People who live in the tropical areas have been drinking this miracle liquid for many years. They all claim that the benefits of coconut water are endless.
Slowly, this liquid has become the new American trend and a world-wide sensation. Within the last 5 years, the coconut industry went from zero to $35 million or more and the consumption of coconut water has grown rapidly.
You can find packs of coconut water in fitness and yoga studios, at the supermarket, at your local cafe… it’s practically everywhere.
There is definitely a huge craze for coconut water these days. This natural drink is supposed to be “Mother Nature’s” gift. It is claimed that it has many health benefits and it is very sweet to drink. This sounds perfect, right? Here you can read all you need to know about this miracle water. Is it really that good?
What is coconut water?
Coconut water is the liquid that is found inside young and still green coconuts. Fresh coconuts are usually harvested from the trees after 5 to 8 months. That’s when you can best drink the coconut water. If the coconut is younger than 5 months, the water will taste bitter and will not contain all the nutrients that should contain.
On the other hand, if the coconut is grown and matured completely, the water will turn into coconut meat. Do not confuse coconut milk and water. Coconut milk is produced from the meat of the fruit when it’s fully grown. When it is picked up at the right time, each coconut might contain up to 4 cups of coconut water.
If you are not living in a tropical area it can be a little hard to find fresh coconut water. The alternatives are cans, packs and bottles with this water and these can be found more easily.
What are the uses and benefits of drinking coconut water?
The most widely known use of coconut water is hydration. It is good for hydrating your skin and your whole body. This is especially important for athletes as well as people who tend to lose fluids from exercising or similar activities.
Coconut water can be a good replacement for sports drinks. The reason why the coconut water has this ability is because it is loaded with big amounts of electrolytes such as sodium and potassium.
When we are sweating, we tend to lose electrolytes and the coconut water is a great source of electrolytes. Sports drinks can also be a source of electrolytes, but they are very high in sugar, which is not the case with coconut water. Actually, fresh coconut water contains twice the amount of potassium than many sports drinks.
– Aids the digestive system
Some researches show that coconut water is good for children or adults in preventing diarrhea. The interesting part is that it also works the other way around. It helps with constipation too. Coconut water helps and supports your digestive system in general and brings it to normal.
– Prevents high blood pressure
Many researches show that coconut water can be good for people who want to lower their blood pressure. The water of a young coconut does not contain any cholesterol and it is a great replacement of sodas and other soft drinks. Another reason why coconut water might help these people is because researches show that people with high blood pressure usually have low levels of potassium – an electrolyte that coconut water contains in large amounts.
– Cleansing and detoxifying the body
Coconut water is known to be a natural diuretic and by that helps you to cleanse your body. Some people even claim that if you drink this water in large quantities it also has a laxative effect. So if you need colon cleansing coconut water might be a great thing for you. Just watch out not to drink it too much.
Coconut water has very low sugar content. This means that it can really help people who are struggling with diabetes. Many problems that people with diabetes have are the same problems that coconut water can help with.
– Slowing down the aging process
There may not be some hard proofs on this one, but people from the tropical areas that have been using this “magic liquid” for a long time claim that coconut water really turns back time. The reason for this is that coconut water contains cytokinin – a compound that protects cells from aging.
– Boost immune system
The water from a coconut contains Lauric acid that is anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial. It boosts your immune system in fighting all these infections and viruses as well as intestinal worms and candida.
– Best help with hangover!
If you drank too much last night, go buy a bottle of coconut water the morning after. Coconut water can help with hangover because usually after you’ve been drinking your body is dehydrated. That’s why when you wake up in the morning you are always thirsty. Coconut water can hydrate your body and replace all the electrolytes you lost.
Common Health Concerns, Warnings and Side Effects
So far we have seen all the great things that the miracle coconut water can do, and we agree. However, like every other product, try not to consume this water in very large amounts. Moderation is always the key. Although not very serious, there can be some side effects and health issues if you drink this water every day in big amounts. Some of the most common health concerns regarding coconut water are:
– Not drinking the real thing!
If you are a fan of coconut water, always try to drink it from a fresh coconut. There might be some exceptions, but most of those canned or packed coconut waters are literary just “sweet water”. When exposed to air, coconut water tends to lose all the important nutrients. That’s why most of those bottles of coconut water you can find at the supermarket are not as healthy as you think they are. And yet another reason to drink from a fresh nut is because fresh coconut water tastes much better than the packed one.
