Nutritional composition of coconut water

Dubbed "Mother Nature's sports drink" by marketers, demand for coconut water is steadily skyrocketing. The nutritional components of coconut water promise to hydrate the body and help overcome many ailments, from vomiting to cancer and kidney stones. But is drinking coconut water good?

1. What does coconut water have?

Coconut water has a natural sweet and refreshing taste. It contains easily digestible carbohydrates in the form of sugars and electrolytes. Not to be confused with coconut milk or high-fat coconut oil, coconut water is a clear liquid in the fruit extracted from fresh, young coconuts.
Low in calories, naturally fat and cholesterol free, more potassium than 4 bananas and extra water - These are just a few of the many documented benefits of coconut water.
Coconut water has fewer calories, less sodium and more potassium than sports drinks. Most coconut water has no taste, about 30ml of coconut water contains about 5.45 calories, 1.3 grams of sugar, 61 milligrams of potassium and 5.45 milligrams of sodium. Meanwhile, Gatorade has 6.25 calories, 1.75 grams of sugar, 3.75 milligrams of potassium, and 13.75 milligrams of sodium.
Coconut water has less sugar than many sports drinks and much less sugar than sodas and some juices. Virgin coconut water may be a better choice for adults and children looking for a less sweet beverage. However, coconut water should not be abused, according to Lilian Cheung, DSc, Harvard School of Public Health. “An 11-ounce barrel has 60 calories, and if you drink multiple cups in a day, the calories can add up quickly,” she says.
Cheung, a registered dietitian and co-author of the book Savour: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life, suggests being mindful of beverage choices and reading labels to choose simple, pure, and healthy coconut water. Avoid those with added sugar or juice, as it will be no different from other sugary drinks.

2. Nutritional composition of coconut water

The nutritional information below is provided by USDA, in 1 cup of 100% coconut water, about 240 grams contains:
Calories: 44 Fat: 0g Sodium: 64mg Carbohydrates: 10.4g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 9.6g Protein: 0.5g One cup of fresh coconut water provides about 10 grams of carbohydrates. 100% coconut water contains about 9 grams of natural sugar. Some brands of coconut water are sweetened with added sugar, so check labels carefully before choosing canned coconut water.
There is usually little or no fat (less than 1 gram) in coconut water, but some brands of canned coconut water may contain small amounts of fat.
Coconut water contains a small amount of protein; Quantity may vary by brand.
Coconut water is an excellent source of vitamin C, with 24mg per serving. This amounts to about 32% of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for women and 27% for men.
Coconut water also contains thiamin, a B vitamin (about 8% of the recommended level). The minerals in coconut water include potassium (404mg or 16% of the recommended amount for women and 12% for men), manganese (0.5mg or 28% of the recommended amount for women and 22% for men). Coconut water also provides small amounts of magnesium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc and copper.
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3. Drinking coconut water is good?


Over the years, many evidences about the benefits of this natural drink have been published and accepted in many parts of the world, especially countries with tropical climates. However, recently several social media posts went viral globally claiming that drinking hot coconut water helps cure cancer. Later, the American Institute for Cancer published a list of trademarked Anti-Cancer Foods that did not include coconut water. A lawsuit settled in 2011 ordered a coconut water manufacturer to stop making exaggerated claims about their product's health.
While animal studies have shown that coconut water may offer benefits such as improving blood sugar levels, preventing kidney stones, and lowering cholesterol, this has not been fully studied in People. However, one small human study found that increased consumption of coconut water reduced blood pressure.
Some people love coconut water and use it as a sports drink. Coconut water provides electrolytes (sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium) and carbohydrates to help improve muscle function, while adding fewer calories than regular sports drinks, and is gluten-free. Some of the evidence-based benefits of coconut water include:
Antioxidant: Free radicals are unstable molecules created in cells during metabolism. The production of free radicals increases in response to stress or injury. When there are too many free radicals, the body goes into a state of oxidative stress, which can damage normal cells and increase the risk of disease. Research on animals exposed to toxins has shown that coconut water contains antioxidants that change free radicals so they are no longer harmful. One study found that rats with liver damage experienced a significant improvement in oxidative stress when treated with coconut water compared to untreated mice. To date, no studies have investigated this antioxidant activity in humans. In a nutshell, coconut water contains antioxidants that help protect the body's cells from damage caused by free radicals. Fights diabetes: Research has shown that coconut water can lower blood sugar and improve other health markers in animals with diabetes. In one study, diabetic rats treated with coconut water maintained better blood sugar levels than a control group. The same study also found that rats given coconut water had lower hemoglobin A1c levels, suggesting good long-term blood sugar control. Another study found that giving coconut water to diabetic rats resulted in improved blood sugar levels and reduced markers of oxidative stress. However, more controlled studies are needed to confirm these effects in humans. With a nutritional profile of 3 grams of fiber and a digestible carb content of just 6 grams per cup (240 ml), coconut water can easily fit into a diabetic diet. It is also a good source of magnesium, which may increase insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes. In summary, diabetic animal studies show that coconut water can improve blood sugar control. It's also a good source of magnesium, which can increase insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar. Prevent kidney stones: Drinking enough water is important to prevent kidney stones. While plain water is a great option, one study suggested that coconut water could be even better. Kidney stones form when calcium, oxalate, and other compounds combine to form crystals that are deposited in the urine. However, some people are more susceptible to kidney stones 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 reduces the number of crystals that form in the urine. Researchers believe that coconut water helps reduce free radical production in response to high levels of oxalate in the urine. Keep in mind that this is the first study to examine the effects of coconut water on kidney stones. More research is needed in this area. In summary, early animal research shows that coconut water might prevent kidney stones by reducing the formation and deposition of crystals. Supports heart health: Drinking coconut water may be helpful for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. In one study, rats that drank coconut water reduced blood cholesterol and triglycerides, along with a significant reduction in liver fat. In another study, researchers fed rats a similar diet supplemented with a similar dose (4ml per 100 grams of body weight) of coconut water. After 45 days, the coconut water group had reduced cholesterol and triglyceride levels on par with the effects of a statin drug used to lower cholesterol. Remember that this is a very high dosage. In human terms, it would be the equivalent of a 150-pound (68-kilogram) person consuming 91 ounces (2.7 liters) of coconut water per day. However, the finding that it lowers cholesterol as effectively as a statin drug is impressive and requires further research. In summary, animal studies show that coconut water may have powerful cholesterol-lowering properties. Lowers blood pressure: Coconut water can be very good in controlling blood pressure. In a small study in people with high blood pressure, coconut water improved systolic blood pressure (a measure of higher blood pressure) in 71% of participants. 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, an animal study found that coconut water has antithrombotic activity, which means it can prevent the formation of blood clots. In general, coconut water can help lower blood pressure and potentially reduce the risk of blood clots forming in the body.

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Reference sources: webmd.com, healthline.com
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