Benefits of coconut water

Years of research have shown that coconut water is not just a refreshing vacation drink, it’s packed with electrolytes, among other beneficial nutrients, making it a natural health booster.

Introduce coconut water to your diet gradually instead of substituting it for regular water, so your body can get used to the change.
Introduce coconut water to your diet gradually instead of substituting it for regular water, so your body can get used to the change. 

Coconut water, popularly known as “nature’s sports drink,” has gained popularity in recent years as a healthy way to stay hydrated.

Coconut water vs. coconut milk

Sometimes people confuse coconut water with coconut milk, but they’re two separate things with entirely different properties.

Coconut water: Coconut water is the sweet-tasting, translucent fluid found in young green coconuts. When you poke a hole in the top of a coconut and insert a straw, you’re drinking coconut water. It’s produced naturally and can be consumed immediately. Coconut water has significantly fewer calories than coconut milk, making it a good choice for those on a calorie-restricted diet.

Related: Healthy Foods That Fight Aging Diseases

Naturally grown coconuts contain about half a cup to one cup of water, but it may differ based on the size of the fruit, geography and climatic conditions.

Coconut milk: Unlike naturally produced coconut water, coconut milk is a manmade drink. Coconut milk is manually processed from the outer layer of ripe coconuts. Once ready, it can be used for drinking or as an ingredient in some milk-based recipes.

Health benefits of drinking coconut water

Coconut water has numerous health benefits, including improved organ health, regulated blood pressure and lowered risk of heart disease. We’ve compiled a list of potential advantages coconut water can offer.

Get our FREE Beginner’s Guide to a Healthy Lifestyle

High nutritional value

One cup of coconut water (approximately 240 milliliters) contains three grams of fiber and two grams of protein. It has 600 milligrams of potassium, which is 17% of the recommended daily intake for adults. It has similar levels of manganese and magnesium. Coconut water also has 10% of your required daily vitamin C intake, making it a good choice for days when you’re feeling under the weather.

Manage blood pressure

Some studies suggest drinking coconut water may help reduce blood pressure. Potassium can help lower blood pressure, and since coconut water has 600 milligrams of potassium per serving, it can be beneficial for people with high blood pressure.[Most read] A Baltimore man, an ex-offender who wanted to go straight, dies in a mysterious crash in Gettysburg | COMMENTARY »

Research suggests coconut water may also help reduce the formation of blood clots in your arteries, which ensures a smooth flow of blood and helps regulate blood pressure.

Related: Diabetes Diet: Get Creative With Your Healthy-Eating Plan

Post-workout recovery

If you work out regularly, you might want to swap processed energy drinks for a serving of fresh coconut water. Coconut water is good at replenishing electrolytes in the body that are lost during intense exercise.

Studies comparing the effects of drinking coconut water rather than a sports drink after a workout showed that both are almost equally effective at restoring hydration and electrolyte levels in the body. In fact, coconut water might be a better option, because it doesn’t contain artificial sugars and flavors found in most processed beverages.

Heart health

Recent experiments suggest drinking coconut water may help reduce blood cholesterol and triglycerides. In a study, rats that drank coconut water had significant reductions in blood cholesterol and triglycerides. The study found the benefits of drinking coconut water comparable to the effects of statins, a popular class of lipid-lowering medications.

Good source of hydration

Drinking coconut water may help sick people improve hydration levels in their bodies. Illnesses resulting in vomiting and diarrhea cause us to lose fluids rapidly, meaning our bodies quickly become dehydrated. Coconut water can help replenish the lost fluid content.[Most read] Previewing Maryland men’s basketball vs. Alabama: Game time, odds and how to watch »

While water is also a good source of hydration, coconut water is slightly better as it restores blood sugar levels much more effectively than a regular glass of water. The nutrients your body receives from coconut water may also help in a faster recovery. However, we don’t recommend replacing regular water with coconut water entirely.

Click here to start your weekly Meal Plan

How much coconut water should you drink?

While coconut water is healthy and delicious, too much of it can be harmful. While there are no set guidelines as to the exact amount of coconut water you can or should drink, experts recommend consuming one or two small to medium cups at the most in a day. Two cups of coconut water is sufficient for a healthy adult with a moderate level of activity. The proportion may go up or down depending on how active you are and whether you have any health conditions.

Can drinking too much coconut water be harmful?

Coconut water contains sodium, an ingredient that’s already high in most American diets. If you drink too much coconut water — substituting it for water completely — your sodium levels might become toxic.

Coconut water also contains a lot of calories, which may increase weight and body fat percentage. The carbohydrates and calories in a serving of coconut water may also increase the sugar levels in your blood, so if you have high blood pressure, it’s better to avoid drinking more than two cups of coconut water in a day.

In some studies, people reported feeling bloated and nauseated after consuming coconut water as compared to other beverages. If you’re already facing digestive issues, stick to plain water.[Most read] Andy Harris: Maryland’s anti-police, anti-intellectual poseur of a congressman | COMMENTARY »

We recommend consuming coconut water occasionally to get the maximum health benefits.

Source: The Baltimore Sun