An increasing number of athletes have begun replacing so-called energy drinks with coconut water (not to be confused with coconut milk) to replenish their electrolytes, as well as other minerals including potassium and sodium following strenuous physical activity.
In fact, a regular glass of coconut water is said to 50% more potassium (about 250 mg) and 1/5th the amount of natural sugar (5 mg) than most of the popular sports drinks sold. In addition, coconut water has only about 105 mg of natural sodium. Together, these elements also serve to replenish vital fluids and electrolytes lost due to diarrhea.
Additional coconut water benefits
Meanwhile, acid phosphatase, catalase, dehydrogenase, diastase, peroxidase, RNA-polymerases, etc. found in coconut water aids in digestion and metabolism, as well as help settle upset stomachs.
Additionally, it has been found that while drinking coconut water helps improve digestion as well as kidney function, it can kill intestinal worms if combined with a “teaspoonful of olive oil for 3- days.”
It may also surprise you to learn that coconut water is often used as a substitute for plasma in emergency transfusions in many poor 3rd world countries, and has proven successful in killing pathogens such as the Herpes virus and cytomegalovirus.
Meanwhile, coconut water is also used to reduce vomiting in patients suffering from typhoid and malaria. Externally, coconut water has been found to soothe the skin from sunburns and boils.
Although generally considered to be safe for adult consumption, some health officials warn that since it may lower blood pressure either on its own or by increasing the effects of medications used to lower blood pressure). As a result, it is important to consult with your physician before using it, particularly if you are to undergo any type of surgery.
Meanwhile, other health issues that may arise from drinking too much coconut water include a possible spike in blood sugar levels which could (in turn) reduce the production of insulin by the pancreas. Thus diabetics, especially, need to think twice before drinking it. In fact, according to the USDA.gov website, “1000gram serving of coconut water contains 26.10 gram of sugar.”
At the same time, people need to monitor their daily intake of potassium, being sure not to consume more than 4.7 grams daily. While vital for building muscles and regulating the heart, too much potassium can lead to irregular heart rhythms and reduce kidney function, among other problems.
In addition, many physicians recommend that pregnant women, as well as nursing mothers, stay away from it as a precaution against any unknown side effects that might harm their babies.
Note: Unlike coconut milk, which is produced from a mixture of liquids found in the grated meat of mature fruit), coconut water is the clear liquid found inside immature (green) coconuts.