Nothing hits the spot like a cool, refreshing drink as we wait for the hot and humid days of summer to end. We also know it’s better to sip on something healthy rather than a sugary soda or iced tea. Thankfully, coconut water can satisfy our taste buds and provide some amazing benefits for our blood pressure, lower our risk of chronic disease, and improve our post-workout recovery!
This naturally sweet yet nutty tropical water only has about 60 calories per cup. It also contains 15 percent of the daily recommended value of potassium, which research has shown is a key mineral for lowering blood pressure. A study published in the West Indian Medical Journal found that regularly drinking coconut water for two weeks reduced participants’ blood pressure levels by 71 percent. Lowered blood pressure means you’ll slash the risk of having a stroke and heart disease in half. Talk about a huge perk for making it one of your go-to drinks!
Also, drinking coconut water might help protect against chronic diseases. Research published in the Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research noted that coconut water is rich in micronutrients, including inorganic ions and an amino acid called L-arginine, both of which strengthen the body’s antioxidant defense system. The study’s authors found this played a vital role in ridding the body of harmful radicals to avoid kidney stones, liver damage, and blood sugar spikes (what a relief!).
After breaking a sweat while going for a walk or run, sipping on coconut water is a great hydration option if you’re looking for an alternative to plain water. A study Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition suggested that it offers the same effects as traditional sports drinks because it’s a natural source of carbohydrates and electrolytes that could help you rehydrate after exercise. A one cup serving contains eight grams of sugar, so it’s much healthier than store bought sports drinks.
Plus, its potassium content can nix post-workout muscle aches and pains. “Whenever you get cramps in your muscles, potassium will help you to get rid of the cramps. It’s a healthy drink that replenishes the nutrients that your body has lost during a moderate workout,” Chhandashri Bhattacharya, PhD, said in a news release.
That should be plenty enough benefits to inspire you to stock up on coconut water! Thankfully, it’s available at grocery stores and online. Several flavored varieties like Vita Coco Pineapple Coconut Water (Buy at Walmart, $2.48) have a sweeter and fruitier twist. For the most health benefits, try an unsweetened version like Vita Coco Pressed Coconut Water (Buy at Walmart, $2.48).
Drink it on its own in a glass filled with ice or combine it with other ingredients to make delicious drinks like electrolyte salt water, a tropical green smoothie, or cucumber water. Whatever way you go, your body will thank you for making coconut water a mainstay in your diet!
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