Many people are drinking green coconut water primarily as a natural hydration and energy beverage. But the potential health benefits of drinking fresh young coconut water are much more than that.
In general, coconut water supports the immune system, provides essential electrolytes for hydration, has anti-viral properties, and helps support the body’s detoxification pathways.
While coconut milk is the fatty white liquid that is extracted from the mature fruit of the coconut, coconut water is the clear liquid of the young coconut that is 95% water.
The juice from the freshly opened shell of the green coconut is the most refreshing and nutritious.
However, once the shell is opened and exposed to air and warm temperatures, the coconut juice starts to ferment and loses some of its nutrients.
Thus, suffice it to say that drinking bottled coconut juice is not going to have the full benefits of fresh coconut juice. How the juice is extracted and bottled makes a big difference in how beneficial it is.
In fact, most of the medical or clinical studies done on the benefits of coconut juice have been with fresh coconut water, as opposed to bottled coconut water.
However, good quality bottled coconut water still offers many of the following benefits.
Coconut water has a slight acidic pH and contains many nutrients, including potassium, sodium, calcium, iron, copper, magnesium, phosphorous, glucose, and trace amounts of B vitamins and ascorbic acid.
The potassium and sodium content of green coconut water makes it especially effective for hydrating the body or replenishing electrolytes after exercising.
One of the many ways that coconut water can support the immune system is that it contains monolaurin, a monoglyceride that can kill viruses such as herpes, flu, and HIV, as well as other pathogenic bacteria.
A common saying in the Philippines is, “A coconut a day keeps the urologist away.” Coconut water is well known to help prevent and treat a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI).
The reason for this is because coconut water is a mild, natural diuretic and will keep urine flowing freely.
As always, consult your doctor if you think you might have a UTI, as you may still need an antibiotic or other treatment.
The high amount of potassium in the juice of green coconuts might be helpful in dissolving kidney stones.
Potassium helps to alkalinize the urine, which can keep the kidney walls free of solidified waste and help prevent kidney stones from forming.
Dr. Bruce Fife, author of "Coconut Cures: Preventing and Treating Common Health Problems with Coconut” states that coconut juice not only helps to prevent stones but also helps flush existing ones out.
In his book, Fife cites studies done in a Philippine hospital that showed kidney stone improvements with regular intake of coconut water.
Green coconut water is effective at settling upset stomachs and controlling vomiting. In the case of vomiting, the coconut water can also help replenish fluids and electrolytes.
Sipping on coconut water after a meal can help reduce acid reflux and/or heartburn for some people.
“Coconut Cures: Preventing and Treating Common Health Problems with Coconut”; Bruce Fife; 2005.
Further reading . . .