Your body is made up of about two-thirds water, so it's important to drink enough fluid each day to keep this balance. If you find plain water boring, though, meeting your hydration needs can tricky. The good news is that cucumber-infused water has a refreshing flavor and provides more health benefits than plain water alone. Drinking cucumber water not only keeps you hydrated, it helps your body fight free radicals, keeps your bones and blood healthy and keeps your digestive system on track.
Get Hydrated With Cucumber Water
Water needs differ from person to person, based on factors such as height, weight and activity level, but as a general rule, you should aim to drink about half your body weight in ounces each day. This means that if you're 150 pounds, you should drink 75 ounces of water. Meeting this goal can be difficult, especially when you're drinking plain water all day long. Cucumber not only jazzes up regular old water -- making you more likely to drink it -- but the vegetable itself is composed of about 95 percent water, which makes the cucumber hydrating, by itself.
Cucumbers Fight Free Radicals
Cucumbers contain vitamin C, beta-carotene -- in the peel -- and several flavonoid compounds, which all act as antioxidants that seek out and destroy free radicals – which are unstable substances that cause chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's and heart disease. Drop some cucumber slices into a glass or pitcher. Lightly mash -- or muddle -- the slices against the sides of the glass with a spoon or muddler, then pour water over them. Let the beverage sit in the fridge for a couple of hours to maximize the antioxidant benefit of the water.
Cucumber Water for Healthy Bones and Blood
Cucumbers are known for having a high vitamin K content. In fact, a cup of cucumber slices contains just over 17 micrograms of vitamin K. That's 15 to 20 percent of the recommended amount for the entire day, depending on whether you're a man or a woman. Vitamin K helps the body make the proteins needed for normal blood clotting. The vitamin is also essential for building healthy bones.
Cucumber Water Helps Keep You Regular
Cucumbers are mostly water, but they contain a small amount of fiber, too, which is the ideal combination to keep you regular so that you avoid constipation. As fiber moves through your system, it absorbs water, making your stool bigger, softer and easier to pass. Meeting your fiber needs and drinking enough water every day is vital to keeping your digestive system functioning optimally. Boost the fiber content of your cucumber water by washing the cucumbers thoroughly and including the cucumber skin and seeds in your water. A single cucumber with the peel contains 1.5 grams of fiber -- which is about 5 percent of your daily needs if you're following a standard 2,000-calorie diet. You can muddle the cucumber or chop it into small pieces so that it incorporates into your water with ease.
Beat Bloat With Cucumber Water
Cucumbers are a natural diuretic, which means they help your body flush excess water, waste and toxins from your system by triggering the kidneys to produce more urine. Although it seems counter-intuitive, drinking more water also helps flush excess water from your system. Drinking cucumber water can help reduce water retention, and, as a result, you feel and look less bloated.
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Cucumber, With Peel, Raw
- University of Florida Extension: Facts About Vitamin K
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Water and Nutrition
- Authority Nutrition: 7 Science-Based Health Benefits of Drinking Enough Water
- Medical News Today: What Are the Health Benefits of Cucumber?
- Vegetarian Times: Ask The Nutritionist: How Much Fiber Do I Really Need?
- U.S. News and World Report Health: The Truth About How Much Water You Should Really Drink
- DrAxe.com: Cucumber Nutrition: Helps You Detox & Lose Weight
- ScienceDaily.com: Antioxidants: Preventing Diseases, Naturally
- University of Illinois Extension: Cucumber