An iconic drink that conjures up exotic holiday trips, summer heat, and island paradise. Once considered as a useless by-product of a billion-dollar industry, coconut water is still projected to grow even more, fuelled by demands, pouring in from European and other Western Countries.
So what is it with coconut water? Or (Cocos nucifera L.) Well, coconut water has been consumed across civilizations. Traditionally, coconuts are primarily harvested for their oil. Which is sourced from its meat. Only as a by-product, coconut water goes bad quickly. But fast forward to today (improvement in packaging and preservation of course), coconut water has now become a trending beverage.
So when it comes to the benefits, what can you get when you drink coconut water? Here is what will get.
1. Hydration, Hydration, Hydration - If you like drinking water, in which what you should be doing. But, if you are looking for that extra hydration, with some added benefits. Then coconut water is the way to go. Having fewer calories and less sugar as compared to sodas. Some studies even suggest that it's a much better option than sports drinks because it can provide almost the same nutrients, helps you stay hydrated a little bit longer, and can replace body fluids just as much as a typical sports drink does.
2. May help support heart health & cholesterol levels - Coconut water is not just rich in beneficial minerals and antioxidants, it also helps in lowering harmful levels of cholesterol in the body. Especially the body’s level of triglyceride that it can almost rival statin drugs for lowering cholesterol. Coconut water also has a cardioprotective effect and helps reduce the chance of myocardial infarction.
3. A good option for those with Diabetes - For people suffering from either acute or chronic diabetes, the need to constantly monitor one's blood sugar can be difficult, in addition to having limited dietary options. That includes sugary drinks like sodas and such. But it is a different case with coconut water, in one study, diabetic rats were fed with coconut water and the results indicate there is a reduction in the level of glucose in the body. In addition, there is also a reduction in oxidative stress and increase antioxidant related activities.
4. Good for Diarrhea - Having diarrhea is an awful experience; the discomfort, frequent trips to the bathroom, and dehydration. The loss of fluid in the body, especially electrolytes is not good news to your body. Oftentimes, water may not be enough to completely rehydrate yourself. Coconut water is not just good for rehydration, they are also good at replacing the rapid loss of electrolytes in the body. Coconut water is so good at replacing fluids that it’s even used during World War II as an immediate solution for dehydration.
So in conclusion, there are so many benefits one can obtain from drinking coconut water. But just be sure to stick to the ones that are freshly juiced or avoid those that are loaded with sugar. As for any dietary endeavors, it's also best to seek an opinion or advice from any board-certified health care practitioner.
Zulaikhah, Siti. (2019). HEALTH BENEFITS OF TENDER COCONUT WATER (TCW). International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research. 10. 474-480. 10.13040/IJPSR. 0975-8232.10(2).474-8.
Sandhya VG, Rajamohan T. Beneficial effects of coconut water feeding on lipid metabolism in cholesterol-fed rats. J Med Food. 2006 Fall;9(3):400-7. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2006.9.400. PMID: 17004906.
Prades, Alexia & Dornier, Manuel & Diop, Nafissatou & Pain, Jean-Pierre. (2012). Coconut water uses, composition and properties: A review. Fruits. 67. 87 - 107. 10.1051/fruits/2012002.
Preetha, P & Devi, V & Rajamohan, T. (2012). Hypoglycemic and antioxidant potential of coconut water in experimental diabetes. Food & function. 3. 753-7. 10.1039/c2fo30066d.