“For more than 4,000 years, coconut water has been revered as a natural source of nutrition, wellness, beauty and hydration. Coconut water is the ultimate thirst quencher and offers a tasty alternative to water. In times of famine and war, coconut water has been used as an intravenous fluid and saved many lives. It’s the only natural substance that can be safely injected into the human blood stream. Now modern science has validated its effectiveness. As I am in Dominican Republic and enjoying fresh coconuts every day, I decided to do a little research on it. As I knew from before this pure liquid is packed with nutrients that yield an array of health benefits.
Here are all the Benefits of Coconut Water that explain why it has become so popular:
Prevents dehydration. In third world countries where clean water is scarce and children regularly die from infections and dehydration, coconut water can indeed save lives. But the coconut water sold in developed countries is probably too pricey to be much help in that scenario. And among those who can afford to pay $2 for a bottle of coconut water, deaths from cholera and typhoid are fairly rare.
Promotes heart health. Consuming foods or beverages rich in potassium, including coconut water, may help reduce the risk of hypertension and stroke.
Promotes kidney health. Diets high in potassium, magnesium, and fluids are thought to reduce the risk of kidney stones, so it’s not surprising that coconut water is reported to help prevent or resolve kidney stones.
Fights aging. Coconut water also contains compounds that seem to protect cells against aging and cancer—in test tubes anyway. It’s exciting to think that drinking coconut water could make us immune to aging and disease. But we really should know better by now. The world is chock-a-bloc with compounds that stop aging and disease in petri dishes. And yet, we don’t seem to have solved the problem of aging and disease. I think its naïve to think that coconut water is the elixir we’ve all been waiting for.
Aids in Weight-loss Efforts. The fat content in coconut water is extremely low, so generous quantities can be consumed without the fear of immediately packing on the pounds. It also suppresses the appetite and makes you feel full because of its rich nature.
Picture-Perfect Skin. For those with acne or other blemishes on the surface of the skin, topical application of coconut water can go a great distance as it has the ability to clear up and subsequently tone the skin. It also moisturizes the skin from within if ingested orally and eliminates large amounts of oil. This explains why products such as facial creams, shampoos, conditioners and lotions that contain traces of coconut extract are more effective.
The Ultimate Hangover Remedy. Next time you overdo it and drink more than your belly can handle, consume coconut water to settle your stomach. It will also replace those essential electrolytes that exit the body if you experience bouts of frequent urination and vomiting.
Facilitates Digestion. If you constantly encounter difficulty during the digestion process, coconut water may provide a source of relief. Because of its high concentration of fiber, it aids in the prevention of indigestion and reduces the occurrence of acid reflux.
The ingredients in coconut water are way more effective at hydrating the human body than those of sports and energy drinks. During rigorous exercise or extended periods of physical activity, the human body loses mineral-rich fluids. However, coconut water serves as an excellent replacement medium with 294 mg of potassium and 5 mg of natural sugar per glass, unlike your favorite sports drink that only contains half of the potassium content and five times the amount of processed sugar. In addition, the sodium count is only 25 mg, which is relatively low compared to the 41 and 20 mg found in sports drinks and energy drinks respectively.
Reduces Blood Pressure.
In many instances, a disproportionate level of electrolytes can result in high blood pressure. Because coconut water contains an adequate supply of each, it can be used as a balancing mechanism. In some instances, it is recommended that coconut water be consumed at the start of each day to foster the balance of these electrolytes.
Rich in Nutrients.
Unlike any other beverage on the market, coconut water contains five essential electrolytes that are present in the human body. These include: calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium and sodium. Because of its unique composition, coconut water can be enjoyed by individuals with varying medical conditions.
Compatible with Human Blood.
Since it is isotonic to human plasma, coconut water can be used in extreme emergencies to quickly rehydrate the human body if administered intravenously. It is not uncommon for the drink to be used in poorer, third-world countries to save human lives.
- Muscle performance
- Heart health
- Stress reduction
- Skin, hair & nail health
- Mental acuity
- Kidney cleansing
- Natural hang-over cure
Coconut Water Is Not the Same as Coconut Milk
A lot of the health claims made for coconut water are based on its potassium content.
But first, let me quickly clarify the difference between coconut water and coconut milk. Coconut milk is made by grinding up coconut meat and pressing out the liquid. Like the coconut meat itself, coconut milk is very high in fat and, therefore, calories. One cup of coconut milk contains about 550 calories, most of them from fat.
What Is Coconut Water?
Coconut water is the fluid that’s found in the cavity of the coconut when you crack it open. Naturally refreshing, coconut water has a sweet, nutty taste. It contains easily digested carbohydrate in the form of sugar and electrolytes. Not to be confused with high-fat coconut milk or oil, coconut water is a clear liquid in the fruit’s center that is tapped from young, green coconuts. It contains no fat and is very low in calories, about 50 calories for one cup, most of them from natural sugars. In addition to water and sugar, coconut water also contains some minerals such as potassium and magnesium. In fact, as the websites will all tell you, coconut water has more potassium than a banana!
Is Coconut Water Really That Healthy?
As far as I can tell, a lot of the health claims made for coconut water are based on its potassium content. And potassium is certainly a good thing. It is involved in all kinds of essential bodily functions—and I suppose you could parlay that into a list of benefits like the one above. But virtually all fruits and vegetables are good sources of potassium. And, when you think about it, that list of benefits would apply to any diet that’s high in fruits and vegetables.
People who eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables get about twice the recommended intake of potassium on average. And one of the advantages of getting your potassium from fruits and vegetables instead of coconut water is that you also get fiber and a whole range of other important nutrients. I’m not saying that coconut water is bad for you. But I am suggesting that if you eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, like I’m always telling you to, I’m not sure coconut water offers anything new.
Should You Drink Coconut Water?
Basically, coconut water is like natural Gatorade. Like Gatorade, it contains water, simple carbohydrates (or, sugar), and electrolytes (or, minerals). Compared to a sports drink made with refined sugars, artificial flavoring, and blue food coloring, I’d say coconut water represents a solid upgrade. However, the benefits of sports drinks—whether natural or artificial—tend to be somewhat oversold.
Most sports drinks are consumed by people who aren’t exercising hard enough to need electrolyte replacement or benefit from additional carbohydrates. They end up consuming more calories than they’re burning. Here are my general guidelines for sports drinks: If you’re exercising very hard for more than 60 minutes, or in extremely hot conditions, a drink containing sugar and minerals can enhance your performance. Otherwise, plain water works just as well—and saves you some calories.