There is a lot of hype about water which is found in young coconuts. Not to be confused with coconut milk or oil, coconut water is the clear fluid/juice found in the centre of a young coconut. This refreshing liquid, which has a sweet and nutty taste, quickly gained popularity across the world. It can be found everywhere – from food stores to fitness studios.
Perhaps, the demand for coconut water is skyrocketing, propelled by celebrity endorsements that claim to deliver a host of health benefits, ranging from providing rehydration to preventing cancer and kidney stones. But is coconut water really worth the hype? Here’s what you need to know all about the natural beverage.
DOES DRINKING COCONUT WATER BENEFIT YOUR HEALTH?
Coconut water contains natural electrolytes such as potassium, sodium and manganese, although the amounts of these nutrients can vary based on the maturity of the coconut fruit. Hence, it’s often used for rehydration after an illness like diarrhoea or physical activity. Unflavoured coconut water is low in sugar and calories compared to other fruit juices. Coconut water is also a better choice for kids and adults who prefer a beverage that is less sweet.
Natural coconut water contains 94 per cent water and very little carbs. According to experts, there are some health benefits of drinking coconut water as it’s an all-natural way to hydrate and add nutrients to your diet – such as potassium and fibre that can support health. In fact, the high potassium content in coconut water can be beneficial for those who don’t get enough of this nutrient.
Yet, since coconut water contains sodium, it can be a concern for those who already have too much sodium in their diets. Despite the hype, there’s no enough evidence to back that coconut water is more effective for rehydration than plain water. And more research is needed to support many of the health claims.
In summary however, coconut water is a nutritious, low-calorie drink that can be good for you when consumed as an occasional treat. Be careful not to drink too much as coconut water does have some sugar and calories, which can add up quickly. Also, ensure that you avoid flavoured varieties. As per the USDA, 1 cup (240g) of coconut water contains 45.6 calories, 8.8g of carbs, 6.3g of sugar, 252mg of sodium, 4g of fat, 2.6g of fibre, and 1.8g of protein. So, weighing the pros and cons, sticking with plain water as an everyday beverage is still the better choice.