There are many so-called “weight loss drinks” that don’t actually help. What about cucumber juice, is it good for weight loss?
Cucumbers are the very popular elongated green vegetable, botanically classified as a fruit. They can be eaten raw or as an ingredient in other dishes. Another way to consume them is as cucumber juice.
Most juices are not great for weight loss but cucumber juice may be a good fit for your weight loss diet depending on what alternatives you compare it with. In any case there are foods and drinks that are more useful for weight loss than cucumber juice.
If you decide to implement cucumber juice into your daily life make sure you choose the ones that don’t have added sugar and other sweeteners.
Find out what nutrition values you can expect from cucumber juice, some alternative weight loss drinks, if you do decide to drink more cucumber juice when to do it for better weight loss results, and exactly how it compares to whole cucumbers.
How is cucumber juice made?
The way cucucmber juice is made is pretty simple. The process starts with the whole vegetable, the cucumber.
You then press out the juice of the cucumber with a juicer machine. You then strain out the pulp, if you leave it in you would classify it more as a smoothie. Finally, some cucumber juice brands add garlic, salt, sugar, and other sweeteners. Certain recipes also suggest adding ingredients like ginger, lemons, carrots, cabbage, pepper, and many more.
These different methods make it so the nutrition in cucumber juices can be different. This in turn makes it so they have different effects on weight loss.
In this article, the nutrition info of a kind of unsweetened cucumber juice will be used (1). If you buy or prepare cucumber juice at home you want to avoid the ones with a lot of added sugar and other sweeteners. Possibly also the ones with a lot of salt if your diet is already rich in sodium.
Micronutrients in cucumber juice
The first thing to look at is the amount of micronutrients in cucumber juice.
Micronutrients are a group of nutrients your body absolutely needs to survive and thrive. Micronutrients include vitamins and minerals. These are involved in basically every aspect of your health, including weight loss.
100 grams of this kind of cucumber juice provides you with approximately (1):
- Vitamin C: 91% of the DV (Daily Value)
- Vitamin A: 14% of the DV
- Sodium: 7% of the DV
- Potassium: 6% of the DV
These amounts will also vary depending on how the cucumber juice brand extracts the juice.
These are some vitamins and minerals present in nice amounts per 100 grams compared to many other foods. On top of that 100 grams of a fluid is easily consumed. One glass of cucumber juice would already be around 200 grams.
Cucumber juice can help you consume good amounts of certain vitamins and minerals. On the other hand, there are also many other foods that can provide you with a lot more vitamins and minerals.
Cucumber juice also contains antioxidants, substances that can help your body deal with oxidative stress. It’s not clear if and if they do, to what extent, these substances can help you lose weight.
Fiber in cucumber juice for weight loss
Another very important factor for weight loss is the amount of fiber in your food.
This example of cucumber juice contains around 0.6 grams of fiber per 100 grams.
That’s not a lot of fiber per 100 grams compared to many whole foods.
Fiber has multiple benefits for weight loss. First of all, it feeds your microbiome, the microbes that live in your intestines. The health of your microbiome influences your body’s health and weight. Feeding it well is usually not a bad idea.
Fiber also helps you feel less hungry without adding a lot of calories to your diet. Hunger and cravings can be a big pitfall for people trying to lose weight, so avoiding this is a big plus.
With the amount of fiber in cucumber juice you can reduce the time you spend craving for food a small amount.
Will cucumber juice help you lose weight?
Before knowing whether or not cucumber juice deserves a spot in your weight loss diet you still need a final piece of the puzzle. The number of calories in cucumber juice.
This example of cucumber juice contains 19 calories per 100 grams. 16 of these calories come from the carbohydrates (3.9 g per 100 grams of which 0.6 g fiber).
You can likely fit in some cucumber juice in low carb diets like for example the keto diet but this juice is not ideal for diets like that.
Besides that, this example of cucumber juice is very low in calories per 100 grams. The problem is that cucumber juice is a liquid.
Solid food will leave you feeling full a lot longer. Partly because liquid is easier to process, partly because solid whole foods often contain more fiber. Try eating 100 grams of potatoes vs drinking half a glass of cucumber juice or any other liquid.
This makes cucumber juice less filling compared to the number of calories it contains but overall it is still rather good. The extra micronutrients you get are also a nice bonus.
The particular example of cucumber juice used may still be a decent weight loss option depending on what other foods you compare it with. For example, regular water is likely better for weight loss. Like with most foods, you can have some cucumber juice and still lose weight.
Make sure to check the nutrition label of the particular cucumber juice you have in mind before implementing a lot in your diet.
Can cucumber juice reduce belly fat?
Targetting fat loss in a specific area like your belly is generally not possible. Not by eating more of a specific food or by doing a specific exercise. To lose belly fat you have to lose weight overall.
Since cucumber juice can help you lose weight in general, depending on your current habits, this drink can also help you lose belly fat once your body wants to lose fat in your abdominal area.
Drink these things instead
While it’s probably better to drink cucumber juice compared to most soft drinks, and even other fruit juices, you may want to stay away from it if you’re looking to lose some weight. It’s generally better to consume these calories in solid food that will satisfy your hunger for longer and provide you with more nutrients.
When should you drink cucumber juice for weight loss?
If you do decide to drink cucumber juice, the time you drink it may influence your weight loss.
The calories in cucumber juice are mainly from carbohydrates. Carbohydrates raise insulin. Insulin in turn can mess with the production of sleep hormones. Sleep is important for your weight loss and health.
That’s why you preferably want to drink cucumber juice earlier in the day or at least not right before bed.
Cucumber juice won’t be that fattening at night that it means the end of your weight loss journey but you preferably want to stop drinking it a while before bedtime.
How much cucumber juice should you drink?
Nutrition is always a bit of a puzzle in terms of what the perfect diet looks like. It’s a pretty individual thing.
Consuming enough vitamins and minerals is important for both your short and long-term health and weight loss. Cucumber juice doesn’t provide you with a lot of vitamins and minerals so you definitely need other nutritious foods as well.
If you have consumed enough vitamins and minerals you can see how much cucumber juice still fits within your daily calories. The amount will be different from individual to individual from day to day, it can be 0 too.
Cucumber juice vs whole cucumbers for weight loss
Juicing vegetables and fruits is often not as good for weight loss as just eating them whole but how big are the actual differences in nutrients?
When it comes to calories whole cucumbers contain about 12 calories per 100 grams (2). The example cucumber juice contains about 19 calories per 100 grams and is a liquid.
Whole cucumbers also contain 0.7 grams of fiber per 100 grams vs cucumber juice with about 0.6 grams. This is only a tiny difference but fiber is very helpful for losing weight.
Lastly cucumber juice does contain slightly higher amounts of vitamins and minerals than whole cucumbers.
All in all, cucumber juice can be more useful if you want to increase your vitamin and mineral intake but whole cucumbers are generally a lot better when trying to lose weight.