Coconut water refreshes and nourishes the body. It is rich in electrolytes and vitamins. It can also improve skin, heart, and even bones.
What is coconut water
It is a drink extracted from the young fruit of the coconut palm. It is often confused with milk or nut oil, but they are not. Coconut water is originally found in the unripe fruit. Milk, butter, or cream is extracted by processing the pulp of the nut.
The drink can be found in supermarkets, but most researchers are inclined to believe that it is better to take water from the fresh fruit: it has no artificial sweeteners.
Why is coconut water good for you?
Coconut water is good for athletes and people who want to get rid of their stomach or skin problems. Here’s how exactly does coconut water affect the body
Coconut water contains sodium, potassium, calcium, chlorine, magnesium, and phosphorous. These minerals maintain acid-alkaline and water balance and also affect muscle performance.
It is not uncommon for athletes to be advised to drink isotonic – drinks that restore micro-nutrient reserves. Coconut water is known to restore hydration better than other foods.
Coconut water contains only natural sweeteners and is lower in calories, at 19 calories per 100 ml. This is the reason why it is so popular among athletes. Moreover, coconut water can help with muscle cramps, so the drink is useful for people who take a long time to recover after workouts.
Improves heart health
A study on rats conducted in 2006 shows that coconut water lowers blood cholesterol levels. It reduces total cholesterol levels and maintains the amount of HDL cholesterol needed to sustain the body. Experts from the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Kerala in India have found coconut water acts like lovastatin, an over-the-counter drug to reduce cholesterol levels. In addition, coconut water lowers blood pressure by working as an antioxidant and increasing insulin sensitivity.
Normalizes the gastrointestinal system
Coconut water contains a lot of fiber, so it is often advised for constipation. It is also a natural diuretic. Despite these properties, coconut water is also good for people with diarrhea. Micronutrients present in the drink retain moisture in the body that could escape the waste.
Some experts tend to believe that coconut water helps people get rid of acid reflux because it maintains the pH balance. However, this theory has not yet been confirmed by a sufficient number of studies.
Helps with hangovers
Coconut water replenishes potassium, an element on which water balance depends. Drinking this drink in the morning helps one get rid of the dehydration and hangover that usually follows.
Reduces blood sugar levels
The drink has L-arginine, which is known as an anti-diabetic element. It, like lipoic acid, lowers blood glucose levels. Coconut water also reduces hemoglobin a1c levels: the higher the amount, the greater the risk of developing type II diabetes.
To see for yourself the benefits of the drink, drink its unsweetened versions from proven manufacturers: sometimes artificial sweeteners can be added to coconut water, in which case it becomes dangerous for people with insulin resistance.
It helps dissolve kidney stones
Coconut water helps eliminate excess potassium, citrate, and chlorine – the elements that make up kidney stones. In addition, say experts at Punjab University, the drink stops oxidative processes in the affected organs and prevents the appearance of deposits.
Coconut water is also known for its antibacterial properties, so it can sometimes be combined with medicines to treat bladder infections.
Useful in blood transfusions
In 2000, researchers at Loma Linda Medical Center in the United States described the experience of doctors from the Solomon Islands. They ran out of plasma for transfusions during World War II and used coconut water instead. The medics used it to save the wounded.
Coconut water contains sodium. It is not enough to permanently improve a person’s condition, but it lasts for 24 hours to be used as a blood plasma substitute in the most extreme cases. That said, there is nothing to stop blood donors from drinking a bottle of coconut water: it will quickly make a person feel better.
Improves skin and bone health
Coconut water contains a lot of calcium, which is why it can contribute to bone health. It also has lauric acid, which destroys the P.acnes bacteria that causes acne.
Finally, coconut water helps with psoriasis. While scientists have not found a direct link between the drink and the condition, experts at the Minnesota School of Cosmetology have concluded that it can improve the condition of dehydrated skin.
How much coconut water you can drink in a day
When taking it, it’s worth keeping a balance in mind. In 2014, a 42-year-old man nearly died from an overabundance of potassium and a sharp drop in blood pressure. This was because he drank eight bottles of coconut water in a day of 220ml each.
One serving of the drink contains approximately 600 mg of potassium, and the RDA does not exceed 3400 mg. A person should drink water no more than 2 coconuts once a day. If you have diabetes or chronic kidney disease, check with your doctor before taking it. Although the drink is healthy, it should be drunk under the supervision of a specialist.