NUTRITION CORNER. Coconut water is an ideal refreshing drink much better than commercial soft drinks

Coconut water, the juice in the interior or endosperm of young coconut (scientific name: Cocos nucifera), is a very refreshing drink worldwide including the Philippines especially during summer. The juice is clear, sweet, packed with unique chemicals such as simple sugar, electrolytes, vitamins, enzymes, amino acids, phyto-hormones and minerals to replenish hydration levels in the body.

Research studies suggest that coconut water contains cytokinins like kinetin and trans-zeatin that showed significant anti-ageing, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-thrombotic effects. In many tropic regions, it has been generally offered to patients suffering from diarrhea to replace loss of fluid from the gastroinestinal tract and reduce the need for intravenous therapy. In fact, the presence of amino acids, enzymes, minerals and fatty acids in tender coconut water account for higher osmolarity which is slightly higher than what is recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for Oral Rehydration Therapy osmolarity. While low in sodium and chlorides, coconut water is rich in sugars and amino acids.

Coconut water is composed of many bioactive enzymes that aid in digestion and metabolism. It has also a much better composition of minerals such as calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, and zinc than some fruits such as oranges.

Coconut water contains B-complex vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pyridoxine, and folates. These vitamins are important because the body requires them from external sources to replenish.

It is also a rich source of electrolyte potassium as a 100 ml of coconut water contains 250 mg of potassium and 105 mg of sodium. The body needs these as replenishment due to diarrhea.

Coconut water should be an ideal drink, better than any other soft drink beverages.#