10 Great Health Benefits of Coconut Water

For as long as we can remember, communities living in tropical areas swear by the benefits of coconut water, which is more beneficial if it comes… Denis Courtney - October 1, 2016

For as long as we can remember, communities living in tropical areas swear by the benefits of coconut water, which is more beneficial if it comes from young coconuts. These are the green ones and they contain close to 4 cups of coconut water depending on the coconut.

It is great because it is a refreshing natural drink that also contains not too many calories. Young coconuts are more nutritious than mature coconuts hence the coconut water of the tender ones also have more nutrients.

Being nutritious means that coconut water is full of great elements such as vitamins like vitamin C and B-complex vitamins. It is also full of minerals like potassium, calcium and magnesium. These are essential for solving many health problems that we face. Coconut water also has antioxidants and amino acids that prevent the development of harmful organisms in our bodies.

The nutrients help in boosting your immune system and help in maintaining overall good health. Coconut water also contains hormones known as cytokinins which are known for their anti-aging effects. Additionally, the hormones also exhibit anti-cancer and anti-thrombotic effects which are equally beneficial to your health.

The best way to take advantage of all the health benefits of coconut water is to take it as fresh as possible and from a young, tender coconut rather than from a more mature one. There are bottled versions of coconut water in the market and you may think that they are the same as the one straight from the nut. But, bottled coconut water contains many chemicals that are meant to preserve it. It is also high in sodium which is not good, especially for people who suffer from high blood pressure. Drinking one cup of coconut water a day can be beneficial or you can use it to make drinks like smoothies and other beverages. The following are ten benefits of coconut water.

1. Rehydrates the Body


Coconut water is a first-rate thirst quencher to beat that tropical summer thirst. Because of its electrolyte composition, the water is also used to rehydrate the body when dehydration and fluid loss occur as a result of diarrhea, excessive sweating or vomiting. These instances are more common than you might think and many people suffer from such digestive problems. Normally, good rehydration almost always solves such problems in many people. A good source of carbohydrates, it also helps lift your energy level.

Research suggests that the water can be used to rehydrate the body after exercise. In fact, a 2012 study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition revealed that coconut water has a similar positive effect as some sports drinks. Most would agree that switching energy drinks for some coconut water once in a while is much healthier than relying on such drinks for rehydration. You can try carrying a bottle of coconut water for the next gym visit and see firsthand how well it replenishes your body after physical activity.

In addition to boosting rehydration, coconut water is also easy on the stomach and thus it is used to soothe tummy troubles like indigestion, acid reflux and gastroenteritis. These problems are usually caused by increase in acidity and coconut water can be used to regain the balance that your body needs. For instance, you can try and take some coconut water when the heartburn kicks in. This is best achieved by taking small, frequent sips throughout the day. Other than helping with acid reflux and such problems, coconut water is meant to hydrate your body during the onset of such symptoms. Such digestion problems require your body to be rehydrated as much as possible in order for it to recover as soon as possible.

2. Lowers Blood Pressure


Coconut water is considered a great solution to managing high blood pressure due to its vitamin C, potassium and magnesium content. Potassium as a nutrient helps lower blood pressure by regulating the effects of sodium. Sometimes, high blood pressure medication is usually not enough or ideal for some when looking to lower blood pressure. As we all know, high blood pressure is easily caused by some lifestyle choices and it is beneficial to know that a change in the way you live drastically affects your health.

Therefore, taking care of yourself can enable you to control your blood pressure and you can start by taking some coconut water. Lifestyle changes can reduce or eliminate the need for blood pressure medication. This is because many people do not get how important it is to live a healthy life. A 2005 study in the West Indian Medical Journal also found that coconut water helps control hypertension. To help reduce high blood pressure, drink a cup of fresh coconut water around twice a day. Bottled coconut water may not be very beneficial as it is usually high in sodium.

