The next time you feel thirsty during the summers, go for coconut water rather than any other beverage. Coconut water comprises a lot of natural vitamins and minerals that can help you with hydration. Also, coconut is good for health and is mostly found in smoothies and other recipes (salad dressings).
Some people consider Coconut water a great option for health as it comprises various benefits. Also, it is a great alternative and choice when you are looking for something to quench your thirst.
In this section, our experts will explain the benefits of drinking coconut water and how it can be a great option for your health and wellbeing.
What is Coconut Water?
Coconut water is clear water present inside the coconuts. It is very much different from coconut milk. The trendy beverage has a slightly sweet and nutty flavor.
It is good for health as it is low in sugar and calories. Another advantage of drinking coconut water is it helps boost electrolytes, including potassium, sodium, and magnesium.
All these electrolytes help replenish lost nutrients.
Drinking coconut water after exercise or during a mild illness can be beneficial for health. Apart from these, there are many more benefits of drinking coconut water.
Also, as per a recent study, although not conclusive, when coconut water is applied directly to the skin, it can help fight acne.
Read More: Tips to fight acne naturally.
Benefits of Drinking Coconut Water
Drinking coconut water can be a part of a healthy diet as it helps you stay hydrated while being low in calories and being free of fats and cholesterol. Before you crack open a bottle of coconut water, make sure you are aware of how it might affect those with high blood pressure and other conditions.
Aids in hydration
While comparable to sports drinks, which can be loaded with added sugars and flavorings, coconut water is low in calories and carbs. Those electrolytes of potassium, sodium and magnesium play a major role in coconut water’s appeal. “Because of the electrolytes some studies indicate that it can help with hydration specifically related to exercise,” says Smith.
But Smith cautions that those studies use coconut water that is enriched with sodium, which may not be a great choice for most people and should be reserved for those who work out for an hour or more. “It can be helpful doing long exercise sessions,” says Smith. “However, the electrolytes vary in coconut water. A sports drink is a more reliable bet for these situations.”
A rule of thumb is for every pound of weight lost during exercise, you need to replenish your body with about 20 ounces of fluid, whether that’s coconut water, a sports drink or water. “Water is still the best way to hydrate,” says Smith.
High in potassium
Most people don’t get enough potassium in their diet. The mineral helps remove extra sodium from your body through your urine. Coconut water can even help lower blood pressure.
Preliminary research indicates that coconut water may lower blood pressure in those with high blood pressure. However, if you are on blood pressure medication, it may be best to avoid coconut water as it could lower it too much. It’s best to discuss this with your doctor.
It’s also recommended that you shouldn’t drink coconut water two weeks before any surgery as it can affect your blood pressure due to its high levels of potassium.
Low in calories
Other fruit juices can be high in added sugar, calories and carbs. Coconut water, on the other hand, is lower in calories, making it a good option for those who like sweet beverages.
“It has about 40- to 60- calories in 8 ounces — about 1/2 that of orange juice,” says expert. “If you enjoy the taste, it can be part of a healthy diet.”
Free of fat and cholesterol
Coconut water is 94% water and is fat-free and cholesterol-free. “For recreational drinking, you want to get one that is unsweetened and one that doesn’t have added sodium,” says expert.
She also suggests checking the expiration date as the older coconut water gets, the more it loses its nutrients and may get an odd taste.
Kidney stone prevention
In the U.S. 11% of men and 6% of women have kidney stones at least once in their lifetime, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Staying hydrated is key to preventing them. Smith says drinking coconut water, as part of a balanced diet, can offer some relief and help flush your system. A 2018 study showed that coconut water increased the removal of potassium, chloride and citrate in urine.
“There are many different types of stones,” says expert. “But if your physician recommends you get more potassium into your diet, coconut water could be beneficial.”
Coconut water may also aid in the fight against acne due to its antimicrobial properties, suggests a preliminary 2017 study. Research also shows that consuming coconut water may help your antioxidant system by neutralizing the effects of free radicals.
Tips for drinking coconut water
- While there are many options when you’re looking for coconut water in grocery stores, here are a few things to note before trying it out.
- Read the label. Go for options that are 100% coconut water and contain no added sugars or preservatives.
- Drink after exercise to boost hydration.
- Enjoy any time of day. Coconut water can be enjoyed on an empty stomach or with a meal.
- Mix it with other drinks. If you don’t like the taste of coconut water, try adding it to sparkling water or use it in smoothies.
- Use caution if you have chronic kidney disease or take ACE inhibitors as those individuals need to limit their potassium.
- Avoid if you are pregnant. Smith says there is just not enough research on how coconut water affects pregnant individuals. To be on the safe side, it is best to avoid.