5 Benefits Of Cucumber Water And How To Make It

Written by Aparna Mallampalli , BEd (Biological Sciences), MSc (Microbiology), Diploma In Nutrition

Cucumber water is an ideal way to stay rejuvenated and hydrated. This refreshing and healthy veggie drink can be an amazing alternative to soft drinks and other sugary beverages. Moreover, it is easy to prepare, and you can also add the fruits of your choice to make it more tasty and flavorful. The nutrients and antioxidants in cucumber water may help lose weight, reduce blood pressure, and potentially reduce cancer risk.

This article further explores the benefits of cucumber water, how to make it, and its potential side effects. Keep reading.

What Is Cucumber Water?

Cucumber water is an infused potable drink that contributes to a healthy lifestyle. It is essentially any filtered or purified water steeped with cucumber slices. Water takes on the taste and essence of cucumber slices and exhibits characteristics of lightness, crispness, and vibrancy. The longer these slices sit in the water, the better the flavor. The combination of cucumber slices with water provides many micro-nutrients, flavonoids, and antioxidants. This infused drink comes chilled and is an amazing option to quench your thirst anytime of the day. It has become increasingly popular in North America and Western Europe, mainly through health spas.

The cooling and hydrating properties of cucumbers benefit your body in many ways. So, what benefits does cucumber water offer? Let us discover them in the following section.

Health Benefits Of Cucumber Water

1. May Aid In Weight Loss

Sliced cucumbers in your water do not add many calories since one whole cucumber (300g) has only about 45 calories (1). Moreover, proper hydration helps you feel fuller, which, in turn, prevents unnecessary snacking. According to a study, increased water intake is linked with weight loss because of decreased feeding and increased fat loss due to lipolysis (breakdown of fats through hydrolysis) (2). Hence, replace sugary sodas, sports drinks, and juices with cucumber water to reduce your overall calorie intake.

2. Is Rich In Antioxidants

Oxidative damage is the root cause of many diseases, including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Antioxidants prevent oxidative damage and inhibit or repair cell damage that can cause illness. A study suggests that antioxidants are critical in terminating oxidative chain reactions by eliminating free radicals (3). Cucumbers are a rich source of antioxidants like vitamin C, manganese, beta-carotene, molybdenum, and flavonoids (4). These make it more nutritious and antioxidant-rich when added to water.

3. May Reduce Cancer Risk

Cucumbers are rich in flavonoids, which may help reduce the risk of cancer. They also contain biochemical compounds like cucurbitacins and lignans, which may stop certain cancers from developing or slow down their progression (5),(6). A recent study suggests that fisetin, a flavonoid found in cucumbers, may slow down the progression of cancers or even induce apoptosis (programmed cell death of cancer cells). Besides, fisetin also demonstrates several activities that may help treat cancer (7).

4. May Reduce The Risk Of High Blood Pressure

Studies suggest that the incidence of hypertension is higher among populations consuming diets low in potassium, a mineral abundant in cucumbers. The potassium in cucumber water helps your body get rid of excess sodium that may otherwise elevate blood pressure levels. Therefore, potassium intake can lower blood pressure, especially among hypertensive individuals. This, in turn, helps reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke (8), (9), (10).

6. May Promote Skin Health

Cucumbers have a significant amount of silica and antioxidants. These can keep your skin clear and firm (11). They also contain pantothenic acid, a form of vitamin B5 that keeps the skin soft, smooth, and healthy. It keeps the skin hydrated by absorbing moisture from the air. Treating healthy adults with facial acne lesions through dietary supplements containing pantothenic acid is safe and well-tolerated (12). Besides, this acid is anti-inflammatory and may help stimulate the skin’s healing processes (13).

Drinking cucumber water is one delicious way to rehydrate your body and is easy to prepare at home. Checkout a simple recipe in the following section.

How To Make Cucumber Water At Home

What You Need

  • 1 medium-sized cucumber
  • 2 quarts of water
  • Mint, citrus, strawberries, or a fruit of your choice

Process

  • Peel the cucumber and remove seeds with a spoon(cucumber seeds are edible, but some people may prefer not to use them in drinks).
  • Cut it into slices (save some for decoration).
  • Pour water into a pitcher. The amount of water needed depends on the size of the pitcher. But a good starting ratio would be two quarts of water to one medium cucumber. Add the slices to the pitcher. These may float – so keep them below the water surface if you desire a strong infusion. Allow to steep for at least an hour to let the flavor permeate the water. Give it a gentle stir before drinking.
  • You can use the same slices to make more batches of cucumber water. If the water seems less flavorful, discard or eat the slices. Drink the cucumber water within two days as it lacks preservatives.

To Add Variation

  • Wash several mint leaves under running water and slice them into narrow strips. Adding mint to cucumber water makes the beverage sweeter without adding sugar. You can also squeeze half a lemon, lime, or orange into the cucumber water. You may also add strawberries, blueberries, or any other fruit of your choice.

