Coconut water comes from the inside of a fresh coconut, and is often included in tropical drinks and desserts. It contains several important health benefits that can be essential for good health and optimal growth. Here are four nutritional considerations of coconut water that are important for you to know.
1. Replacement Properties
Coconut milk contains high amounts of magnesium and potassium, which are two of the minerals often lost by individuals during periods of high intensity exercise and rapid fluid loss. Magnesium and potassium are not only important in the proper functioning of muscles during exercise, but are also essential for cardiovascular health. Without adequate amounts of these minerals, the heart would have a difficult time pumping properly, which can lead to the development of left ventricular hypertrophy, and possibly death. This is why most athletes are concerned with replacing lost electrolytes after exercise.
2. Weight Loss Properties
While coconut water cannot claim the same properties as regular water when it comes to weight loss, it is still a great alternative to other drinks. Coconut water is low in calories and fat, while still containing high amounts of vitamins and minerals that are important for good health. One eight ounce cup of coconut water contains 46 calories, and 4 fat grams. Compare that to a eight ounce cup of soda, which may contain more than 100 calories, nearly half of which may come from fat. For best weight loss results, prepare your own coconut milk. While it can sometimes be easier simply to look for a prepacked product, coconut milk that has been drained from an actual coconut will be free from salt, preservatives and other additives that can derail you from your weight loss goal.
3. Muscle Building Properties
Another great nutritional consideration of coconut water involves its amino acid content. Amino acids are the building blocks of muscle, and are therefore essential in the development and maintenance of muscle stores throughout the body. There are a total of 16 known amino acids, and in order for muscles to grow, all 16 must be present in the body. While meats and dairy are often touted as being high in amino acids, they don’t always contain all of the necessary ones. Coconut water does contain all amino acids, making it great for individuals who are interested in increasing or maintaining muscle mass stores.
4. Treatment of High Cholesterol Levels
A final great nutritional consideration of coconut water is its ability to control or even treat high cholesterol levels. High cholesterol is very dangerous as it can lead to the development of cardiovascular disease, stroke or even death. If you are currently diagnosed with high cholesterol, consult with your doctor before beginning to use coconut water. It may interfere with the effects of some of your prescription medication.