In recent years, coconut water has become quite the trendy beverage especially for runners and athletes. In addition to being naturally sweet and hydrating, coconut water is full of several important nutrients, including minerals and electrolytes that many runners don’t get enough of. Health Benefits of Coconut Water 1. Good Source of Several Nutrients Coconuts grow in tropical climates on trees scientifically known as Cocos nucifera, and are botanically considered a fruit. Coconut water is the liquid found in the centre of a young, green coconut. It helps nourish the fruit. As the coconut matures, which takes around 10–12 months, some of the liquid remains while the rest ripens into the solid white flesh known as coconut meat. Coconut water typically comes from young coconuts about 6–7 months of age, though it’s also found in mature fruit. An average green coconut provides about 1/2–1 cup of coconut water. Coconut water contains 94% water and very little fat. It should not be confused with coconut milk, which is made by adding water to grated coconut meat. Coconut milk contains about 50% water and is quite high in fat, but healthy.
One cup (240 ml) of coconut water contains:
Calories: 60 Carbs: 15 grams Sugar: 8 grams
Sodium: 45mg Calcium: 4% of the daily value (DV) Magnesium: 4% of the DV Phosphorus: 2% of the DV Potassium: 15% of the DV 2. Good Sources of Antioxidants Free radicals are unstable molecules produced in our cells during metabolism. Their production increases in response to stress or injury. When there are too many free radicals, our body enters a state of oxidative stress, which can damage our cells and increase disease risk. Coconut water contains antioxidants that may help modify free radicals so they no longer cause health issues. 3. Help Lower Blood Sugar for People with Diabetes or Health Issues Research has shown that coconut water can lower blood sugar levels and improve other health issues especially with diabetes. Another added blood sugar benefit of coconut water is that it’s a good source of magnesium, which may increase insulin sensitivity and decrease blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes and prediabetes. It’s important to note that coconut water contains carbs (which are broken down into sugars in the body), runners and athletes need some good healthy carbs to fuel or refuel their body for good energy levels. 4. May Help Prevent Kidney Stones For runners who get dehydrated or lots of sweat due to heat, humidity, and long-distance runs, drinking enough fluids is important for kidney stone prevention. Although plain water and electrolytes are important hydrations, coconut water is another good natural option. Kidney stones are created when calcium, oxalate, and other compounds combine to form crystals in our urine. These crystals can then form tiny stones. While some people are more susceptible than others, kidney stones affect about 12% of the world’s population. In a study in 2018 that involved eight people, researchers found that coconut water increased the urination of potassium, chloride, and citrate in individuals without kidney stones, meaning coconut water might help flush out the system and keep the risk of stones low. Coconut water is beneficial in reducing the possibility of kidney stones. 5. May Support Heart Health Drinking coconut water may help reduce heart disease risk. Coconut water can help reduce the cholesterol and triglyceride levels to support a good heart health. Coconut water may also be beneficial for lowering blood pressure in individuals living with high blood pressure. One of the reasons coconut water may be connected to lowered blood pressure is the impressive potassium content (500mg of potassium in 240ml). Potassium has been shown to lower blood pressure in people with high or normal blood pressure. And potassium is one of top mineral supplements runners need for proper hydration. 6. Beneficial After Long Training Sessions Coconut water may be the perfect beverage for restoring hydration and replenishing electrolytes lost during exercise. Electrolytes are minerals that play several important roles in our body, including maintaining proper fluid balance. A few vital electrolytes include potassium, magnesium, sodium, and calcium. Because coconut water contains electrolytes like potassium and magnesium, several studies have found that it will be more beneficial than water for rehydration after exercise. Even a study in 2014, found that coconut water improved running and energy capacity better than water or some sports drink during a very hot day, for some runners. 7. Delicious Source of Hydration Natural coconut water is slightly sweet with a small, nutty flavour. It’s also fairly low in calories and carbs. When buying coconut water, make sure you verify the ingredients to drink good 100% coconut water. Some bottled brands can contain added sugar or flavouring fruit agents. We can also use this nice coconut water as a base for smoothies, chia seed pudding, vinaigrette dressing, or substituted for plain water whenever we want a bit of natural sweetness.
Coconut water is a delicious, electrolyte-filled, natural beverage that may benefit our heart, moderate our blood sugar, help improve kidney health, and keep us refreshed and hydrated after our runs or training sessions.
Enjoy Nice Coconut Water, Get Good Hydration, Enjoy Nice Good Runs!