8 Health Benefits Of Coconut Water
- What Is Coconut Water?
- 8 Health Benefits Of Coconut Water
- When Should You Drink Coconut Water?
- What Happens If You Drink Coconut Water on an Empty Stomach?
- What Happens If You Drink Coconut Water Every Day?
- Is Coconut Water Good For Your Skin?
- Can Coconut Water Help With Hangovers?
- Coconut Water Cocktails
- Side Effects
Are you searching for a way to stay hydrated and boost your health? Well, search no more – coconut water is the perfect drink for you.
Thanks to its pleasant, refreshing, and sweet taste and the different health benefits it offers, coconut water has become the new trendy drink among athletes and celebrities.
So, in this article, we’re going to explain what coconut water is and in what ways it can benefit your health. We’re also going to share 2 coconut cocktail recipes and discuss its potential side effects. So, without further ado, let’s dive right into it.
What Is Coconut Water?
Coconut water is the fluid present inside young, green coconuts. It is packed with nutrients and electrolytes and it contains 94 percent of water and zero fat (1).
Many people confuse coconut water with coconut milk, but these two are different. Coconut water is obtained from not fully ripened coconuts, whereas coconut milk is made by adding water to grated solid endosperm of a coconut. Additionally, coconut milk is normally used as an ingredient in different cooking recipes compared with coconut water which is used as a drink to slake thirst (1). And one more difference is that coconut milk contains fewer nutrients and is rich in fat compared with coconut water.
Coconut water is often referred to as “nature’s sports drink” and it’s been included in traditional health practices and diets in tropical countries for a long time. For instance, some people who practice Ayurvedic medicine use this drink to improve urine flow and digestive system.
And now, let’s see why coconut water is good for you:
8 Health Benefits Of Coconut Water
- It Keeps Your Body Hydrated
Coconut water is naturally sweet and low in carbohydrates and calories, which makes it a great alternative to plain water. Consuming this drink several times during the day helps keep you hydrated. And staying hydrated may be helpful in:
- Decreasing joint pain
- Preventing kidney stones
- Improving digestion
- Controlling body weight
- Increasing energy levels
- Improving heart health
- Regulating body temperature
- Enhancing cognition
It’s Rich in Nutrients
1 cup (240 g) of coconut water contains (2):
- 228 g Water
- 0.48 g Fat
- 6.26 g Sugars
- 3.71 g Carbohydrate
- 1.73 g Protein
- 2.64 g Fiber
- 600 mg Potassium
- 57.6 mg Calcium
- 60 mg Magnesium
- 252 mg Sodium
- 45.6 Kcal/190 KJ
For those wanting to raise their intake of potassium, they can certainly include this beverage in their diet.
Potassium is helpful in balancing levels of electrolytes and fluid, particularly during physical exercise. Additionally, it helps decrease blood pressure by reducing the effect of sodium and relieving tension in the blood vessels (3).
Coconut water also contains magnesium and calcium. Magnesium contributes to energy production in the body and supports the function of muscles. And calcium plays an essential role in strengthening teeth and bones.
It’s a Rich Source of Electrolytes
Being high in potassium, 1 cup of coconut water provides 600 milligrams of potassium, this beverage is a rich source of electrolytes. Electrolytes play an important role in preventing dehydration and maintaining the health of the heart and blood volume. Adequate levels of electrolytes can help lower stress and fatigue.
For those who love exercising, coconut water can be a great, healthy substitute for sports drinks since it contains a smaller amount of carbohydrates, fewer calories, and a higher amount of potassium than sports drinks, and it’s an excellent hydrating drink to be consumed after a workout.
It May Help Decrease Blood Sugar Levels
Studies have shown that drinking coconut water can help reduce levels of blood sugar, lower retinal damage caused by diabetes, and prevent hyperglycemia in rats having diabetes (4,5).
However, more research is needed to confirm whether coconut water has the same effect in humans.
Nevertheless, another benefit that coconut water offers when it comes to regulating blood sugar levels is due to the magnesium present in it. Namely, studies show that intake of magnesium may be helpful in lowering the risk of developing diabetes in people who are at high risk as well as improving sensitivity to insulin in patients who have hypomagnesemia (a condition which occurs when there’s an insufficient amount of serum magnesium in the blood (6,7).
It May Have Antioxidant Properties
Free radicals are unstable molecules that have unpaired electrons. When they accumulate and the body loses ability to control them, a condition that is called oxidative stress occurs.
Research has indicated that coconut water has antioxidants which may help treat different conditions associated with oxidative stress as well as protect against damage caused by oxidative stress (8,9).
It May Benefit Heart Health
As we already said, potassium, present in coconut water in a high amount, helps decrease blood pressure. Additionally, one research article suggests that this beverage is referred to as a heart tonic in Jamaica and it’s used to boost blood circulation and strengthen the heart. Some studies in animals also indicate that drinking coconut water lowers the formation of plaque in arteries, thereby decreasing the risk of heart attack. And last but not least, some studies indicate that drinking coconut water lowers the risk of heart failure in patients who have heart diseases (10).
