In recent years, coconut water has become a very
trendy beverage.

It’s tasty, refreshing and also happens to be good
for you.

What’s more, it’s loaded with several important
nutrients, including minerals that most people don't
get enough of.

Here are 8 health benefits of coconut water.

1. Good Source of Several
Nutrients

Coconuts grow on large palm trees known
scientifically as Cocos nucifera . Despite the name,
the coconut is botanically considered a fruit rather
than a nut.

Coconut water is the juice found in the center of a
young, green coconut. It helps nourish the fruit.
As the coconut matures, some of the juice remains
in liquid form while the rest ripens into the solid
white flesh known as coconut meat.
Coconut water forms naturally in the fruit and
contains 94% water and very little fat.

It should not be confused with coconut milk, which
is made by adding water to grated coconut meat.
Coconut milk contains about 50% water and is very
high in coconut fat .

Coconuts take 10–12 months to fully mature.
Coconut water typically comes from young coconuts
about 6–7 months of age, though it's also found in
mature fruit.

An average green coconut provides about 0.5–1
cups of coconut water.

One cup (240 ml) contains 46 calories, as well as
( 2):
Carbs: 9 grams

Fiber: 3 grams

Protein: 2 grams

Vitamin C: 10% of the RDI

Magnesium: 15% of the RDI

Manganese: 17% of the RDI

Potassium: 17% of the RDI

Sodium: 11% of the RDI

Calcium: 6% of the RDI

2. May Have Antioxidant Properties

Free radicals are unstable molecules produced in
your cells during metabolism. Their production
increases in response to stress or injury.

When there are too many free radicals, your body
enters a state of oxidative stress, which can
damage your cells and increase disease risk.

Research on animals exposed to toxins has shown
that coconut water contains antioxidants which
modify free radicals so they no longer cause harm.

One study found that rats with liver damage showed
significant improvement in oxidative stress when
treated with coconut water compared to rats that
received no treatment.

In another study, rats on a high-fructose diet were
treated with coconut water. 

Free radical activity
decreased, as did blood pressure, triglycerides and
insulin levels.

So far, no studies have investigated this antioxidant
activity in humans.

SUMMARY
Coconut water contains antioxidants that
protect your cells from damage caused by
free radicals.

3. May Have Benefits Against
Diabetes

Research has shown that coconut water can lower
blood sugar levels and improve other health
markers in diabetic animals.

In one study, diabetic rats treated with coconut
water maintained better blood sugar levels than the
control group.

The same study also found that the rats given
coconut water had lower levels of hemoglobin A1c,
indicating good long-term blood sugar control ( 9).
Another study noticed that providing coconut water
to rats with diabetes led to improvements in blood
sugar levels and reductions in markers of oxidative
stress.

However, controlled studies are needed to confirm
these effects in humans.

Nevertheless, with its 3 grams of fiber and a
digestible carb content of only 6 grams per cup
(240 ml), coconut water can easily fit into a meal
plan for people with diabetes .
It’s also a good source of magnesium, which may
increase insulin sensitivity and decrease reduce
blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes
and prediabetes.

SUMMARY
Studies on diabetic animals suggest that
coconut water may improve blood sugar
control. It's also a good source of
magnesium, which may increase insulin
sensitivity and reduce blood sugar levels.

4. May Help Prevent Kidney Stones

Drinking enough fluids is important for kidney stone
prevention.

Although plain water is a great choice, one study
suggests that coconut water may be even better.
Kidney stones form when calcium, oxalate and other
compounds combine to form crystals in your urine.
These can then form stones. However, some people
are more susceptible to developing them than
others.

In a study in rats with kidney stones, coconut water
prevented crystals from sticking to the kidneys and
other parts of the urinary tract. It also reduced the
number of crystals formed in the urine.

Researchers believe that coconut water helped
reduce free radical production that occurred in
response to high oxalate levels in urine.

Keep in mind that this is the first study examining
coconut water's effects on kidney stones. More
research is needed in this area.

SUMMARY
Early animal research suggests that water
from coconuts may prevent kidney stones
by reducing crystal and stone formation.

5. May Support Heart Health

Drinking coconut water may be helpful to reduce
heart disease risk.

In one study, rats that consumed coconut water had
reductions in blood cholesterol and triglycerides.
They also experienced significant decreases in liver
fat.

In another study, the same researchers fed rats a
similar diet supplemented with the same dosage (4
ml per 100 grams of body weight) of coconut
water.
After 45 days, the coconut water group had a
reduction in cholesterol and triglyceride levels that
rivaled the effects of a statin drug used to lower
cholesterol.

Keep in mind that this was a very high dose. In
human terms, it would be equivalent to a 150-
pound (68-kg) person consuming 91 ounces (2.7
liters) of coconut water per day.

Nevertheless, the finding that it reduced cholesterol
as effectively as a statin drug is very impressive
and should be further investigated.


SUMMARY
Animal studies suggest that coconut water
may have powerful cholesterol-lowering
properties.

6. May Reduce Blood Pressure

Coconut water may be great for controlling blood
pressure.

In one small study in people with high blood
pressure, coconut water improved systolic blood
pressure (the higher number of a blood pressure
reading) in 71% of participants.

Additionally, coconut water contains an impressive
600 mg of potassium in 8 ounces (240 ml).
Potassium has been shown to lower blood pressure
in people with high or normal blood pressure.

What's more, one animal study found that coconut
water has anti-thrombotic activity, which means it
may prevent the formation of blood clots.

SUMMARY
Coconut water may help lower blood
pressure and potentially decrease the risk
of blood clots forming in your arteries.

7. Beneficial After Prolonged
Exercise

Coconut water may be the perfect beverage for
restoring hydration and replenishing electrolytes lost
during exercise.

Electrolytes are minerals that play several important
roles in your body, including maintaining proper
fluid balance.

They include potassium, magnesium , sodium and
calcium.

Two studies found that coconut water restored
hydration after exercise better than water and equal
to high-electrolyte sports beverages.

The participants also said that coconut water
caused less nausea and stomach discomfort.

However, another study comparing high-electrolyte
beverages found that coconut water tended to cause
the most bloating and stomach upset.
SUMMARY
Coconut water is effective at replenishing
fluids and electrolytes after exercise. It is
comparable to other sports beverages.

8. Delicious Source of Hydration

Coconut water is slightly sweet with a subtle, nutty
flavor. It's also fairly low in calories and carbs.

The water is freshest when it comes directly from
the coconut. 
Simply press a straw into the soft part
of a green coconut and start drinking.

Store the coconut in your refrigerator and consume
it within two to three weeks of purchase.
You can also buy bottled coconut water at most
grocery stores.

However, be sure to read the ingredients to verify
you're getting 100% coconut water. Some bottled
brands contain added sugar or flavoring agents.

This tropical liquid can be used in smoothies, chia
seed pudding, vinaigrette dressing or substituted for
plain water whenever you want a bit of natural
sweetness.

SUMMARY
Coconut water can be consumed directly
from green coconuts or bought in bottles.
Avoid brands with added sugar, sweeteners
or flavors.

The Bottom Line

Coconut water is a delicious, nutritious and natural
beverage that’s extremely good for you.
It may benefit your heart, blood sugar, kidney health
and more.

Although controlled studies are needed to confirm
many of these qualities, the research to date is
encouraging.

If you start sipping away at this tropical drink, just
be sure to avoid products with added sugar .