Incredible Coconut Water Uses & Benefits

Uses for coconut water

Consider coconut water the next time you need to quench your thirst. The trendy beverage is high in natural vitamins and minerals that aid in hydration and can be found in smoothies as well as other recipes such as salad dressings. There are also uses for coconut water too.

But, while some swear by the health benefits of drinking coconut water, is it the best option when you’re thirsty?

Jesse Cooper, RDN, LD, a dietitian, explains what you need to know about coconut water and how to determine if it’s a good option for you.

What exactly is coconut water?

Coconut water is the clear fluid found inside coconuts, as opposed to coconut milk, which is a combination of coconut water and grated coconut. Coconut water is low in sugar and calories, with a slightly sweet, nutty flavor.

It does, however, contain electrolytes such as potassium, sodium, and magnesium, which all help to replenish lost nutrients. That is, it is something to drink after exercise or during a mild illness, but it may not be any better than water.

Recent studies have also found, though not conclusively, that applying coconut water directly to your skin can help fight acne.

What are the advantages of drinking coconut water?

Drinking coconut water can be part of a healthy diet because it keeps you hydrated while being low in calories, fats, and cholesterol. There are very healthy uses for coconut water but before you open a bottle of coconut water, consider how it may affect people with high blood pressure and other conditions.

1. Helps with hydration

While similar to sports drinks, which can be high in added sugars and flavors, coconut water is low in calories and carbohydrates. The electrolytes potassium, sodium, and magnesium play an important role in the appeal of coconut water. “Some studies indicate that it can help with hydration specifically related to exercise because of the electrolytes,” Jesse says.

However, Jesse cautions that those studies used sodium-enriched coconut water, which may not be a good choice for most people and should be reserved for those who work out for an hour or more. “Long exercise sessions can be beneficial,” Jesse says. “However, the electrolytes in coconut water vary. In these situations, a sports drink is a safer bet.”

A good rule of thumb is to replenish your body with about 20 ounces of fluid for every pound of weight lost during exercise, whether that’s coconut water, a sports drink, or water. “Water is still the best way to stay hydrated,” Jesse says. This is one of the most important uses of coconut water.

2. Potassium-rich

The majority of people do not consume enough potassium. The mineral aids in the removal of excess sodium from your body via your urine. Coconut water can even aid in blood pressure reduction.

According to preliminary research, coconut water may help people with high blood pressure. However, if you are taking blood pressure medication, it is best to avoid coconut water as it may cause it to drop too low. It is best to consult with your doctor about this.

It is also recommended that you avoid drinking coconut water two weeks before any surgery because the high potassium levels in it can affect your blood pressure.

3. Low-calorie intake

Other fruit juices may contain a lot of added sugar, calories, and carbs. Coconut water, on the other hand, has fewer calories, making it a good choice for those who enjoy sweet drinks.

“It has about 40 to 60 calories in 8 ounces — about half the calories of orange juice,” Jesse says. “It can be part of a healthy diet if you enjoy the taste.”

4. Fat and cholesterol-free

Coconut water is 94% water and is free of fat and cholesterol. “For recreational drinking, you want to get one that is unsweetened and has no added sodium,” Jesse says.

She also advises checking the expiration date, as the older coconut water becomes, the more nutrients it loses and may develop an odd taste.

5. Preventing kidney stones

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 11% of men and 6% of women in the United States will develop kidney stones at some point in their lives. Staying hydrated is essential for avoiding them. Jesse claims that drinking coconut water as part of a healthy diet can provide some relief and help flush your system. According to a 2018 study, coconut water increased the removal of potassium, chloride, and citrate in urine.

“There are many different kinds of stones,” Jesse explains. “However, if your doctor advises you to increase your potassium intake, coconut water may be beneficial.” Best uses for coconut water.

6. Improved skin health

According to a preliminary 2017 study, coconut water’s antimicrobial properties may also help in the fight against acne. Consuming coconut water may also benefit your antioxidant system by neutralizing the effects of free radicals, according to research. Glowing skin is one of the best uses of coconut water.

Coconut water skin benefits

Drinking Coconut Water Suggestions

While there are many options for coconut water in grocery stores, here are a few things to consider before trying it.

  • Examine the label. Choose products that are 100% coconut water with no added sugars or preservatives.
  • Drink after exercise to rehydrate.
  • Enjoy it at any time of the day. Coconut water can be consumed either on an empty stomach or with food.
  • Combine it with other beverages. If you don’t like the taste of coconut water, try it in sparkling water or smoothies.
  • Use caution if you have chronic kidney disease or take an ACE inhibitor, as these people must limit their potassium intake.
  • If you are pregnant, avoid it. Jesse claims that there isn’t enough research on how coconut water affects pregnant women. It is best to avoid being on the safe side.

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