Cucumber water may have some side effects despite its beneficial effects. Listed below are some of the drawbacks that need to be considered.

Side Effects Of Cucumber Water

1. Toxicity

Biochemical substances like cucurbitacins in cucumbers are potentially toxic. Health issues associated with these elements can range from mild to severe. There were also reports of deaths among animals that consumed fruits rich in cucurbitacins (due to poisoning). Moreover, studies have also shown that these elements produce a bitter flavor in vegetables (14).

2. Allergy

Anecdotal evidence suggests that drinking cucumber water may result in an allergic reaction, triggering hives, swelling, and breathing difficulty. Melons and cucumbers belong to the ragweed cross-reactivity groups, and may aggravate oral allergies, including swelling of the mouth and throat (15).

3. Bloating And Indigestion

Anecdotal evidence suggests that people may experience bloating and stomach pain after consuming this drink. Excessive cucumber intake may also lead to diarrhea in severe cases. People with sensitive digestive systems may also experience bloating or flatulence. However, quality research is warranted in this regard.

How long can you let cucumber steep in water? How long can it stay fresh? We answer these questions in the following section.

How Long Can You Keep Cucumbers In Water?

It is advisable to consume cucumber water within 24 hours if not refrigerated. Refrigerating cucumber water will allow you to enjoy it for 2 to 3 days.

The taste of the water changes over time if you do not remove cucumber slices after preparing them. This is because the cucumber starts decomposing after a day and alters the taste of the water. However, this does not indicate that it is spoiled. The water is unfit for consumption only if it has begun to taste bitter.

Is Lemon and Cucumber Water Good For You?

Water made using organic lemons and cucumbers is a delicious and hydrating treat you can have at any time of the day. As stated, it may help improve skin health, lower blood pressure, and lose weight. Besides, lemon juice naturally freshens the breath and improves digestion (16),(17). Lemon is also rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, which help boost the immune system (18). Moreover, the flavonoids in citrus have a protective effect on the liver (19).

Cucumber water is worth drinking every day, given its amazing benefits. But is there any daily intake limit? Let us find out.

How Much Should You Drink Daily?

You can drink cucumber water instead of normal water if you are craving a change. This helps you feel refreshed and hydrated. Depending on a person’s age, gender, and climatic conditions, they may consume approximately two to three liters of cucumber water a day. You will need to increase your fluid intake further if you live in temperate climates.

Conclusion

Cucumber water, also known as cucumber detox water, is a popular hydration drink. It is an affordable, quick, and delicious way to hydrate your body. With or without lemon, it has the perfect amount of flavor and will leave you feeling refreshed and hydrated. The vitamins, antioxidants, and other nutrients in cucumbers may help lower blood pressure levels, improve skin health, and reduce the risk of cancer. However, cucumber water may also cause mild to severe side effects in some people due to the presence of cucurbitacins and allergens. Try infusing cucumber water with other fruit pieces to avoid the monotony.

References:

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  1. Cucumber, with peel, raw
    https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168409/nutrients
  2. Increased Hydration Can Be Associated with Weight Loss
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC4901052/
  3. Antioxidant and Oxidative Stress: A Mutual Interplay in Age-Related Diseases
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC6204759/
  4. Phytochemical and therapeutic potential of cucumber
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/232704553_Phytochemical_and_therapeutic_potential_of_cucumber
  5. Cucurbitacins – A Promising Target for Cancer Therapy
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC3612419/
  6. Naturally Lignan-Rich Foods: A Dietary Tool for Health Promotion?
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC6429205/
  7. Fisetin: A Dietary Antioxidant for Health Promotion
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC3689181/
  8. Effect of potassium intake on blood pressure
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2104250/
  9. Sodium Intake and Hypertension
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC6770596/
  10. High Blood Pressure and Cardiovascular Disease
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31865786/
  11. Silicon bioavailability in exocarp of Cucumis sativus Linn.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC5678890/
  12. A Randomized Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Study of a Novel Pantothenic Acid-Based Dietary Supplement in Subjects with Mild to Moderate Facial Acne
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC4065280/
  13. Effect of pantothenic acid and ascorbic acid supplementation on human skin wound healing process. A double-blind, prospective and randomized trial
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7781653/
  14. Cucurbitacins – An insight into medicinal leads from nature
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC4441156/
  15. Vaccine development and new attempts of treatment for ragweed allergy
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC4406916/
  16. Instant and freshness effect of mouth rinses on type 1 (oral) halitosis
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31664298/
  17. Citrus limon (Lemon) Phenomenon—A Review of the Chemistry Pharmacological Properties Applications in the Modern Pharmaceutical, Food, and Cosmetics Industries, and Biotechnological Studies
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC7020168/
  18. Vitamin C and Immune Function
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29099763/
  19. Citrus fruits as a treasure trove of active natural metabolites that potentially provide benefits for human health
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC4690266/

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