Coconut Water : A New Way to Hydrate
Have you been to a grocery store, health foods store or supplement shop recently? If the answer is “yes” then it is inevitable that you have seen shelves lined with an assortment of different brands of coconut water.
The recent pursuit for better ways to hydrate by fitness junkies and health conscious individuals alike, has given coconut water a boost into the mainstream over the past 5 years. Coconut water has achieved its large following mainly due to its many health benefits. Coconut water is low in calories and sugar, is naturally fat and cholesterol free and contains more potassium than four whole bananas.
It is important not to confuse coconut water with high-fat coconut milk. Coconut milk is produced by grating the meat of a mature brown coconut, while coconut water is the clear liquid taken from the center of a young green coconut . This water packs a lot of nutritional advantages that you won’t find in any other beverages. One of the best benefits is its high potassium content. Potassium is a mineral vital for proper brain, kidney, heart and other organ function. The average adult needs about 4,700 mg of potassium a day. One serving of most coconut water brands will provide about 13% of your daily potassium needs. Another important mineral found in coconut water is magnesium. Individuals who don’t consume enough magnesium run the risk of experiencing low energy levels and have a higher risk of developing conditions like asthma, diabetes and osteoporosis. Luckily, a serving of coconut water can account for about 14% of your daily magnesium intake. Unlike tap or bottled water, coconut water does have some calories in it (usually around 40-60 calories per serving depending on the serving size). This low range of calories makes it a great replacement for any regular, sugary drink . Below are some nutritional labels from popular coconut water brands.
Searching for the best brand of coconut water may be overwhelming, so here are some helpful tips in choosing the healthiest kind of coconut water. Choose products that are labeled:
- 100% organic and come from young coconuts
- Not from concentrate
- Contain NO added sweeteners or “natural flavors”
- Not pasteurized with heat.
The best way to guarantee you are getting the most natural coconut water is to buy an actual young, green coconut and tap it yourself, but this isn’t always the most convenient option. When shopping for prepackaged coconut water, if you can’t find the nutritional information on the product itself or have further nutritional questions you can call the company or look up the product on the ewg.org website.
Most people today do not get enough vitamins and minerals in their diet. Drinking coconut water is a great, all-natural way to hydrate, reduce calorie intake and help fill in nutritional gaps many people have. Always read product labels to make sure you are getting the most nutritional product available and enjoy this deliciously hydrating drink.