Coconut water has been a hot topic over the last few years... first it was labelled the healthiest drink of all time. Then it was slated, stating it was full of hidden calories and sugars. So what is the truth about coconut water? We were desperate to know some real facts so after a LOT of reading we have compiled some of the important stuff.
What actually is it? Coconut water is the juice found inside young green coconuts about 6- 7 months old, this juice helps nourish the fruit. As the fruit grows to full maturity, (around 10-12 months) some of the water turns in to the white meat found in mature coconuts and some remains in it's liquid form.
Fat- Coconut water is not the same as coconut milk, which is produced from adding water to grated coconut meat. Coconut milk is naturally high in fat whereas coconut water is virtually fat free (99%). With just 45 calories per cup, I'd say that's pretty good going?!
Hydration- Coconut water is great for hydrating the body, it's high potassium content will help maintain water pressure within blood and cells. And because of it's high electrolyte levels it makes the perfect drink to restore water levels after exercise. If you're suffering from an upset stomach it also looks like coconut water might be the sensible option, it's soothing and hydrating properties will get you back on track.
What else? Coconut water is very low in Cholesterol. It is a good source of Vitamin C, Riboflavin and Calcium, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Magnesium, Potassium and Manganese. These minerals work together having an alkalising effect to bring your bodies pH Levels down.
Sugars- In a 100g serving you would expect to find around 2.6 grams of sugar... but hold on. This is natural sugar. So what's the difference between natural sugars and refined sugar? Natural sugar, found in fresh fruit also comes packed with nutrients, making it easier for our bodies to process as the combination slows down the absorption of fructose. With this in mind make sure you're buying the freshest of coconut water that has no added sugar. There's no doubt about it, natural coconut water is miles better than sugary sports drinks...
But how much? Like most things coconut water should be consumed in moderation, people quickly jumped on the coconut water craze and started replacing normal water with coconut water. This is not recommended! If you were to drink 8 glasses of coconut water a day, the sugar content would soon add up. Coconut water is not an alternative to regular water! However, it is a great alternative for sugary sports drinks, perfect for before or after a workout and the go-to drink for when you're feeling dehydrated.
Coconut water has passed our test! We enjoyed some fresh over a rice terrace in Bali with our stainless steel straw.