Coconut water is the clear liquid in a coconut and has been a popular drink in the tropical region such as Brazil, Southeast Asia,the Caribbean, India and Africa.
It can be served fresh, tinned, canned, chilled or packaged. Recently, coconut water has been marketed as an energy or sports drink because of its high potassium and mineral content. It also contains low fat level, carbohydrates, and calories.
Coconut water remains absolutely sterile unless the coconut has been damaged. Coconut water occurs naturally and is very rich in chloride, potassium, sodium and carbohydrate hence regarded as a hydrating beverage in the world. Clinically, this naturally occurring water can be used as an oral rehydration to replace loss fluid during vomiting and diarrhoea from gastrointestinal tract in patients.
Coconut water can also be used as an intravenous hydration fluid when medical saline is not obtainable and this has been used with success. It contains antioxidant properties which aid in neutralizing reactive oxygen species due to exercises (Kalman et. al 2012).
Many people prefer natural alternatives to manufactured sport drinks because sport drinks contain fructose, electrolytes, maltodextrin, artificial flavours and sweeteners which can be detrimental to health.
Even though water tends to be the solution for some individuals however, sports men and women involved in longer duration exercise and sports bouts often require electrolytes and carbohydrate for replenishment of loss strength and nutrients hence these individuals are highly recommended coconut water.
Coconut water is low in fat hence is recommended for weight conscious individuals as one can drink as much as one wants without fear of weight gain and excessive foods cravings. It aids in digestion due to its hydrating properties. It is very low in sugar hence can help to prevent diabetes if one drinks it.
The anti-fungal and antiviral components of coconut water helps prevent diseases and illnesses such as flu, herpes and viruses. This natural water helps to revitalise cells and promote good body metabolism due to the potassium and sodium constituents.
Kalman, D.S, Feldman, S., Krieger, D. R. and Bloomer R. J. (2012) Comparison of coconut Water and a Carbohydrate-electrolyte Sport Drink on Measures of Hydration and Physical Performance in Exercise-trained Men, Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition9:1 p2.