Other than that, you can reduce blood pressure by making some changes such as losing weight and exercising regularly. Both of these solutions can be easily attained when you include coconut water in your lifestyle. Regular visits to the gym will require considerable rehydration of your body which coconut water can help you achieve. Similarly, coconut water intake is beneficial for healthy living and subsequent weight loss especially if you are not the ideal weight.

Also, you can prevent high blood pressure by taking coconut water. You should not wait to be diagnosed before doing something about it. Taking coconut water on the regular can save you a lot of stress in the future from high blood pressure.

3. Heart Tonic


According to a study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food in 2005, both tender and mature coconut water have beneficial effects on lipid metabolism to offset increased total cholesterol, very low-density lipoproteins (VLDL), LDL and triglycerides. Many communities, especially those that live in tropical areas attest to coconut water’s tonic properties. However, it is advisable to take coconut water from a tender coconut rather than that of a more mature one.

As mentioned above, coconut water is a great way of reducing high blood pressure. For this reason, normal blood pressure dictates a healthy heart that works as it should. Also, high blood pressure can cause bigger problems for your heart which can be easily avoided if noted in time. Thus, the reduction of blood pressure makes coconut water to act as a tonic for the heart.

Fat-free and cholesterol-free tender coconut water offers cardioprotective benefits. It helps lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL or the ‘bad’ cholesterol) and increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL or the ‘good’ cholesterol) levels, thus reducing the risk of heart disease. Usually, the levels of the ‘bad’ cholesterol in our bodies show that our health needs to improve by doing something about reducing this type of cholesterol. Thus, the ability of coconut water to keep the levels of the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ cholesterol enables us to maintain good heart health in the most natural way possible.

Plus, coconut water has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and helps improve circulation. Coconut water aids circulation since it rehydrates the body and ensures that your hydration levels are where they should be. Thus, it helps reduce plaque formation in the arteries and lowers the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Its antioxidant properties mean that it enables the body to fight free radicals that are responsible for diseases and complications such as cancer.

4. Relieves Hangovers

Young red hair woman on bed waking up with hangover and headache

Coconut water is also a great natural remedy for hangovers. Alcohol rids your body of hydration and this dehydration causes your morning blues after an alcohol-filled night. Coconut water replenishes the electrolytes that have been exhausted due to the high amount of alcohol in the body and boost hydration, thus making you feel better.

There are a lot of people who do not know how to replenish the body after a night of alcohol. It is more difficult for your body to recover if you have taken too much alcohol and thus is the cause of many complications related to too much alcohol consumption. The hangover results from your body’s attempt to go back to normal hence the feeling of dehydration and other similar symptoms. Taking coconut water after a night out or even during drinking can reduce the effects of the hangover and make you wake up feeling a lot better than you normally do.

Also, the antioxidants in this stimulating health drink fight oxidative stress caused by indulging in too much alcohol. It will also help settle an acidic stomach. Due to its acidic nature, alcohol can cause an imbalance in your body and increase problems such as high blood pressure, acid reflux, etc. Therefore, you can make sure that you do not suffer too much from these problems by opting to drink a glass of coconut water after heavy alcohol intake.

You can make a drink by blending 2 cups of unsweetened coconut water and some ripe mangoes, 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, 2 fresh mint sprigs and ice. This drink will not only rehydrate you but also quench that insatiable thirst that you have after taking alcohol. It is also easier on the taste buds and healthy enough for you to take every once in a while.

5. Promotes Weight Loss


Coconut water is an ideal drink for weight loss because it is low on calories and easy on the stomach. In fact, this refreshing drink contains various enzymes that aid digestion and boost fat metabolism. Great digestion enables you to lose unwanted weight and fast fat metabolism also ensures that you are healthy as possible and you are retaining only what you need.

Other than that, it is low on calories and thus its hydration properties enable the body to break down foods at a faster rate hence considerable weight loss. Many people do not know the importance of hydrating your body during your journey of weight loss as the body needs water to function as best as possible.

