3 Reasons Why Going Coconuts for Coconut Water Can Help You
Hop aboard our mighty little sailing craft today and join us for a three-hour tour, a three-hour tour…er, rather, a three-point tour of an incredibly satisfying source of hydration. Yep, I’m talking coconut water!
Let’s push off on our little jaunt…
- Whole Body Rejuvenation
In Ayurvedic medicine, young coconuts are treasured. These tender coconuts (called “baal”) are at a young stage where the husk is 90-95% water. This form of coconut water is the most healing and is considered excellent for cooling down a person’s core temperature. In addition to calming the symptoms of overheating, baal water has been documented to remove inflammation. It also unclogs many body ‘channels’ (also called srotas) — such as saliva ducts. As if that isn’t enough, it repairs the gastrointestinal tract and is said to remove toxins. Oh, by the way, did I mention it tastes awesome!?
Coconut water has cytokinins, which are touted for their anti-aging influence on our tissues and cells; cytokinins are being studied for their suppression of degenerative and age-related diseases.
In one study2, all subjects were fed a high-fructose diet11 and then half were assigned to drink coconut water. Compared to those who did not drink coconut water, the coconut drinkers demonstrated a decrease in free radical activity and blood pressure, their triglycerides stabilized, their kidney issues12 abated, and insulin13 levels improved. Not bad for a tasty refreshment, eh?
- Nature’s Perfect Mineral Drink: Rich in Electrolytes
With its high levels of potassium, copper, and magnesium, it’s no wonder that some call coconut water “nature’s perfect electrolyte”. And, when you think about where coconut palms grow (desolate and dry climates), it just makes sense; the very environment that forces the coconut fruit to adapt and survive in dry, windy heat is almost perfect for humans when it’s hot and dry! Nature is pretty smart sometimes, eh!?
A 2007 study shows coconut water enhanced with sodium is just as good as commercial drinks used for post-exercise14 rehydration (cough- Gatorade®), and it has “better fluid tolerance”. This means that the athletes in the study absorbed its nutrients, rather than, well, just peeing it out. Its sugars were better tolerated, too.
A separate study focusing on clinical hydration reported that coconut water caused less nausea15, fullness, and stomach16 upset and was easier to consume in large amounts during the clinical rehydration than its commercial rehydration counterpart.
Reported Health Benefit Claims of Coconut:
Promotes weight loss 
|Lowers blood sugar|
Strengthens muscles 
|Prevents Alzheimer's disease|
|Improves immune system||Prevents Parkinson's disease|
Prevents some forms of cancer 
- Good for the Blood and Lowers High Blood Pressure
Let’s get back to the blood: one of the biggest coconut water benefits is that it can regulate high blood pressure. This is because it’s full of absorbable magnesium17, potassium and vitamin C. In particular, potassium negates the negative impact of poor sodium in the diet.
Oh, by the way …
Have you ever seen that old Gilligan’s Island episode where the Professor gives coconut water IVs to his shipwrecked friends? Would you believe that episode is based on real life?
There’s a wise tale in some circles that coconut water and blood plasma are identical. Well, that is, of course, not true. Coconut water is not literally identical to our plasma or blood. But the mythology of its great hydration and cleansing properties likely got blown up a bit by the following anecdotes in the health world.
In 1942, Dr. Pradera, living and practicing in Havana, injected filtered water into the veins of 12 children without issue or reaction. And later in WWII, British medics in Japan and the Indian subcontinent used coconut water in lieu of standard IV fluids, which is very different than blood plasma. In 1954, 3 doctors “combined research concerning the administration of intravenous coconut water to 157 patients in Thailand, USA, and Honduras. Out of these, eleven had adverse reactions like fever, itchiness, headache, and tingling in the hands. As well, an unknown number of patients had aching sensations along the veins where the coconut water was injected. These were thought to be caused by the high potassium levels.”
So, yes, while coconut water has been used as to replace intravenous fluids under dire emergency circumstances, it is in no way ideal. It is not a substitute for plasma as it has the opposite composition – our blood plasma has high sodium and low potassium. Coconut water is, in fact, much closer to the liquid inside your cells than the plasma outside them!
The important point here – and we can skip the science – is to promote them for their nutritional cleansing properties and high ability to hydrate and cool an inflamed body.
So, now if you hear someone talking about such a thing (or if you pull up the old Gilligan’s Island episode on Youtube), you’ll know the truth behind it.
Old wise tale or not, the real health benefits of coconut water are beyond dispute, so go enjoy some today!
HERE’S WHERE YOU CAN HELP…
For two years, I’ve scoured the Internet seeking sources that can back up the health and benefit claims of fruits, vegetables, and supplements (sometimes called “boost”).
In the chart below are the health claims I and others have discovered about coconuts. Where you see a footnote, you’ll find a link to the source. If there is not a footnote, then that means that the specific health claim is made, but neither I nor anyone I know has been able to locate sources of research or a credible anecdote to back up the claim.
If you are aware of a direct source of research or anecdotes to back up the claims, please post them in the comments. I’ll check them out and if they meet our standards, I’ll make sure that they’re included in the next edition of the blog and give you a shout out!