You probably already know that sipping cucumber water is healthier than drinking water alone, but that’s not the sole reason to prep a pitcher of this simple infused beverage that feels surprisingly like a treat. But what exactly are the health benefits of cucumber water? And why should you make infused waters part of your daily wellness plan?
The most obvious reason is that hydration is vital to good health and since infused waters taste nice, chances are you’re going to drink more throughout the day. The fact that you’ll feel a little like you’re relaxing at a luxury day spa every time you take a sip is just a bonus.
In this post, I’ll talk about the health benefits of cucumber water and I’ll also share ideas for infused cucumber water recipes, tips for how to select the perfect cucumber, and some fascinating cucumber facts. I’ve also put together a list of questions people have asked me about why it’s such a healthy drink that I have answered through expert references.
Interesting Facts About the Cucumber
Cucumbers originated in India and were introduced to Europe by Greeks or Romans. They are listed among the foods eaten in ancient Ur and are referenced in the legend of Gilgamesh. Christopher Columbus brought cucumbers to the Americas in 1494.
Today, Americans eat about seven and a half pounds of cucumbers each year, and World Cucumber Day is June 14th.
The Many Health Benefits of Cucumber Water
Is cucumber water good for you? Absolutely!
1. It Keeps You Hydrated
We all know that drinking enough water is a major wellness DO, but chugging down plain water all day long gets pretty boring, pretty quickly. Deliciously infused waters make it easier to drink your six to eight glasses before bedtime rolls around. You’ll be surprised how energetic you feel when you’re truly hydrated.
2. Cucumber Water Is Good for Your Muscles
Surprised? Cucumbers contain silica, a trace mineral necessary to keep connective tissue healthy. When you infuse your workout water with a few slices of cucumber, you’re getting a little infusion of silica along with that bright, fresh flavor.
3. It Boosts Bone Health
Cucumbers are rich in Vitamin K, which helps transport calcium to bones. Just one unpeeled cucumber contains about 22% of your daily recommended intake, so feel free to nibble on the cukes in your glass of cucumber water.
You’ll also reap the benefits of the silica and manganese in cucumbers — both of which can strengthen your bones and possibly even lower your risk of developing osteoporosis.
4. Cucumber Water Is Good for Your Skin
Staying hydrated is the number one key to beautiful skin, but the silica and antioxidants in cucumbers can also help skin stay clear and prevent breakouts. The pantothenic acid or Vitamin B-5 in cucumbers may also calm acne when you wash your face with cucumber-infused water or apply the chilled cucumbers from your glass directly to any areas of redness or inflammation.
5. It Is Low in Calories
An entire cucumber averages about 45 calories, which means that a sliced cucumber in your water won’t add many additional calories. Freshly infused cucumber water has a vibrant flavor but is so much better for you than sports drinks or soda.
6. It’s Full of Antioxidants
Antioxidants are powerful substances that can prevent or even repair the kind of cell damage that can lead to illness. Cucumbers are rich in Vitamin C, manganese (a key part of the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase), beta-carotene, molybdenum (which activates antioxidant enzymes) and other flavonoid antioxidants.
7. Drinking Cucumber Water Supports Brain Health
Did you know that cucumber may boost your brainpower? This veggie contains a flavonol called fisetin that, in studies, has been shown to keep aging mice (even those prone to Alzheimer’s) from developing memory loss and learning deficits.
We don’t know yet whether it can do the same in people, but even the possibility has inspired me to sip more of it.
8. Cucumber Water Is a Detox Drink
I’ve been encouraged to drink cucumber water and other infused waters, like lemon water, during my juice cleanses. This is why cucumber lemon water is so popular. They are a natural diuretic and detox water, which helps the body to pass toxins through urine.
And if you nibble a little cucumber while you drink, the fiber in this super vegetable will sweep toxins from your digestive system, too.
9. It Lowers Blood Pressure
Cucumbers are high in potassium, an electrolyte that helps regulate blood pressure. When you drink cucumber water, the potassium will help your body get rid of the excess sodium that can contribute to high blood pressure.
10. Cucumber Water Curbs the Appetite
One of the best benefits of drinking cucumber water is that it helps you feel fuller until your next meal. Water alone won’t necessarily help you kick your between-meal cravings. The fresh flavor of infused water, however, can trick your brain and your belly into thinking you’ve had a snack so you’re less tempted to grab a bag of chips between meals.
11. It May Help Prevent Cancer
There is research that suggests cucumbers could help in the fight against cancer! Antioxidants like those found in cukes may prevent cancer, and cucumbers also contain compounds called cucurbitacins along with a group of nutrients called lignans — both of which may play a role in stopping cancers before they can start or slowing the progression of certain cancers.
12. Even More Benefits of Cucumber Water
Wellness is the best reason to keep a pitcher of refreshing cucumber water handy, but there are other reasons to love this bright-tasting beverage.
13. It’s (Usually) Inexpensive
Cucumbers are the fourth most widely cultivated vegetable in the world. Organic cucumbers cost a bit more, however, relative to other organic fruits and vegetables, but they are generally less expensive than other veggies.
14. It Fits Various Diets Like Keto, Gluten-Free Diets, and Vegan
If you have dietary restrictions, it’s very likely that you’ll be able to enjoy glasses of water with cucumber in them.
15. Guests Love It
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It’s so easy to add some extra “wow” to your table with a beautiful pitcher or carafe of chilled cucumber water. This will make even an impromptu afternoon get-together will feel just a little luxurious!
I have two of these WMF Water Carafes that I keep filled with infused waters at all times, so I have something special to offer surprise guests. When I have time to prep, I include cucumbers in a sparkling water bar so guests can make their own infused waters.
And, Finally, It’s Delicious!
Too many of us skip the water and reach for sugary coffees, sports drinks, and sodas when we feel thirsty. This tasty beverage has a fresh but subtle flavor that you’ll love.
How to Make Cucumber Water
You don’t really need a recipe, because you can make it to taste. However, here is a rough guideline.
- One medium cucumber
- Large pitcher of water
- Lemon, lime, mint, strawberries or other ingredients (optional)
- Wash the cucumber and slice it into 1/4–1/2" slices.
- Place as much sliced cucumber as you like into a pitcher.
- Reserve a few extra cucumber slices for garnishes.
- Place other optional ingredients into the pitcher.
- Fill the pitcher with water.
- Let the flavor infuse into the water by leaving it at room temperature for 1-2 hours or in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours before drinking.
- Strain the cucumbers out of the water (or leave them in, if you like).
- Garnish the glass with a cucumber slice or let a slice or two simply float in the water.
Don't leave cucumbers in the water for more than 12 hours as they will tend to soften. In fact, a good rule of thumb is if you have any infused water left over after a day, remove all fruit and herbs before refrigerating the rest.
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How to Select a Cucumber for Your Infused Water
Cucumbers should be firm, not wrinkly, and a medium to dark green color. Grocery stores sometimes put an edible wax on the skins of fruits and vegetables that otherwise might store poorly. English cucumbers are popular but, truthfully, any kind will work.
This wax helps retain moisture and serves are a barrier to bacteria and algae, but the texture leaves a lot to be desired and the wax can make the cucumber’s skin look unpleasant.
However, there is so much good stuff in cucumber skin that I can’t recommend peeling it, so either wash your cukes with a special fruit and veggie wash or buy organic cucumbers that aren’t waxed.
Buying organic might be a good idea, even if you aren’t weirded out by wax. According to WHFoods, you may want to consider buying organic anyway as its thought that conventional cucumbers might be more prone to heavy metal contamination than other veggies.
Infuse these Ingredients with Cucumber Water
Who says you need to limit infused water to just one ingredient? These other fruits and herbs go really well with cucumber water to make it even more of a refreshing drink:
- lemon slices
- fresh mint leaves
- rosemary sprigs
- lemon verbena
Again most popular combinations are cucumber lemon water and cucumber watermelon water. I have an unruly mint plant in my backyard so I also sometimes add a few sprigs to make cucumber mint water.
FAQs About Cucumber Water
How long can you keep cucumbers in water?
Cucumber can be infused overnight (or for up to 12 hours), at which point you should remove the cucumber from the water. Then your infused water can be safely stored in the refrigerator for up to three days.
How much cucumber should I put in my water?
There’s no one perfect amount of cucumber. You’ll get the health benefits of drinking cucumber water whether you add a little or a lot as long as you let your cucumber water infuse for a few hours.
Is cucumber water a detox drink?
Cucumbers are very nutrient-rich and contain loads of antioxidants, which is why sipping cucumber water is a perfect way to stay hydrated while detoxing. The more hydrated you are, the faster your body can flush toxins from your system.
How does cucumber water aid in weight loss?
Drinking healthy flavored water is a perfect way to wean yourself off of sugary sodas, sports drinks, and juices — all of which are high in calories and are known to contribute to obesity.
It’s also a lot better for you than diet sodas. Staying hydrated will help you feel more satisfied throughout the day so you’re less prone to snacking. And finally, drinking chilled cucumber water can even boost the number of calories you burn throughout the day! So while it doesn’t directly lead you to lose weight, its ancillary benefits can help.
Can cucumber help you lose belly fat?
Sipping cucumber water and nibbling on cucumber slices can definitely help you lose stubborn belly fat.
What other fruits and herbs do you add to your water? If there is cucumber water recipe featuring an ingredient other than those above that you love, please share in the comments!