– May develop an allergy
Like every other food, drinking too much coconut water may cause an allergy. Try not to drink coconut water every day, or if you do, incorporate many other different foods in your diet as well. This rule also applies to other foods and drinks, make changes constantly.
– Watch out for the sodium levels!
Okay, so if you are anything like a typical American person, you most probably have low potassium, but high sodium levels. Unfortunately, coconut water contains sodium. In this case, it is better if you stick to regular, good old water. If you still like to drink coconut water and especially if not from a coconut, always look the labels first. Some versions may contain more sodium than others.
– Watch out the sugar levels!
It’s true that if you have to choose between Cola or sports drinks and coconut water, you should go with coconut water. This applies only if you are an athlete or someone really in need of a sports drink.
In all other cases, stick to plain water. If you tend to drink coconut water as a replacement for regular water, you better stop! Although coconut water has less sugar than other sodas, it still has sugars. This can really affect your health especially if you suffer from diabetes or you try to lose some weight.
Can coconut water be used for weight loss?
There have been many researches that show the credibility of coconut water helping people struggling with weight. There are many reasons why this is probably true:
– Hydration – we already know that the specialty of coconut water is hydration. By hydrating our bodies, we help with the process of burning more calories.
– Cleansing – Coconut water is a great tool for cleansing and detoxifying our bodies. With cleansing our organisms we help them work properly, we help the absorption of important nutrients and we speed the process of losing weight.
– Fiber – The water of a young coconut also contains fiber. Fiber is the key for feeling full and stopping other food cravings as well as for a faster colon cleansing. In this way, coconut water can really prevent unnecessary calorie intakes.
– Protein – Another important thing that we can find in coconut water is protein. Protein is an excellent way to stay fit. It helps us build muscle and also suppresses food cravings.
– Potassium – This compound really aids in turning fat into muscle and by that toning your whole body. Muscles are an important role in staying fit.
– Fat-free – Big enough reason to start drinking it! Coconut water is sweet, rich in nutrients, but fat-free! What more can you wish!
Diarrhea caused by coconut water?
It is very rare for coconut water to cause diarrhea. The main reason why this might happen is probably because of someone’s intolerance of sugar that comes from fructose. Over 30% of people suffer from some level of difficulties in digesting fructose.
The other less common reason for diarrhea might be that you are allergic to coconut and can’t digest it properly. However, this is very rare. Apart from these two, there are no other relevant evidences that coconut water can be the cause of diarrhea. In case of diarrhea, first make sure that coconut water is the cause of it, and if so, try not to drink it in large amounts.
Interesting Facts for Coconut Water!
– Coconut water is naturally sterile.
– Coconut water can be a universal blood donor because it is the same as human blood plasma.
– In the past, coconut water was used to give emergency plasma to wounded soldiers and was transfused directly in the blood. This makes coconut water the only fluid that can be injected in our bloodstream with no consequences. Coconut water has saved many lives.
– If exposed to air, coconut water immediately starts fermenting and losing most of its important nutrients.
– Coconut water contains Lauric Acid that can also be found in breastfeeding mothers’ milk which makes it an excellent supplement for new mothers and small babies.
– Coconut water is proven to be healthier than orange juice.
– Coconut water has twice more potassium thana banana.
– Coconut water has fifteen times more potassium than most of the sports drinks.
Is It Really That Good For You
Well, let me put it this way. Coconut water really does have its good sides. It contains all those important vitamins and minerals, it is refreshing and it tastes good. This is true only if we speak of natural and fresh coconut water. Many studies show that all those canned and packaged versions of coconut water contain significantly smaller amounts of those important nutrients than fresh coconut water.
Some versions might even contain extra sugars and preservatives of course. There are also many scientific proofs that most of us do not need electrolytes that much because the tremendous loss of electrolytes happens only if you exercise very long and very hard. That’s why we don’t really need electrolytes replacement drinks.
The conclusion from all this is that if you are looking for a health benefit from the coconut water you should always drink it directly from the young nut. And if you only like its taste or decide to drink this water as a replacement for sodas, then sure why not.
The opinions on whether coconut water is that good for you or not so much are always separated and divided. Some people look at coconut water as a divine beverage and others are not so much impressed. However, there aren’t any serious health concerns or risks regarding coconut water. They all agree on this one.So, you can feel free to enjoy your coconut water. Just try not to replace regular water with coconut water. You still need regular water.