Plus, coconut water is rich in potassium, which helps balance out sodium. Excess sodium in the body tends to cause water retention, leading to water weight. Thus, coconut water helps flush out excess water as well as toxins from your body. Too much water also inhibits weight loss and coconut water ensures that the water levels in your body are where they should be.

Additionally, coconut water is great for cleansing which in turn greatly benefits weight loss. You can include it in your diet or you can go on fast with only coconut water, whichever works for you. This will help you lose a few extra pounds while still providing you with the energy to go about your daily activities. You can drink an 8-ounce glass of this health drink around 3 or 4 times a week to help with weight loss. Do not drink coconut water in excess as it may add more calories than you want. Remember that overdoing it will defeat the purpose. When taken as it should, you should see considerable weight loss after a few weeks.

6. Treats Headaches


Coconut water can be of great help in increasing electrolytes in the body and boosting hydration. This is because most headaches, even migraines, are brought about by dehydration. Headaches and migraines are a natural way for the body to let you know that something is wrong and if it is in fact dehydration, you must act on it as soon as possible.

When the headache kicks in, switch the painkillers for some coconut water and see if it does the trick. Coconut water will prevent you from developing a dependence on painkillers which in time will be ineffective. Coconut water can just be your go-to drink when you suffer from nasty headaches. One glass per day for 4 days in a week can help with persistent headaches. However, you can take a glass when a headache starts and you may just find yourself feeling normal after a while.

Other than dehydration, coconut water is rich in other important nutrients that may be depleted in your body hence the onset of headaches and migraines. It will also help in replenishing nutrients such as potassium and magnesium. Coconut water being rich in magnesium also helps people who suffer from migraines because they often have low levels of magnesium. Studies also suggest that magnesium can help reduce the incidence of migraine attacks. Magnesium is important also for reducing ailments that may come with symptoms such as headaches. Thus, coconut water prevents the body from developing a magnesium deficiency.

Also, coconut water also keeps the body generally healthy through the benefits mentioned above. For instance, an unhealthy system will be prone to health problems like headaches and migraines and as coconut water helps with other cases such as weight loss and being a heart tonic, it may be in fact helping out with headaches, etc.

7. Balances pH levels


Coconut water has an alkalizing effect that helps restore a healthy pH in the body. It also helps alkalize the acidic pH levels caused by acidity and heartburn. Toxic load, stress and a diet high in acid-forming foods, such as processed fast foods, often contribute to acidic pH levels that cause low energy and reduce the body’s ability to absorb vitamins and minerals. Therefore, a good pH balance enables your body to function as it should since the energy levels are where they should be and the body can absorb important nutrients with ease. Coconut water boosts energy levels and thus helps your body achieve the perfect pH balance.

Many problems that coconut water helps solve are usually associated with high acidic levels in the body. For instance, it is a great hangover cure because it balances the pH level of the body after alcohol has created an imbalance. Also, it is a great rehydration drink because it helps the imbalance that dehydration brings to your body.

Plus, an acidic pH contributes to problems like improper liver functioning, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, osteoporosis, high blood pressure and immune deficiency. This is why coconut water helps with high blood pressure and the other cases mentioned above. Regular intake of coconut water should help your restore your body to the right levels.

Sometimes, we are quick to go to the doctor and spend a lot of money even though there are natural remedies such as coconut water that can help with the situation at hand. Thus, other than normal medication you can ensure that your pH levels by taking coconut water from time to time. You can do so by taking a glass of fresh coconut water 3 to 4 times a week and you shall discover that your overall health is steadily improving.

8. Regulates blood sugar

Doctor making blood sugar test.

Coconut water contains dietary fiber and some amino acids that help regulate blood sugar and improve sensitivity to insulin. Also, it contains a property known as arginine which is known to relax blood vessels and improve the overall blood circulation of the body. A glass of coconut water contains a considerable amount of arginine. This is not as much as you would think but it is sufficient in regulating your blood sugar when you drink a few glasses every week.

