Coconut water is a beverage extracted from the immature coconut full of nutrients and with a wide variety of therapeutic properties .
For years, coconut water has been used as a natural remedy to treat various health problems and, today, science is reaffirming its positive effects on health.
Learn here the best benefits of coconut water taken only from official research.
What is coconut water?
Coconut water is a 100% natural, nutritious and especially healthy drink .
As its name indicates is obtained from the coconut, but not from the coconut we normally consume (now you know why).
This tropical drink is juice, the liquid found inside a green , immature coconut .
It is what later becomes, as the coconut matures.
In particular, the coconuts ideal to extract the coconut water usually have about 6 or 7 months, reason why we can say that they are at the middle age of its maturity.
Ah! You should not confuse coconut water with coconut milk, they are two totally different drinks and with different properties.
Coconut water consists mainly of water (94%) , a small amount of fats and various minerals and vitamins.
As for nutrients , a cup of coconut water contains (1):
- Potassium : 17% CDR (recommended daily allowance).
- Manganese: 17% CDR.
- Magnesium : 15% CDR.
- Sodium: 11% CDR.
- Vitamin C : 10% CDR.
- Vitamin B2: 8% CDR.
- Calcium : 6% CDR.
- Fiber : 2.6 g.
- Protein : 1.7 g.
- Calories: 45.6.
10 Benefits of Coconut Water for Your Health
1. It is a very moisturizing drink
Drinking coconut water is an excellent and natural way of hydrating yourself and if you are an athlete, you will love what I am going to tell you now.
In addition to its high water content, this drink stands out for having important amounts of electrolytes .
Let’s go by parts …
First, coconut water contains 94% water.
Secondly, coconut water contains potassium, magnesium, sodium, calcium and phosphorus , 5 essential electrolytes to recover after a training session (2).
Here it is important to note that a single glass of coconut water gives you 17% CDR of potassium, a pretty high figure compared to some sports drinks.
A study comparing the consumption of coconut water, water and a carbonated sports drink after exercise, found that consuming coconut water had very similar effects to the sports drink in terms of rehydration (3).
Also, coconut water caused less nausea, discomfort and stomach heaviness and had a more pleasant taste.
And, thirdly, another reason that turns coconut water into a super hydrating yet healthy drink is its low calorie and sugar content , the latter also in a natural way.
In another study, it was stated that coconut water can be used as a rehydration beverage in children with diarrhea and dehydration symptoms (4).
Are you lucky enough to live in a tropical country?
Take advantage and use this elixir to avoid dehydration whenever you can (I would like to have at my fingertips this rich fruit …).
2. Acts as a natural antioxidant
At this point, I’m sure most of those who follow me already know the damage that these molecules, called free radicals, do .
But just in case you do not remember: free radicals are reactive molecules that cause oxidative stress and can cause significant damage to lipids, proteins and even DNA, as well as being a risk factor for many diseases (5).
The human body has its own “antioxidant system” through which it maintains a balance between oxidation and antioxidation, but the intake of foods rich in antioxidants plays a decisive role.
Currently, the antioxidant properties of coconut water have been tested mostly in animal studies , which have yielded interesting results:
Reduction of oxidation of hepatocytes (liver cells) and consequent protection against free radicals (6).
Reduction of oxidation caused by a diet rich in fructose and decreased levels of triglycerides and insulin, as well as of tension (7).
And is that coconut water is rich in phytohormones, vitamins, free amino acids and other active compounds with a great antioxidant effect .
However, further research is still needed with humans.
3. Prevent digestive problems
In addition to being rich, moisturizing and nutritious, coconut water can protect your digestive system against certain disorders that can become very annoying.
For years, coconut water has been used in many countries as a natural remedy for its properties in treating cases of indigestion, intestinal parasites or constipation , among others (8).
Also, as I have already mentioned, there is also scientific evidence on the use of coconut water to treat dehydration in children affected by diarrhea.
4. Helps reduce fluid retention
Fluid retention, also known as edema, is an excessive accumulation of fluid in the body that usually causes swelling in the extremities (hands, feet, legs, or ankles).
The causes can be several, but if it is not a serious situation, the retention of liquids can be diminished with some changes in the feeding.
For example, intake of foods rich in potassium , such as coconut water, helps increase urine excretion , while reducing the body’s sodium levels (9).
In other words, coconut water can be considered as a natural diuretic.
5. Reduce the risk of kidney stones
Coconut water intake can be very good for people prone to having stones in the kidney.
Lithiasis, a name that receives the formation and accumulation of stones in the kidneys, occurs when certain mineral remains in the urine crystallize .
Drinking an insufficient amount of water or simply genetics may be some of the causes of stone formation.
That said, some experts have studied the effects of coconut water on rats with stones in the kidney and have observed that this beverage prevents crystallized minerals from adhering to the kidneys, which facilitates their expulsion (10).
However, further research with humans is still needed to really test the effectiveness of coconut water in this field.
6. It is an optimal source of manganese
A single cup of coconut water provides you with 17% manganese CDR ; 2 cups already contribute 34%.
Manganese is a very important mineral for the organism and participates in numerous processes such as blood coagulation or the formation of connective tissue.
Manganese deficiency increases the risk of infertility or bone malformations, among others, and when we maintain adequate levels of manganese in the body we can avoid (10):
- Premenstrual syndrome.
7. Regulate tension
Having high blood pressure is an increasingly common problem among the population and is one of the biggest causes of heart disease.
In one study, hypertensive participants were divided into four groups: one consumed coconut water, another bottled mineral water, another consumed mauby, and another a mixed drink of mauby and coconut water.
At the end of the study, these were the results (11):
- Reduction of 71% in systolic pressure and 29% in diastolic pressure for the coconut water group.
- Reduction of 40% in systolic pressure and 40% in diastolic pressure for the mauby group.
- Reduction of 43% in systolic pressure and 57% in diastolic pressure for the mixed drink group.
Also, coconut water is rich in potassium and magnesium , two minerals that have been shown to favor the regulation of tension .
Magnesium contributes to the prevention of hypertension by stimulating blood vessel dilation and is effective in reducing both diastolic and systolic pressure (12).
Potassium, in turn, can regulate tension in both hypertensive patients and people with normal levels of tension and tends to reduce the need to take antihypertensive drugs (13).
8. Delays aging
Coconut water is becoming popular at high speed for all its health benefits and its anti-aging effect is one of the biggest causes of this growing fame.
This food is an ideal source of cytokinins, a plant compound associated with the reduction of the aging of human cells (14).
Cytokinins are a phytohormone capable of slowing down the degenerative aging process our cells undergo when we reach a certain age.
9. Improves symptoms of diabetes
Several studies carried out on animals have shown that regular consumption of coconut water can lead to significant improvements in the symptomatology of diabetes.
Drinking coconut water appears to help keep blood glucose levels at bay and reduce glycated hemoglobin levels (15).
On the other hand, it has been observed that the supply of coconut water in diabetic rats contributes to the reduction of blood glucose and certain markers of oxidative stress (16)
However, further research is still needed with humans.
10. Other benefits
The list of properties of coconut water is long:
- Increase of the body’s defenses and prevention of infections caused by microbes or bacteria (17).
- Reducing the risk of various types of cancer by inhibiting the growth of cancer cells and tumors (18).
- Protection against cardiovascular diseases such as strokes or strokes (19).