Coconut water has many health benefits, it is a clear liquid inside coconuts differs from coconut milk, which combines water with grated coconut. Coconut water has a sweet, nutty flavour and is low in calories and sugar.
There are also electrolytes such as potassium, sodium, and magnesium, which help restore lost nutrients, so it’s good for you after exercise or when you’re ill – although, you might not need as much water in the meantime.
Dietitian Maxine Smith, RDN, LD, explains what you need to know about coconut water and how to determine if it’s right for you.
Hydrates the body
While comparable to sports drinks, which can be loaded with added sugars and flavourings, coconut water is low in calories and carbs. Coconut water’s potassium, sodium, and magnesium electrolytes make it appealing to athletes. Some studies indicate that electrolytes can aid with hydration during exercise.
Those studies, however, used coconut water enriched with sodium, which Smith says may not be the best choice for most people and should be reserved for those who exercise for an extended period. “When exercising for a long period of time,” Smith says, “coconut water can be helpful. However, the electrolytes in coconut water fluctuate, so a sports drink is a better option.”
If you lose a pound of weight during exercise, you should replenish your body with about 20 ounces of fluid, whether it’s coconut water or a sports drink.
Potassium content is high
There is a lack of potassium in most people’s diets. Potassium helps your body remove extra sodium through urine. Coconut water can even reduce blood pressure.
Researchers believe coconut water may lower blood pressure in those with high blood pressure. However, if you are on blood pressure medication, you may want to avoid coconut water as it could lower your blood pressure too much. Discuss this with your physician.
Due to its high potassium content, coconut water shouldn’t be consumed two weeks before surgery since it can affect your blood pressure.
In contrast to other fruit juices, coconut water is lower in calories, making it a good choice for people who like sweet drinks.
“It contains about 40- to 60 calories per 8-ounce serving – about half the calories of orange juice,” says Smith. “If you enjoy its taste, it can be part of a healthy diet.”
Fat-free and cholesterol-free
The water in coconuts is 94% water and is fat-free and cholesterol-free. “If you want to drink coconut water recreationally, buy one without sugar or sodium added,” says Smith.
As coconut water ages, it loses nutrients and may have an odd taste. Check the expiration date as well.
Prevention Of Kidney Stones
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 11% of men and 6% of women experience kidney stones at least once during their lifetime. Staying hydrated can help prevent them. According to Smith, coconut water, if consumed as part of a balanced diet, offers relief as well as flushing your system. In a 2018 study, potassium, chloride, and citrate were removed more efficiently in urine with coconut water.
“Stones come in many forms,” says Smith. “But, if your physician recommends that you eat more potassium, coconut water may be helpful.”
Improves Skin Health
Researchers believe coconut water may be beneficial for treating acne because of its antimicrobial properties. Coconut water may also support your antioxidant system by neutralizing the effects of free radicals.
Here are some tips for drinking coconut water
- Look for coconut water options that contain no added sugar or preservatives and are 100% coconut water.
- Coconut water can be enjoyed at any time of the day. It can be enjoyed on an empty stomach or with a meal.
- If you don’t like the taste of coconut water, try mixing it with sparkling water or smoothies.
- It is important to drink coconut water after exercising in order to stay hydrated.
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