Ever noticed how when you set out to get your h20 and down a few glasses of water, you end up having to run to the bathroom constantly? This is actually sign that perhaps your hydration game is off. So why is coconut water any different? Well, one major reason comes down to its electrolyte content. Here's what that means and why we love the stuff, along with a few other ways to make your water work for you!
Coconut water is the liquid part of the coconut (obvious, we know!) but it's specifically found inside young, green coconuts. It's distinct from coconut milk, which is made by blending coconut meat with water, and it’s known for its naturally sweet and mild flavour, with a slightly nutty taste, and has gained popularity as a healthful beverage and is often consumed for its refreshing taste and nutrition profile – you can even add it to your morning smoothie! Here's why coconut water is known as “Nature’s Sport Drink”:
High Water Content and Natural Electrolytes
Coconut water is composed of about 94% water, helping to maintain fluid balance in the body, which is crucial for overall health and proper bodily functions. Now for the part that sets coconut water apart from your regular tap water - the electrolytes. Electrolytes are minerals that carry an electrical charge and play a vital role in maintaining fluid balance, nerve function, and muscle contractions. Coconut water contains essential electrolytes such as potassium, sodium, magnesium, and calcium. These electrolytes are crucial for regulating hydration levels, especially during periods of sweating or exercise. Coconut water is notably rich in potassium, which is a key electrolyte that helps maintain fluid balance and supports proper muscle and nerve function. Adequate potassium intake can help counteract the effects of sodium and help regulate blood pressure.
Low in Sugar
Coconut water is relatively low in natural sugars compared to commercial sports drinks that are packed with added sugars. This can be beneficial for those seeking hydration without excessive sugar intake, which can lead to energy spikes and crashes. Unlike artificial sports drinks, coconut water is a natural source of hydration. It doesn't contain artificial colours, flavours or additives, making it a more wholesome option for staying hydrated.
In addition to electrolytes, coconut water contains micronutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin B-complex, and amino acids. These nutrients play a role in overall health and can contribute to a well-balanced diet that supports hydration. The electrolytes and nutrients in coconut water have high bioavailability, meaning they are easily absorbed and utilised by the body. This makes coconut water an efficient choice for replenishing lost fluids and nutrients.
It's important to note that while coconut water can be a natural and effective way to stay hydrated, it shouldn't replace plain water in your daily fluid intake. Additionally, individual hydration needs vary based on factors like climate, activity level, and overall health. As with any dietary change, moderation is key, as excessive consumption of coconut water might lead to excessive calorie or potassium intake.
While water will do a good job of hydrating us as it is, if you feel you need an extra hit – and would rather not end up having to pee constantly! – along with coconut water, there are a number of useful techniques to jumpstart your hydration.
- Add a pinch of salt: Adding a small pinch of salt to your water can help replenish electrolytes lost through sweat. Sodium, an essential electrolyte, can aid in fluid retention and balance. However, avoid excessive salt intake, as too much sodium can have the opposite effect.
- Incorporate citrus: Squeezing fresh lemon, lime, or orange juice into your water not only adds flavour but also provides a boost of vitamin C and electrolytes. Citrus fruits contain potassium and antioxidants that can support hydration.
- Infuse with fresh herbs and Fruits: Adding fresh herbs like mint, basil, or rosemary, along with slices of fruits like cucumber, strawberries, or watermelon, can jazz up your hydration routine.
- Consume water-rich foods: Foods with high water content, such as watermelon, cucumbers, celery, and oranges, can contribute to your overall hydration. These foods not only hydrate but also provide essential nutrients.
- Stay consistent: Consistently drinking water throughout the day is key to maintaining hydration. Aim to sip water regularly rather than trying to consume a large amount all at once.
- Monitor urine colour: Pay attention to the colour of your urine. Pale yellow or straw-coloured urine generally indicates proper hydration, while darker urine may signal that you need to drink more fluids.
- Drink before and after physical activity: Drinking water before and after exercise or other physical activities helps replace fluids lost through sweating. This is particularly important when engaging in intense or prolonged activities.
- Listen to your thirst: Your body has a natural thirst mechanism that signals when you need to drink water. Listen to your body's cues and drink when you feel thirsty.
- Avoid excessive caffeine and alcohol: While moderate amounts of caffeine and alcohol can be included in your diet, they have diuretic effects that may contribute to fluid loss. Make sure to balance their consumption with adequate water intake.
Try our favourite coconut water smoothie recipe – this one will wake you up in the morning and provide that long-lasting energy you need to get you past the 3 o’clock slump.
Coconut Banana Energiser Smoothie
- 1 ripe banana
- 1 cup coconut water
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (plain or vanilla)
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1/2 cup diced mango (fresh or frozen)
- Ice cubes (optional)
- Mint leaves, to garnish
- Peel and slice the ripe banana.
- In a blender, combine the sliced banana, coconut water, Greek yogurt, chia seeds.
- Add the diced mango to the blender as well.
- If you prefer a colder smoothie, you can add a handful of ice cubes to the blender.
- Blend on high speed until all the ingredients are well combined and the smoothie is smooth and creamy.
- Once the smoothie is blended to your liking, pour it into a glass.
- If desired, garnish with a few mint leaves.
- Enjoy your Coconut Banana Energiser Smoothie as a revitalising morning pick-me-up or a post-workout refuel!
Need a little help healing your gut? That’s what we’re here for. Our ALL NEW 21-Day Gut Rebalance Program kicks off soon with delicious, nourishing recipes and exclusive expert content to support you on your way to better health. Whether it's constipation, bloating or even stress that's got you down, it could be your gut warning you that you're missing out on the gut-nourishing foods that help us thrive. We'll show you the ins and outs of healing, from the benefits of probiotics and prebiotics to the inflammation-busting foods you should be eating. Take a look at some of the exciting new recipes on the program:
- Pork Kimchi Dumplings
- Homemade Sourdough Bread
- Miso-Baked Salmon
- Tempeh Satay
- Chinese Beef + Broccoli
- Chocolate Chia Smoothie Bowl
And that's not even scratching the surface! We're selling out fast so don't wait, sign up now!