Friday, October 12, 2018

Coconut Water

Coconut water is the clear liquid found inside immature coconuts. As the coconut matures, the water is replaced by coconut meat. Coconut water is sometimes referred to as green coconut water because the immature coconuts are green in color.

Coconut water is different than coconut milk. Coconut milk is produced from an emulsion of the grated meat of a mature coconut. Coconut water is commonly used as a beverage and as a solution for treating dehydration related to diarrhea or exercise. It is also tried for high blood pressure and to improve exercise performance.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly ineffective, Likely ineffective, ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.

Insufficient evidence to rate effectiveness for coconut water was found for diarrhea-related dehydration, dehydration caused by exercise, exercise performance, high blood pressure, or other conditions.

Coconut water is rich in carbohydrates and electrolytes such as potassium, sodium, and magnesium. Because of this electrolyte composition, there is a lot of interest in using coconut water to treat and prevent dehydration. But some experts suggest that the electrolytes composition in coconut water is not adequate to be used as a rehydration solution.

Coconut water is LIKELY SAFE for most adults when consumed as a drink. It might cause fullness or stomach upset in some people. But this is uncommon. In large amounts, coconut water might cause potassium levels in the blood to become too high. This might lead to kidney problems and irregular heartbeat. Coconut water is POSSIBLY SAFE for children.

MODERATE caution is advised for the use of coconut water and medications for high blood pressure. Coconut water might decrease blood pressure. Taking coconut water along with medications for high blood pressure might cause your blood pressure to go too low. Using it with herbs and supplements that lower blood pressure might also lower blood pressure too much. This includes ginger, Panax ginseng, turmeric, valerian, and others.

At this time, there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for coconut water. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important.

My Take:
This is what happens when you analyze food as a drug. There will never be enough evidence to rate most foods as being effective as there is no financial motivation to do the research. Just substitute pork chops, orange juice or asparagus for coconut water in this blog and you get the same result.
It fascinates me that there’s not enough evidence to indicate it is effective in lowering blood pressure, but the fact that it may lower blood pressure is then used as a caution. It doesn’t have enough electrolytes for rehydration but the electrolytes rate a caution.

Bottom Line:
Coconut water is an excellent rehydration food. The high levels of potassium, sodium and magnesium make it an excellent choice for sports recovery or treatment for diarrhea.

Source: October 12, 2018 NIH

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