Coconut Water – A Naturally Great Beverage!
Clinical Herbalist Reviewed on July 24, 2011 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Did you know that 1 cup of Coconut water contains more electrolytes than most of those neon-colored sports drinks? And, it’s also lower in sugar (and calories): only about 45 calories per cup!
Other Features of this Fantastic Fruit:
Immune system booster: Coconut water contains lauric acid, a powerful, natural antiviral substance (also found in human breast milk; Coconut oil is an even higher source of this important fatty acid). The B vitamins and minerals in coconut water also help to support your immune system.
Keeps you hydrated: Coconut water is loaded with electrolytes. These are little mineral ions that help your body to better absorb water and stay hydrated, regulate muscle contractions, and ensure proper nerve transmission. Coconut water helps to replace the electrolytes you lose when you sweat, so it’s great for anyone who works out, plays sports, runs marathons – or works up a sweat in any other way!
Balances pH: Because of its high mineral content, coconut water is very alkalizing (increases the pH). This can help counter the tendency of the average diet to be overly acidifying – too much acidity contributes to inflammation in the body and also makes it work harder to maintain our blood pH within the narrow range it requires for enzymes to function.
High blood pressure: Individuals with high blood pressure may have low potassium (K) levels, especially if they are on a diuretic type of medication. Coconut water is a great source of this essential electrolyte – it has twice as much potassium per serving (approx. 600 mg), as what a banana provides!
What about the sugar in coconut water? The amount of naturally-occurring sugar in coconut water is approximately 6 grams per serving, or just over 1 tsp — a lot less than sports drinks and sodas (which are usually loaded with high-fructose corn syrup – something to avoid) and commercial fruit juices.
So next time you find yourself reaching for a sports drink or other beverage, try coconut water instead and start enjoying its many health benefits!
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan