Coconut water is the clear liquid contained inside green, immature coconuts which when harvested, holes are bored into them so as to access the water inside.
This water is tasty, sweet and refreshing with a nutty taste. It also has several health benefits. It can be taken fresh directly from inside the coconut with a straw after being cut open with something like a machete. This is usually done in tropical countries by street vendors while the customer is present. It can also be extracted into containers like cups and packaged in bottles or any other form of packaging. You can read more about it here.
An average green coconut produces or gives about 0.5 – 1 cup of water. It contains 95% water, 4% carbohydrates and the last 1% includes protein and fat. It also contains small amounts of vitamins and minerals and provides 19 calories in every 100 milliliters.
It can be used as a beverage to treat dehydration either due to diarrhea and exercise and is also believed to aid urination, digestion, and production of semen in some cultures. In some other cultures, they are sometimes presented as ceremonial gifts. It is rich in potassium, sodium, and magnesium and contains less sugar than an average sports drink, soda or fruit juice. It is a drink of choice for the young and old who want a beverage that is not as sweet as sodas and fruit juice.
Because coconut water helps to keep the body hydrated during times of extreme heat and intense exercise or sports and it may be better in replacing electrolytes and lost fluids than a sports drink. Do keep in mind that it can either be sold plain or can contain added sugar and juices which are added by drink manufacturers so be sure to check the labeling on packages to know what you are buying. It is not the same as coconut milk which is produced by grating the meat of a matured coconut with the water.
A Look at Some Benefits
Below are some of its many benefits.
It is a Good source of Several Nutrients and Electrolytes
The body needs a lot of nutrients to go through its day to day grind. Coconut water is a good, natural source of these important and essential nutrients which aid bone formation and strength. It is also a good source of fiber.
It is a Natural Sports Drinks
Sports drinks are designed to help athletes stay hydrated, replace electrolytes and energy lost during exercise, training or competition. Because of its naturally occurring electrolytes, coconut water is an ideal, natural sports drink. This explains why athletes who drink Greater Than, a sports drink that is wholly natural, have testified to the fact that it aids them in their performance as it helps keep them hydrated, replenishing lost fluids during or after a time of intense activity.
One thing to note is that it contains less sodium than the average traditional sports drink which is the main electrolyte lost during sporting activities. It may therefore not give enough energy over a long period. To get more sodium, you need to drink lots of it. The good thing about this is that it is easy to drink as long as you like the taste and it does not cause nausea nor does it upset the stomach. Another workaround is that it can be enhanced with sodium. This has been shown to work effectively.
It is an Antioxidant
During metabolism and intense physical activity, especially while stressed or injured, free radicals are produced in the body. These can be toxic to the body when there are too many of them and can increase the risk of contracting diseases. Research done on animals shows that this natural drink contains antioxidants that neutralize these free radicals and oxidative stress while also protecting cells from getting damaged. Note that fresh coconut water contains more antioxidants than a processed one.
It Helps to Improve Health in Diabetic Patients
Coconut water can also help lower blood sugar levels and ultimately improve health in diabetic patients. Been a good source of magnesium, it can increase insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 prediabetes and diabetes.
It makes your Skin Glow
Applying coconut water on the skin surface can help clear out blemishes and acne from the skin. It can also give the skin a tone that makes it glow and look fresh. Even when it is simply consumed orally, it moisturizes the skin.
You can see more benefits here: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/8-coconut-water-benefits#section2.
If you are looking to rehydrate without the added sugars or sweeteners in traditional sports drinks after a time of exercise or sporting activity, coconut water is a good choice. To ensure you get the most out of this drink, look for fresh, unprocessed ones as they contain more antioxidants.
Do not forget that pure, natural water is still recommended as the best form of rehydration but if you need a naturally sweet drink with a host of health benefits, go for coconut water.