- Coconut Water Health Benefits
- Final Thoughts
Coconuts grow in tropical areas. It is famous for coconut oil, which has many uses from cosmetics to medicine. But, there is another thing in which coconuts are renowned, the coconut water.
Coconut water is delicious and nourishing. Unlike plain water, coconut water is rich with nutrients essential for both nourishment and hydration.
So, let us explore the health benefits of regular consumption of coconut water. But first, you might be asking what the difference between coconut water and coconut milk, or even coconut oil is?
Coconut water is the easiest to obtain from a coconut. When you break the coconut in half or make a hole on it, the water you get immediately is the coconut water. You can immediately drink upon breaking or making a hole on a coconut.
On the other hand, coconut milk and oil need extraction process, which can take time, especially coconut oil extraction.
Coconut Water Health Benefits
Now let’s explore what some studies have found about the beneficial effects of coconut water on our bodies.
Due to the nutrient and mineral contents, our bodies can benefit from it with regular consumption.
1. Vitamins and Minerals Contents
While you every coconut, both young and old contains water that can be consumed, coconut water is mostly obtained from young coconuts.
As the coconut matures, its flesh becomes thick and hard, which is suitable for coconut milk and oil extraction. Still, the coconut water in a mature coconut is still drinkable. However, it is better to consume coconut water from young coconuts as its meat can also be eaten with ease. And it’s delicious, too.
Self-Nutrition Data says that 240 ml of coconut water contains vitamin C (10% of the RDI) and several minerals such as;
- Calcium (6% of the RDI)
- Magnesium (15% of the RDI)
- Manganese (17% of the RDI)
- Potassium (17% of the RDI)
- Sodium (11% of the RDI)
Additionally, coconut water also contains 2 grams of proteins, 3 grams of dietary fiber, and 9 grams of carbs.
It means, if you’re drinking non-mineralized water, coconut water is good to supplement some of the minerals missing in the water.
2. Rich In Antioxidants
Natural antioxidants are essential for getting rid of free radicals in the body. Hence, it boosts the body’s immune system and helps in keeping stress under control.
Animal-based studies1 2 3 4 have shown that antioxidants in coconut water prevent free radicals from causing harm. In another animal-based study5, rats with liver damage treated with coconut water have demonstrated significant improvements over oxidative stress.
Unfortunately, no studies yet to prove coconut water’s antioxidants benefit in humans. However, these animal-based studies are promising. Even if there are no human-based studies conducted, yet coconut water has been consumed by many cultures where it grows natively.
3. Beneficial For Diabetics
It is shocking how diabetes engulfed the world. It is a metabolic disorder in which diet could play a role in reversing it. Fortunately, whole foods and natural beverages like coconut water could help.
As mentioned, there are no coconut water studies yet on humans. But, in several animal-based studies6 7 8, coconut water is beneficial in lowering blood sugar levels. It also causes other improvements, which are considered diabetic markers in animals.
Hopefully, researchers will be able to conduct future controlled studies on humans with diabetes using coconut water.
On the other hand, coconut water is a good replacement for bottled sugary drinks.
4. Beneficial For Kidney Health
Drinking plenty of fluids make the kidneys happy except bottled sugary beverages. In particular, consuming the right amount of fluids can help in the prevention of kidney stones formation.
While water is an excellent option for drinking, when it comes to kidney health, coconut water may outperform the plain water.
A study9 on rats with kidney stones have shown that coconut water helps in preventing crystals sticking to the kidneys. It also stopped crystals sticking in other parts of the urinary tract. More importantly, it reduced the formation of crystals in the urine.
In certain cultures, particularly in Southeast Asia like the Philippines, people drink coconut water as part of preventing and dissolving kidney stones.
Of course, relying on it alone as an option for people with kidney stones is a bad idea. Instead, make coconut water as part of proper nutrition.
Treatment with coconut water inhibited crystal deposition in renal tissue as well as reduced the number of crystals in urine.Int Braz J Urol. 2013 Jan-Feb;39(1):108-17. doi: 10.1590/S1677-5538.IBJU.2013.01.14.
