10 of the Best Health and Beauty Benefits of Coconut Water

Should you try the trendiest new health drink? What you should know about this natural treat from the tropics.
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Michelle Villett
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Should you try the trendiest new health drink? What you should know about this natural treat from the tropics.
Coconut water benefits

Coconut water has many health and beauty benefits.

I hate drinking water.

There, I said it. All my life I've been told I need my eight glasses per day—and it's not that I disagree with the importance of hydration. (After all, a dehydrated body shows up as a dehydrated face, and we beauty obsessives don't want that.) It's just that gulping down plain, tasteless, boring water feels like a chore to me. I need some flavour, you know what I mean?

Enter coconut water. The first time I'd heard of it was on a backpacking trip to Southeast Asia in the early '00s. I mean, I knew coconuts existed, sure, but in my sheltered little Canadian life, I had no idea they contained a sweet, delicious, drinkable liquid inside. (I also thought a 12-hour night bus across Thailand would be no problem, so you can see I had a lot to learn.) Anyway, in that part of the world, you can easily get addicted to this tropical nectar, since all the street vendors have whole coconuts lined up, ready to be chopped on command and served with a straw. Yum!

Upon returning to decidedly non-tropical Canada, however, I promptly forgot all about coconut water—until recently, when I started seeing the packaged kind conveniently available in our stores. "Hooray!" has been my response to this. Given the choice, I will purchase tasty, refreshing coconut water over plain water 100 percent of the time.

Today, I thought I'd play health geek and talk about the 10 health and beauty benefits that make coconut water so special.

Coconut water benefits (2)

Coconut water is more nutritious than plain water.

1. Coconut water tastes WAY better—and is more nutritious—than plain water.

Therefore you're likely to willingly and happily drink more of it.

The water from the inside of a coconut is naturally sweet—but not cloyingly so—and has a mildly nutty flavour. If you're anything like me, and loathe artificial-tasting beverages made with added chemical "flavour packs" (shudder), you'll appreciate coconut water's subtle, fresh taste.

By the way, the specific taste of coconut water can vary depending on the source of the coconuts, thanks to regional differences in soil, climate and other elements. O.N.E. Coconut Water comes from a consistent source of coconuts, always in the same region, and is packaged right then and there—within four hours of the coconuts being picked (!!). So it's one brand you can always rely on for the same, authentic taste; plus, with naturally-occurring nutrients and electrolytes, it's the only natural water that's more nutritious than regular water.

You can drink coconut water straight up, or think about adding it to your smoothies, oatmeal, cocktails (I had to say it!) or anywhere else you'd use water or juice.

2. Coconut water is 100 percent natural.

Can we talk about this?

Coconut water ingredients

Coconut water is 100 percent natural.

How often do you see anything with just one ingredient? I'll answer: almost never. That means there's nothing else in this package of 100% O.N.E. Coconut Water: no added sugar, no preservatives, no weird artificial colours, dyes or flavours. And it's never from concentrate, unlike so many other types of juice out there that are evaporated down and then reconstituted with water.

Limiting my chemical load is important to me, so I'm all over products like this that are natural and wholesome.

3. Coconut water is loaded with naturally-occurring electrolytes.

Electrolytes are minerals—sodium, magnesium, calcium and potassium—that are dissolved in our bodily fluids and help our cells to function normally. We lose them, along with water, through perspiration. When you sweat a lot, say on a hot day or through a vigorous workout, it's important to adequately replenish your electrolytes—otherwise, you could experience muscle cramps, weakness, loss of energy or nausea.

One massive benefit of coconut water is that it naturally contains the electrolytes potassium and magnesium. So by drinking it, you're not only replenishing lost fluids, but you're also restoring your electrolyte balance to normal. Plain water just can't compare, since it's only giving you the fluid, not the electrolytes. Only drinking water can actually dilute the electrolytes in your bloodstream, causing deficiencies.

4. Coconut water gets your body (and therefore skin) super-hydrated.

Speaking of fluid, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that when your body is nice and hydrated, your skin automatically looks better, too. Personally, I can always see it on my face when I'm dehydrated—my skin is drier, duller and all-around less juicy-looking.

