Updated: Aug 29, 2019
In recent years, a wave of people have turned away from soft drinks to find healthier options to satisfy their thirst and cravings for a sweet taste.
Coconut water has become a very popular alternative for many people.
Only a few years ago obtaining a drink of coconut water was a big deal. It involved purchasing a baby coconut, hacking the top off it with a kitchen knife and a hammer. The result was a big mess in the kitchen, the occasional wrecking of a good knife and risk to personal safety (written from personal experience). The best part was the fresh taste which justified the ridiculous inconvenience.
Now it is easy to enjoy a drink of coconut water with dozens of prepackaged brands on our supermarket shelves.
This has made coconut water a convenient and popular choice when looking for a delicious alternative to soft drink.
But is coconut water a truly healthier option?
The healthy aspects of coconut water:
Coconut water contains minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and trace amounts of zinc and selenium.
It also contains B group vitamins and folate.
The unhealthy aspects:
Coconut water contains a total 6.6 grams of sugar per 100ml.
This breaks down to 2.4 grams of fructose, 2.7 grams of glucose and 1.5 grams of sucrose.
Sucrose is the sugar that sets up the 'perfect' conditions for tooth decay to occur.
Fructose and glucose feed the tooth decay process.
Coconut water has a pH of 5 - 5.4, making it slightly acidic and favourable to tooth decay.
Does this mean you should not drink coconut water?
Not at all. But you do need to be aware of the whole nutritional profile of this drink and not make the assumption it is perfectly healthy and safe to drink with complete abandon.
Coconut water is a far healthier option than soft drink. For example, the most popular soft drink contains 12.8 grams of sugar per 100ml, few minerals, and no vitamins.
This makes coconut water a hands down better choice to refresh yourself.
If you are in the process of moving on from soft drink, coconut water makes a great alternative. It is a very useful support through those times when sugar cravings kick in and compromise your resolve.
As a long term choice, you need to be aware of the sugar levels in this drink and its acidity, and consider how they impact on your overall health and wellbeing.
For every 'healthy' option that is currently being marketed it is absolutely essential to look well beyond the hype and seek the most honest sources of information that consider the whole of your health.
We need to understand that our body experiences the reality of the products we choose . . .
and not just the promises, claims and wishful thinking.
Source of nutrition data - Food Standards Australia New Zealand, and Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations