Coconut Water – The Perfect Iso Drink

In exotic regions, coconut water is a well-known thirst quencher and at the same time an isotonic drink. The young green coconut is cut with a machete and drunk with a straw. The young coconuts are now also available in European trade – or you can buy the coconut water in a tetra pack or in a bottle. Coconut water – according to the information circulating – is supposed to fulfill four purposes in particular: It should be a healthy thirst quencher, it should contain many vitamins, it should detoxify mercury and it should be a gifted iso drink for athletes. What is true about it? And what not?

Coconut Water – Natural iso-drink made from coconuts

Like coconut milk, coconut water also comes from the coconut, but otherwise has nothing to do with coconut milk. Coconut milk is the white flesh of the ripe coconut mixed with water and then squeezed out. Coconut water, on the other hand, is obtained from the young, still green and immature coconut. There is still some coconut water in the ripe coconuts. However, the younger and more immature the coconut is, the less pulp it contains and the more coconut water it contains. You can count on up to half a liter of coconut water per nut.

Coconut water is now available in tetra packs almost everywhere in Europe as a natural iso-drink. It usually comes from coconuts that are harvested when they are 6 to 7 months old. Ripe coconuts are only harvested after 12 to 14 months.

Coconut Water – Fat-free and low-calorie isotonic drink

While the flesh of the ripe coconut is very high in fat and provides the corresponding amount of calories, the almost fat-free coconut water is considered a low-calorie drink with only 17-20 kcal per 100 ml. Due to its isotonic properties, coconut water is also an interesting and tasty refreshment drink for athletes and can also be used to naturally optimize the supply of minerals.

“Isotonic” means: The ratio of nutrients to liquid roughly corresponds to that of human blood. In extreme emergencies, coconut water has therefore already been used as a blood serum substitute in the tropics. After all, it comes out of the nut not only isotonic but also completely sterile and clean.

Isotonic drinks are consumed especially by athletes. For “normal” sporting activities of up to one hour, simply water would suffice. But if you cycle, run, row, etc. for a long time, you can prevent a drop in performance with Iso-Drinks. According to experts, you should then drink 150 ml or more of this every 15 to 20 minutes.

What exactly should an Iso drink contain?

In addition to water, an iso or sports drink should also contain a relatively high amount of sodium. Sodium ensures that the liquid can be absorbed more quickly by the body. Carbohydrates in the form of glucose and fructose are also desirable so that there is no sudden drop in blood sugar and thus a drop in performance. The ideal ratio of these two simple sugars is given as 2 to 1. Ideal because with this ratio, more carbohydrates can be absorbed by the body and one then hopes for more performance.

In the case of the common iso-drinks, there are now other completely useless, if not harmful, substances: acidifiers, synthetic vitamins, artificial sweeteners, flavors, stabilizers, artificial coloring, and carbonic acid.

Coconut water now contains all the ingredients required for an iso drink, while at the same time the artificial additives mentioned are completely absent – at least if you drink the coconut water directly from the nut or if you pay attention to 100 percent pure quality when buying coconut water.

Coconut water – the nutritional values

(all refer to 1 glass of coconut water with 250 ml)

Sodium: The sodium levels in coconut water vary greatly, even in coconuts of the same age. The country of origin, the weather, and the soil quality certainly play a role here. Inland coconuts also differ in some values ​​from those that grow on the coast.

About 120 to 250 mg of sodium are specified per glass of coconut water. Traditional sports and electrolyte drinks also add about 100 to 250 milligrams of sodium per 8 ounces.

Sugar: The sugar content of coconut water is 5 to 7.5 grams per glass. Moreover, the sugar composition is excellent for an electrolyte drink. The glucose content is 50%, the fructose content is 15% and the sucrose content is 35%. So we have a glucose-to-fructose ratio of about 3 to 1, which is almost ideal.

Potassium: The potassium value is particularly striking at an impressive 600 to 700 mg, which corresponds to a third of the daily requirement. Coconut water can therefore be used wherever basic potassium is needed. First, of course, when there is an over-acidification of the acid-base balance, where potassium is one of the main players in harmonizing the.

Bone health is also largely dependent on the interaction of potassium, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D. The cardiovascular system also needs potassium since the mineral e.g. controls blood pressure and can protect against heart attacks and strokes.

Magnesium: For athletes, the potassium mentioned is of interest not least in terms of muscle cramp prevention, since potassium deficiency can cause muscle cramps. At the same time, coconut water also provides relevant magnesium values, namely 60 mg per glass, which already corresponds to one-seventh of the daily requirement and of course also reduces the likelihood of cramps.

Calcium: Calcium is present in coconut water at around 60 mg, which is rather low considering the daily requirement of at least 1000 mg, but of course, it can help to cover the requirement.

