5 Surprising Health Benefits of Cucumber Water

OWhen you think of cucumbers, the first thing that comes to mind is Mia Thermopolis getting the royal treatment in this classic scene from the movie. princess diaries (or is it just me?). While you might usually associate this green fruit with what sounds like an old wives’ tale for achieving unparalleled levels of complete, utter spa-centric relaxation, there might actually be some truth to it all.

Turns out cucumbers are loaded with tons of vitamins and minerals that fight inflammation and reduce vascular congestion for help deflate the skin. So…we know cucumber is great for landing on our eyelids, but what can it do for us on the inside? To find out more, we spoke with Kara Lydon, RD, LDN, RYT, registered dietitian and owner of Kara Lydon Nutrition to learn about the benefits of cucumber water and to see if this easy drink is the queen of hydration we’ve overlooked all along. Spoiler alert: the results were surprising in the best possible way. In fact, when it comes to health benefits and refreshing flavor, cucumber water might actually beat lemon water (I said what I said).

Health Benefits of Cucumber Water

1. It’s packed with tons of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory vitamins and minerals

“Cucumbers contain vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, vitamin K, B vitamins, manganese and copper,” Lydon says. “Although there is very little research on cucumber infused water specifically, these vitamins and minerals found in cucumber have been linked to many positive effects.” Lydon shares that the vitamin C capacity of cucumber in particular is important because this powerful antioxidant can help fight oxidative stress and inflammation associated with certain chronic diseases.

2. Cucumbers May Help Regulate Water Balance and Support Bone Health

Apart antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of cucumber, they are also packed with potassium, which plays a role in fluid balance and lowering blood pressure. Plus, cukes contain vitamin K, which helps support bone health, Lydon says. They are essentially the gift that keeps on giving.

3. Cucumber water can help you stay hydrated

Although she notes that not much research has been done on specific consumption of infused water (as opposed to whole food), drinking cucumber water could be a great way to boost your hydration, especially if you aren’t particularly inclined to sip plain water. H2O. “If you’re struggling to drink enough water, adding cucumber can be an easy way to boost flavor to help you stay hydrated, especially when the weather warms up,” Lydon says.

4. Cucumbers are also the most water-rich food of all.

“Adults should drink about nine to thirteen cups of water a day according to the Institute of Medicinesays Lydon. If you struggle to meet your daily fluid intake with pure water, adding flavor enhancers like cucumber or other fruits and vegetables may encourage you to drink more, increasing overall hydration. (as mentioned above). Plus, the fact that cucumbers hydrate on their own certainly helps — they’re 96% water, which Lydon says is the highest of any food. This makes it a great way to increase water intake, whether you’re eating your cukes or drinking them.

5. You can add electrolytes to help maintain sodium levels during exercise

“Adding electrolytes such as salt can be helpful if you engage in a long, intense workout, especially in hot weather. It really depends on the intensity and duration of your exercise, how much sodium you release when you sweat and if you’re getting enough sodium in your diet,” says Lydon. She adds that if you experience muscle cramps after a workout, it can be a sign of electrolyte imbalance and a good reason to try adding salt to your cucumber water.

How to make cucumber water

The beauty of cucumber water is that it’s beyond easy to make and completely customizable. To infuse water with this hydrating, mineral-rich food, you’ll want to thinly slice a whole, clean cucumber and soak it in eight cups of cold, filtered water in the refrigerator for at least an hour and up to three days.

To keep things simple, you can call it a day with just a mixture of water and cucumbers; however, if you feel in the mood to really liven things up, you can add flavor-enhancing ingredients like mint, ginger and lemon for even more benefits and indulgence. Plus, as Lydon noted, a few pinches of salt can help add electrolytes to replenish sodium and hydration post-workout.

So does that mean you can also drink pickle juice?

Of course, we had to find out if that meant pickle juice was also the right cup of hydrating drink for you. According to Lydon, pickle juice, in fact, may have several potential health benefits other than just tasting so oddly delicious. “There are a few studies that show the ability of pickle juice to relieve muscle cramps. The mechanism isn’t entirely clear, but it’s thought to involve vinegar’s role in electrolyte balance and nerve signaling,” Lydon notes. “There are a few other studied benefits of vinegar, which is used to ferment pickles and is found in pickle juice. It’s associated with better blood sugar regulation, and because vinegar is a fermented food, some research points to benefits for your digestive system. »

Lydon also points out that aside from the vinegar, pickle juice contains a fair amount of sodium which may help your body recover after intense sweating. “If you are an athlete or tend to sweat a lot on hot, humid days, a little extra sodium can help your electrolyte levels recover faster“, says Lydon. But because it is very high in sodium, be sure to consult a health care provider before ingesting pure pickle juice – consuming significant amounts of sodium is not ideal for many people. many people, especially those concerned about their blood pressure and/or cardiovascular health.

Check out this dietitian’s guide to the *most* hydrating foods:

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