Coconut water is not the same as coconut milk!
It is the clear sweet liquid found inside fresh, young, green coconuts, the coconut juice. It is considered ‘nature’s own sport’s drink’.
Coconut water contains water, natural sugar and electrolytes – which rehydrates, replenishes energy and rebalances your body after heavy sweating! It is even isotonic, meaning it has the same osmotic pressure as our blood. In addition you will find a host of enzymes, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients in natural coconut water. The best age to harvest a coconut to gather the most nutritious milk is when they are between 5 and 7 months.
Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition published a small study which showed that coconut water was beneficial, helping 12 athletes to re-hydrate better than if they had simply drank plain water after working out.
Coconut water can also help to treat diarrhea, as well as cleanse and detoxify the bladder, kidneys and whole urinary system.
The lauric acid present in fresh coconut milk, is similar to that found in human breast milk. It can give the immune system a real boost, as it is antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal.
Compared to the other coconut products we will discuss below, coconut water is the lowest in fat, carbohydrates and sugars.
If you are lucky enough to have access to fresh coconuts you can simply cut a hole in a fresh green one and drink the water from there. Otherwise, coconut water is available in many supermarkets and health food stores. It has a different flavour to the coconut meat, and is light and sweet. It is perfect to drink alone, as part of a juice or smoothie, salad dressing or in soups and marinades.
Some people even swear by using coconut water as a skin toner! It is said to control oil, combat acne and hydrate.