Iron: The iron values ​​fluctuate again strongly, and can be interesting (0.7 mg per glass) or less interesting (0.25 mg per glass). As far as the other trace elements are concerned, manganese and copper are at most worth mentioning, although extreme fluctuations often seem to occur here too.

Vitamins: As in every food, coconut water contains a lot of vitamins, but usually only in traces, i.e. in hardly relevant quantities. The most worthy of mention is vitamin C. A glass of coconut water contains about 5 mg of it, but this is very little – even with the official requirement of 110 mg. All other vitamins are contained in even smaller proportions.

Coconut water is not exactly a vitamin bomb, but in any case, the perfect sports drink – not only isotonic but also healthy.

Coconut water – The perfect sports drink

There are at least three confirming studies on the suitability of coconut water as a sports drink: on one hand by the medical university Science University Malaysia in Kuban and the other hand by the Institute for Sports Medicine in Vienna and by scientists in Bangkok. It was unanimously established that the ingredients of coconut water are absorbed by the blood particularly quickly and efficiently due to their isotonic properties, without putting a strain on the body. The loss of electrolytes and fluids caused by excessive sweating can be quickly compensated for with the help of coconut water.

No wonder the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO – Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) has called coconut water the “sports drink of the 21st century”.

Iso-Drink Coconut Water – Ideal for diarrhea and stomach ulcers

Because of its isotonic properties, coconut water is also often used in tropical developing countries to treat diarrheal diseases, dehydration, and acute overheating of the body (hyperthermia).

In addition, scientists at Airlangga University in Indonesia found that coconut water, in its function as a natural iso drink, is an excellent means of the concomitant treatment and electrolyte supply for cholera, an infectious intestinal disease that occurs very often in children in tropical countries.

At the same time, coconut water protects the stomach lining from ulcer development almost as well as coconut milk, according to a study published in July 2008. If you have a tendency to stomach problems or even an existing stomach ulcer, it is, therefore, a good idea to drink coconut water regularly – not least because of its acid-inhibiting effect.

Coconut water for hyperacidity

The acid-inhibiting activity of coconut water also makes it a very good drink if you are over-acidified. If it is used alongside deacidification programs as a base-forming component, the coconut water supports the elimination of acids, remineralizes the body’s mineral stores, and contributes to harmonizing the acid-base balance – which of course also benefits the kidneys. However, it is questionable whether coconut water can actually dissolve kidney stones:

Coconut water for kidney stones

Coconut water is said to have a kidney-cleansing function (up to the dissolution of kidney stones) in Ayurvedic medicine. However, there is only one relevant study from 1987, in which the patients were injected with coconut water via a urethral catheter. At the end of the study, the conducting physician Dr. Macala said that treatment with coconut water had reduced the size of the kidney stones so that surgery was no longer necessary.

However, since nobody will inject coconut water into the urethra, we do not consider this study, which is repeatedly praised in connection with coconut water, to be very practical. To dissolve kidney stones, we would therefore advise not to rely solely on coconut water and, in any case, to drink lemon water as well and to take other kidney-friendly measures.

Coconut water for high blood pressure

In another study published in the West Indian Medical Journal, scientists found that coconut water has an antihypertensive effect. The two-week study was conducted on 28 hypertensive patients, who were divided into four groups. The first group got drinking water only, the second group coconut water, the third group was Mauby, and the fourth group was a mixture of coconut water and Mauby. The latter is a soft drink made from the bark of tropical shrubs.

It showed that 1 to 2 glasses of coconut water per day reduced systolic blood pressure in over 70 percent of the participants and diastolic blood pressure in almost 30 percent of the participants.

Coconut water is also said to have a detoxifying effect:

Coconut water for detox?

Again and again one hears and reads that coconut water can also be used for detoxification and specifically for mercury elimination. However, the explanations of how and why coconut water should be able to detoxify are not necessarily comprehensible and unfortunately not documented. If you don’t like coconut, this detox cure is a good idea.

Sulfurous amino acids in coconut water

It is said that coconut water contains certain sulfur-containing amino acids that bind the free mercury and ensure that it can now be excreted with the urine without being deposited in the body. It is of course true that sulfur-containing amino acids such as cyst(e)ine and methionine can bind mercury, and it is also true that these amino acids are found in coconut water.

However, since coconut water consists of no more than 2 grams of protein per 100 grams and the sulfur-containing amino acids only make up a small part of it, it is extremely questionable how these tiny amounts of amino acids can initiate a noticeable detoxification.

Some people who reported on the internet about the detoxifying effect of coconut water or palm nectar could ultimately only explain their statement by saying that you can clearly taste the sulfur content.

