The Benefits of Coconut Water

Image Credit: Phú Thịnh Co / Flickr

Is coconut water good for you?

 

Coconut water is praised for various benefits, but what does the science say? 

 

What Is Coconut Water?

Coconut water is the fluid inside coconuts— which, interestingly, is so close in composition to human plasma that in an emergency, you can use coconut water intravenously.

 

What Is Coconut Water Good For?

Coconut water has been found to help in cases of mild dehydration, due to childhood diarrhea

 

Is Coconut Water Beneficial For Exercise Performance?

Vita Coco just settled a $10 million class action lawsuit for claiming its coconut water was “super-hydrating” “nutrient-packed” “mega-electrolyte” “super-water,” yet independent testing showed that the actual electrolyte levels were a small fraction of what the label advertised. Earlier this year a study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition compared coconut water to a manufactured sports drink and found no difference between the two in terms of hydration or exercise performance, and in fact those drinking the coconut water reported feeling more bloated and experienced greater stomach upset–and the study was funded by the Vita Coco!

 

Who Shouldn’t Drink Coconut Water?

Coconut water has so much potassium that people with kidney disease can run into “life-threatening hyperkalemia” (too much potassium in the blood) if they drink like two quarts of coconut water and don’t have normal kidney function.

 

Check out my video Coconut Water for Athletic Performance vs. Sports Drinks.

 

Discuss

Michael Greger M.D., FACLM

Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial.


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