Cucumber contains electrolytes, so it’s great for hydration. Especially, for athletes, or active people who sweat more.
Cucumber is low in calories
According to the USDA, 100g of cucumber has only 12 calories. Actually, a cucumber has about 20 calories. It’s perfect for weight loss.
Cucumber is mainly water
Cucumber is 96% is water. Moreover, cucumber is rich in minerals. Besides water, we lose minerals when sweating. So, we need to replenish them. Consuming cucumber daily is an excellent way to hydrate the body and replenish lost minerals.
Cucumber is good for weight loss
Cucumber is good for weight loss, for another reason. It keeps you full for a longer time. A cucumber not only has a few calories, but also it’s mainly water. A cucumber may provide more than 250g of water. So, cucumber fills the stomach. So, we don’t feel hunger, eating fewer than 20 calories!
Consequently, cucumber is good for weight loss. Just 100g (half a medium cucumber):
- is low in calories (only 12 calories),
- keep you full,
- is low in sugars (less than 1.5 gr),
- has a high fiber content,
- is low in fat (less than 0.2 gr),
- has some protein,
- can hydrate you.
Tap water isn’t the best option for hydration
When sweating, we lose more than water. We lose minerals which we must replace. Tap water doesn’t contain significant amounts of minerals. Without replacing minerals, imbalances can cause severe health problems and decreased athletic performance!
Consuming fruits and vegetables high in water, such as cucumber, is the best way to hydrate the body. Fruits and vegetables are natural water filters. They have the purest water naturally enriched with minerals and vitamins.
Why do we need electrolytes after running?
Essential minerals for the human body are called electrolytes. These important minerals are sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, and magnesium.
Electrolytes are so important for many functions of the body. They regulate:
- muscle contraction,
- the pH of the blood,
- the fluids in the body.
- nerve signals.
Therefore, athletes, runners, and active people should worry about electrolyte imbalances. We can get electrolyte imbalances after losing body fluids. For instance, after excessive sweating or fever.
Drinking water without replenishing electrolytes isn’t a good idea. Muscle cramps are a common sigh for electrolyte imbalances.
Should I drink isotonic drinks during running?
Isotonic drinks contain water, hydrating salts, minerals and sugars. The most common sugar types are glucose, sucrose, and fructose. These types of sugar provide instant fuel to the body. Therefore, they are essential during demanding and time-consuming exercise.
Glycogen is the fuel of the body. We burn both glycogen and fat during exercise. Long runs depletes glycogen stores of the body. Sugar from isotonic drinks provides instant energy.
Many studies have shown that isotonic drinks may improve athletic performance. They are beneficial for workouts lasting more than 1 hour.
Additionally, vegetables and fruits could help you recover faster, as they can replenish lost electrolytes, and hydrate the body. Also, they contain antioxidants, such as vitamin C, which fasten muscle recovery!
Is cucumber rich in electrolytes?
Cucumber contains many minerals and all the important electrolytes. A cucumber contains:
- Calcium (39 mg),
- Iron (0.6 mg),
- Magnesium (33 mg),
- Phosphorus (58 mg),
- Potassium (381 mg),
- Sodium (5 mg),
- Zinc (0.4 mg),
- Copper (0.2 mg),
- Selenium (0.3 mcg).
Health benefits of cucumber
According to a 2012 study, cucumber is good for you, as it has many health benefits. Cucumber has anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, anti-constipation, anti-diabetic, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, analgesic, wound healing, cosmetic, and antioxidant properties (1,2).
Also, it has lipid-lowering activity, helping you lose weight.
Most noteworthy, cucumber has a cleansing action. It can remove chemical toxins from the body. Eat many foods rich in chlorophyll for best results.
Furthermore, cucumber is gentle to the skin. It can relieve sunburn’s pain, and skin irritations.
Moreover, cucumber seeds can help in constipation problems.
Many of these health benefits are due to the unique powerful compounds in cucumber. For instance, cucumber is rich in phytochemicals, such as flavonoids, and alkaloids (1).
Certainly, eating organic cucumber with the skin in salads or smoothies is good for your body. Tastes great too.
So, is cucumber good for muscle recovery & hydration?
A 2017 study showed that alkaline water is better than regular water (3). Especially after anaerobic exercise. Most noteworthy, alkaline water can improve anaerobic performance and post-exercise recovery. Athletes had a smaller recovery time, even after really demanding workouts, such as high-intensity interval training.
On the other hand, dehydration may lead to fatigue and poor athletic performance. Even to muscle cramping. Alkaline water is water that has a higher pH level, due to the high mineral content.
Certainly, cucumber is good for you for faster recovery after a long run.
- A 2018 study: Phytochemical and proximate composition of cucumber
- Cucumber-A Natural Medicine and its therapeutic potential
- Biology of Sport: The effect of mineral-based alkaline water on hydration status and the metabolic response to short-term anaerobic exercise