What looks like water but tastes mildly sweet? What seems like a treat but is packed with nutrients? Answer: Coconut water. If you’ve never tried it before, you can make this drink from whole coconuts or find it pre-packaged at the grocery store.
Keep reading to discover 10 of the top benefits of drinking coconut water.
When you want something with more flavor than water that quenches your thirst and boosts hydration, coconut water is a good choice. It’s healthier and more hydrating than sugar-laden sports drinks and sodas.
Coconut water is a great source of potassium; one cup provides 600 milligrams (mg), according to the United States Department of Agriculture . The recommended daily value of potassium is 3,500 mg, per the Food and Drug Administration (or FDA), and can help to lower blood pressure. It also assists with fluid regulation and muscle contraction.
1 cup = 60 mg of 3,500 recommended daily (approximately 2%)
Calcium is essential for healthy bones and teeth and helps muscles function properly. One cup of coconut water contains 58 milligrams (mg) of calcium, which contributes to the recommended daily value of 1,000 mg.
1 cup = 58 mg of 1,000 recommended daily (approximately 6%)
Your body needs magnesium for muscle relaxation, energy production, bone building, heart function and nervous system health. In one cup of coconut water, you get 60 milligrams (mg) of magnesium, which is a significant portion of the 400 mg recommended each day by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
1 cup = 60 mg of 400 recommended daily (approximately 15%)
One cup of coconut water contains 48 milligrams (mg) of phosphorus, making it a small but useful step toward a daily goal of 1,000 mg. Your bones and teeth need this mineral to stay healthy, and it also helps your body store and use energy. Phosphorus is essential for your cells to function normally, says the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and to support the kidneys, nerves and muscles.
1 cup = 48 mg of 1,000 recommended daily (approximately 4%)
When you feel more hydrated and consume plenty of minerals, you often feel more energetic. This increased vitality helps you stay active and exercise, which results in many other health benefits.
One cup of coconut water contains 2.6 grams (g) of fiber out of the recommended daily value of 25 g. Because you need adequate fiber for healthy digestion, drinking coconut water may help your digestive system perform more efficiently.
1 cup = 2.6 g of 25 recommended daily (approximately 10%)
Beverages such as fruit juices, sodas and energy drinks contain high amounts of added sugar and similar sweeteners. Meanwhile, coconut water contains only 6.26 grams of sugar per cup.
1 cup = 6.26 g sugar
If your dream is to limit your daily calorie intake, coconut water is a dream come true. One cup contains just 46 calories, yet you won’t feel deprived of a refreshing, mild taste.
1 cup = 46 calories
By itself, the beverage is satisfying whether it’s chilled or at room temperature. You can also add it to smoothies or ferment it to make coconut kefir.
You don’t have to live on an island to enjoy it fresh. You can buy a whole brown or young green coconut at your local grocery store, then open it carefully to release the water.
As a convenient alternative, you can buy bottles of coconut water online or at health food stores. Just make sure the packaged coconut water you buy does not contain additives, flavorings, extra sugar or preservatives.