Looking for a spa-inspired sip that tastes as good as it is for your health? You’re in luck. Cucumber slices aren’t just great for a DIY eye mask. They also make some tasty water that could come with some refreshing health perks. Here’s a rundown of the benefits of cucumber water and how to make it at home.
5 benefits of cucumber water
- Keeps you hydrated
- Delivers antioxidants
- Provides electrolytes
- Gives your skin a glow
- Works with your diet
Your doctor, your fam, and every blog post keeps telling you to knock back 8 cups of water every day. Staying hydrated is great for your health. But drinking 8 cups of tap water might be the least exciting way to drink that 1/2 gallon.
Cucumber water is 95 percent pure H2O, so you get all the hydration power with less of the boredom. It’s a much more fun way to get the benefits of full hydration like higher energy, better brain function, and improved digestion.
Feeling a little rusty? A research review suggested that what we call “aging” involves a similar process of reactive oxygen (aka free radicals) changing our tissues similar to how oxygen affects wet iron, but it happens a lot more slowly and with different chemicals. This type of “oxidative stress” doesn’t just contribute to aging. It can also cause health probs down the road.
Antioxidants can help your body resist oxidative stress, and even repair it. Turns out, cucumbers contain the antioxidants beta carotene, manganese, molybdenum, vitamin C, and a host of flavonoid antioxidants, too. Could the fountain of youth be flowing with cucumber water? While there isn’t much research into whether these nutrients make it into infused water, one study confirms that vitamin C does make it.
Forget Gatorade, Powerade, and those other sugary sports drinks. Lime Gatorade delivers about 21 grams (g) of sugar and 162 milligrams (mg) of sodium per 12-ounce bottle.
Cucumber water, on the other hand, has under 2 g of sugar and just less than 1/2 mg of sodium in each glass. What’s so great about that? That’s a key nutrient for muscle recovery. That means less soreness on the morning after leg day.
That supermodel glow beauticians talk about can often come from healthy hydration. Cucumber water can help you get more water on the daily. Plus, bags and circles under your eyes are typically caused by water retention from a sodium-potassium imbalance. The vitamins in cucumbers can help even out those nutrients.
Beyond that, cucumbers contain vitamin B5, which is a nutrient your body uses to keep your complexion healthy. In fact, vitamin B5’s so powerful that doctors sometimes prescribe concentrated doses to treat severe acne. One 2014 study found that vitamin B5 can help prevent mild to moderate acne cases.
One of the hard things about being on a restricted diet is how hard it can be to find something you can drink. If you’re looking to cut sugar, juices and sodas are out. Gluten-free? No barley-based beer for you. With Atkins or keto, you’re pretty much down to water and unsweetened coffee.
Cucumbers work with almost every diet, so they’re a pretty universal option.
Convinced you need cucumber water in your life? Here’s how to make it at home.
What you’ll need
- 1/2 cucumber
- 2 sprigs fresh mint
- 2 quarts water
- 2 cups ice
How to do it
- Thinly slice the cucumber.
- Pour 1 quart of water into a pitcher.
- Add the cucumber slices.
- Hand-crush the mint by rolling it between your palms, then drop it in the pitcher.
- Stir the mixture gently.
- Add ice and the rest of the water.
- Put in the fridge and wait 1 hour.
Top tips for the best cucumber water
Wanna take it up a notch? Here are a few tips, tricks, and hacks to make your cucumber water really shine.
Add tang. Thinly slice a lemon, or a lime, or half of each, and add it with the cucumber.
Experiment with various herbs. Other than mint, Thai basil or rosemary are two popular favorites, but anything you see added to cocktails or smoothies is worth a try.
Cucumber water lasts 2 days. You can top it off as you drink. The veggies will keep infusing into it the whole time. But things start to go south after 48 hours in the fridge, so make a new batch.
Do you like bubbly drinks? Mix your cucumber water with club soda for a cucumber water spritzer. And if you’re not just drinking it for the health benefits of cucumber water, try adding a little flavored vodka.
Try muddling berries. Strawberries and raspberries work best for flavor, but try whatever’s fresh. If you do this, drink in one sitting. The berries start to go bad in under a day.
Let’s review. The benefits of cucumber water include, but are not limited to:
- delivering vitamins that help with skin health
- improving your hydration without lots of calories
- supporting cardiovascular health
- fitting into most diet types