Coconut water is notorious amongst health and fitness buffs around the globe, and has even been dubbed ‘Mother Nature’s sports drink’.
From celebrities to athletes and ‘grammers galore, coconut water has become an undeniable trend that’s showing no signs of slowing down. Want to know what’s so good about the stuff? We explore exactly what this tasty drink is and what its benefits are.
What is Coconut Water?
Coconut water is naturally sweet, refreshing, and has a slightly nutty taste. The taste has been compared to water infused with coconut (believe it or not). It contains lots of electrolytes, particularly potassium, which can help to promote enhanced muscle strength as well as replenishing lost fluids after intense workouts – one of the reasons it’s so popular among athletes.
Coconut water shouldn’t be confused with coconut milk or oil, both of which are high in fat. These come from the juice and flesh of fully grown coconuts, whereas coconut water is a clear liquid found in the centre of young, green coconuts.
It also contains fewer calories and less sodium than your average energy drink!
Is Coconut Water Good for You?
There are plenty of benefits to this drink which has led to its surge in popularity. Here’s a list of some of the top uses and benefits for health and fitness.
7 Top Health Benefits:
1. Efficient sports drink
Coconut water contains less sugar than most fizzy drinks and fruit juices, and even less than most sports drinks. It’s been found to be just as efficient as sports drinks that are designed to rehydrate after intense exercise, as it’s able to replenish lost fluids due to its potassium content. Plus, scientific research has shown that coconut water doesn’t cause as the nausea, fullness, and stomach upset that lots of regular sports drinks cause.
If you’re watching your calorie intake, be careful not to guzzle the stuff like it’s no tomorrow, as it does contain calories (which could add up in the long run).
2. Can help aid weight loss
Drinking coconut water has been shown to give the feeling of appetite suppression and feeling full. This means that you may not feel the need to snack as often, which can aid you in your journey to drop those extra pounds. It’s also popular among bodybuilders that are cutting down or preparing for a show, for exactly the same reason.
3. Good for your skin
Application to the skin may benefit those with acne or blemishes. It helps to moisturise the skin and prevents your pores from producing large amounts of oil, which in turn can help to prevent unwanted spots and breakouts.
4. Can help your hangover
If you find yourself stumbling in after a heavy drinking session, it might be a good idea to drink some coconut water to settle your stomach and help to replenish some of the electrolytes, like potassium, that your body has lost during the night. Lots of people report that this replenishment of electrolytes can help prevent a hangover or, at least, soften the blow.
5. Blood pressure control
Low levels of potassium can lead to an increase in blood pressure, as this essential mineral helps to balance out the negative effects of salt. As this drink provides you with plenty of potassium, it may help to lower high blood pressure.
6. Full of nutrients
You can gain essential electrolytes, like potassium, calcium, magnesium and sodium, providing a highly nutritious alternative to regular water or sugary juices, and it can therefore be enjoyed as a part of a healthy, nutritious and balanced diet.
This may sound a bit odd but it’s quite straightforward. Coconut water is isotonic as it contains similar concentrations of salt and sugar to the human body. For this reason, research suggests that it may be used quickly in emergencies to re-hydrate our bodies, especially after intense exercise.
Best Time to Drink Coconut Water
You can drink it at any point throughout the day to reap its benefits. However, since you’re probably not going to be drinking gallons of it every day you may want to drink coconut water at specific times to optimise the benefits.
✓ It would be ideal to consume right after an intense workout as a post workout electrolyte replenisher.
✓ Furthermore, you can drink it when you come in from a night out and as soon as you wake up to reduce the effects of a hangover.
✓ For weight loss, before a meal on an empty stomach can be an ideal time to drink it, as it may suppress your appetite.
Where Can I Find Coconut Water?
You can find or buy it from several sources:
✓ The coconut fruit itself
The first being a young coconut itself. If you find a fresh, young, green coconut, then you should try to crack it open and drink the healthy goodness that you find inside.
This isn’t practical or sustainable, however, so you should probably look for other ways to consume it if you want to incorporate it into your diet.
✓ Cartons from shops
You can buy coconut drinks in cartons from a variety of shops, but make sure they’re refrigerated.
You can mix this into regular water yourself as a way to buy coconut water cheap and it bulk. This way you can save some pennies and you won’t need to restock for a while.
Some supplements contain coconut water powder, such as Electrofuel – a carbohydrate and electrolyte drink specifically designed to replenish, hydrate and energise.
The formula fuses coconut water powder with maltodextrin and electrolytes such as sodium, potassium and magnesium and helps to restore electrolytes and provide a burst of energy for exercise.
Ways to Consume Coconut Water?
Of course, you can just go ahead and drink it like any other drink, but that’s pretty boring, right?
✓ Try mixing it up every now and then by adding some to your protein shake or making a healthy smoothie, using fresh-tasting ingredients like lime, cucumber, mint, kiwi, celery and spinach.
✓ You could also add the powdered version to recipes such as cookies, cakes or even stews and casseroles.
Take Home Message
Coconut water is delicious and healthy as part of a balanced diet, whilst boasting plenty of health benefits.
Why not create your own and enjoy it out of any of our stylish bottles and shakers?
Tag @MyproteinUK on Instagram to share your tasty creations!