Coconut Water: Hype or Healthy Alternative?

Coconut water is beginning to pop up everywhere —  in grocery stores, fitness center refreshment centers, and in healthy vending machines. With the increasingly ubiquitous nature of coconut water, you’re probably just a little curious as to why. Does it really live up to all this hype you hear about it?

Coconut water is naturally refreshing and has a nutty, sweet taste. The electrolytes and sugar in the coconuts provide carbohydrates that your body easily digests. Also, there’s less sugar in coconut water than most sports drinks and far less sugar than some fruit juices and soda.

Ideally, the farmers harvest the coconuts while they’re still at a young age (around 5 to 7 months) to get the most water out of them. When a coconut matures, coconut “meat” replaces the liquid. Drinking a young coconut’s water is where you obtain the most nutrient health benefits. This is not the same as mature coconut milk that typically offers fewer nutrients.

So, does coconut water live up to its reputation? Let’s take a look. Eight ounces of coconut water has:

  • Carbohydrates (9 grams)
  • Calories (46)
  • Protein (2 grams)
  • Sodium (250 mg)
  • Phosphorus (45 mg)
  • Magnesium (60 mg)
  • Potassium (600 mg)

Along with carbohydrates and electrolytes, coconut water consists of other beneficial components such as:

  • Amino acids
  • Antioxidants
  • Vitamins
  • Minerals

Coconut water offers even more benefits like raising your metabolism, replenishing your body after you exercise, helping with circulation, and boosting your immune system.

Coconut water even comes in different flavors including chocolate, pomegranate, and tropical fruit to liven up this healthy drink.

Many advertisements promote coconut water as a natural sports beverage you can consume before, during, and after you exercise to rehydrate and replenish what your body loses during different levels of activity. One thing to note, however, is there’s limited research that compares the restorative and rehydration effects of coconut water, plain water, and sports drinks on males after exercising. To further examine coconut water effects on electrolyte replacement and rehydration before and during a workout, more research is necessary.

When you’re looking for a delicious beverage to add to your healthy vending snacks, coconut water is a good choice and easily found in healthy vending machines.

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