With summer in full swing here in Australia, I tend to stock up Cocobella coconut water because coconut water and summer just come together to me. I found a really good article online about the truth about coconut water written by Zelman KM. Read the full article here.
What Is Coconut Water?
Naturally refreshing, coconut water has a sweet, nutty taste. It contains easily digested carbohydrate in the form of sugar and electrolytes. Not to be confused with high-fat coconut milk or oil, coconut water is a clear liquid in the fruit’s center that is tapped from young, green coconuts.
It has fewer calories, less sodium, and more potassium than a sports drink. Ounce per ounce, most unflavored coconut water contains 5.45 calories, 1.3 grams sugar, 61 milligrams (mg) of potassium, and 5.45 mg of sodium compared to Gatorade, which has 6.25 calories, 1.75 grams of sugar, 3.75 mg of potassium, and 13.75 mg of sodium.
Better Than Sugary Drinks
Coconut water has less sugar than many sports drinks and much less sugar than sodas and some fruit juices. Plain coconut water could be a better choice for adults and kids looking for a beverage that is less sweet. But don’t overdo it, says Lillian Cheung, DSc, RD, of Harvard School of Public Health. “One 11-ounce container has 60 calories and if you drink several in one day, the calories can add up quickly,” Cheung says.
Cheung, co-author of Savor Mindful Eating, Mindful Life, suggests being mindful about beverage choices and reading labels to choose plain coconut water and avoid those with added sugar or juices, which are no different from other sugary beverages.
There are some health benefits to consuming coconut water. It’s an all-natural way to hydrate, reduce sodium, and add potassium to diets. Most Americans don’t get enough potassium in their diets because they don’t eat enough fruits, vegetables, or dairy, so coconut water can help fill in the nutritional gaps.
Beyond that, the scientific literature does not support the hype that it will help with a laundry list of diseases. “There is a lot of hype about coconut water, yet the research is just not there to support many of the claims and much more research is needed,” says Cheung.
Coconut water is fine for recreational athletes — but so are plain water or sports drinks. In general, most adults don’t exercise strenuously enough to need sports drinks or coconut water because good, old-fashioned water works just fine.
If you enjoy the taste and your budget allows it, coconut water is a nutritious and relatively low-calorie way to add potassium to your diet and keep you well-hydrated.