Archive for the tag - coconut

Is Coconut Water Good For You?

I'd like to drink his coconuts...

Not ten minutes ago, I found a young coconut – popped a knife into it, and filled up a glass of fresh coconut water. Of course, you need not travel to Hawaii to get coconut water; it has become increasingly popular (many people swear by it) and coconut water can be found in many grocery stores including Whole Foods.

But all the hype begs the question: Is coconut water actually good for you?

First things first, coconut water isn’t coconut milk. Coconut water is found in unripe coconuts. As the coconut ripens, the milk becomes part of the coconut’s meat. Coconut milk is processed from this high-fat, high-calorie meat – and so it’s quite different in terms of both flavor and nutritional content.

Coconut milk is high in flavor, but also low in calories and sugars.

Many nutritionists consider coconut water to be nature’s sports drink – and a great alternative to beverages like Gatorade or Powerade. Like traditional sports drinks, coconut water contains water, carbohydrates and electrolytes. But unlike sports drinks, it contains none of the added artificial flavors, refined sugars or coloring. In other words, coconut water is a step up from sports drinks – though, keep in mind, sports drinks are really only needed during prolonged exercise.

Coconut water is also high in potassium. In fact, coconut water has more potassium than a banana! And, as such, many of the health benefits often associated with coconut water (i.e., muscle performance, heart health, kidney cleansing, etc.) are really just a result of the high potassium content. But potassium can be found in lots of fruits and veggies – and often with more fiber than coconut water.

Bottom line: There’s nothing magic about coconut water; it’s simply a delicious, low-calorie alternative that can be part of a healthy diet when consumed in moderation. It’s great to drink after a hard workout (and definitely a huge upgrade from sugar drinks like soda) – but, at the end of the day, nothing beats good, old-fashioned water.