Nowadays, coconut water has become a very trendy beverage. It is so tasty and refreshing. It has been enjoyed by people for thousands of years. Some even call it “ nature’s sports drink” and a “life enhancer.”
What Is Coconut Water?
Coconut water is the clear liquid found inside a young, fresh coconut. Actually, young coconuts that contain the most water are those harvested at 5 to 7 months of age. Its greatest health benefits come from drinking the water of the young coconut and not from the mature coconut milk. An average green coconut provides about 0.5-1 cup of coconut water.
One cup (240 grams) contains 46 calories, as well as:
Carbs: 9 grams.
Fiber: 3 grams.
Protein: 2 grams.
Vitamin C: 10% of the RDI.
Magnesium: 15% of the RDI.
Manganese: 17% of the RDI.
Potassium: 17% of the RDI.
Sodium: 11% of the RDI.
Calcium: 6% of the RDI.
Potassium is the primary nutrient in coconut water. It has become a high electrolyte beverage as it contains approximately 600 milligrams of potassium. These electrolytes are vital in maintaining heart health, blood volume, as well as prevention of dehydration. If you maintain electrolyte levels, it can help you reduce stress, fatigue, and maintain muscle relaxation.
There were also researches about the cytokinin content of coconut water, which may show some anti-cancer properties. Though more research is needed, these cytokinins are plant hormones that may help lessen the growth of cancer cells.
Other Health Benefits Of Coconut Water Include:
- Weight loss
- Lowered cholesterol
- Reduced cellulite
- Relax muscle tension
- Lowered blood pressure
- Increased athletic performance
- Boosted energy
For most people, coconut water is a safe and healthy beverage. For centuries, it has been believed to treat different health-related ailments. However, if you have kidney disease, you must limit the consumption of foods that are high in potassium, and sadly it includes coconut water.
So now, let’s take a look at the science-backed benefits of coconut water.
Health Benefits of Coconut Water
Helps Lower Cholesterol And Triglycerides
In a study conducted last 2006, experts found out that when rats are given with coconut water, their chance of having a heart attack decreases. Their total triglyceride levels and LDL cholesterol, particularly the cholesterol in the heart decreases.
Aside from this, all the rats recover faster if they did have a heart attack. It was believed that these benefits are due to the magnesium, calcium, and potassium content of the water, as they are all electrolytes that help maintain heart health.
Helps Lower Blood Pressure
A 2005 study revealed that, as compared to those subjects who drank plain water, subjects who were given coconut water for two weeks have 71 percent lower systolic blood pressure and 29 percent lower diastolic blood pressure.
Researchers linked this to the coconut water’s high potassium content. Potassium counteracts the sodium’s effect on the body, therefore, lowers blood pressure.
Electrolyte Replacement: Coconut Water Versus Sports Drink
Coconut water has been used for IV hydration in certain emergency situations and this is due to its high potassium content.
Compared to other sports drinks, it is lower in carbohydrates. It has only about 4.5 percent carbohydrates while on the other hand, other sports drinks contain 6-8 percent carbohydrate concentration. Athletes trying to watch their sugar intake and hydrate after an event can benefit from this. Furthermore, coconut water can also be a great choice for low-sugar hydration after a workout.
Helps Reduce Stress And Muscle Tension
Electrolytes, particularly calcium and magnesium, found in coconut water may help with stress and water tension.
Aside from maintaining strong bones and teeth, calcium helps muscles to relax –this includes heart muscles- therefore, lowering the risk of heart attacks.
Magnesium is also known as the “relaxation” mineral. It functions in the parasympathetic nervous system –a part of the nervous system that helps a person relax. It is also involved in the formation of the “feel-good hormone” known as serotonin.
As coconut water contains both of these minerals, drinking it during stressful days may help you relieve stress and stay in calm.
Cleansing Or Detox
Inadequate hydration results in toxin build-up in our body. This is mainly because the kidneys and liver, which are the detoxifying organs, can’t function properly without enough water.
Water or electrolyte loss (dehydration) leads to confusion, extreme thirst, irritability, and fatigue. These are duly because of the kidney’s failure to adequately flush toxins out of the body. To prevent dehydration as well as maintain the body’s natural detoxification ability, adequate fluid intake must be 8-10 cups per day.
The electrolyte profile of coconut water is similar to human blood. This makes it an ideal beverage in replacing fluids as well as in removing toxins from the body. Specifically, the electrolyte potassium can counteract some of the bad effects of a high-sodium processed diet.
How To Enjoy Coconut Water
If coconut water is too plain for you, then you can pair it with grapes to create a delicious mix. You can try mixing it with other fruit juices as well. Just make sure that you use 100% juice. Adding it to your smoothies can also be a great idea.
For optimal hydration, try this delicious recipe that contains coconut water, fruits, and vegetable juices.
4 ounces of coconut water
4 celery stalks
1 peeled lime
1 whole cucumber
Add all ingredients together into a blender and blend until mixed thoroughly.
Gently stir, drink and enjoy!