Coconut water has been a constant topic of conversation over the past few years. Given that coconut water is by no means a new invention, it’s somewhat surprising for a little-known beverage to suddenly become the talk of every town. However, when you dig into the realities of coconut water – and in particular, its incredible nutritional profile – it’s easy to see that all the hype is, for once, justifiable.
What is coconut water?
Coconut water is found in every coconut at the early stages of its development. Given time to ripen, coconut water solidifies into the white flesh we all associate with coconuts. However, if the coconut is tapped early – preferably while it is still green – then the water can be extracted before it has solidified, allowing people to consume the liquid water.
Why has coconut water become so popular?
Humans have long known that coconut meat – that is, the solidified version of coconut water – is beneficial to health, as it contains a high number of amino acids, iron, and folate. However, it is only in recent years that more work has been done to establish whether coconut water is beneficial in its raw, liquid form.
Analysis of the nutritional profile of coconut water has confirmed that the liquid does indeed offer a variety of benefits to human health.
What is coconut water’s nutritional profile?
Let’s look through the key nutrients in coconut water and why they are so important to those who are seeking to maintain good health.
- There is 5.8mg of vitamin C in 240g of coconut water. Vitamin C is essential for the growth, repair, and strength of all body tissues, and can help to protect against cardiovascular disease and immune system deficiencies.
- There is 7.2mcg of folate – otherwise known as folic acid, or Vitamin B9 – in 240g of coconut water. Folate is important due to its ability to help facilitate rapid cell division, as well as the growth and repair of DNA and RNA.
- There is 600mg of potassium in 240g of coconut water. Potassium is a crucial electrolyte that is required for the proper function of any living cell, and studies have shown that a potassium-rich diet can help to reduce blood pressure, protect against stroke, and help prevent kidney stones.
- There is 0.7mg of iron in 240g of coconut water. Iron is important for the production of red blood cells, which help to carry oxygen around the body.
- There is 4.8mg of Omega 6 fatty acids in 240g of coconut water. Omega 6 fatty acids are known for their ability to help reduce the risk of heart disease, lower cholesterol, and reduce the risk of certain cancers.
- There is 60mg of magnesium in 240g of coconut water. Magnesium is vital for over 300 biochemical reactions in the human body, and also helps to regulate blood glucose and benefits bone health.
- There is 0.3mg of manganese in 240g of coconut water. Manganese is crucial for bone health and is a powerful antioxidant.
- There is 252mg of sodium in 240g of coconut water. While most of us are taught that sodium – aka salt – is a bad thing, it is actually vital for maintaining a good fluid balance in the body and proper muscle contraction.
- There is 57.6mg of calcium in 240g of coconut water. Calcium is a key contributor to strong teeth and bones, effective blood clotting, and much more besides.
There are even more nutrients in coconut water, but the above are the headliners. As you can see, coconut water contains an abundance of nutrients that are crucial for healthy functioning – an important influencing factor behind the sudden popularity of coconut water as a health-boosting beverage.
What is coconut water’s link to hydration?
Much has been said about coconut water’s ability to provide effective hydration, and these claims undoubtedly have some merits. There is evidence to suggest that this conclusion is backed by science, as a study by Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that coconut water is actually more hydrating than standard, plain water.
It’s easy to see why this would be the case, too. Water is essentially nutrient-free, whereas – as we’ve seen – coconut water is packed with beneficial nutrients that can help to improve hydration levels.
This point is particularly pertinent to those who exercise heavily and need to be able to rehydrate quickly and efficiently during a workout as a result. Most people know that when they sweat, they are losing fluids, which then need to be replenished.
Seemingly the most obvious way to replace those lost fluids is to drink water, but this is not actually the case – because sweating doesn’t just deplete water. When humans sweat, we also lose vital electrolytes such as potassium and sodium – and water can’t help to replenish these electrolytes, which can be concerning in regards to health.
People who stick to standard water after heavy exercise are often unable to replace these lost electrolytes, which can make them feel more fatigued, dizzy, or nauseous, and – in worst case scenarios – a condition called hyponatraemia may develop.
Coconut water, on the other hand, does contain electrolytes such as sodium and – particularly – potassium. As a result, if you choose to drink coconut water after exercising, you’re not only replenishing the fluids you have lost, but also those electrolytes too.
Coconut water is thus a great choice if you frequently sweat due to exercise, as it helps to provide a comprehensive boost rather than a fluid-only boost as you would experience if you only replenished with plain water.
Finally, it’s also worth noting that coconut water’s hydrating properties undeniably have a role to play during summer. As the temperature rises, staying hydrated becomes more and more crucial, so coconut water is the perfect summertime beverage – it tastes great and it helps to ensure your fluids and electrolytes levels are fully topped up!
Are there any other health benefits to coconut water?
We’ve already noted that coconut water contains nutrients that are linked to a variety of essential bodily processes, so consuming coconut water would be hugely beneficial for these reasons alone.
However, in addition to this, some studies have shown excellent results when looking at coconut water’s role in positively influencing two health conditions in particular:
- A rodent study found that coconut water can help to reduce blood pressure for those experiencing hypertension
- Another rodent study found that coconut water can help manage cholesterol levels
If you do have hypertension or high cholesterol, these studies suggest that it’s definitely worth adding coconut water to your diet – though, of course, you should always check with your doctor for further advice related to your condition specifically.
Can coconut water help with weight loss?
There are no studies to conclusively prove that coconut water aids weight loss, but many people claim anecdotally that they have found coconut water helped them to lose weight. Given that coconut water is relatively calorific at around 45 calories per 240g, can coconut water really help people lose weight?
Well, the science suggests that the experiences of people who claim coconut water helped them to lose weight has real merit behind it – and the clue as to why is found in the hydrating properties of coconut water.
When people are attempting to lose weight, they tend to find themselves hungrier than they normally would be. This is an inevitable consequence of eating fewer calories than they usually would. This hunger can be difficult to manage, particularly psychologically; every hunger pang is a reminder that they are eating to a restricted calorie intake, which can make it all the more challenging to actually stick to their plans in an attempt to lose weight.
However, often, the hunger that people experience is not actually hunger at all – it’s thirst. While this may sound a little outlandish, it’s actually a well-known fact: when people are thirsty, their body is likely to interpret their thirst as hunger. This is true of everyone but is particularly problematic for people who are attempting to lose weight, as they may already be experiencing more hunger than they normally would.
So, we know that people can interpret hunger as thirst… and we also know that coconut water can help to quench thirst and help to maintain hydration levels in the body. As a result, it naturally follows that this may be the reason why people find it easier to lose weight if they include coconut water in their diet: they’re better hydrated, which makes them feel less hungry, which in turn makes it easier to stay within their lower daily calorie amount.
It should also be noted that the same scenario applies well to those who are just seeking to manage their existing weight. More coconut water equals less dehydration, which means less thirst, which means fewer “hunger” pangs – and thus people don’t feel the need to eat as frequently as they otherwise might.
If you are seeking to lose, or simply maintain, your weight, then coconut water can have an important role to play.
What sort of coconut water should you buy?
Given the multitude of benefits of coconut water, it’s no surprise that you may have come to the decision that you want to try it for yourself. Unfortunately, things can become a little tricky at this point.
Coconut water is naturally delicious, with a sweet, tropical taste that most people love. However, some coconut water manufacturers seem to believe that natural coconut water isn’t sufficient for the modern palate, and will infuse their offerings with added sugars.
This practice is, simply, unnecessary. Coconut water tastes great in and of itself, and it simply doesn’t need added sugars. Coconut water contains around 2.62g of natural sugars per 240g anyway, so adding more on top is, frankly, a little baffling. What’s more, added sugars can significantly increase the calorie count of coconut water, which could nullify the benefits regarding coconut water’s ability to reduce “hunger” pangs that are actually thirst in disguise.
If you’re looking for the best coconut water Australia has to offer, it’s therefore key to opt for coconut water that is just coconut water. H2Coco water is proudly 100% natural and contains no added sugars, ensuring you can enjoy all of the incredible advantages of coconut water without any of the downsides of the added-sugar brands on the market.
What else should you look for when buying coconut water?
Unfortunately, it’s not just sugar that is often added to coconut water. Some brands add preservatives and flavourings to their coconut water, which is far from ideal – essentially, it means the coconut water has been added to for absolutely no benefit whatsoever. Coconut water does not require preservatives if it is supplied by a good manufacturer, which is why H2Coco water is free from preservatives and flavourings.
Is coconut water vegan-friendly?
It should be! Good coconut water should not contain anything but coconut water – as we’ve discussed – and given that coconut water is naturally vegan-friendly, so is the coconut water you can buy H2Coco. What’s more, as part of their effort to provide the best coconut water Australia has to offer, H2Coco have also ensured that their coconut water is both dairy-free and lactose-free.
If you choose to drink coconut water from H2Coco, you can look forward to…
- Enjoying the great taste of a completely pure, no-added-sugar beverage
- Benefiting from the incredible nutrient profile of coconut water, and all the possible ways in which these nutrients can help to boost your health and well-being
- Greater hydration thanks to the abundance of electrolytes found in coconut water, helping to avoid instances when you may mistake thirst for hunger
- Having the opportunity to experiment with different ways to include coconut water if your diet, such as making your own smoothies…
- … and many more besides!
So why not give H2Coco coconut water a try? You’re sure to love the taste, the hydration, and the health boost you’ll experience as a result!