When the ever-moving wellness spotlight lingered over coconut water—the fluid harvested from inside coconuts—you, like many of us, probably wondered: Is coconut water actually healthy? So many diet trends are overhyped—but nutritionists say this one holds some weight. In other words, the health benefits of coconut water are aplenty.
Coconut water is the clear fluid inside coconuts. It’s not the same as coconut milk, which is a blend of coconut water and grated coconut.
In Ayurveda, Coconut water is believed to help in activities of the body such as digestion and urination. It helps to provide an instant boost of energy.
May be beneficial for heart health:
Drinking Coconut water may be beneficial to prevent heart diseases. It may help manage cholesterol levels in the blood and maintain good heart health because it is high in potassium. Additionally, coconut water also helps increase good cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein) levels, which decreases the risk of various heart diseases.
May have antioxidant properties
Free radicals are unstable molecules produced in your cells during metabolism. Their production increases in response to stress or injury.
When there are too many free radicals, your body enters a state of oxidative stress, which can damage your cells and increase disease risk (3).
Research on animals has shown that coconut water contains antioxidants that may help modify free radicals so they no longer cause harm.
Maintain Muscle Function
Potassium is an essential mineral and electrolyte that the human body needs for muscle function. One brand of coconut water analyzed by the USDA contained 401 milligrams of potassium in an eight-ounce serving. While other brands may differ on the exact level of potassium, coconut water is consistently a high source of this valuable nutrient. The level of potassium in coconut water is determined partly by the age of the coconut when the coconut water is extracted.
Coconut water contains several nutrients beyond potassium, including calcium and magnesium.
One cup of coconut water contains about 600 mgTrusted Source of potassium, while for context, a medium banana contains 420 mgTrusted Source. For anyone looking to increase their potassium intake, coconut water may be a good choice.
Potassium helps keep fluid and electrolyte levels balanced, especially during exercise. And because there is more potassium than sodium in coconut water, the potassium may help balance out the sodium’s effects on blood pressure — and it may even help lowerTrusted Source blood pressure.
Coconut water may also aid in the fight against acne due to its antimicrobial properties, suggests a preliminary 2017 study. Research also shows that consuming coconut water may help your antioxidant system by neutralizing the effects of free radicals.
Is Coconut Water Good for You?
Coconut water is a great beverage. Owing to its nutritional content, it carries a multitude of health benefits.
Tender coconut water is a boost for post-workout hydration. It is full of antioxidants, and amino acids and is also heart-friendly. As a bonus, coconut water may also provide anti-ageing benefits!
Intriguing right? And there’s more. To better appreciate this fluid of life, let us look at the health benefits of coconut water.
Coconut Water Calories
One cup of 100% coconut water (240g) provides 44 calories, 75% of which come from carbs, 15% from protein, and 10% from fat. Coconut water is a low-calorie beverage.
Coconut water contains far fewer calories than other types of electrolyte sport drinks that contain sugar. For instance, a bottle of Gatorade (20 ounces) contains 140 calories, or 65 calories in a cup. Other vitamin-packed beverages like orange juice also contain more calories, with 110 calories in a cup.
Coconut water has acne-fighting powers
Acne or breakout-prone skin? ‘Coconut water can decrease the excess oils on your skin which reduces breakouts’, according to registered dietitian Stacey B. Schulman. She goes on to say that coconut water, ‘acts an anti-inflammatory, detoxifier and an anti-microbial – all of which work to decrease incidences of acne.’
Benefits of coconut water
Beyond its refreshing flavor and electrolyte profile, coconut water is a great source of antioxidants and can help you stay hydrated. Plus, it’s also been associated with a few impressive health perks, especially for heart health and blood sugar levels:
Selection and storage
Fresh tender coconuts can be readily available in the markets in tropical regions year-round. However, they require importation into the semitropical and cold regions. Nowadays, ready to use tender coconuts, imported from Thailand and Malaysia, can be easily available in the USA, European Union, and Canada.
In the supermarkets, coconut water is also sold in packs and bottles as well. However, its overall nutritional profile may not be the same and up to the mark in terms of vitamins and enzyme levels, since some additives and preservatives are added to enhance shelf life.
Reduce Stress and Muscle Tension
Some of the electrolytes found in coconut water, specifically calcium and magnesium, may help with stress and muscle tension. Many of us are missing these critical minerals in our diets, making stress management even more challenging.
Other than maintaining strong teeth and bones, calcium helps with smooth muscle relaxation. Studies indicate that adequate calcium intakes may help keep our all our muscles relaxed, including our heart muscle, lowering the risk of heart attacks.
Prevents Kidney Stones
According to a study conducted in 2018, coconut water aids increased potassium, chloride, and citrate removal from urine. As a result, it loosens kidney stones and prevents them from forming altogether.
In addition, it provides hydration, so it easily flushes out the body and promotes kidney health. Individuals who find it difficult to complete their daily water intake goals can drink coconut water instead.
Helps in breastfeeding
Tender coconut water has antifungal and antibacterial that helps in protecting newborns from a lot of infections. A new mother should consume coconut water during the breast feeding tenure. It even helps in boosting the baby’s immunity through breastfeeding.
There is such a thing as too much.
“[As] with any fluid, you never want to drink too much during exercise,” Gyimah says. “It can weigh you down and make you feel sick.” She recommends taking a few sips at a time, as opposed to guzzling half the bottle. It’s also important not to completely replace water with coconut water. Although everyone’s fluid needs are different, the average woman needs about 91 ounces a day, or about 11.5 cups.