What are the health benefits of coconut water?

Food for Thought:


Coconut water has certainly caught on, reaching far beyond athletes and celebrities to the mainstream public. A clear juice from young coconuts, coconut water is touted to be immune-boosting, a good digestion aid and an excellent recovery drink—whether from a workout or a hangover. While there isn’t scientific evidence to back up these claims, coconut water is a hydrating beverage, so if you crave something with more flavor than plain water, this might be what you’re looking for.

Unlike raw coconut and its milk, coconut water has no fat and is low in calories. Nutrition facts vary from brand to brand, but on average an 8-ounce serving has 65 calories and 14 grams (about 2–3 teaspoons) of naturally occurring sugar. Coconut water is also high in potassium and low in sodium. Because of this, it is not the best choice for endurance athletes. Sports drinks contain a more balanced ratio of sodium and potassium to replenish the sodium lost during endurance events. For endurance purposes, drinking plain water is just fine for shorter workouts. Eating more fruits and vegetables would be a better way to meet potassium needs, but coconut water can be a great thirst-quencher when plain water just doesn’t do the trick.

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Jennie McCary, MS, RD, LD

IDEA Author/Presenter
You can pose your own question to our contributing editor Jennie McCary, MS, RD, LD, a registered di... more less
June 2011

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