Whether you've just wrapped up a grueling workout or are spending a hot day under the sun, you'll need a cool, refreshing beverage to keep you fueled up and effectively replace the water and electrolytes your body is losing as sweat. But if you're craving something more exciting than some plain ol' water, reaching for a cold glass of coconut water wouldn't be a bad idea. The liquid found inside the hard shells of coconuts is incredibly hydrating. Although it's technically the "juice" of the tropical fruit, it's composed of about 95% regular water, but it also comes loaded with extra benefits that make it an excellent choice for efficient hydration.
Many refer to coconut water as "nature's Gatorade" because it delivers a delicious dose of hydration and the slew of healthy nutrients and electrolytes your body needs to restore for healthy function. According to Healthline, the liquid contains electrolytes like potassium, magnesium, and calcium, which help maintain fluid balance in the body and are, therefore, essential for maintaining hydration.
Unlike other sugary fruit juices and sports drinks, natural coconut water is low in sugar, carbohydrates, and total calories, making it an excellent alternative for folks seeking to limit their intake of any of the above. One cup of plain coconut water contains about 44 calories and 9.6 grams of sugar, although it's worth keeping an eye on the ingredient labels as some store-bought versions may have added sugars.
Different Ways To Consume Coconut Water
Yes, coconut water is a healthy, hydrating beverage, but it's also an incredibly versatile juice you can incorporate into your diet in countless ways. Thanks to its subtly sweet taste, it mixes well with other ingredients, happily letting more robust flavors take center stage while it provides pleasant background notes and hints of pulp. It can easily serve as a base for fruit or vegetable smoothies, adding a dash of tropical refreshment and plenty of nutrients to your blends. You can mix coconut water into a chilled batch of iced tea or lemonade, or you can use it in cocktails as a lighter alternative to coconut milk or other fruit juices.
Since alcohol consumption can lead to dehydration (which ultimately leads to those awful hangover symptoms the next morning), using coconut water as a mixer can help keep you replenished throughout your revelry. If you'd like to get a bit creative, you can also try using the water to make fruity frozen popsicles or turn it into ice cubes to seriously elevate your cold brew coffee on a hot day. Of course, if you're simply in the market to refuel with a cool bev, you can't go wrong with a serving of the stuff straight-up. While nothing beats sticking a straw into a fresh coconut shell and sipping the water up, vacation-style, there are plenty of bottled coconut water options worthy of quenching your thirst.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.