Consider the superior way that coconut water hydrates from within. It has long been used in tropical climates to replenish lost fluids, and in fact, does such a good job that Japanese and British military doctors used coconut water intravenously instead of saline solution as a rehydration therapy for soldiers during World War II. Naturally sterile, its chemical composition is similar to human blood plasma, containing a mixture of sugars, minerals, amino acids and vitamins. In 2000, the American Journal of Emergency Medicine reported that IV coconut water saved a stroke victim's life, while commercial IV fluid had little effect.

Coconut water benefits (3)

Coconut water keeps you hydrated.

5. Coconut water is full of skin-beautifying antioxidants.

When you spot celebs like Emma WatsonAnne Hathaway and Alessandra Ambrosio toting around their O.N.E. Coconut Water, you pay attention. Emma (who is not a paid spokesperson for the company) even went so far as to tellGlamour, "I’ve seen coconut water make a difference with my skin." Listening now? I know I sure am—Emma had by far the most impressive complexion of this year's awards season. If this is her secret, I'm in!

If it's not the hydration that made the difference for her, then maybe it's the antioxidants. Coconut water is considered a good source of them, which means it helps remove the harmful free radicals that are produced by the body and contribute to skin aging.

6. One serving of coconut water has more potassium than a banana.

Here, lemme show you:

Coconut water nutrition facts

Coconut water is high in potassium.

One 240 mL serving of O.N.E. Coconut Water contains 444 mg of potassium, which is 13 percent of the recommended daily value, and more than what you’d find in a banana. Most of us don't get enough potassium in our diets because we don't eat enough fruit and dairy, so coconut water can help fill in this nutritional gap. What's more, a healthy diet containing foods high in potassium may reduce the risk of high blood pressure, which is a risk factor for stroke and heart disease.

7. Coconut water is high in magnesium.

A 240 mL serving of O.N.E. Coconut Water has four percent of our recommended daily intake of magnesium. Why care about magnesium? It's a factor in the maintenance of good health and normal growth and development, including bone development. A magnesium deficiency can cause inflammation, and lead to too much calcium uptake, which is associated with many inflammatory and degenerative diseases.

8. Coconut water is naturally fat-free and low in calories.

I'm not a fat fanatic, but I'm also happy to report that coconut water contains exactly zero grams of fat—so if you're watching your weight, you can totes enjoy it guilt-free. Don't confuse coconut water with rich-tasting coconut milk—the latter is made from the grated meat of the coconut, and has a very high oil content.

I don't count calories, either, but just so you know, I don't think coconut water's are anything to worry about. Per 240 mL serving, O.N.E. Coconut Water has just 44 calories—less than half what’s in a latte or the same serving size of a commercial smoothie.

9. Coconut water is an easy-to-digest source of carbohydrates.

Coconut water is an ideal carb source, especially for anyone with digestive issues (including peeps with allergies, like me). I've found I do much better when I consume simple carbohydrates—like the sugar and electrolytes in coconut water—instead of fibrous foods that can feed bad (allergy-causing) bacteria in the intestine.

In tropical countries, coconut water has been used to treat a range of digestive issues, including indigestion, constipation, acid reflux and stomach flu.

10. Coconut water cures a hangover like nobody's business. (Just sayin'.)

It's true! We all know boozing ain't great for beauty—but if you must, coconut water is an excellent choice for the morning after (forget the hair of the dog method). A hangover happens because alcohol acts as a diuretic, depleting fluid and antioxidants from your cells and tissues. To replenish them, coconut water is better than plain water, since it hydrates and delivers naturally-occurring electrolytes and nutrients.

The bottom line: I don't think you can go wrong here. Coconut water is a naturally healthy choice for hydration, electrolyte balance and of course, flavour! Sorry regular water, but you just can't compare.

Find O.N.E. Coconut Water at Walmart, Shoppers Drug Mart, Loblaws, Sobeys and Metro.

Have Your Say

Have you ever tried coconut water?
Did you know it was so good for you?
Know of any other coconut water benefits?

O.N.E. Coconut Water parternship