11 Nutrients Found in Coconut Water

Registered Dietician

| 2 min read

Coconut water has gained popularity recently as a natural hydrator. It is a clear-ish liquid found in the green, young coconut. I personally love it and have grown up drinking it. Being the first generation in America of a Filipino family, coconut water is something we had regularly as a refreshing drink. Remember coconut water is found in the center of the young coconut and coconut milk is made from the white flesh of the coconut.

The Facts

Here are some facts about coconut water:
  • It is low in carbohydrates and sugar
  • It is 99% fat-free
An 8 oz. glass of coconut water provides the following nutrients:
  1. 46 calories
  1. .5 grams of total fat
  1. .4 grams of saturated fat
  1. 0 mg of cholesterol
  1. 8.9 grams of total carbohydrates
  1. 2.6 grams of dietary fiber
  1. 6.3 grams of sugar
  1. 1.7 grams of protein
  1. 57.6 mg of calcium
  1. 252 mg of sodium
  1. 600 mg of potassium

Health Benefits

Coconut water is an organic product that has various properties as a fruit that are known to aid in digestion. Also with many antioxidants, coconuts have amazing anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-microbrial properties that aid in removing toxins from the body.
Coconut water is considered a great source for rehydrating the body. It is naturally high in sodium and potassium which are two of the electrolytes lost when sweating. It also has a reputation of being able to improve circulation, slowing the aging process, boosting immunity, and reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease.

The Best Hydration Drink after Exercise?

The biggest current claim of coconut water is that it is a great way to replenish and rehydrate your body. Consumerlab.com recently reviewed various coconut waters. Coconut water is highest in potassium, with the ability to claim it has five times more than a banana. However, when sweating, sodium is the electrolyte you will lose most quickly. Sports drinks have more sodium than natural coconut water.
A variety of studies have been done testing exercise and the best way to rehydrate the body after sweating. The conclusion, if you are a real athlete or someone who exercises for long periods of time, sports drinks are probably the better idea. You could also choose a coconut water with added sodium. If you are just exercising for an hour, regular water will do the trick to help replenish you.
Remember that drinking water daily is important. If you are choosing a sports drink, don’t forget to be aware of the calories and sugar that are added. What is your favorite beverage of choice after you workout?
Photo credit: oliver.dodd via Flickr

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