It also helps with common issues faced by people who have diabetes. This is more common than we would like to think and coconut water can help a lot of people. It helps manage your weight. As it helps improve circulation, coconut water is also good for reducing symptoms like numbness in feet and a tendency to develop atherosclerosis. Additionally, its rehydration properties also help in ensuring that your blood sugar levels are as healthy as possible.

Also, coconut water stops a process known as glycation. This is bonding of a protein or molecule with a sugar molecule with the action of an enzyme. It is dangerous to blood sugar levels because it impairs the performance of biomolecules in your system. High blood sugar levels cause this process which is harmful to your body.

A study published in the journal Food and Function in 2012 studied the effects of mature coconut water and found that it helped decrease blood glucose levels and also oxidative stress. It also contains vitamin B9 which has been known to reduce anemia during pregnancy. Therefore, regulating your blood sugar levels will be greatly beneficial by taking a glass of fresh coconut water. Preferably, this should be from a tender coconut rather than a more mature one. These however are perishable and should be stored under lower temperatures and not at room temperature like mature coconuts.

9. Natural diuretic


Coconut water acts as a natural diuretic. Thus, it promotes urine production and flow, detoxifying your body of harmful toxins. It also helps prevent problems like urinary tract infections. Cleansing and detoxing are the best way of cleaning your system and eliminating problems related to your urine. Urinary tract problems arise from the urine being too acidic from bacterial or viral infections. Therefore, coconut water’s ability to balance the pH levels also applies to your urine and thus promoting great urinary tract health. Due to its high potassium content, coconut water helps alkalize urine and dissolves types of kidney stones to flush them out of the body. Potassium is one of the best nutrients to treat and prevent kidney stones and it just so happens that coconut water is a rich source of this nutrient.

Many diets usually have a lot of sodium and not enough potassium. But, sodium is not good for the kidneys because it puts a lot of stress and lets your system retain a lot of fluids. High sodium in your system forces your kidneys to work harder to reduce and eliminate the water. On the other hand, potassium acts as a diuretic, helping the kidneys flush out water.

To increase its efficiency, add a pinch of salt to a glass of coconut water and drink it once or twice a day. In addition to its diuretic properties, coconut water has antibacterial properties that help fight bladder infections.

A single cup of coconut water can provide enough potassium to keep the kidneys in good health. Its diuretic effect is beneficial in preventing kidney stones. Coconut water has arginine that increases blood circulation to all organs including the kidneys. Blood circulation in the excretory system shows that your system is healthy and thus the reduction of problems of the urinary tract.

10. Slows down aging process


Coconut water contains cytokinins that have anti-aging effects on cells and tissues. This reduces the risk of developing degenerative and age-related diseases. All the important nutrients that coconut water comprises of help in your aging process. Cytokinins are phytohormones that are actually growth hormones. They can actively reduce or delay the effects of aging. A high level of cytokinins possibly extends your lifespan and ensures improved productivity according to studies. On the other hand, low cytokinin levels can possibly increase your rate of aging thus having the aging effects appear earlier than expected.

Coconut water is one of the best sources of cytokinins and according to scientists, taking coconut water on a regular can prevent diseases related to aging and the development of degenerative diseases. Cytokinins are also believed to have anti-cancer and anti-thrombotic properties. Kinetin is a type of cytokinin that is also known to have anti-aging effects as well as anti-cancer properties.

Refreshing and clear coconut water also nourishes and hydrates your skin to keep it soft and smooth. In addition to drinking coconut water, you can mix coconut water with 2 teaspoons of sandalwood powder to make a paste, apply it on your skin and rinse it off when it dries to maintain younger-looking skin. You might no longer need the many creams and lotions in search of perfect skin when using coconut water. Also, you can splash some coconut water for a refreshing look when you are on the go.

Also, people with skin infections can benefit from coconut water’s anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-microbial properties. This reduces the chances of getting skin infections and assists in the healing process of those that do have these infections. You can also add spices such as turmeric and sandalwood powder to create a great skin-healing paste.

Read Next: Health Benefits of Using Coconut Oil.