- The benefits of coconut water include its potential to support heart health since it contains potassium and there is some evidence that it can lower blood pressure.
- It may also help prevent kidney stones by increasing the levels of citrate and potassium in your urine.
- Coconut water is also a great hangover remedy since it is hydrating and rich in electrolytes.
- This article was medically reviewed by Samantha Cassetty, MS, RD, nutrition and wellness expert with a private practice based in New York City.
- Visit Insider’s Health Reference library for more advice.
Coconut water is popular as a tasty drink, but it has lots of surprising health benefits, too. The trendy beverage is packed with vitamins and minerals that can help with everything from boosting heart health to bouncing back from a hangover.
Here are four research-backed health benefits of coconut water.
What is coconut water?
Coconut water is a clear liquid that comes from the inside of young, green coconuts. This water nourishes the fruit and eventually gets absorbed into the meat of the coconut as it matures.
Though coconut water is essentially fruit sugars and water, it has about half as much sugar as other fruit juices, which may make it a healthier option. An 8-ounce glass of unsweetened coconut water has 44 calories and contains:
- Carbohydrates: 10 grams
- Fiber: 0 grams
- Sugar: 10 grams
- Protein: 0.5 grams
- Potassium: 9% of your recommended daily intake (RDI)
- Manganese: 23% of RDI
- Magnesium: 4% of RDI
- Sodium: 3% of RDI
- Vitamin C: 27% of RDI
- Calcium: 1% of RDI
- Iron: 0% of RDI
Benefits of coconut water
Because coconut water is rich in so many vital nutrients, it can hydrate you, boost your heart health, and help prevent kidney stones.
1. Coconut water may support heart health
Though more research is needed, coconut water may help control blood pressure, a key indicator of your heart health. In a small 2005 study, people who drank 1.3 cups of coconut water twice a day for 10 days saw significant reductions in their blood pressure when compared to people who drank bottled water.
This may be because coconut water contains potassium, a vital nutrient for heart health. If your diet is low in potassium, adding more through foods or drinks like coconut water can help lower your risk of
and high blood pressure.
2. Coconut water provides excellent post-workout hydration
When you sweat during a workout, you don’t only lose water, but also electrolyte salts like sodium, potassium, and magnesium. “Coconut water helps to replenish electrolytes lost after a sweaty workout session,” says Tracy Lockwood Beckerman, a registered dietitian in private practice in New York City.
Your body needs electrolytes to help keep the crucial balance between water and salts in your body. In addition, coconut water has a high water content – it’s about 95% water – which makes it great for hydration.
3. Coconut water may help prevent kidney stones
Kidney stones form when minerals like calcium and oxalate clump together and crystalize inside your kidneys. Coconut water may help prevent kidney stones by increasing the levels of citrate and potassium in your urine. These compounds help prevent calcium from building up in your kidneys and forming stones.
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A small 2018 study found that people who drank two liters of coconut water per day saw significant increases in the levels of citrate and potassium in their urine. More research is needed to see if drinking smaller amounts of coconut water can have a similar effect.
4. Coconut water can help relieve a hangover
A night of drinking can leave you dehydrated and feeling the painful effects of a hangover, but “coconut water could be a potential hangover remedy,” Beckerman says.
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This is because alcohol is a diuretic, meaning that it speeds up your kidney’s processing and makes you lose water and electrolytes through your urine. Because coconut water is rich in both water and electrolytes, it is an ideal rehydration remedy.
Some turn to sports drinks for hangover relief, but the lower sugar content of coconut water may be a better alternative. Alcohol irritates the lining of your stomach and intestines, making you feel nauseous, and too much sugar can worsen nausea.
Coconut water offers health benefits throughout your body and provides important vitamins and minerals. But despite its advantages, it may still be too sweet for people looking to cut down on sugar.
“To make it less sugar-heavy, dilute it with water or sparkling water so you are able to get a touch of sweetness without the sugar overload,” Beckerman says. You can also choose unsweetened coconut water.
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