- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
Coconut Water & Hydration
Young Green Coconut
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Summer Heat Waves
It's summer again, and we are already experiencing heat waves here in Southern California. We live in the Inland Empire of San Bernardino County and today it is starting to cool down: it was only 95⁰F/35⁰C instead of 104⁰F/40⁰C.
With the heat of summer comes the problem of staying hydrated, which is especially difficult for babies, small children, and the elderly. Dehydration also affects anyone who has to work outdoors in the elements, and even people that are just walking from one place to another.
The searing heat can cause a heat stroke in susceptible people, or dehydration in anyone who must be active and busy outdoors. Be sure to remind your parents or children to carry a bottle of water (or other drink) with them if he/she goes outside – whether taking a walk, riding a bike, or driving.
Drinking Water & Hydration
I always thought that water was the ideal drink to keep hydrated, so I always bring water with me in the car -- regardless of the weather. Yesterday I went to the market with my daughter (a licensed Esthetician), and spotted some coconut water drinks in a rack. I showed her these drinks because she often bought coconut water drinks, aloe vera drinks and other strange, foreign drinks; but I had not tried coconut water before.
She told me, “You should buy a coconut drink for yourself—they are more hydrating than water.” I told her I have never heard that before, but I took her advice and bought one to try it out. I thought, “Note to self: Google it when you get home.”
Google Search on Hydrating Drinks
It turns out there are a few drinks besides coconut water that are more hydrating than water(Click to Tweet). I also found out that no matter how much water you drink, it will not improve the condition of your skin (but that is another story).
In This Hub
You will discover:
- The best drinks for hydration
- What makes some drinks better for hydration than water
- The worst drinks for hydration
- How to select a coconut for its water
- How many ounces of water you need to drink daily
Popular Brands of Coconut Water
The Most Hydrating Drinks
The best drinks for hydration must be unsweetened, contain electrolytes, and have no caffeine.
So according to the experts, water is a good drink for those of us who are not athletically inclined. However, athletes need to replace the electrolytes that are lost through sweat. Depending on how strenuous the activity is and the duration of that exercise, the best drink is an electrolyte drink because these drinks are specially made for hydration.
A List of the Best Drinks for Hydrating:
1. Electrolyte drinks
2. Coconut Water or low-calorie sports drink
3. Sports Drinks
Fluids ingested in any form (i.e. water, soda, coffee, or juice) work the same way in our bodies. Our bodies derive water from all sources of liquids, so the source of water is not important.
Alcohol: The Worst Drink for Hydration
The Least Hydrating Drinks
Here is the list of the worst drinks for hydrating (in other words, they do not hydrate):
- Cocoa, coffee & tea: All contain caffeine and high amounts of purines.Purines are toxic, so your body uses most of the water in your cocoa, coffee, or tea to flush them out; so, very little water gets absorbed by your body.
- Milk: For two reasons milk is not good for hydrating: a) Milk is not a liquid; once you drink milk it curdles, so it is solid; b) Milk is difficult for many adults to digest.
- Sodas: Like coffee and tea, many sodas contain caffeine. Caffeine is a diuretic, so it makes you expel more water than you body has time to replace it. Sodas also contain too much sugar, which makes you thirstier than before you drank it. Getting hydrated by drinking a soda is a poor way to hydrate.
- Alcoholic beverages: When you drink alcohol, it sucks the water out of the mucous membrane in your mouth and in your body -- it pretty much dries tissue out as soon as it touches it. Alcohol dehydrates the body and makes you very thirsty. (This is why it is so difficult to stay hydrated when you drink. You drink one, get thirsty, and want another one... You get the picture.)
How Much Water Do You Need?
Calculating Water Needs
I am sure there are many apps available for calculating your water needs, but as I was reading about hydration I stumbled on an easy method to determine your daily water needs.
Just take your weight and then divide it in half: that is how many ounces of water (or other hydrating fluids) you need to drink every day. For example, a 110-lb. woman would need 55 ounces of water under normal circumstances.
Otherwise, according to the Food and Nutrition Board, women should drink about 9 cups of water daily, and men should drink 12 (of course, these are averages).
How to Determine If You Are Hydrated
The easiest way to tell whether or not you are hydrated is to check the color of your urine. If it looks pale yellow or clear, you are hydrated. But if your urine is amber colored and concentrated, you need to drink more water.
Increase Fluids in Extreme Conditions
If it is 104 degrees and you have to move furniture, increase your water intake by 4.65 to 6.25 ounces per hour until you are finished working in these conditions.
Use a 10-oz. Cup/Glass
I use a 10-ounce glass to measure one serving when I track my water intake. Some people like to use 8-ounce glasses but my favorite drink bottle holds 20 ounces, so I like to use a 10-ounce glass for easy calculating. Just make sure you start monitoring your water intake so you can avoid dehydration.
Foods: Highest Water Content to Lowest
Foods that Hydrate the Body
Water Derived from All Sources
When you eat something, whether it be food or drink, your body extracts the water from it and uses it for many bodily functions. Your body does not only receives drinks to replace fluids but also takes in water from many of the foods that we eat.
Look at the Chart
Take a look at the chart above. It lists foods containing the most water to the foods that have no water. This should give you a very good idea of which foods contribute to your water intake.
Learn How to Get the Coconut Water Out of the Coconut
Take this Coconut Water Poll
What's your favorite coconut water?
Why Drink Coconut Water? (Here's Why)
Review of Various Bottled Coconut Waters
In a Nutshell
After reading many articles online about coconut water and whether it is more hydrating than water, I have to write that this is not true.
Nutritionists and sports medicine doctors both agree: if you are not running a marathon, bicycling in hot weather for miles, or doing some other strenuous, lengthy exercise, water is fine for hydrating your body.
Although coconut water does contain an impressive list of nutrients, coconut water does not have enough sodium to hydrate an athlete as quickly as a sports drink containing the proper mix of electrolytes.
Sports drinks contain the optimal amounts of electrolytes and are formulated to be assimilated quickly by the body. Whether you are an athlete or work outdoors when you are dehydrated a sports drink is your best choice for fast rehydrating – even better than water.
So, coconut water is just as hydrating as water-- no more, no less. Remember: as long as you are drinking (and eating) something, your body will extract the water it needs.
Coconut Water Nutritional Values
|Serving size: 1 cup|
|Calories from Fat||0|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 0 g|
|Saturated fat 0 g|
|Unsaturated fat 2 g|
|Carbohydrates 9 g||3%|
|Sugar 6 g|
|Fiber 3 g||12%|
|Protein 2 g||4%|
|Cholesterol 0 mg|
|Sodium 252 mg||11%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
Minerals in One Cup of Coconut Water
% of RDA
Links For More Information
- Benefits of Coconut Water | Organic Facts
Coconut water provides various health benefits which include rehydration, remedy for digestive system disorders, remedy for cholera, useful for intravenous hydration, controlling hypertension, lowering cholesterol levels and protection of heart.
- Prevention Guide to Promote Personal Health and Safety (Part 1)|Extreme Heat
Information on extreme heat. Provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- OSHA's Campaign to Prevent Heat Illness in Outdoor Workers | Protective Measures to Take at Each Ris
OSHA's Campaign to Prevent Heat Illness in Outdoor Workers | Protective Measures to Take at Each Risk Level - Actions for High Risk Conditions: Heat Index is 103 degrees F to 115 degrees F
© 2015 Miriam Parker