Coconut water is becoming an increasingly popular drink amongst registered dietitians, athletes and influencers. This trendy beverage has a multitude of hidden benefits that you might not know just by looking at the bottle! At only 60 calories a serving and containing no added sugar, it is healthier than many fruit juices and sodas.
It can also be a lower calorie replacement for a typical sports drink and may be more hydrating than plain water. Coconut water can help with balancing your fluids, is a natural source of electrolytes, and can help with recovery from an intense workout.
The health benefits of coconut water are reason enough to swap out your daily juice for the tropical drink. Coconut water is commonly used in pressed juices, smoothies, and smoothie bowls as a replacement for dairy milk, high sugar juices, or sodas. Because coconut water is low in calories and high in nutrients it is a great addition to a healthy diet and lifestyle.
What's Special About Coconut Water?
Obtained by cutting open younger coconuts, coconut water is full of nutrients that may be beneficial to health. Coconut water differs from coconut milk, a liquid made by blending water with the meat from a coconut.
Coconut milk is a creamy beverage that contains saturated fats and is high in calories. Coconut milk is typically used in food preparation, whereas coconut water is clear and may help with rehydration, electrolyte balance and maintenance of a healthy blood sugar level.
The benefits of coconut water include everything from increased energy to a possible decreased risk of heart disease. This is due to the fact that coconut water contains a wide range of nutrients and electrolytes, while containing no added sugars.
Coconut water contains many electrolytes, including potassium, sodium, magnesium and calcium. Electrolytes balance our pH and hydration levels, and are important for normal muscle contractions for the heart as well as the transmission of signals between nerves.
One cup of coconut water contains as much potassium as a banana. Potassium helps move nutrients into cells and regulates fluid retention. The potassium found in coconut water can help with muscle contractions, high cholesterol, and improved hydration.
It is important not to consume too much potassium, however, as it can prove harmful to kidney function. It is recommended to keep your servings to one liter of water per day to prevent overconsumption of potassium.
A generic sports drink only contains potassium and sodium, whereas coconut water contains a small amount of magnesium. The magnesium found within coconut water is beneficial in maintaining healthy blood pressure and good muscle function, and making protein. It contains around six percent of a daily value, so it should be used as a part of a healthy diet to increase your nutrient intake.
When discussing sodium, most people would immediately think of salt, and assume that this mineral causes bloating and dehydration. However, low levels of sodium are important for maintaining hydration levels. Coconut water contains a small amount of sodium, which works with potassium to ensure that fluids in the body are balanced.
The calcium found inside coconut milk is an effective supplement for strong bones. Coconut water provides a small amount of the mineral, so it's important to consume a healthy diet alongside drinking coconut water. Calcium also protects against high blood pressure, is integral in muscular function, and may prevent diabetes.
Coconut water gets its calories from the carbohydrates it contains. A single serving has eleven grams of sugar; however, these are naturally occurring sugars. Naturally occurring sugars found within coconut water can help with fatigue and dehydration. These differ from added sugars, which are bad for overall health.
Naturally occurring sugars contain fiber and antioxidants, which are both essential for our wellbeing. Added sugars do not provide any benefits nor nutrients. Research shows that a diet with too many added sugars can increase your chance of diabetes, heart attack, stroke and heart disease.
Lowering High Blood Pressure
Sometimes caused by imbalanced electrolytes, high blood pressure can cause a myriad of issues. It increases the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and heart disease.
Research from a small pool of studies has found that coconut water can help lower blood pressure. This may be due to its high potassium content. Potassium affects the sodium within the body. Sodium raises blood pressure, and potassium works to lower blood pressure by reducing the impact it has on the tension of the blood vessels.
Kidney stones are made from minerals and salts that have formed hard deposits within the kidneys. They can be extremely painful to pass. Coconut water has been found to help with kidney stones due to its high potassium content, which prevents and may help treat kidney stones.
