Benefits of Coconut Water—Healthy or Hype?
They are everywhere now! Coconut water is a very trendy drink, popping up in many grocery and health food stores. More and more companies are coming up with different bottled coconut water, claiming that it can do wonders for our health.
Then there's the coconut water that is flavored with fruit juices and sugar. Are those recommended as well?
So is it true or is it all part of the usual marketing hype? Let's take a look at the nutritional profile and some real facts gathered from reliable studies.
Coconut water is the clear liquid found inside young coconuts, not to be mistaken for coconut milk. Coconut milk is thicker, made from blending water and coconut meat.
The sweet tasting drink provides many nutrients including:
- Electrolytes (Potassium, Sodium, Magnesium)
- Low in fat and calories
- No cholesterol
Coconut water has been a popular drink for thousands of years in Southeast Asia and Caribbean before it became a trendy sports drink in the US. According to Beverage World, coconut water is one of the fastest growing drinks.
Are you a coconut water drinker?
Do you drink coconut water?
Coconut Water ~ Mother Nature's Sports Drink?
Sometimes referred to as Mother Nature's sports drink, coconut water is often recommended for athletes to drink after a workout. A new scientific study concluded that high concentration of potassium is important for replenishment after sweating.
Potassium will help you relieve cramps, particularly leg cramps. In fact, an analysis shows that it has 5 times the amount of potassium than Gatorade and a banana.
However, the downside, and it's a small relative downside, is that contains less sodium compared to other sports drinks.Causes of Hyponatremia
When you sweat during a strenuous workout, your body loses potassium and sodium. Your body loses more sodium than potassium. A severe loss of sodium can cause hyponatremia, leading to dehydration, cramps, disorientation, and confusion. During some extreme stage it can cause seizures, coma, or death.
So in conclusion, coconut water may be a great sports drink for those who participate in a relatively moderate exercise. However if you are doing intensive, long workouts such as marathon running or triathlon training, it is advised that you reach for a sodium containing sports drink instead. Pickle juice has been shown to relieve these symptoms as well.
Coconut water doesn't get any fresher than this! Give me a straw please!
If you google coconut water, don't be surprised to see many health claims on the companies' websites and health and nutrition blogs. So can coconut water really prevent cancer, hangovers, slow aging, and all of that good stuff? These are some of the latest claims:
- Prevents cancer
- Slow aging process
- Hydrates your body
- Regulate blood pressure
- Lower cholesterol
- Break up kidney stones
- Even cures hangovers
So far, there aren't any major studies out there concluding that coconut water can cure cancer. There are a few studies that are in the early stages, hoping to find out whether coconut water can lower cholesterol and blood pressure. However, it is too preliminary to conclude from it.