Cocos Nucifera is the scientific name of coconuts that grow on large palm trees. It is botanically regarded as a fruit rather than a nut. Coconut water, the juice of the fruit is found in the middle of the young and green coconuts. It nourishes the fruit. When the coconut fruit is maturing, some amount of liquid inside it will remain as coconut water and the other amount will be converted into white coconut meat. In this article, we are going to discuss about the coconut water nutrition info.
Naturally formed coconut water in the coconut fruit normally contains 94% water. Only a little amount of fat is there. It is different from the coconut milk made out of water and grated coconut milk. There is 50% water in coconut milk and it is very high in coconut fat. A coconut needs 10–12 months of duration to mature totally. Even coconut water can be found in matured coconut fruits, normally coconut water starts to appear in the coconuts of 6-7months of age. There are about 0.5 – 1 cup of water in a mature green coconut.
1. Nutritional value
One cup (240 ml) of coconut water contains 46 calories, and also the nutrition like Carbs, Fiber, Protein, Vitamin C, Magnesium, Manganese, Potassium, Sodium, and Calcium.
Coconut water contains potassium more than 10 times the amount of potassium in most sports drinks. Most Americans do not reach the level of the daily recommendation for potassium. But drinking coconut water helps them to prevent cramps as coconut water contains more potassium.
Potassium his useful in maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance in the body, especially when you engage in exercises. Since coconut water contains more potassium than sodium, the potassium helps to balance out sodium’s effect on blood pressure and even helps to lower it.
Not just for strong bones and teeth, Calcium is an essential nutrient for the human body. Calcium is for muscles to contract and work properly. When one engages in exercises, the muscles are pulled on the bones and broken down slightly. As the body recovers, the bones use calcium to get stronger and repair.
Although there is more calcium in coconut water than other sports drinks and fruit juices, it is not a concentrated source of either mineral. There is less than 5 percent of your recommended amount of both calcium in coconut water.
Calcium and potassium are moved into muscles to aid in contraction and relaxation with the help of Magnesium. Magnesium also contributes to energy production and supports organs to function well. When you work-out hard, you will be run-down in magnesium and prone to cramps, restless muscles, and spasms.
As above mentioned in calcium, coconut water contains magnesium also than in other sports drinks or fruit juices. But lesser than the recommended amount for the human body.
Added to all its hydrating benefits, coconut water holds antioxidants that support to counterbalance oxidative stress and free radicals created by workouts. Fresh coconut water is rich in the highest levels of antioxidants. As to the recent researches, processed and heat pasteurized coconut water contains fewer antioxidants.
Repairing tissues as the building blocks of protein are done with the aid of amino acids. There are more alanine, arginine, cysteine, and serine in coconut water than in cow’s milk. And also a type of amino acid known as arginine is present in coconut water which is supporting you to respond to the body stress after a difficult workout. Arginine is also useful to keep the heart-healthy.
Cytokinin, the hormones that help plants to grow are also found in coconut water. These compounds are said to have anti-aging and cancer-fighting qualities. However, up to the present time, studies are not yet evident that coconut water prevents cancer.
2. Natural sports drink
There are natural electrolytes in coconut water that makes it a real match for traditional sports drinks like Gatorade. It is a more natural performance drink without added sugar, food coloring, or artificial sweeteners and preferred by many people.
According to studies, coconut water is capable of acting just as well as a traditional sport’s drink to help hydration and replenish fluids after a run. There is less sodium in coconut water, the main electrolyte sheds out with sweat than most sport’s drinks. Fewer carbohydrates is another significant feature of coconut water compared to many endurance performance drinks. In other words, though it might not provide enough energy for a long bout of exercise of more than 90 minutes, but it keeps you rehydrated afterward.
Yet coconut water cannot help rehydration than it is done by water or traditional sports drinks after exercise, studies claim that it is easier to drink enough without causing nausea or an upset stomach. The researchers also recommend not adding with sugars to coconut water as they can prevent proper hydration adding unnecessary calories.
3. Low in calories
As to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, coconut water is an ideal alternative for higher calorie drinks like sodas or juice as it contains only 45 calories in a cup. In fact, there’s less sugar and carbohydrates in coconut water than most juices while more minerals and electrolytes like sodium and potassium are rich in it. However, as a casual sipping, it still can’t outdo zero-calorie water.
4. May Have Antioxidant Properties
Unstable molecules called free radicals are produced in our cells during metabolism. Stress and injuries can increase their production.
