One of the coolest drinkable superfoods in recent years, the internet and social media is rife with health claims ranging from hydration and electrolytes, to glowing skin and the ultimate hangover cure, but how much of this is true?

While coconut water is without a doubt a much healthier alternative to soda and other sweetened and flavoured beverages – after all it’s refreshing without the added sugar, and can even be used as a cocktail mixer or smoothie base, is it really as healthy as the internet claims it to be?

Let’s put aside all the hype and look at the legitimate benefits of drinking coconut water:

It’s Packed With Antioxidants

Coconut water contains antioxidants that can neutralise damaging free radicals that cause oxidative stress on the body. But the fruit’s antioxidant power is diminished by over-processing so it’s best to choose fresh coconut water for the highest antioxidant activity, as heat processing reduces antioxidant activity.

Electrolytes And Vitamin C

Coconut water is most famous for its ability to hydrate and hydrate it does with its naturally occurring electrolytes -magnesium, potassium, calcium and sodium, all of which are important for maintaining fluid balance in the body.

In addition to keeping you hydrated, electrolytes help balance the body’s pH level and helps control muscle contractions which is great for post-workout recovery. Coconut water also naturally contains about 10% of the recommended daily intake for vitamin C per serving.

A Good Post Workout Beverage

Coconut water is about 95% water and contains both carbohydrates and electrolytes, making it great for post-workout hydration and recovery. It’s also naturally much lower in sugar than sports drinks, and doesn’t contain any artificial colours or flavours.

Picking The Best Option

Read the nutrition labels. Look for sugar-free coconut water, and whenever possible opt for the fresh fruit over the carton or bottle.