The benefits of drinking coconut water cannot be stated enough so ask yourself, when was the last time you had some in your diet plan?

Proper hydration is key to staying energized, keeping your blood pressure in check, and maximizing athletic performance. Just a slight dip in hydration status – to the tune of 1-2% as shown by research published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition1, can cause a decrease in your overall ability to push the heavy weights and maintain the endurance level necessary to see best results.

But yet, many are still walking around on a day to day basis in a dehydrated state and wondering why they feel so exhausted.

Or, they try and hydrate but do so with beverages such as coffee (the caffeine junkies!), energy drinks (even worse), or sodas. If a good dose of your day’s fluid comes with alcohol, you’ll have an even bigger problem on your hands.

While plain water is definitely a fine choice and one to consider, coconut water adds a little extra something special.

Let’s take a look at the main benefits of drinking coconut water in your nutrition regimen.

Rich In Electrolytes

coconut water splash

The first reason why coconut water is a perfect addition to your program is because it’s a high source of electrolytes2. Think of it as Mother Nature’s sports drink. While the typical sports drink contains the electrolytes you need, it also has negative effects from high amounts of added sugars and filler. The same cannot be said for coconut water. It’s pure and natural – making it a far superior choice.

This is especially important for days you’re exercising hard and may be sweating more heavily due to that exercise or the environment you’re in. You’ll be losing sodium and potassium, which can go on to lead to muscle weakness and cramping.

One cup of coconut water is going to provide you with:

  • 15% of your total recommended daily intake of magnesium
  • 17% of your total recommended daily intake of potassium
  • 11% of your total recommended daily intake of sodium
  • 6% of your total recommended daily intake of calcium

All of these are necessary to ensure smooth muscle contractions take place, so without them you’ll start seeing your workout falter.

Antioxidant Benefits

fresh coconut opened up

Another of the clear benefits of drinking coconut water is that provides excellent antioxidant benefits. Exercise, especially the type of exercise you’re doing, places extreme stress on the body and this stress can lead to all kinds of oxidative damage. The best way to combat this?

Antioxidants3. You get antioxidants from all the fresh fruits and vegetables you eat, however coconut water also provides an abundance.

The more antioxidants you have in your system, the faster you’ll recover from your workouts, allowing you to get back in the gym sooner again and train hard.

Insulin Control

fresh coconut water on leaf

Here’s something rather interesting. Despite the fact that coconut water does contain naturally occurring sugars, it actually may help to ward off diabetes and stabilize insulin levels better than water does. Research suggests that when subjects were given coconut water, they were able to maintain better blood sugar levels than a control group not given the water4.

Being able to control your blood glucose level is important for keeping insulin levels in check and that is important for ensuring fat burning, if it is your goal, is taking place at all times.

So coconut water, in this sense, could give you a leg up on fat loss results.

Improved Heart Health

While it’s perfectly fine to have the focus on improving your physique – getting leaner and more muscular, one must not forget about the importance of good health as well.

You may be young and healthy at the moment and not think much about heart health and blood pressure, but these things do creep up on you as the years go by and you want to always ensure you are in a good position to manage them.

As it turns out, coconut water may be a great choice when it comes to keeping your heart as healthy as possible5. Research suggests that those who have coconut oil in their menu on a regular basis tend to notice lower overall levels of blood cholesterol and triglycerides, and may also show a lower degree of liver fat as well.

Since triglyceride levels typically have a direct correlation to heart disease risk, the more you can control these, the better.

One thing to note though is to see maximum heart health benefits, you do need to be drinking a high volume of coconut water each day (upwards of 2 liters), so you may not see benefits if you’re just having a cup or two per day. For those who are concerned about this issue though, it may be worth the effort.

Lower Blood Pressure Levels

fresh coconut water glass with coconut beside it

Finally, to help go hand in hand with improved heart health, we can also add lowered blood pressure levels6 to the list of benefits of drinking coconut water. Both high triglycerides as well as high blood pressure can put you at risk for heart disease and you can also add stroke to that list as well.

Research has suggested that people with high blood pressure level will notice decreases in their systolic blood pressure after consuming coconut water. This is without a doubt in part thanks to the level of potassium found in coconut water.

Some research also shows that coconut water may possess anti-thrombotic activity as well, meaning it can help you avoid unwanted blood clots that could lead to a heart attack or stroke.

All in all, it definitely pays to get coconut water into your picture. Even if you do only manage to drink a cup or two a day, that is better than you were before and you can start seeing some of these great benefits of drinking coconut water occur.

References:

  1. Maughan, R. J. “Impact of mild dehydration on wellness and on exercise performance.” European journal of clinical nutritionS2 (2003): S19.
  2. Convertino, Victor A., et al. “American College of Sports Medicine position stand. Exercise and fluid replacement.” Medicine and science in sports and exercise1 (1996): i-vii.
  3. Watson, Trent A., et al. “Antioxidant restriction and oxidative stress in short-duration exhaustive exercise.” Medicine and science in sports and exercise1 (2005): 63-71.
  4. Pinto, Isabella FD, et al. “Study of antiglycation, hypoglycemic, and nephroprotective activities of the green dwarf variety coconut water (Cocos nucifera L.) in alloxan-induced diabetic rats.” Journal of medicinal food7 (2015): 802-809.
  5. Sandhya, V. G., and T. Rajamohan. “Beneficial effects of coconut water feeding on lipid metabolism in cholesterol-fed rats.” Journal of medicinal food3 (2006): 400-407.
  6. Alleyne, Trevnmar, et al. “The control of hypertension by use of coconut water and mauby: two tropical food drinks.” West indian medical journal1 (2005): 3-8.
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