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Benefits of Coconut Water: 101

Have you ever tried a sip of coconut water and immediately felt the urge to spit it out? Believe me, I was there once too. Drinking liquids straight out of the fruit is not part of our American culture. So naturally, it’s normal for our taste buds to not welcome the required taste. However, don’t give up on the idea of ingesting the water. Coconut water absolutely has that required taste but in due time that required taste becomes a craving.

In most of my lectures I always preach the benefits of hydration, why it’s important and the benefits of coconut water. I also consistently recommend coconut water to my clients because the natural liquid in the coconut is packed with essential nutrients that we need on a daily basis for good health and survival. Coconut water is rumored to be “nature’s sport drink”, for good reason and here is why. The water contains 5 essential electrolytes. Potassium, magnesium, sodium, phosphorus and calcium. So what does this mean? Let’s get nerdy for a minute…..!

Potassium: This mineral is one of the most important minerals in the human body. Potassium controls muscle function, nerves and regulates our heartbeat. Have you ever been working out or after a work out and your muscle cramps so bad to the point where you want to die? This is most likely caused by dehydration and a potassium deficiency. It’s been researched to show that coconut water contains more potassium than 4 bananas and contains as high as 15x more potassium than your average sports drink.

Magnesium: This mineral is a power mineral. It increases energy production, calms nerves (caters to insomnia), anxiety, prevents migraines and is needed for proper muscle function, growth and repair. It is also an essential nutrient that aids constipation. If your muscles are feeling weak and cramping there’s a high possibility of a magnesium deficiency as well.

Sodium: Is an essential nutrient that surrounds our cells. It helps transport electrical impulses throughout our body and balances body fluids. Have you ever eaten a sodium packaged food and felt like a balloon shortly after? This is why. However, sweating and urine depletes your sodium levels so replenishing your sodium levels through a nutrient dense and natural way is the way to go. By replenishing your sodium intake with coconut water it also assists in producing more enzymes and will help with muscle contracting.

Phosphorus: Phosphors is primarily found in our bones and teeth as well as in the cells throughout our body. It reduces muscle and joint pain after a challenging work out and also caters to muscle repairs and recovery. It’s essential for helping filter waste from our kidneys and plays a very important role in how our body stores and uses energy.

Calcium: Starting at our youth we learn the importance of calcium. Which is what? For healthy and strong bones! Apart from strong bones it is also needed for muscle contractions, nerve transmission and blood clotting. As an overall, the body is very dependent on calcium intake. Have you ever noticed how your milk cartons are marked with “enriched with Vitamin D”? That’s because Vitamin D helps with the absorption of calcium.

My challenge to you is to get past the taste of coconut water and ingest 8 oz every morning. You’ll quickly notice you feel more energized, alert, healthy and ready to tackle your day. If you’re a fitness person like myself, try drinking ½ prior to your work out and the other half after. As described above, coconut water fuels you for your work out and helps replenish post work out. If you find yourself still having that urge to spit it out, try mixing ½ with water or incorporate coconut water as your base in your smoothies or protein shakes.

So what product do you purchase? The market is saturated with different brands and products, so let’s clarify which products are the best. It’s easy. Read your labels. You want to look for the products that say “100% Coconut Juice” or “100% Coconut Water”. Whole Foods brand, 365, is a great example! Lastly, like everything in life, moderation is key. Coconut water is loaded with all the essentials as mentioned above but there’s also a sugar content as well. Limit yourself to 1 – 2 glasses a day.

Do not fear the taste and go quench that thirst with nature’s sport drink! I promise you won’t be disappointed.

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