Chances are you’ve already heard of cucumber water, it’s been around a long time, maybe you’ve even tried it at a day spa. Not just cucumber water, but all infused waters have exploded with popularity over the last several years. Not only do they taste great but they’re an easy way to stay hydrated. I must confess though, in the past I’ve never consistently made infused water even though I liked it, I looked at it as just another thing to prepare in the kitchen.
It was towards the end of our 6 week trip in Europe that I began feeling really sick and run down. My sleep schedule was off, my diet was progressively getting worse, and I was having way too much caffeine and alcohol. Not only did I feel sick, it was seriously affecting the quality of my skin too. So during the last week of our trip I decided to find every way possible to improve my diet. Shortly after returning home my diet was back to it’s usual healthy state, but I still wanted to give our normal healthy diet a makeover.
I’ve improved lots of things, but I’ve been the most impressed with cucumber water! I’ve been drinking it daily for about 3 weeks now and I’ve honestly never felt better in my life! It’s not just me either, I have Brian and the girls hooked on it as well. So let’s talk about the numerous benefits of drinking cucumber water and I’ll explain my routine that makes it so easy! Plus I’ve found a few fun topical uses for cucumber water as well!
Let’s start with the most obvious, staying hydrated, our bodies will not function well without proper hydration. People are recommended to drink 6-8 glasses of water a day, yet many of us don’t come close to reaching that goal. The delicious fresh taste of cucumber water will easily aid in your water intake.
Cucumbers, being a natural diuretic, are extremely helpful in flushing out toxins from the body. They help deliver toxins through your urine and aid in cleansing the liver.
HELPS WITH WEIGHT LOSS
Toss sugary and artificially sweetened sodas to the curb. They aren’t good for you and you really don’t need them. Cucumber water makes an excellent drink replacement and helps you feel full. It’s been discovered that when we get cravings to eat, it’s actually just our bodies telling us we need water. Next time you’re hungry try a glass of cucumber water first.
VITAMINS & ANTIOXIDANTS
Cucumbers are rich with vitamins and antioxidants. Vitamin K found in cucumber water boosts bone health, lowers chances of osteoporosis, and plays a strong role in decreasing chances of blood clots, potassium helps to lower blood pressure, and this great source of B vitamins will increase energy. Antioxidants help prevent and delay cell damage, which can lower chronic conditions such as eye degeneration, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes. Cucumbers are a member of the cucurbitaceae family of plants and contain high levels of nutrients known as cucurbitacins which may help prevent cancer and stop some cancer cells from surviving. One study from the Journal of Cancer found that it may slow the progression of prostate cancer.
Staying hydrated is key for beautiful skin and seeing wrinkles fade away, but cucumber water can help even more. Healthy skin-supporting vitamins such as vitamin C and minerals like magnesium and silica soothe the skin and give it a youthful glow. The anti-inflammatories naturally present in cucumber water can help clear up any acne problems as well.
SO HOW DO YOU MAKE IT?
It’s so easy, just 2 simple ingredients – cucumbers and water! Why did I think this would be hard? Just take a cucumber, slice it up and add water. It is that simple – I do recommend organic when possible though.
You can absolutely use a knife and slice by hand, your slices don’t need to be perfect, but I prefer the ease of my mandolin – your choice. Sometimes I use a regular glass pitcher, other times I use my special infused pitcher, and sometimes I’ll use both.
TIME AND RATIO
There is no magic formula, it’s basically about you and your tastes, but I can tell you my favorite method. I slice half a cucumber to 2 quarts of water and refrigerate overnight. It’s become a ritual, every few days I make 2 batches of water. I simply slice the washed, unpeeled cucumbers late afternoon or early evening and refrigerate overnight. I find half a cucumber gives me great taste the next morning. If you don’t want to do the overnight method, that’s fine, I recommend at least 4 hours for the water to infuse.
HOW LONG WILL IT KEEP?
After infusing overnight, or shorter to taste, strain and remove the cucumbers. This will increase the shelf life of the infused water. You should keep any unused water in the refrigerator and use within 4 days. When it comes time to removing cucumbers I just pour the infused water through a mesh strainer into a clean container, so easy.
I have a few different containers that I use to make my infused water. The infusion pitcher on the left is specially made to infuse water, it has a special compartment that makes removing the cucumbers very easy, it just unscrews. I also love my glass rectangle containers, that fit nicely in the refrigerator, and unseen is my individual infusion water bottle, it’s great for when you forget to make water on the go or traveling.
You can use your cucumber water topically for benefits too. Sometimes in the morning I’ll take chilled cucumber water and rinse my face, it makes a great gentle morning cleanser. Other times I’ll wet a washcloth with chilled cucumber water – gently squeeze any excess out – and apply to my face for 5 minutes for a soothing natural face mask. Another favorite option is to keep a spray bottle like this in the refrigerator and mist my face when it needs freshening. Remember to discard after 4 days and make a fresh batch.
I’ve experienmented with adding other flavors to cucumber water, but honestly I enjoy just the pure flavor of straight cucumber water. I’m not a fan of lemon water, but I know many people are and they make a great addition as well as mint. I say start with regular cucumber water, and then experiment from there if necessary.
If you haven’t gotten on board with cucumber water, try it and let me know how it goes. My skin is glowing and my energy is up! Cheers to a healthy new you.