Coconut water is a tropical drink that has become popular with athletes for its natural electrolytes, but does it hydrate you the same way, or better, than plain water? Here’s what the experts say.
Coconut water hydration
Long decried by nutrition professionals because of its high saturated fat content, coconut has become very trendy in recent years. It is particularly popular as an ingredient in beverages.
Coconut water, the clear liquid found inside a fresh green coconut, has been marketed as a thirst quencher due to its high concentration of natural electrolytes such as potassium and magnesium. . Coconut water has the consistency of water, is low in calories, and has just a hint of coconut flavor. Mixed with the flesh of the coconut, it gives a much richer and more caloric product: coconut milk.
While coconut water has long been sipped in tropical regions, it has begun to gain popularity as a natural alternative to sports drinks, embraced by athletes for its hydrating properties.
Proper hydration plays a key role in everyone’s overall health, regardless of their athletic level. It helps regulate body temperature, sleep, brain function and even mood. About 20% of the water we absorb comes from the food we eat. Women should aim to drink around 2.2 L of water per day, and men 3.0 L. Of course, a number of factors affect fluid needs, including activity, life stage and diet. To get a more personalized recommendation, use a hydration calculator.
How true are the claims that coconut water is an excellent natural moisturizer? And how does it compare to water when it comes to your daily fluid intake goals? Read on to find out.
Water or Coconut Water: How Do They Compare?
While nothing beats pure H2O water when it comes to hydration, coconut water is 95% water, which is pretty close. Besides its high water volume, coconut water also contains valuable nutrients such as fiber, calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium. And while most coconut products are infamous for their high saturated fat content, coconut water contains very little of these unhealthy fats. It is important to note that coconut water contains a certain amount of sodium (252 milligrams [mg] per cup). In contrast, water is a sodium- and calorie-free food, making it a healthier choice for anyone trying to limit their sodium intake (which almost everyone should do). Limit sodium intake to 2300 mg and preferably 1500 mg or less per day. A cup of coconut water accounts for 17% of the latter recommendation.
Coconut Water Nutrition Facts
Since coconut water contains a lot of water, it is relatively low in calories (although it does not meet the 40 calorie threshold to be considered a low calorie food). A cup of coconut water has 46 calories, 2 grams (g) protein, 0.5 g fat (0.4 g saturated fat), 9 g carbohydrates, 2.6 g fiber, 6.3 g of sugar, 58 mg of calcium, 0.7 mg of iron, 60 mg of magnesium (which makes it a good source), 600 mg of potassium (a good source) and 252 mg of sodium.
Why is coconut water hydrating?
Besides its high water content, coconut water also contains electrolytes, which help your body function properly and can even help you stay more hydrated. You hear a lot about electrolytes in sports drink ads because you lose them when you sweat. Coconut water is a natural source of electrolytes (minerals like sodium, calcium, and potassium), which help maintain fluid balance at the cellular level.
Coconut Water and Sports Drinks: Which is More Hydrating?
Much like coconut water, the many brightly colored sports drinks available on the market contain water and electrolytes. What sets coconut water apart is that it contains no added sugars. While you’ll find 6.3g of natural sugars in a cup of coconut water, you can expect 13g of sugar (all added) in the same serving of sports drink.
Types of coconut water: How hydrating are they?
Unfortunately, most of us don’t live in a tropical paradise where fresh coconuts are readily available and even if you do manage to get your hands on a coconut, be prepared for a laborious process to get it. open (hint: you’ll need a hammer). Many companies now offer bottled coconut water. This means that coconut water is now readily available to most people who want to try it. When choosing a brand of coconut water, be sure to check the ingredient list. The best coconut water is minimally processed and contains no added sugars.
The health benefits of coconut water beyond hydration
Consumed in moderation, coconut water has many benefits. It is a good source of magnesium, which is essential for a number of processes in the body, including protein synthesis, blood pressure regulation and even blood sugar control. Coconut water is also a good source of potassium, which is vital for kidney health, nerve function, and muscle contractions (including the heart).
Tips for Tasting Coconut Water and Getting the Most Benefits
Coconut water contains several valuable nutrients and can be part of a healthy diet. Serve it cold for more flavor. Consume it in moderation, as it contains sodium and calories, which can add up quickly.
Should you drink coconut water to stay hydrated?
If you are watching your sodium intake closely, plain water would be a healthier choice to help you meet your hydration needs. The benefits of coconut water can make it a worthwhile supplement for everyone else. Without a doubt, coconut water counts in your fluid intake and, in
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