Coconut water has long been a staple in Southeast Asia, but it was only a few years ago that this healthful liquid became a household name in the United States. While its nutty flavor did not immediately appeal to the masses, the health claims put out by savvy marketers certainly made us perk up our ears and consider giving this new beverage a try.
Coconut water has been touted as many things, including a potential cure for ailments like high blood pressure, cancer and diabetes. It is rumored to also have anti-aging qualities and to be able to cure a hangover. However, most of these claims are largely unsubstantiated at this point, and we probably should not be counting on coconut water as a cancer cure until a few more tests have been conducted. In the meantime, there are plenty of other great reasons to start drinking coconut water right now.
Here are just 10 reasons you might want to add coconut water to your daily hydration routine:
1. Coconut water has more potassium than a banana.
2. Potassium helps regulate blood pressure, which helps lower heart attack and stroke risk.
3. Most people do not eat enough fruits and vegetables to get as much potassium as they need.
4. Hydrating with coconut water can help you avoid or reduce hangover symptoms.
5. Coconut water generally has significantly less sugar than sports drinks.
6. One of the traditional uses of coconut water is to replace fluids lost from bouts of diarrhea.
7. The enzymes in coconut water are touted to improve digestion.
8. Coconut water is a low-calorie, cholesterol-free, caffeine-free and fat-free beverage.
9. Folks taking diuretics and certain other medications often experience low potassium without supplementation. Coconut water can help these people keep healthy potassium levels.
10. Coconut water has less sugar than sodas and commercial fruit juices and is a healthier choice.
If you have tried plain coconut water and did not like the nutty flavor, you might want to try one of the many varieties now available that are flavored with a splash of fruit juice. These do have more sugar and calories due to the addition of the fruit juice, but they are a flavorful choice for those who are not fond of coconut water’s natural flavor.
If you are a serious athlete or exercise strenuously for long periods of time, sports drinks that are specially formulated to meet the hydration and electrolyte needs that follow heavy exercise may still be the better choice. For most exercisers and active folks, coconut water will do the trick nicely – and naturally – with even more potassium and fewer calories.