One of my clients’ biggest complaints when I tell them they need to make sure they drink adequate amounts of water is that they don’t like the taste of it. These are often people that add squash to their water or consume large quantities of carbonated drinks loaded with sugar or their evil sugar free counterparts. Sure, especially here in Essex, UK tap water tastes like a swimming pool and is laden with hormones and chemicals so I can sympathize with my clients on this.
My solution has been to switch to drinking natural mineral water that I can buy in 5 litre bottles from my local supermarket. It’s very cheap and tastes …well of not much, which is what pure water should be like. It’s fair to say that even this doesn’t taste anything like the water I used to drink straight from the rocks when hiking at the top of the Alps, but it’s a major improvement on anything coming out of the tap.
With Summer finally announcing its presence even here in the UK, staying hydrated on the warmer days becomes more important than ever and so it’s worth considering ways to make water taste acceptable so that we won’t hesitate to drink more of it.
Provided you like the taste of it, adding sliced cucumber to your drinking water could be just the solution to make it easier to consume healthy amounts of water and as a bonus you will be reaping a wealth of additional benefits.
1. Cucumbers help to keep your skin and muscles healthy – that’s because they contain (among others) silica, a trace mineral that the body needs to keep connective tissue in tip top shape and a host of antioxidants that help your body fight damages from free radicals thereby slowing down aging and preventing disease.
2. Cucumbers can help you lose weight – they have diuretic properties and can help you get relief from bloating and excess water retention. In addition to this cucumbers will provide additional hydration and fibre as well as a host of vitamins and minerals ensuring your metabolism works efficiently and your body has all the nutrients it needs to thrive. These fruits are very low in calories so they can be eaten ad lib thus adding fibre to your diet to support a healthy digestive system.
3. Cucumbers show to have the potential to cure cancer – the polyphenols (lignans) phytonutrients (cucurbitacins) found in cucumbers have shown promising results in lowering the risk of developing different types of cancer including breast, uterine, ovarian and prostate cancers. A study published in the International Journal of Health Sciences in 2013 showed how cucurbitacins compounds have shown an ability to prevent and stop the proliferation of cancer cells and they can help cope with inflammation therefore also supporting the use of plants from the same family as cucumber as folk medicinal remedy over time.
4. Cucumbers can help with heart health and high blood pressure – they do this by providing us with healthy doses of potassium which is an electrolyte tasked with many functions including helping control nerve impulse transmission, muscle contractions and heart function.
BUT I STILL DON’T LIKE THE TASTE OF CUCUMBERS!
Although I love to keep this simple and just add a few slices of cucumber to my bottle of water there are many different ways to make this more suitable to your palate. The important thing is not to go mad with the ingredients otherwise your cucumber drink will also become a sugar fest and lose many of its health benefits.
Some ideas are:
- Lemon, cucumber and mint
- Cucumber and (straw)berries
- Cucumber and seasonal fruit
Herbs will be typically better than fruit because like cucumbers have an almost negligible caloric value, however if the taste of ripe fruit is what it takes to persuade you to drink adequate amounts of water (approx. 1 litre for each 25 Kgs of body weight) then so be it.
Have fun with this and let me know how you get on in the comments below.