Some have claimed that coconut water has antioxidant properties, can fight heart disease, and lower blood pressure. And while the fruit juice does have some nutrients, our experts say these claims are mostly hype and adding coconut water to your diet will mostly just add calories.
Coconut water does provide potassium
“There are some health benefits to drinking coconut water,” Pamela Peeke, MD, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Maryland, told INSIDER. “It’s an all-natural way to hydrate and add potassium to diets.”
Most Americans don’t eat enough fruits, vegetables or dairy and as a result, aren’t getting enough potassium.
“So coconut water can help fill in the nutritional gaps,” said Dr. Peeke. “Beyond that, the scientific literature does not support the hype that it will help with a laundry list of diseases.”
Joan Salge Blake, RDN, EdD, clinical associate professor of nutrition at Boston University and host of “Spot On!” health and wellness podcast, agreed, but would rather see people get those nutrients from fruits.
“It’s not like we have to go out and get coconut water for our health or hydration because we have foods and water that will do that for us,” Dr. Blake told INSIDER.
And if you’re looking to hydrate, for most, water will do the trick better than coconut water.
On the other hand, Dr. Blake said, if you are very active and can afford the calories, coconut water can be added as part of a healthy, well-balanced diet.
Read the nutritional label before you treat yourself because some coconut water has added sugars.
“Make sure it says pure coconut water,” said Dr. Blake. Many coconut water brands add sugar to their drinks, making them an unhealthy addition to your diet.
Dr. Blake recommends getting those polyphenols from fruits like grapes, apples, pears, cherries, and berries, so you’re not consuming extra calories and added sugars.