutritional Value

Shikanji is rich in vitamin C, electrolytes, and minerals. The ingredients in Shikanji provide a balanced mix of hydration, essential nutrients, and digestive aids, making it more than just a tasty beverage.

Benefits of Drinking Shikanji on an Empty Stomach

Boosts Hydration

Starting your day with Shikanji can help replenish fluids lost overnight. The water content and electrolytes in Shikanji are excellent for rehydrating your body first thing in the morning.

Aids Digestion

The spices in Shikanji, particularly cumin and black salt, are known for their digestive benefits. Consuming these spices on an empty stomach can stimulate the digestive system and help in better nutrient absorption throughout the day.

Rich in Vitamin C

Lemon juice is a potent source of vitamin C, which is essential for boosting your immune system. Drinking Shikanji in the morning can give your immune system a head start.

Alkalizes the Body

Despite being acidic in nature, lemon juice has an alkalizing effect on the body once metabolized. This can help balance your body’s pH levels and reduce acidity.

Provides a Natural Energy Boost

The combination of sugar and the vitamins in Shikanji can give you a gentle, natural energy boost without the crash associated with caffeine.

Potential Drawbacks

High Acidity

While lemon juice is beneficial, its high acidity can be harsh on an empty stomach for some people, potentially leading to heartburn or acid reflux.

Sugar Content

Shikanji typically contains sugar, which might not be suitable for those managing blood sugar levels or trying to reduce sugar intake. Opting for a low-sugar version or using a natural sweetener can mitigate this issue.

Potential for Stomach Upset

For those with sensitive stomachs, the spices in Shikanji might cause discomfort or irritation. It’s essential to gauge your body’s reaction and adjust the recipe accordingly.

How to Prepare Morning-Friendly Shikanji


  • 1 glass of water
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1-2 teaspoons of sugar (or honey/stevia for a healthier alternative)
  • A pinch of black salt
  • A pinch of cumin powder
  • Optional: grated ginger, mint leaves

Preparation Steps

  1. Mix the Ingredients: In a glass of water, add the lemon juice, sugar, black salt, and cumin powder. Stir well until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Adjust to Taste: Taste your Shikanji and adjust the ingredients as necessary. If you prefer it sweeter, add more sugar or honey. For extra flavor, consider adding grated ginger or mint leaves.
  3. Serve Fresh: Shikanji is best consumed fresh to retain the maximum nutritional benefits.

Tips for Drinking Shikanji in the Morning

Start with a Small Amount

If you’re new to drinking Shikanji on an empty stomach, start with a small amount to see how your body reacts. Gradually increase the quantity as you become accustomed to it.

Listen to Your Body

Pay attention to how your body feels after drinking Shikanji. If you experience discomfort, try tweaking the recipe or drinking it after having a small snack.

Stay Hydrated

In addition to Shikanji, ensure you drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay adequately hydrated.

Balance Your Diet

While Shikanji can be a great addition to your morning routine, it’s important to maintain a balanced diet. Don’t rely solely on Shikanji for hydration and nutrition.

Alternative Morning Beverages

Warm Lemon Water

For a gentler alternative, consider warm lemon water. It provides many of the same benefits as Shikanji but with less acidity and no added spices.

Herbal Teas

Herbal teas like ginger, chamomile, or peppermint can be soothing and beneficial for digestion without the potential acidity of lemon juice.

Fresh Fruit Juices

Freshly squeezed fruit juices, especially those with low acidity like apple or carrot juice, can be a nourishing start to your day. Drinking Shikanji on an empty stomach in the morning can offer numerous health benefits, from improved hydration and digestion to a boost in vitamin C and natural energy. However, it’s essential to consider your individual tolerance to its acidity and spices. By listening to your body and adjusting the recipe to suit your needs, Shikanji can become a delightful and healthful part of your morning routine.

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