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Coconut Water- The Newest Natural Health Drink
November 17, 2011

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green coconuts used for coconut waterCoconut water is the newest natural sports drink on today’s market, however  it has been around a long time. It is a popular drink in the tropics where coconuts are readily available and sold fresh on the streets cut right in front of your eyes. Like its predecessors the acai berry, smart water and green drinks, coconut water exploded onto the health food market as if out of thin air. Touting its many health benefits coconut water has become available in many brands and flavors. For those in the health industry its just the newest, natural health drink, however for the public it’s the latest in a long line of highly marketed sports drinks that we have gone crazy over. However, with its newfound popularity, comes some skeptism. For up to $3 a bottle not everyone believes in all of coconut waters hype.



So what is this so-called coconut water? Coconut water is the clear liquid inside of young, green coconuts. As coconuts mature the water is replaced by coconut meat. Coconut water is lightly cloudy with a slightly sweet and nutty taste. Before opening a coconut to remove the water, coconut water is sterile. Once removed it is packaged in cans, tetrapaks, or plastic bottles to keep it from fermenting. In its natural habitat of the tropics, Southeast Asia, Pacific Islands, and the Caribbean, coconut water is sold fresh by street vendors who cut open the coconut right in front of your eyes.



Coconut water is a naturally isotonic beverage, a solution that has the same salt concentration as normal cells of the body and blood. That’s why coconut water has been called a life-enhancing beverage. It hydrates the body’s cells because it’s rich in minerals such as potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. Coconut water has antiviral, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties. Coconut water is fat free, cholesterol free, rich in electrolytes, low calorie, low in carbohydrates, and low in sugars.  The antioxidants and cytokinins in coconut water help to rid the body of damaging free radicals and promote proper cellular function such as cell division.



Coconut water was originally marketed as a natural sports drink for people who lose electrolytes due to vigorous exercise. Coconut water has two times the amount of potassium than a banana and three times the amount of potassium than most sports drinks such as Gatorade. Potassium regulates blood pressure by counteracting the effects of sodium and lowering blood pressure. It helps to reduce muscle cramping due to its electrolyte content. It prevents dehydration by rehydrating cells with electrolytes and potassium.  Because of its rich mineral content coconut water helps to prevent stroke, heart attack, and hangovers.



There are additional health claims associated with coconut water that have not been substantiated yet. For example there are claims that coconut water helps with anti aging and hydrates the skin. This is due to its antioxidants and because its an isotonic beverage. Other claims include constipation relief, relief of vision problems, and bladder and kidney disorders, raise metabolism to promote weight loss, boost the immune system, aid in digestion and control diabetes. Until some of these claims can be justified, coconut water will remain the newest natural health sports drink available on the market today. Its best used as a sports drink for hydration. Coconut water has become available at many grocery stores in several brands and flavors.