Coconut water is more popular than ever among health-conscious hydration seekers. There’s a good reason for this: the beverage is a refreshing and all-natural way to infuse your system with electrolytes, vitamins, minerals, and much-needed hydration.
You may have heard about the benefits of coconut water already, including its supposed laxative effect. Some say that coconut can help you go – but is that true? The simple answer is yes, when consumed in large enough quantities. Read on for a more in-depth answer and more information on the benefits and uses of coconut water.
What Is Coconut Water, Anyways?
Coconut water is the clear liquid that can be found within a fresh coconut. Since coconuts are the seed of a palm tree, the coconut water is fortified with plenty of nutrients to support a developing palm sapling. This is where the beverage’s high vitamin, mineral, and electrolyte content comes from.
Coconut water is harvested by simply breaking open fresh coconuts and capturing the liquid within. You can drink this beverage fresh, but if you’re not living near a tropical beach, you’re most likely more familiar with its packaged form.
Coconut water can be purchased pure or as an ingredient in natural, health-focused energy and hydration-boosting drinks.
How Is Coconut Water a Laxative?
The laxative effects of coconut water are due to its magnesium and potassium content. Magnesium and potassium are essential minerals that play a role in numerous vital reactions within your body, such as energy generation and muscle contraction.
However, these minerals also may have a laxative effect when ingested in large quantities, such as the amount in several cups of coconut water. This is because they operate as osmotic laxatives.
An osmotic laxative draws water into the intestines, which ultimately helps the body pass stools more quickly and easily.
Fortunately for those who simply enjoy the refreshing flavor and rehydrating benefits of coconut water, the casual coconut-water drinker should not expect to experience laxative effects. This is because the general serving size of coconut water (between one and two cups) does not have a sufficiently high mineral content to affect the bowels.
How Much Coconut Water Do I Need For Laxative Effects?
Coconut water in the single-serving sizes regularly available in prepackaged drinks is not enough to cause a laxative effect. If you are consuming coconut water for use as a laxative, you will most likely need at least four cups to take in an effective dose of minerals.
What Are The Health Benefits of Coconut Water?
Electrolytes for Hydration
Consuming a beverage that’s electrolyte-fortified helps your body absorb water more quickly and stay hydrated for longer. The high electrolyte content of coconut water is due to its significant concentration of potassium, sodium, and magnesium.
Hydration is one of the most important things you can do for your body, since water is an essential part of many vital processes. Make coconut water a part of your daily routine to help your body get the fluids it really needs.
Low in Calories
Other common ways to consume electrolytes include artificially-flavored and fortified sports drinks. These beverages often contain added sugar, causing the leading brands to have upwards of a hundred calories per one-cup serving on average. These extra calories can add up. Even sugar-free beverages aren’t ideal, as they often contain synthetic sweeteners, which can also lead to many negative health effects.
Coconut water, on the other hand, contains neither artificial sweeteners nor added sugars. It has naturally occurring electrolytes yet still contains only about 50 calories in an eight-ounce serving. This difference can have a big effect on your well-being over time.
Consuming excess sugar in the diet can lead to excess weight gain and other complications. Refined sugar in particular, which is often found in sports drinks and other sweetened beverages, is best to avoid since it can lead to unplanned weight gain and other health complications.
For nursing mothers, avoid or limit sucrose consumption in the diet. This is because sucrose can actually pass through breast milk to an infant and cause health problems later in life.
Even though coconut water is free of refined sugars and other added chemicals, it does not lack flavor! This drink is a unique and naturally enjoyable way to add hydration and electrolytes to your day.
Coconut water is also very low in fat, with only about a half-gram of fats in every cup. That’s less than 1% of your daily fat allowance, making this beverage a great choice for individuals looking for a healthy and hydrating beverage. It’s essential to avoid excess fat consumption, leading to weight gain. Choosing electrolyte drinks like coconut water, which contain very little fat is a great way to limit fat intake.
The antioxidant properties of coconut water mean that this beverage can help your body eliminate toxins from your system.
The nutrients within coconut water can effectively collect toxins, called free radicals, from the cells of your body, making it easier for your liver and kidneys to remove these bad chemicals from your system.
Lower Blood Pressure
In some individuals, coconut water has been found to lower blood pressure. If you suffer from high blood pressure, talk to your doctor about the potential of coconut water to help reduce your symptoms.
Cautions When Using Coconut Water
Moderation is Key
Compared to other synthetic or chemical-based laxatives, coconut water is certainly a healthy and natural option. However, you should try not to rely on coconut water for laxative purposes on a too-frequent basis.
This is because coconut water is low in sugar and the amount of coconut water required to achieve laxative effects is considerably large. Even natural sugars can add up if consumed in excess.
Complications With Kidney Problems
In addition, you should consult a doctor before beginning a coconut water regimen if you have any kidney problems. Though beneficial for some, coconut water’s high potassium content may pose a threat to those whose kidneys cannot function efficiently.
This can lead to the dangerous condition of hypokalemia, when too much potassium enters the bloodstream.
Further Reduce Low Blood Sugar
This beverage has been shown to lower blood sugar over time. While this can be beneficial in some instances, coconut water could lower blood sugar to dangerous levels for people with already low blood sugar.
Therefore, if you have diabetes or are concerned about your blood sugar for any reason, make sure to consult your doctor before incorporating coconut into your daily diet.
For Those Already Taking Blood Pressure Medication
Coconut water’s ability to lower blood pressure can be a wonderful benefit. However, if you are already taking medication to address high blood pressure, adding coconut water to the equation can have undesirable effects. Therefore, make sure to consult your doctor before beginning your coconut water regimen.
In general, it is a good idea to consult your doctor before beginning any new health-focused practice or supplementation.
Coconut Water Is A Laxative, But Only In Large Quantities
The rumors are true: coconut water is indeed a laxative. This healthy and all-natural beverage can help you out if you’re having trouble doing your business.
This quality makes the beverage a great choice for pregnant women, who frequently suffer from constipation because of the changes occurring in their belly, or for anyone looking for an all-natural way to keep things moving.
Stay Hydrated With Greater Than
If you are experiencing constipation, make sure to pursue other avenues of rehydration in addition to coconut water. Don’t overlook the causes that might be right under your nose.
At Greater Than, our Trial 6-Flavor Variety Pack contains endless benefits for mothers and the entire family! After all, not all hydration drinks are created equal.
Dehydration, for instance, is a very common cause of constipation. Remedy your dehydration and enjoy the effects of coconut water in one easy step with Greater Than electrolyte drinks, which are a tasty and natural way to up your fluid intake.
Of course, you will need to consume a fair amount of coconut water to enjoy its laxative effects. Luckily, there are numerous health benefits of coconut water that make this regimen worthwhile. Add coconut water to your daily routine to enjoy the benefits of hydration, detoxification, and a vitamin boost today!
Magnesium - Health Professional Fact Sheet | National Institutes of Health
Potassium - Health Professional Fact Sheet | National Institutes of Health
Magnesium for Constipation | University of Michigan Medical School
Sugar substitutes: Health controversy over perceived benefits | Journal of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics