I've been doing a lot of traveling lately and I always like to pack a delicious, healthy bag of goodies to replete nutrients and stay hydrated. One of my favorite drinks to bring is coconut water. If I can't get fresh coconuts, my favorite bottled coconut water is Harmless Harvest. Not only do they use organic young coconuts, they are also dedicated to sustainability and practice traditional Thai agroforestry methods. Harmless uses a Micro-Filtration process method that preserves nutrients while maintaining the amazing flavor- no preservatives or additives needed! The result is a beautiful pink drink, as some of the antioxidants in the coconut water change color in response to light. I really like their new 32oz bottle - buying a bigger bottle saves plastic and allows you to have various servings that can last you a few days. Each bottle has 4 servings.
5 BENEFITS OF COCONUT WATER
1. Hydration. Coconut water has several essential electrolytes - potassium, sodium, magnesium, and calcium - that help maintain fluid homeostasis in the body (1). It keeps you hydrated, especially when exercising, traveling or when you're sick. One study found coconut water actually replenishes body fluids better than water and just as well as electrolyte sports drinks (2). Compared to sports drinks, coconut water is lower in sugar and sodium, contains no additives and has more potassium and manganese. Coconut water was actually used in IVs during World War II by the British and Japanese because of it's similar composition to human plasma (3).
2. Super nutritious. Coconut water not only has electrolytes, it's also rich in Vitamin C and antioxidants which can prevent damage from free radicals and may protect against cancer, liver damage, and diabetes (4, 5, 6, 7)
3. Heart Healthy. A few studies found cardio-protective benefits of coconut water; it may reduce blood levels of triglycerides, cholesterol, and liver fat (8, 9, 10). There was also a study done in the West Indian Journal of Medicine that found coconut water and mauby, another tropical fruit drink, significantly improved blood pressure readings (11).
4. Mitochondrial Activity. One study on rats showed tender coconut water may actually increase ATP production and improve mitochondrial function (12). We need more studies in humans, but this preliminary research suggests it may be helpful for increasing energy levels and regulating metabolism.
5. Natural Antibiotics. One study looked at 3 peptides extracted from coconut water with antimicrobial effects. The research suggests potential for naturally derived antibiotics (13).
While we still need more research on coconut water, there is a lot of evidence showing numerous health benefits. So the next time you're looking for a drink to hydrate and restore balance, go for coconut water!