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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What are the health benefits of drinking coconut water?

    Related Topic
    Coconut water seems to be one of the new “trends” in healthy diets… what are the nutritional benefits?
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  • Melanie McGrice is an Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian, one of the few dietitians in Australia to achieve that status. Her success has made her an ... View Profile

    Hi,

    Coconut water has been called the new ‘wonder health drink’ because of its ‘phenomenal hydrating properties’. But there is little scientific evidence to support these claims.  Coconut water is unlikely to be harmful, but it does not have a high nutrient content and can be expensive. The real miracle drink is plain water. The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend water as the best drink. It contains no kilojoules and is the best fluid for hydrating the body.

    Coconut water is often marketed for the nutrients it contains, like calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. But these nutrients are in very low amounts in coconut water.  Regular, everyday foods (such as fruit and vegetables) provide these nutrients. Eating a wide variety of these healthy foods, in the right amounts, will help people meet their nutrition needs.

    You may like to see the article that we did for Choice magazine: http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/food-and-health/food-and-drink/beverages/is-coconut-water-healthy.aspx

    Hope this helps!

    Melanie
    www.health-kick.com.au

  • 1

    Thanks

    Arlene is a registered practising dietitian, with a private practice in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, and has built a strong business over the last ... View Profile

    Drinking Coconut Water to re-hydrate and allegedly control weight has been a favourite among celebrities for a while now – but there is no substantial  scientific evidence for this. In recent years, coconut water has been marketed as a natural energy or sports drink  due to its high potassium and mineral content. Marketers have also promoted coconut water for having no fat and very low amounts of carbohydrates, calories, and sodium. However, marketing claims attributing tremendous health benefits to coconut water are largely unfounded.]There have been cases where coconut water has been used as an intravenous hydration fluid in some developing countries where medical saline was unavailable. Pure water is cheaper and healthier for you.  As far as I can tell, a lot of the health claims made for coconut water are based on its potassium content. And potassium is certainly a good thing. It is involved in all kinds of essential bodily functions. But virtually all fruits and vegetables are good sources of potassium. And, when you think about it, that list of benefits would apply to any diet that’s high in fruits and vegetables. People who eat the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables get about twice the recommended intake of potassium on average. And one of the advantages of getting your potassium from fruits and vegetables instead of coconut water is that you also get fibre and a whole range of other important nutrients. I’m not saying that coconut water is bad for you. But I am suggesting that if you eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, like I’m always telling you to, I’m not sure coconut water offers anything new.

  • Melissa Adamski

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    I am an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) and Accredited Nutritionist (AN) with a passion for food and good nutrition. I also have my own private ... View Profile

    Great answers from Melanie and Arlene! You may also be interested in the blog by Emma Stirling (Accredited Practising Dietitian) on coconut water http://www.scoopnutrition.com/2010/05/coconut-water-our-must-read-nutrition-review-before-you-go-troppo-with-expert-frances-gilham-apd/

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