Coconut water is one of the most popular refreshing and delicious liquids in the world. Although its rise is recent, with many coconut water brands popping up left and right, trying to make the best from the market share of coconut water back to their companies, it dates back many centuries. Some people have trouble differentiating between coconut water and coconut milk, but the two are as different as night and day.
Coconut milk is a creamy white-colored liquid that looks like dairy milk and is rich in real coconut meat. Pure coconut water, on the other hand, is a clear liquid found in young coconut fruits. It is a natural, refreshing, and delicious drink rich in electrolytes and one of the healthiest alternatives to plain water. In this article, we look at coconut water, its health benefits, and possible side effects.
What Is Coconut Water?
Coconut water is a natural tropical drink especially great for hydration and replenishing lost fluids after workouts or any other strenuous activity. It contains sufficient selenium, calcium, zinc, sodium, magnesium, potassium, and iron, all of which have immense health benefits. You extract the liquid by peeling off the outer shell of a ripe coconut, puncturing its inner end with a sharp object, and then collecting it into a container. You can also take the drink directly from the coconut with a straw.
Top Coconut Water Brands
The purest form of organic coconut water is available in several coconut brand companies. Companies that sell organic coconut water use natural preservative-free coconuts handpicked from trees free from pesticide sprays and those grown without synthetic fertilizers. To make the coconut water more appealing and tastier, coconut water brand companies add flavors. Some favorite flavors include strawberry, lime, lemon, pineapple, mint, citrus, watermelon, grapes, mixed berries, and more.
- Amy & Brian Coconut Water
- Harmless Harvest Organic Coconut Water
- O.N.E Pure Coconut Water
- Pure Brazilian 100% Raw Coconut Water
- Purity Organic Coconut Water
- Taste Nirvana Premium Coconut Water
- Vita Coco Organic Coconut Water
- Vita Coco Sparkling Coconut Water
- WAIKOKO Coconut Water
- ZICO Natural Coconut Water Drink
- Zola Coconut Water
- 365 Everyday Value Coconut Water
The above coconut water brands provide the best alternatives to those with no access to the tropical liquid you can drink straight from a freshly harvested coconut. The companies are making it big with the crisp-tasting organic coconut water, all for other good reasons besides refreshing and quenching the thirst. Coconut water is healthy and the following its nutrition facts and health benefits.
Nutrition Facts of Coconut Water
- Calcium: 4% Daily Value (DV)
- Cholesterol: 0 Milligrams
- Magnesium: 4% Daily Value
- Phosphorus: 2% Daily Value
- Potassium: 470 Milligrams
- Protein: 0 Grams
- Sodium: 25 Milligrams
- Total Carbohydrate: 11 Grams
- Total Fat: 0 Grams
- Total Sugars: 11 Grams
5 Health Benefits of Coconut Water
Besides quenching thirst, coconut water has the following health benefits.
1. Aids in weight loss
Hydration is vital for feeding each organ and improving the body’s metabolism. Many individuals confuse thirst with hunger, resulting in them overindulging and gaining weight. Although pure coconut water contains more calories than ordinary water, it has much lower calories than most other drinks such as processed juice or soda. Changing from a high-calorie drink to coconut water may help you lose weight by reducing the number of calories you consume.
2. Aids in lowering blood pressure and minimizing heart attack and stroke risks
Potassium is one of the essential minerals and electrolytes to have in your diet. However, not everyone gets enough in their diet. The primary purpose of potassium is to rid the body of excess sodium through urination. According to the Heart Organization, foods rich in potassium help lower blood pressure and guard against stroke and heart attack risks. One cup of coconut water contains high potassium content to guard against these issues.
3. Prevents kidney stones
Coconut water is a natural detoxifier or diuretic, which helps to dissolve kidney stones. According to 2018 research, it helps to dilute the urine making it much easier to flush out harsh chemicals such as uric acid, citrate, and phosphates from the body. The chemicals are responsible for the formation of kidney stones.
4. Promotes a healthier skin
Dehydration can cause the skin to become flaky, tight, or dry. Coconut water helps you to meet your daily hydration requirements, which helps to improve circulation and beautiful skin. The organic liquid contains a wide range of antioxidants and vitamins that help maintain a youthful look by keeping the skin firm due to increased collagen production.
5. Aids in post-workout recovery
Coconut drink has a high concentration of electrolytes-potassium, magnesium, and sodium responsible for replenishing lost energy and fluids. When you work up a good sweat, particularly during the summer season when you are likely to sweat more, the electrolytes in coconut water can assist in maintaining fluid balance, avoid dehydration, and even guarantee appropriate muscular performance.
How much sugar is in coconut water?
An ounce of organic unflavored coconut water contains about 1.3g sugar, 5.45-calorie content, 5.45 mg sodium, and 61g potassium. Some coconut water brands add flavor and sweeteners to the liquid to make it more savory to their customers. One of the main concerns, especially for people living with diabetes, is whether it is safe for them with its natural sugar and calorie content. Though there are no possible results to show the effects of coconut water on people with diabetes, they should not consume more than one helping a day.
Is Coconut Oil a Blood Thinner?
Coconut oil also helps in blood thinning, which helps minimize the risk of a heart attack or stroke. However, it is essential to consult a physician if you have heart conditions before depending on coconut water for risk management because studies on the same are still ongoing.
Is Coconut water good for diabetes?
Give all coconut benefits you may also wonder if Coconut water good for diabetes. There is no solid answer to it. It is all depends. Based on the experiment mentioned above, the Coconut water slightly increased sugar level. In my opinion the diabetic person should give it a try and see how organism is going to react.
Here is a small tip that may help to reduce the sugar spike. This tip will only apply if you are planning to take coconut water first thing in the morning meaning on the empty stomach like in the experiment above. Before taking coconut water try to take a glass of pure water then wait for 30 min and then consume coconut water. At the end of the day the diabetic or pre-diabetic can benefit from the coconut water.
Possible Coconut Water Side Effects
The following are the most likely side effects that develop after taking coconut water.
- Kidney issues due to the high levels of potassium
- Not advisable to take if you are going for surgery because the potassium levels might spike blood pressure
- It might lead to low blood pressure
- Not suitable for people with cystic fibrosis because it does not contain as much sodium as it does potassium
Is coconut water good for you? Considering its popularity and benefits, including the high electrolytes our bodies need, coconut water is good for you.
Organic coconut water is not like regular plain water and nothing close to processed juices or soda. It is a healthy drink that you can make part of your diet or take to replenish lost energy and electrolytes after a workout. Even as safe and beneficial coconut water is, do not replace it with ordinary water as your primary source of hydration, and do not overindulge without a physician’s consent especially if you have any underlying health issues.