The hydrating properties of coconut water may also help with kidney stones as fluids help prevent crystals from adhering together.
Balanced Blood Sugar
Coconut water may help with high blood sugar levels. The magnesium found in coconut water can help with insulin sensitivity in people with diabetes.
Insulin sensitivity is a measure of how responsive the cells within the body are to insulin. It regulates the metabolism of our macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats, and protein). Insulin lowers blood glucose by storing excess glucose in the liver. After we eat, our livers secrete the extra glucose to maintain a normal blood sugar range.
Having high blood sugar can damage the blood vessels that supply the body, as well as increase the chances of serious illnesses such as heart disease, stroke and kidney disease. Consistently high levels of blood sugar have also been linked with an increased chance of diabetes.
Coconut water's electrolytes, as well as the added vitamin C and L-arginine, may help with insulin sensitivity as well.
The fatty substance, cholesterol, has two categories: HDL and LDL. HDL is considered good cholesterol, as it picks up the extra cholesterol within the body and brings it to the liver, where it can be broken down. LDL cholesterol forms plaque within the body. This may lead to heart disease and may increase your risk of having a stroke.
Research shows that coconut water can lower the total amount of LDL within the body. Coconut water may help reduce fatty accumulation in the heart.
Coconut water can increase your metabolism making it beneficial for those looking to lose weight. The hydrating properties of coconut water help boost your metabolism. Coconut water also contains lauric acid, which is easily absorbed into the body and may help burn fat.
The bioactive enzymes within coconut water can help boost metabolism and improve digestive function. Bioactive enzymes help break down food, destroy toxins, and build muscle. The growth of muscle has a direct effect on increased metabolism.
Coconut Water and Exercise
Sports drinks high in added sugar can be replaced with a low-calorie coconut water alternative. With only 60 calories per serving, coconut water can be a healthier alternative for people looking to gain the benefits of coconut water's electrolytes without the added sugar.
Drinking coconut water can keep you hydrated. It's low in sugar and is an appealing alternative to juice. It also has no fat. For athletes, coconut water may assist with muscle recovery very, and fluid retention. It has a pleasant taste compared to many holistic sports drink replacements.
Coconut water can be consumed during or after exercise to gain a multitude of benefits. It is easy to blend into many drinks such as smoothies and coffees. Some studies have found that coconut water can improve performance by providing energy and electrolytes during sports matches.
Research shows that coconut water can aid in muscle recovery just as well as a sports beverage or water. The electrolytes help with the soreness that can occur after strenuous exercise. As coconut water contains more electrolytes than a typical sports beverage, it can help with fatigue and nausea from dehydration and electrolyte loss.
Because coconut water contains natural sugars, it provides a boost of energy. Sports drinks with added sugar may do the same, but provide the side-effects of added sugars as well.
Coconut water is a trendy drink that has a multitude of benefits due to its high levels of electrolytes and nutrients. Coconut water can be used to ease the symptoms of many ailments, such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar, dehydration and more.
The benefits of coconut water make it a great addition to a healthy diet. It can be used to replace high sugar juices and sports drinks and offers an enjoyable way to rehydrate.
Coconut water can be used to help boost energy during a workout or to keep hydrated on a hot day. It has a pleasant taste, and like fruit, has naturally occurring sugars, which have the benefit of helping with energy levels and fatigue.
By drinking a liter of coconut water a day, you can obtain many electrolytes, such as potassium, magnesium and sodium. These outweigh what you would obtain in a sports drink.
If you're looking to lose weight, you should look to coconut water instead of high sugar juices and beverages, as it helps balance blood sugar - and ultimately curb cravings. Because it is lower in calories as well, coconut water may help maintain a healthy calorie deficit. Coconut water may also boost metabolism by keeping you well hydrated and improving digestive function.
The health benefits of coconut water are many, and coconut water can be incorporated into a healthy diet to help relieve high blood pressure, blood sugar, manage diabetes, boost metabolism and more.