It’s the new year and many of us will, no doubt, and despite our best efforts, have put on a few extra pounds over the course of the festive season. But even if you have managed to keep those festive pounds at bay, you still might be looking to get healthier and lose some weight during the new year. And it seems that coconut water might be the answer to achieving your health and weight loss goals. Here’s why you might want to start drinking it in 2022.
What is coconut water?
Coconuts are a fruit that grows in tropical climates. It’s found in the center of young coconuts which are still green. It’s there to nourish the fruit in the long term and help it ripen.
It takes a surprisingly long time (10 to 12 months) for a coconut to ripen into the recognizable brown, hairy shell that contains the solid white flesh known as coconut meat. Once the coconut has matured, less water remains.
This is why the water comes from coconuts that are about 6–7 months of age and have yet to mature. On average, one green fruit provides between half a cup and a cup of coconut water.
It’s important to note that the water should not be confused with coconut milk which is much higher in both calories and fat. In contrast, coconut water is 94% water and is extremely low in fat.
It might help you shed those festive pounds
It is known to boost your metabolic rate, which will help your body to burn more calories more efficiently. Better metabolism is often linked with weight loss, as it means that the body is able to use all the calories you give it.
Coconut water is also brilliant for hydration and of course, good hydration leads to the body storing less fat. When you become dehydrated, you tend to feel tired, and this typically leads to the brain signaling hunger rather than thirst as it attempts to boost energy levels.
Of course, another major reason that it is good for weight loss is that it simply contains fewer calories. The calories it does contain are not simply empty calories like you might find in sugary, soft drinks.
It makes sense that replacing high-calorie, unhealthy drinks with a healthier, more natural option will help you shed those pounds. Opting for a glass of coconut water will boost bodily function, and it’s nutritious and good for you.
Drinking coconut water will help you recover after exercise
If one of your goals in the new year is to exercise more, you might want to opt for some coconut water. It’s naturally full of electrolytes. Electrolytes are, according to Healthline, minerals that play a vital role in maintaining fluid balance in the body. Vital electrolytes include potassium, magnesium, sodium, and calcium.
We tend to lose electrolytes during exercise and, it’s the depletion of those electrolytes that makes us feel dehydrated after an intense workout. Not only is it good for you, but it also tastes good too. It’s got a subtly sweet and nutty flavor
Due to the fact that it contains electrolytes like potassium and magnesium, studies have found that it’s likely better for you to drink coconut water after exercise than sticking to plain water. Professional tennis player John Isner for instance, swears by it and credits it with “keeping him on his feet for his epic 11-hour marathon Wimbledon tennis win”.
Isner says “It is super hydrating and has kept me going in long matches and prevented me from cramping even in the hottest and most humid conditions”. A small Brazilian study found that it “improved exercise capacity better than water or a sports drink during a very hot day”.
It’s good for your heart too
It seems that drinking coconut water is even linked with reducing your risk for heart disease. A 2008 study conducted on rats found that the group that was fed coconut water in high doses alongside a diet rich in fat and cholesterol, saw a reduction in cholesterol and triglyceride levels. The results showed effectiveness that matched the effects of a statin drug, which is most commonly used to lower cholesterol.
However, it must be noted that the dosage given to the rats was incredibly high, and, according to Healthline, in human terms “it would be equivalent to a 150-pound (68-kg) person consuming 91 ounces (2.7 liters) of coconut water per day”.
A 2005 study also found that coconut water was beneficial in reducing blood pressure, however, the study was limited, and more research needs to be conducted in order to prove whether it’s effective.