Just like lemon water, coconut water is another liquid darling that is labelled as a “super hydrating”, “nutrient-packed” drink. Thanks to its exotic appeal and alleged benefits, coconut water has been heralded as being even better than water. But is coconut water all that is cracked up to be? How is coconut water good for you, and should you be drinking it instead of water?
Before we attempt to answer these questions, a distinction is in order – coconut water is not the same as coconut milk. Coconut water is tapped from green coconuts, and it’s a translucent liquid with a sweet, nutty taste. Because coconut water is high in potassium, but has less sodium and fewer calories than sports drinks, it’s often referred to as “Mother Nature’s sports drink.”
Why is coconut water good?
Coconut water’s high potassium level is one of the many benefits associated with it. Potassium is a mineral essential for the health of the heart, muscles, nerves and brains. Although you can get potassium from many other sources (e.g. bananas), compared to sports drinks coconut water contains lower levers of sodium.
Another advantage of coconut water is that it doesn’t contain added sugar or fat, thus, it has a low calorie count. It is also preferred by athletes as it replaces lost electrolytes following an intensive training session.
Disadvantages of coconut water
While coconut water does have several advantages and it certainly isn’t bad for you, it’s not the wonder drink everyone praises.
Compared to plain water, coconut water contains calories, which can add up over the course of an entire day. Some commercially sold coconut waters also contain added sugars and artificial flavours. Healthier options like the 100% raw and pure coconut water without added sugar come at a hefty price.
The bottom line: While it’s healthy and good for you, there are cheaper ways to draw the same benefits you would get from drinking coconut water. If you need to up your potassium levels, consuming fruits like bananas, raisins, prunes, etc. can help, and you can also benefit from the high-fibre content of these fruits.
Cheap alternative to coconut water
Detox waters are a cheaper alternative to coconut water. These are fruit and herb infused waters that can have the same health benefits as coconut water, and come with the added advantage of being cheaper and more varied in the sense that you can customize your detox waters and add the fruits and herbs you like best. Add filtered water to the combo, and you’ve hacked the coconut water craze.