Coconut milk is a sweet liquid that can be extracted from grated mature coconut meat that is sometimes mixed with a little hot water then squeezed using cheesecloth. The milky white liquid eventually separates, with oil and liquid settling in the bottom and coconut cream on top. Coconut milk is used more for cooking than as a drink, although it can be used as a substitute for milk for some beverage concoctions. Unless you are familiar with the actual coconut and have seen it up close once it is cracked open, you probably have the mistaken notion that the fresh liquid derived from it is called “coconut milk.” It is actually coconut juice or more appropriately, coconut water.
Natural Energy Booster
Coconut is known as the “tree of life,” because practically all of its parts are useful. The edible part contains health properties that are rarely present in the same amounts in other natural foods. Coconut water, considered as nature’s energy drink, is fat and cholesterol free. It is loaded with minerals like potassium, which is necessary for good functioning of muscles and nerves, and magnesium, which is a cofactor in many enzymatic reactions in the body.
Coconut water is a natural energy booster, which is why drinking it is great before workouts. It contains organic compounds that promote growth and keep the body healthy. Coconut water is also a natural isotonic drink, able to rehydrate the body after an intensive physical activity, because it has the same electrolytic balance as the blood. It must be consumed fresh to retain its organoleptic and nutritional characteristics; otherwise, it will undergo fermentation.
Coconut water is full of natural sugars and salts that can fight fatigue; hence, it can be used as a natural energy drink. It contains more potassium and less salt than most energy and sports drinks. Its natural sugar content is a low 5 mg, as opposed to the 10 to 25 mg from sports drinks. It is high in chloride (118 mg) compared to sports and energy drinks that only have 39 mg.
Other Health Benefits
Consuming coconut water after a workout refreshes you because it keeps the body cool and at the right temperature. Sports or energy drinks do not contain a lot of nutrients. Coconut water, on the other hand, not only contains many nutrients, but it also quickly transports these nutrients along with oxygen to your cells.
Coconut water also acts as a natural diuretic. It can effectively flush away toxins, fight viruses and cleanse the digestive tract. It also treats kidney and urethral stones, and boosts poor circulation. Drinking coconut water can increase your metabolism, thus helps you lose weight. It is safe to drink even straight from a freshly opened fruit, because water that permeates through it is filtered by the husk.
Coconut water also contains lauric acid–the only other source of which is breast milk. Lauric acid is converted to monolaurin, which has antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties.