All the Basics about Coconut Water

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Roadside vendors intropical countries the world over stack piles of green coconuts andwith machetes sharpened to a razors edge will hack into the milkywhite core for you to savor the water inside. Slightly sweet and witha nutty flavor, coconut water, or juice is the clear liquid trappedinside the coconut. Touted by celebrity trainers, athletes andnutritionists, coconut water has become a mainstream drink choice inAmerica per Kaplan University. 

Coconut water forms in the hollow center ofthe coconut. It is the “liquid endosperm” of the coconut per theSabinsa Corporation. Take care not to confuse coconut water fromother products derived from the fruit. Coconut milk is produced bygrating the white meat and pressing the liquid. The milk is used inmany world cuisines for it’s flavor and fat content. Versatilecoconut oil is pressed from the dried meat and has many uses fromcooking and hydrating skin creams to enginelubricants. 

The nutritional storyof coconut water backs up many of the current marketing claims. Lowin calories at about 5.4 per ounce per Fit Day, it is higher inpotassium, B vitamins, natural electrolytes and lower in sugar andsodium than most popular sports drinks. It is so low in fat content,it can be referred to a fat free product by the Coconut ResearchCenter. Several health benefits such as healing urinary tractinfections are claimed to be attributable to coconut water.  

Research in to the health benefits ofcoconut water are insufficient to make a number of claims per WebMD.However, medical uses in cases of heat stroke, and dehydration, whichare caused by vomiting or diarrhea and certain critical diseasesincluding cholera and dysentery are documented. Further potentiallyground breaking research is being conducted on whether coconut waterhelps regulate high blood pressure and improve circulation.

Coconut water from the mature, browncoconuts usually found in grocery stores are not recommended formaximum benefits, but the green, young fruits are more difficult tofind. Some health food stores such as Asian markets stock greencoconuts ready to open. They are sold with the outer husk removed andpared down to a shape that resembles a child’s toy top with a pointon one end and flat bottom. They are sold fresh and should berefrigerated until use. A sharp knife or hand drill can open the topof the coconut.  

Due to the current popularity of coconutwater, cans, bottles and even sports packs can be found in healthfood stores, or drink sections at the grocers. Brand names such asHarmless Harvest, Taste Nirvana, Zola and Coco Libre Organic andothers all produce a mass-marketed coconut water. 

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