Coconut water is clear liquid, but it’s full of nutrients, making it great for our health. It is a hydrating drink that many have during summer when the temperature soars. But you should have it whenever you can, as long as you don’t go overboard.
If you are looking for a healthy and refreshing drink, coconut water is a great option. A 2015 study published in the US National Library Of Medicine found that it can lower blood sugar levels in rats with diabetes. It has benefits for humans too! Read on to find out the benefits of drinking coconut water.
Benefits of drinking coconut water are plenty. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
What are the health benefits of coconut water?
Coconut water is a great hydrating option similar to sports drinks but with fewer calories and less sugar. It is rich in essential electrolytes, crucial for maintaining fluid balance in the body, making it beneficial for those who sweat heavily like athletes or those in hot environments. Overall, it is hydrating and energising, says Deepika Vasudevan, a Bengaluru-based sports and performance nutritionist.
Let us check out some more health benefits of coconut water:
1. Skin health
Coconut water is a good source of fluids, and it can help to keep you hydrated. As it is a good source of antioxidants, you don’t have to think about fine lines and wrinkles much. The antioxidants can work towards protecting your skin from damage. It also contains vitamins C and E, which are essential for skin health, Vasudevan tells Health Shots.
2. Kidney stone prevention
Doctors will tell you to have a lot of water to prevent kidney stones. Drink some coconut water too, as it may help to prevent kidney stones by increasing the volume of urine and diluting the concentration of minerals that can form stones.
Coconut water is known to have fiber, which can help to improve digestion. It also contains enzymes that can help to break down food you eat.
4. Electrolyte balance
Coconut water contains potassium, sodium and magnesium, which are important electrolytes that help to regulate fluid balance in the body. This can be helpful for people who sweat a lot.
5. Blood pressure regulation
Coconut water may help to lower blood pressure, especially in people with hypertension. This is due to its high potassium content, which helps to balance out the effects of sodium.
It is said drinking coconut water on an empty stomach is beneficial. Vasudevan says there are no such strict timings, but optimal nutrient absorption happens when taken empty stomach or two to three hours after a meal.
Side effects of coconut water
Though you can drink coconut water everyday, people with water retention, kidney disease and post-heart surgery need to have some restrictions. Also, moderation is the key, so even if it’s healthy do not over consume it.
Here are some side effects:
• This drink is a natural laxative, so consuming too much of it can cause diarrhea.
• Coconut water is a plant-based beverage, and some people may be allergic to it. Hives, itching and swelling are some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction to coconut water.
• Coconut water is high in potassium, so people with kidney problems should limit their intake.
• Drinking too much coconut water can lead to water intoxication, which is a condition where the body has too much water. Symptoms of water intoxication can include headache, nausea, vomiting and confusion.
These side effects are usually mild and go away on their own, but you should be aware of them.