8 incredible health benefits of coconut water you need to know

  • Packed with electrolytes and flavour, coconut water is the clear liquid found inside young coconuts
  • Here’s everything you need to know about the refreshing drink, including health benefits and potential side effects
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This refreshing summer drink is a great alternative to other juices as it is low in sugar and calories. Photo: Shutterstock

If you’re on the lookout for a different beverage to try, coconut water might be a good choice.

Coconut water is the clear liquid found inside coconuts. It is different to coconut milk, which is a blend of coconut water and grated coconut, according to the Mayo Clinic. Coconut water is harvested from unripe coconuts that are around six to seven months old, according to Healthline. Coconuts usually take from 10 months to an entire year to fully ripen.

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Is coconut water good for you?

While coconut water isn’t a panacea, it has multiple health benefits, according to Healthline. So the answer is yes, and here are some reasons why:

  • Low sugar and calories

  • High in electrolytes like potassium

  • Has vitamins and minerals (vitamin C, vitamin B1, manganese and phosphorus)

  • No fat or cholesterol

  • Has calcium

  • May be an antioxidant

  • May help lower blood sugar, which can be beneficial to those with diabetes

  • May help prevent kidney stones

In addition to being naturally sweet and hydrating, coconut water is loaded with plenty of vitamins and nutrients. Photo: Shutterstock

How much coconut water should you drink per day?

While there is no standard amount of coconut water someone should consume daily, people who drink it regularly should have one to two cups a day, according to WebMD.

What are the disadvantages of coconut water?

While coconut water has many benefits, too much can be harmful. Coconut water has high levels of sodium, so drinking a lot can take up much of your daily sodium allowance, according to SF Gate. Coconut water also has the possibility of lowering blood pressure, and people with blood pressure issues should talk to their doctors before drinking it, according to WebMD.

WebMD also says the beverage can “interfere with blood pressure control” during and following surgery, so people should stop drinking it at least two weeks before an operation.

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Who should not drink coconut water?

Kacie Vavrek, a registered dietitian from The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Centre writes that people with chronic kidney disease should not drink “large amounts of coconut water” because it is high in potassium. Too much potassium in those with kidney problems could cause hyperkalemia (high level of potassium in the blood), which can be fatal.

Because of coconut water’s high sodium count, those with high blood pressure should also be aware of their intake, according to San Francisco Chronicle.

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