Is coconut water good for you?
Coconut water has gained significant interest over the last 10 years. The big trend started when celebrities pointed out the benefits of coconut water and it´s amazing effects on our body. Pictures of them drinking the trendy beverage quickly resulted in a lot of attention. The big question is now “Is coconut water good for you?”
That was also the start of big companies making a profit from the nutritious drink. It was accessible to the masses then. Packed into boxes or cans it was available in a lot of supermarkets suddenly.
What is coconut water?
It can only be found in young coconuts (6-7 months of age). Its purpose is to nourish the coconut to grow. The older the coconut gets the water gradually solidifies to form the flesh.
You can compare it to egg yolk. Its only use is to nourish the growing chicken. And therefore it provides all the essential nutrients to create a life. Coconut water has the same purpose. To nourish the fruit and support growth.
As the coconut gets older, most of the juice ripens into the well known, solid flesh (coconut meat). The rest stays in a liquid form as water.
It takes about 1 year for the coconut to fully grow.
Nutrients an average coconut provides
- Calcium: 56 mg (6%)
- Magnesium: 60 mg (15%)
- Potassium: 600 mg (17%)
- Manganese: 0,3 mg (17%)
- Vitamin C: 5,8 mg (10)
(per coconut with 250ml water)
2 possible health benefits of coconut water
1. Good source of electrolytes
Coconuts are naturally high in potassium and therefore the water is a good source to get a proper hydration after an exhausting workout. Potassium helps to normalize the water levels in your body after your sweat session. Additionally, potassium helps lower your blood pressure by balancing out the negative effects of sodium. It is a good replacement for all the highly sugared sports drinks. Nature provides us with all the nutrients we need to hydrate in a healthy and delicious way.
2. Stress reduction and muscle relaxation
Especially two of the electrolytes found in coconut water will help you relax and reduce stress. Calcium and magnesium are the ones with these benefits. As a lot of people that tend to eat convenience food are missing out on critical minerals like calcium and magnesium.
Calcium is vital for strong bones and teeth. But it also helps your muscles to work properly. While exercising our body experiences little injuries in muscle and bones. As we recover, the bones use calcium to get stronger and repair them.
Magnesium helps to transport calcium and potassium into the muscle to support contraction and relaxation. It also aids energy production and releases cramps.
For more information about magnesium and the connection to stress relieve read my former blog “Magnesium is a stress killer!“.
Let´s talk about the myth!
Coconut water is not the ultimate and one and only choice to get in minerals like magnesium, potassium or calcium. Actually, there are better alternatives for these, see the list below …
Magnesium: cw: 28mg – chickpeas: 129mg
Calcium: cw: 27mg – parmesan cheese: 1.159mg
Potassium: cw: 282mg – pistachios: 1020mg
(cw = coconut water; mg per 100mg)
But nevertheless if you like the taste of coconut it is a healthy drink to hydrate and refresh!