From its health and beauty benefits to its mood and energy boosting effects, there are several reasons why moms should drink more coconut water.
The first time I tried coconut water was the summer I moved to New York City. Every day that sweltering summer I walked by a billboard advertising the tropical drink that looked delicious and refreshing. I bought a bottle in a bodega and was excited to take a sip. I only took a few sips total because I thought it was disgusting.
It was at least a year before I tried coconut water again. This time, the liquid was pink, and I thought it was amazing. Every sip was as delicious and refreshing as I had first imagined it would be. I still enjoy this healthy drink, and so does Little Bear.
Not All Coconut Water is Natural or Nutritious
Because of my first impression of the beverage, I wasn’t surprised a few months ago when I overheard two health food store employees discussing their distaste for the coconut drink they were restocking on one of the center aisles. In fact, I don’t recommend drinking those pasteurized coconut waters that have added sugars, flavors, and preservatives or those that were made from concentrate.
When it comes to the selection at the store, not all coconut water is equal, so read the nutrition label. I prefer the organic bottled brand, Harmless Harvest, that is found in the refrigerated section; it’s also available online. It is made from a single ingredient and has been micro-filtered instead of thermally pasteurized, so it retains more nutrients. Plus, I think the flavor is far superior. I just wish it came in a glass bottle.
Cracking open a young coconut is likely the healthiest way to enjoy coconut water. Just make sure the coconut is organic and fresh. Some conventional coconuts are dipped in chemicals — yuck!
Why Moms Should Drink More Coconut Water
“Water is the essence of life,” my dad often reminds me. Coconut water is more like a juice, but the coconut tree is sometimes referred to as the “tree of life” because all parts of the tree are useful. (Just think about all of the benefits of coconut oil!) Here on the mountain, we definitely appreciate the sweet liquid from this special tree.
Besides the tropical vibes that encourage us to enjoy restful moments, and its occasional pretty pink color, which is due to antioxidant levels, there are several reasons why moms should drink more coconut water.
Staying hydrated is important for everyone; however, proper hydration is especially important for pregnant and nursing moms. After all, when you’re pregnant, your body is producing amniotic fluid. And when you’re nursing, you are responsible for hydrating yourself and your little one. Breastmilk is mostly water.
Even if you aren’t pregnant or nursing, making sure you’re well-hydrated is essential to your overall health. Hydration levels affect mood, energy, sleep quality, and cognitive function.
Coconut water is a good source of electrolytes. Most notably, it is rich in potassium. It also has sodium, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorous.
During the first trimester, many moms feel nauseous and vomit. Not only can coconut water prevent dehydration by replenishing fluids, but it also helps restore electrolytes that can get depleted from morning (more like, all day) sickness. These minerals can also alleviate those leg cramps that are common during the second and third trimesters.
Electrolytes also play a role in muscle contractions, so it may be helpful to drink coconut water during the active stage of labor. For what it’s worth, I drank coconut water during both of my labors and only pushed for a few minutes each time.
Additionally, there are countless anecdotal stories from moms who claim that electrolyte beverages boost milk supply. I find it beneficial to have mother nature’s sports drink on hand because carrying a growing baby and chasing after a toddler can be a workout! The natural sugars provide stable energy, and magnesium promotes relaxation.
Beauty from the Inside Out
Hydration is necessary for healthy skin, and coconut water is a spa-worthy drink. The nutrients found in coconut water can contribute to a healthy glow. It contains a small amount of the antioxidant vitamin C, which protects the skin and supports collagen production. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, coconut water may also be beneficial for those experiencing breakouts.
Furthermore, coconut water contains the B-complex vitamins, including folate, which is important during pregnancy. These B vitamins, like biotin, also contribute to healthy skin, hair, and nails.
Because of the fiber and magnesium in coconut water, it can improve digestion. Being hydrated also reduces constipation, hemorrhoids, and swelling, all of which can be potentially problematic during pregnancy.
Many people drink coconut water for natural relief from acid reflux — it seemed to help with the indigestion I experienced during pregnancy. It may also reduce stomach bloating, thanks to the potassium in it.
As a side note, coconut water is a natural, mild diuretic. This helps with water retention, too, and it may prevent or relieve urinary tract infections as well.
Bonus Reason: Your Kids Can Enjoy It
Even though it contains natural sugars, coconut water is much healthier than sugary drinks for kids. Besides Ma’s milk and nettle and oatstraw herbal infusions, coconut water is Little Bear’s favorite drink.
Just remember, it’s not regular water, so moderation is key. As always, consult your medical provider if you have any concerns about giving it to your child.
Do you like coconut water? Let me know in the comments.