So what exactly is coconut water and how is it different from coconut milk?
Coconut water comes from the young un-ripened coconut, before most of the coconut meat inside develops. Coconut milk on the other hand is usually made from breaking down the meat of the ripe coconut into a drinkable liquid.
So is coconut water healthy?
It's certainly not dangerous.
Coconut water is relatively low in calories (about 45 calories per 330ml container). It's also lower in sugar compared to many fruit based juices out there coming in at
about 3tsps of sugar per 330ml serving (Most juices will be closer to 6tsps). It's also a source of calcium and phosphorus and a good source of magnesium and potassium.
Preliminary research shows that coconut water may help lower overall blood pressure in individuals with high blood pressure, but studies are still in the early stages. The beverage is also good to use for rehydrating because of the magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and calcium content. So if you have children who have had a bout of stomach flu and they lose a lot of water through vomitting or diarrhea, coconut water might be an option.
Coconut water is also comparable to sports drinks for rehydrating after a workout. It's not necessarily better, but if you are looking for a natural alternative to many of the sports drinks loaded with dyes and preservatives, this might be an option.
Other than rehydrating and possibly lowering blood pressure, there is currently no other real evidence on coconut water’s health benefit.
I still encourage people to focus on consuming calorie free beverages like water, coffee and tea the majority of the time.
Water is still the best thing for your body.