Another 2008 study, which examined the effect of coconut water with lovastatin on lipid levels in rats that were fed with diet enriched with fat cholesterol for 45 days, found that this drink or the drug lovastatin decreased triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol levels and raised the levels of HDL cholesterol. So, the effect of coconut water on decreasing lipid levels was similar to that of lovastatin in rats (11).
In addition, one 2005 study has indicated that consuming coconut water can decrease both systolic and diastolic blood pressure (12).
It Might Promote Weight Loss
Although it hasn’t been scientifically proven yet, consuming coconut water combined with a healthy, balanced diet and regular physical exercise might help you shed pounds. Coconut water can curb your appetite and make you feel full for longer. In addition, we already said that this drink is used to stimulate metabolism and improve digestion.
And last but not least, coconut water is a highly nutritious drink and it’s low in calories and carbs, which makes it a good healthy alternative to many other sports drinks and juices that people tend to consume when trying to lose weight.
- It May Help Prevent the Formation of Kidney Stones
One 2018 study which involved 8 people that didn’t have kidney stones found that coconut water consumption helped participants lose considerable amount of chloride, potassium, and citrate during urination, which means that this drink may help pass kidney stones or prevent their formation (13).
Additionally, one 2013 study performed on rats found that coconut water decreased the amount of crystals in urine and prevented the deposition of crystals in the tissue of the kidneys. Moreover, coconut water was also found to prevent oxidative stress development in the kidneys (14).
Nevertheless, more research is needed to evaluate the effect of coconut water on lowering the risk of kidney stone formation.
When Should You Drink Coconut Water?
You can drink coconut water at any time of the day. Being refreshing and packed with nutrients, you can consume it whenever you want. If you drink it in the morning, it’ll keep your body hydrated throughout the day. And if you choose to drink it at night, it’s recommended that you drink it one to two hours before you go to sleep so that it doesn’t lead to frequent urination.
What Happens If You Drink Coconut Water on an Empty Stomach?
Consuming coconut water on an empty stomach is safe. Drinks that can upset your stomach are usually those that are high in acidity, and coconut water is low. Additionally, drinking this beverage first thing in the morning may help stimulate your metabolism and immunity. Moreover, it’s a great healthy substitute for coffee.
What Happens If You Drink Coconut Water Every Day?
Consuming coconut water is usually safe for most people. If it’s consumed every day and in large amounts, it may cause stomach upset, bloating, and fullness in some people. However, that isn’t very common. And one thing is sure –it’ll keep you hydrated and help you feel fresh throughout the day.
Is Coconut Water Good For Your Skin?
There are many claims that consuming or applying coconut water to the skin can prevent wrinkles and moisturize the skin, but none of this has been scientifically proven. Moreover, there’s another claim that coconut water has antimicrobial properties, but one 2017 study showed that fresh tender coconut water did not demonstrate any antimicrobial activity (15).
Can Coconut Water Help With Hangovers?
Although it’s not scientifically proven, many people claim that coconut water helps with hangovers. The reason for this is that after drinking excessively, your body becomes highly dehydrated. And like we already said, coconut water is rich in potassium and electrolytes which rehydrate your body fast. This drink can also alleviate symptoms of a hangover, such as nausea and headache.
Coconut Water Cocktails
If you don’t like the way coconut water tastes, you can mix coconut water with other fruits and/or alcohol to make super delicious cocktails. In what follows, we’ve presented two coconut water cocktails recipes.
Coconut Pineapple Rum Cocktail
- 3 ounces of coconut water
- 3 ounces of pineapple juice
- 1 ounce of rum
- Mix all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker.
- Shake well until the mixture becomes smooth.
- Pour the cocktail into a glass and decorate with slices of pineapple.
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
- Calories: 127 kcal
- Cuisine: American
Strawberry Gin Cocktail
- 3 ounces of coconut water
- 6-8 strawberries
- 3 ounces of soda water
- 1 ounce of gin
- 2 sprigs of fresh mint
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- Mix the sugar, strawberries, and mint in a cocktail shaker.
- Add coconut water and gin and shake well.
- Add soda water.
- Decorate with strawberries.
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
- Calories: 150 kcal
- Cuisine: American
- People having chronic kidney disease should avoid drinking coconut water as it may increase potassium levels in their blood.
- It’s still not examined what effect coconut water has on pregnancy and breast-feeding. To be on the safe side, pregnant woman should avoid drinking it.
- People having high levels of potassium in the blood should not drink coconut water.
- People having problems with their blood pressure should not drink coconut water as it may reduce blood pressure.
- Coconut water is a great choice to keep your body hydrated and boost your health.
- Coconut water is obtained from young coconuts.
- Coconut water has various health benefits: It’s rich in nutrients and electrolytes, it keeps you hydrated, it may lower blood sugar levels, it may have antioxidant properties, and it may help improve heart health, promote weight loss, and prevent the formation of kidney stones.
- Coconut water can be used to make refreshing cocktails.
- In some people, coconut water may cause side effects.