A state of oxidative stress can be created by free radicles within the body. It will be led to an increase in the risk of diseases.
There are antioxidants that can modify free radicals, on the animals who are usually exposed to toxin water. And now it has discovered those are not harmful.
By treating the rats which have liver damaged with coconut water has shown an improvement in oxidative stress other than the rats which were not treated with that.
According to another study, rats on a high-fructose diet who were treated with coconut water showed decreased free radical activity, blood pressure, triglycerides and insulin levels.
5. Fight Against Diabetes
Many researchers claim that coconut water can reduce blood sugar levels and improve other health markers in diabetic animals.
In one test diabetic rats handled with coconut water had better blood sugar ranges than the control group.
According to another study, the supply of coconut water to diabetic rats can increase blood sugar levels and reduces oxidative stress.
However, these effects in humans need confirmation through controlled studies.
Yet, coconut water profoundly suits to a meal plan of a diabetic person with its 3 grams of fiber and digestible carbohydrates content of only 6 grams per cup (240 ml)
It can also increase the insulin level and decrease the blood sugar level of people with diabetes and prediabetes.
6. May Help Prevent Kidney Stones
Sufficient fluid intake is a key prevention measure for kidney stones.
Even plain water is a great choice, one observation indicates that coconut water is even better.
Formation of crystals in urine by the combination of calcium, oxalate and other compounds together will be led to form kidney stones.
There are people who are more inclined to develop kidney stones than others.
An experiment on rats with kidney stones proves that coconut water can save you crystals from sticking to the kidneys and other components of the urinary tract. As tested, it has the capacity to reduce the number of crystals formed in the urine.
According to the information given by researchers’ coconut water can reduce the production of free radicals relative to high oxalate levels I urine.
This is considered as the first research for kidney stones. And it is necessary to conduct many other research.
7. Improve the health condition of the heart
Coconut water is also beneficial to reduce the risk of heart disorders. Rats who were made to consume coconut water during one study displayed blood cholesterol and triglycerides reductions. They had also marked significant declines in liver fat.
The same set of researchers in another study had fed rats a similar diet supplemented with the same dosage (4 ml per 100 grams of body weight) of coconut water.
At the end of 45 days, the rats who were given coconut water observed to have a reduction in cholesterol and triglyceride levels that equaled the effects of a statin drug that is typically used to lower cholesterol.
It is considered that this is an excessive dose. When it comes to humans, it would be comparable to consume 2.7L of coconut water for a person of 68kg.
However, further investigations would be effective, since the finding that coconut water can reduce cholesterol as effectively as a statin drug is very impressive.
8.Support to control the blood pressure
Coconut water has a quality of reducing blood pressure.
It has confirmed that the use of coconut water can control the systolic blood pressure of the people who are suffering from high blood pressure.
As well, coconut water comprises an impressive 600 mg of potassium in 8 ounces (240 ml). Potassium has been proved to lower blood pressure in people with high or normal blood pressure.
And also, another study has proved that coconut water has the ability to prevent the formation of blood clots.
9.Beneficial After Prolonged Exercise
Restoring hydration and replenishing electrolytes after exercises can perfectly be done by coconut water.
Electrolytes perform a major role to maintain the fluid balance within our body properly.
They contain potassium, magnesium, sodium, and calcium.
According to studies, coconut water can restore hydration after exercises better than water and alike as high-electrolyte sports beverages.
The participants also have shared their experiences of coconut water causing less nausea and stomach discomfort.
On the contrary, another research about high-electrolyte beverages has found that coconut water tends to become the reason for maximum bloating and stomach upset.
10. Cause for Hydration
There is a sweet taste in coconut water. It’s also relatively low in calories and carbohydrates.
The freshest water is directly taken from the coconut. A straw can be simply pressed into the soft part of a green coconut and start drinking.
It is better if you can store coconut water in the refrigerator and drink it within a duration of 2 to 3 weeks.
Bottled coconut water can be bought at most grocery stores.
However, be considered about the ingredients to confirm you’re getting 100% coconut water. Because some manufacturing companies add sugar and flavoring.
The upshot is that coconut water can be an ideal way to rehydrate after a hard, sweaty workout. Switch to coconut water from traditional sports drinks and avoid adding sugar, dyes, and other synthetic ingredients.
Coconut water can be best for weight loss instead of water. It is also recommended by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that the coconut water can rehydrate you better than the water does and it is rich with calories and sugar.
It is better to consume fresh, unprocessed coconut water to get more antioxidants and the real taste of the tropics.