Friday, September 05, 2014

COCONUT WATER - Articles by a Naturopathic Doctor ( N.D.)

Get hydrated by drinking coconut water...

Green coconuts are sold by street vendors all over the world. They take a knife or machete, cut off the top and stick a straw into the freshly opened coconut and serve it like a soda! Coconut water is Mother Nature’s perfect drink and there’s nothing more refreshing than a nice cold, freshly cracked-open green coconut. Try one next time you’re on vacation!

What is Coconut Water?

Coconut water is the clear liquid found inside immature coconuts. Coconuts start off green in colour and eventually turn brown as they mature. As the coconut matures, the coconut water declines and is replaced by coconut meat, which is the tasty white pulp found in brown coconuts. An immature coconut can contain about 500-1000ml of water and is often called green coconut water because of the green colour of the immature coconut. Coconut water is different from coconut milk, because coconut milk is produced from the emulsion of the grated meat of a mature coconut. 

What is Coconut Water used for?

Coconut water is used to rehydrate the body, especially after exercise. Coconut water is comparable to sports drinks because it naturally contains carbohydrates and electrolytes. It is a source of potassium, sodium, chloride, magnesium and glucose, which are all very important to take after physical exertion. Coconut water can be used to rehydrate after mild illness and diarrhea too. However it can not be used as a rehydration formula for severe dehydration because there is too much variability in the electrolyte levels in coconut water, which fluctuates as the coconut matures. 
Mother Nature's perfect drink!
How does Coconut Water work?

When we physically exert ourselves, the energy it takes to move our bodies around produces heat. We then start to sweat because our body is trying to cool down and prevent overheating. We sweat even more when we physically exert ourselves in a hot environment, like working outside in the sun or taking a hot yoga class. Sweat is made up of mostly water and small amounts of electrolytes, which become very important to replace if you are sweating a great deal. The maximum sweat produced by an adult is 10-14 liters per day and if you are sweating this much, replacing fluids and electrolytes become the difference between life and death. In extreme situations, immediate medical attention is warranted. However, if you are heading to a hot yoga class and you know you’ll have sweat dripping on the floor, rehydrating afterwards with cold coconut water will bring back your energy and you’ll feel great! Since coconut water is a good source of electrolytes, it will rehydrate you and the glucose will replace the stores you lost through exercise. Rehydrating is absolutely a must if you want your body to perform physical tasks at a high performance level. 

How do you use it?

Coconut water is often available in cans, tetra packs and sometimes you will even find immature, green coconuts in the grocery store. You can simply drink the coconut water as is, especially if you like the taste of coconuts. It has a mild coconut flavour and is very refreshing cold. You can use it as a low calorie option in smoothies in place of nut milks. You can also use it in your post workout drinks because you can mix glutamine or branched chain amino acids in it for a rehydration, muscle repair drink.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Seriously Coconut water is the best hydration after a hot and sweaty yoga class. I'm the first to the fridge after class at Hot Yoga Uppsala :)