It’s a pity that no one has a plausible explanation in store as to why, in order to enjoy sulfurous amino acids, coconut water should be preferred to a schnitzel, for example. Because the latter contains – like cheese, fish, and nuts – a multiple of sulfur-containing amino acids. Not that we are of the opinion that from now on you should eat one or more schnitzels every day to eliminate mercury. Our only regret is that no one has come forward with much-needed information – if there is any – about what it is that makes the few amino acids in coconut water special.

Detoxifying fatty acids in coconut water

In the same way, the fatty acids in coconut water are said to be significantly involved in the elimination of mercury. They are said to be able to dissolve mercury stored in adipose tissue before it is then bound by the sulfur-containing amino acids so that it is no longer stored in the body but excreted.

The fatty acids in coconut water are very similar to the amino acids. While coconut water still consists of 2 percent amino acids, the fat content is a miserable 0.5 percent. For this reason, coconut water is also considered to be almost fat-free and is enthusiastically drunk by calorie-conscious people. And now exactly these traces of fat are supposed to drain mercury?

So why not take 1, 2, or 3 tablespoons of coconut oil daily? This is actually rich in special – medium-chain and antibacterial-effective – fatty acids. Yes, it even consists of about 60 to 70 percent medium-chain fatty acids.

Coconut water activates the cell for mercury elimination

The third supposedly detoxifying property of coconut water sounds the most understandable, but other correspondingly mineralized drinks should have a similar effect here. It is said that coconut water activates cell purification due to its sodium and potassium richness and in this way the cells are motivated to expel the mercury contained in the cell into the extracellular space.

If this were the case, a mercury-binding material (such as zeolite or bentonite, for example – unless one likes to rely on the sulfur-containing amino acids of coconut water) would have to be taken shortly after coconut water consumption, which would then also mobilize the mercury really absorbs and prevents re-poisoning.

Ultimately, you have no choice but to believe the stories about the detoxifying abilities of coconut water or not. However, since coconut water tastes so good and actually offers convincing health benefits, it does no harm in the case of suspected or proven heavy metal pollution to drinking coconut water regularly – in addition to other elimination methods.

Ultimately, of course, it cannot be ruled out that the coconut water might detoxify, after all, it is just not yet possible to explain why and how it does that.

Coconut water corrects mineral deficiencies during drainage

In any case, coconut water helps to correct mineral deficiencies. Mineral deficiencies are particularly present in people exposed to heavy metals and even more so in people who have been eliminated.

The Freiburg dentist Dr. Helmut Friedrich, for example, was able to show that a serious mineral deficiency in people who had been discharged with DMPS could be reversed in a short time with the help of coconut water. DMPS is a conventional medicine that is used to eliminate mercury. The problem, however, is that DMPS not only binds mercury but also a number of minerals, which – just like mercury – are then removed from the body.

Coconut water – the conclusion

So our bottom line is that coconut water

  • one of the healthiest thirst quenchers
  • puts every Iso drink in the shade
  • is a great sports drink
  • helps to correct mineral deficiencies
  • supports the body in almost every regeneration phase
  • has a positive effect on the acid-base balance
  • which promotes heart, bone, and kidney health

However, we would not assume that coconut water definitely detoxifies mercury, as we still lack clear information and evidence for such a statement. Coconut water is also not suitable as a source of vitamins.

Which coconut water do you recommend?

If you want to take coconut water as a cure – whether to optimize the mineral balance or for other health purposes – it is recommended to drink around 300 to 500 milliliters of coconut water daily throughout the day.

Since there are now many coconut water brands on the market, it is difficult to make the right choice. We recommend that you first treat yourself to the luxury of a fresh green young coconut. You can easily find suppliers on the Internet. The next delivery date is usually given, when the nuts will arrive fresh in local countries. They will then be sent immediately to the pre-orderers.

In order to keep the shipping costs within limits, the nuts are usually stripped of the green shell, so that you will receive light beige coconuts.

Only when you know how real natural coconut water is supposed to taste are you able to identify a really high-quality product. Quality coconut water should taste slightly sweet (but not too sweet), silky, and full-bodied. It only tastes very lightly of coconut. A sour note is NOT normal and NOT natural. Real coconut water doesn’t even taste sour.

Many tetra-pack coconut glasses of water, which of course have to be pasteurized, often taste sour, often far too sweet, too much like coconut (because they are flavored), and are often simply inedible. It is best to buy a small selection of high-quality organic coconut water (4 to 5) and then make your own choice.

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Written by Bella Adams

I'm a professionally-trained, executive chef with over ten years in Restaurant Culinary and hospitality management. Experienced in specialized diets, including Vegetarian, Vegan, Raw foods, whole food, plant-based, allergy-friendly, farm-to-table, and more. Outside of the kitchen, I write about lifestyle factors that impact well-being.

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