5. Good For Heart Health
Some animal-based studies suggest that coconut water may have a potent cholesterol-lowering effect.
A separate study revealed similar results in which researchers gave rats the same diet while supplementing it with coconut water.
In one study, researchers concluded that coconut water is just as effective as cholesterol-lowering drug lovastatin11.
Coconut water has lipid lowering effect similar to the drug lovastatin in rats fed fat-cholesterol enriched diet.Food Chem Toxicol. 2008 Dec;46(12):3586-92. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2008.08.030. Epub 2008 Sep 3.
6. Beneficial For Controlling and Lowering Blood Pressure
Hypertension or high blood pressure affects millions around the world. Of course, medications are widely available for it, but most of them have side effects.
Incorporating a natural solution to your blood pressure problem is a good idea. For sure, you need to look at what you are eating as proper nutrition is key to reducing blood pressure.
In addition to proper nutrition, add coconut water as your regular beverage along with plain water.
Unlike previous studies mentioned, coconut water has been used in a study where actual people have high blood pressure.
In the study12, researchers found coconut oil improved systolic blood pressure in 71% of the participants.
Additionally, one animal study13 found coconut water benefit in preventing blood clot formation.
Overall, coconut water is beneficial for lowering high blood pressure and could potentially decrease the risk of blood clot formation in the arteries.
After having a walk, which is also useful for reducing blood pressure, it can be a refreshing idea to drink coconut water as a thirst quencher.
7. Increases Endurance During Exercise
Coconut water has an advantage over plain water in terms of hydration due to its electrolyte contents, potassium, calcium, sodium, and magnesium.
It has comparable effectiveness to energy drinks, again with huge advantages due to its natural state.
Coconut water may be the perfect beverage for restoring hydration and replenishing electrolytes lost during exercise.
Electrolytes are minerals that play several vital roles in your body, including maintaining proper fluid balance.
Hence, it makes coconut water a perfect drink for replenishing electrolytes and hydration during sports activities, including exercise.
Electrolytes are minerals that play essential roles in the body, particularly maintaining the proper balance of fluid. The more sweat released during intense activity, the more of these electrolytes are lost.
And, yes, two human studies14 15 have proven this benefit of coconut water in increasing endurance during exercise. In those studies, coconut water outperformed plain water and equal to sports drinks containing high electrolytes.
Ingesting SCW was as good as ingesting a commercial sports drink for whole body rehydration after exercise-induced dehydration but with better fluid tolerance.Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health. 2007 Jul;38(4):769-85.
Moreover, coconut water also caused less stomach discomfort and nausea on the participants.
Coconut water was significantly sweeter, caused less nausea, fullness and no stomach upset and was also easier to consume in a larger amount compared with a carbohydrate-electrolyte beverage and plain water ingestion.J Physiol Anthropol Appl Human Sci. 2002 Mar;21(2):93-104.
Ingestion of fresh young coconut water, a natural refreshing beverage, could be used for whole body rehydration after exercise.
Coconut water is this good when it comes to rehydration. However, when choosing a bottled or packed coconut water, avoid those with added sugars and flavors.
Make sure you drink all-natural coconut water.
8. Delicious And More Hydrating Alternative To Plain Water
Drinking water should be your primary source of liquid. But, it having coconut water along with plain water is a healthy combination.
Instead of drinking bottled sugary beverages, look for natural coconut water. In the West, people may not be able to drink coconut water freshly pick from a coconut tree.
But, bottled coconut water containing all-natural contents are available. Make sure you read the label and buy the reputable brands.
There is no doubt that coconut water is delicious. But, it is more than just a delicious all-natural beverage but packed with nutrients, too.
In particular, the electrolyte contents are suitable for rehydration purposes, especially in intense activities like sports and exercise.
Moreover, the studies conducted on coconut water are promising. It may not be able to replace all the sugary bottled beverages but indeed a wise choice.
Also, since coconut water is beneficial for cardiovascular health, it could also be helpful for people with erectile problems. Hence, this natural beverage may be able to let you achieve a healthy sex life.
Lastly, if you’re planning to visit a tropical place, make sure you drink fresh coconut water freshly pick from the coconut tree.