Staying hydrated isn’t just important in the summer; we need to be sure we’re getting enough fluids year-round.
Many bodily functions depend on us getting enough water; we need it not only to maintain the right body temperature, but to support our body’s natural toxin filtration and elimination systems.
Lots of people, however, opt for sugary drinks instead of healthier ones, which can defeat the purpose of staying hydrated entirely, causing damage to your cardiovascular system and putting you at risk for weight gain (1).
Plain water just isn’t that exciting; that’s why there’s a whole line of sports drinks (many of which are just as sugary and bad for you as sodas) marketed towards thirsty individuals.
However, it only takes a little imagination to make regular tap water more appealing. You can infuse water with lots of natural foods – fruits and vegetables, mostly – to make it tastier, and to make yourself more likely to drink it more often. It’s a win-win by any stretch. Here’s an easy recipe for cucumber water – a subtle, refreshing drink with its own health properties.
Cucumber Water Recipe
- 8 cups water
- 2 lemons
- 1 cucumber
- 1 handful fresh mint leaves
- Ice for serving
Wash and slice the lemons and cucumber. Add them to a pitcher with the water and let the whole thing chill in the fridge for at least two hours.
How It Works:
Health Benefits of Cucumbers
Cucumber is a popular vegetable used in many traditional medicinal recipes, especially in Indian medicine. High in water content and low in calories, it has potential antidiabetic, lipid lowering and antioxidant activity.
“Cucumber has a cleansing action within the body by removing accumulated pockets of old waste materials and chemical toxins,” one article in the journal Fitoterapia explains.
“Fresh fruit juice is used for nourishing the skin… The fruit is refrigerant, haemostatic, tonic and used in hyperdipsia, thermoplegia etc. The seeds also have a cooling effect on the body and are used to prevent constipation.”(2)
Cucumber contains silica, which helps keep your skin soft and smooth – staying well hydrated helps with this, too. You’ll find that the more water you drink, the less stiff you’ll feel after working out; silica can also help your muscle tissue stay healthy, so this cucumber water is a great post-workout drink.
Staying well hydrated also helps your body’s natural detox systems to do their jobs. That’s right – detoxing isn’t a once-a-year thing; our bodies work to filter and remove toxins every day, and they’re helped in this process by the food and drinks we consume. Healthy drinks like water not only help to curb your appetite and keep you alert, but they help detox your body as well.
If you have a hard time staying hydrated without relying on sweet, sugary drinks, try infusing your water with some fresh fruit for added flavor, as well as extra vitamins and antioxidants. And be sure to drink lots – between six and eight glasses a day for the full effect!