If drinking water throughout the day feels like a chore, you need cucumber juice in your life.
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By now, you're probably well aware that staying hydrated plays a major role in your health. Water not only transports nutrients to your cells but also balances the level of electrolytes in your body to keep your muscles functioning properly. And while you might be quite familiar with the importance of hydration, hitting a daily H2O intake goal can still prove challenging. (Related: How to Stay Hydrated When Training for an Endurance Race)

If even your motivational water bottle hasn't succeeded at, well, motivating you, you can always branch out beyond plain old H2O to score hydration from other sources as well. Sure, you can add lemon juice or infuse berries and mint to make water more appealing but those aren't the only tricks you turn to.

Another A+ option for staying hydrated that you might actually look forward to? Cucumber juice. While a cucumber might be the last thing you'd think to put into your juicer, it can be easily transformed into a crisp, refreshing beverage that's bubbling over with benefits.

Cucumber Juice Benefits

Eating or drinking cucumbers is a great way to hydrated since cucumbers are made up of 95 percent water, according to Nichole Dandrea-Russert, M.S., R.D.N., author of The Fiber Effect. But that's not all: unlike plain H2O, cucumbers come with some bonus nutrients that can do wonders for your body.

"Cucumbers contain vitamins and minerals such as vitamin K1 (phylloquinone), potassium, calcium, and magnesium," says Dandrea-Russert. "They are also packed with phytonutrients — nutrients that are specific to plants — such as carotenoids, lignans, and triterpenes. These phytonutrients may act as antioxidants in the body by scavenging free radicals, helping to decrease inflammation in the body, and support overall health." (In excess, free radicals can cause oxidative stress, which is a major factor in the development of diseases such as cancer.)

Don't let the words "cucumber juice" fool you. Juice often gets a bad rap because the process of juicing removes some of the fiber, vitamins, and minerals that are in the whole fruit or vegetable, and the end result is typically high in sugar. But as far as produce goes, cucumber is pretty low in sugar. In fact, 100 grams of cucumber clocks in at under 2 grams of sugar, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. (For reference, an equivalent amount of an apple has 10 grams of sugar.)

How to Make Cucumber Juice

Ready to start sipping on cucumber juice? If you're already the proud owner of a juicer, you can easily juice cucumbers the same way you would other fruits or vegetables. Every 1 1/2-inch piece of cucumber will yield about 1 ounce of juice. Or you can blend up your cucumbers in a high-speed blender, such as the NutriBullet (Buy It, $60, bedbathandbeyond.com). The result just might be thicker and more smoothie-like than juice. (Related: Recipe Ideas for Cucumber Snacks That Are Ridiculously Hydrating)

"You'll receive nutrients with either, however, using the whole cucumber ensures you get a little fiber as well as the nutrients in the seeds and skin, which is where so much of the nutrition, especially the beta carotene, lives," says Dandrea-Russert. "There's not a ton of fiber in cucumber, only .6 grams of fiber per cup, but it all counts."

As for all those anti-pulp people out there? If you don't have a juicer, you can still score silky smooth cucumber juice at home. Simply blend the cucumbers in a blender then pour the liquid through a nut milk bag (Buy It, $14, amazon.com) or strainer to remove any rough bits. (Related: 9 Juice Pulp Recipes to Stop Wasting Perfectly Good Fruits and Veggies)

Once you've settled on your juicing method, you can start enjoying cucumber juice on its own or combining it with other juices and/or herbs. If you suspect that straight-up cucumber juice will taste too earthy for your liking, start out with this sweeter-tasting (Instagram-worthy) pink juice, a chilled cucumber dill soup, or the below cucumber juice recipe from Colourful Palate.

Hydrating Cucumber Juice Recipe

Makes: 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 to 3 large organic cucumbers
  • 2 organic apples
  • 1/4 organic beet or a handful of organic strawberries
  • Organic mint, to taste

Directions:

  1. Juice cucumbers, apples, beets (or strawberries) together in a juicer.
  2. Pour into two glasses with ice.
  3. Add a couple of sprigs of mint for a garnish.