Coconut water benefits for pregnancy

Coconut water may be refreshing and tasty, but science has yet to conclusively link it to dramatic health claims. However, it does contain some important nutrients and might have some pregnancy-specific benefits.

1. Hydrates

Hey, “water” is right there in the name — and for good reason! Coconut water is about 95 percent pure waterTrusted Source.

“[Coconut water] can be an option during pregnancy, as it is hydrating and provides electrolytes,” says dietitian Alyssa Pike, RD, manager of nutrition communications for the International Food Information Council. If you’re feeling parched, this trendy drink isn’t a bad choice for staying hydrated.

On the other hand, there’s nothing special about coconut water’s hydrating power compared to that of good ol’ H2O. “Water is the gold standard for hydration and less expensive than coconut water,” Pike points out.

2. Replaces lost electrolytes from morning sickness

Who doesn’t love starting their day hurling last night’s dinner into the toilet bowl? Oh, wait, no one.

When nausea and vomiting have you down for the count, it’s possible coconut water’s electrolytes could help your system stabilize. Women with hyperemesis gravidarum — an extreme form of morning sickness — often require added electrolytes to make up for losses from excessive vomiting.

Coconut water contains valuable electrolytes like potassium, sodium, and magnesium.

3. Replenishes lost fluids

Similarly, if morning sickness is making you toss your cookies on repeat, it’s important to replenish the body’s fluid stores. Coconut water is one beverage that will do so without a ton of added sugar.

4. May soothe acid reflux

Ugh, the pain of pregnancy-related heartburn! As your baby bump grows, and progesterone relaxes stomach valves, gastric juice may bubble up into your esophagus, causing discomfort and the dreaded sour burps.

Some pregnant women swear that sipping coconut water soothes their reflux. However, there’s no scientific evidence to support these claims.

5. Contains some nutrients for fetal development

You’ve probably heard how important vitamins and minerals are for your growing baby’s development — hence your doctor’s rec to take your prenatal vitamins. To an extent, coconut water can add to this mix. Depending on the brand, its micronutrients include calcium, potassium, and magnesium.

During pregnancy, magnesium supplementation has been associatedTrusted Source with increased birth weight and reduced risk of preeclampsia. Calcium is another nutrient to watch: “Calcium is essential for bone and teeth development,” notes Pike. But, she cautions, coconut water isn’t a micronutrient catchall for pregnancy.

Although coconut water contains small amounts of some minerals, it’s important to concentrate on consuming a nutrient-dense diet rich in whole foods that provide key macro- and micronutrients needed for fetal and maternal health.

6. May reduce blood pressure

For those who have high blood pressure during pregnancy, coconut water may make a smart choice because of its potassium. This nutrient is a known contributor to regulating blood flow and blood pressure. One small 2005 studyTrusted Source even found that drinking coconut water for 2 weeks reduced systolic blood pressure in 71 percent of participants.

Of course, this fruity drink shouldn’t be used as a substitute for treatment for high blood pressure or preeclampsia. Talk to your doctor about the best treatment options for these conditions.

7. Makes for a smart choice post-workout

One analysis of studies found that coconut water is as hydrating as plain water for restoring hydration after a long bout of exercise — and offers even more complete hydration than water when it contains a little sodium.

While we’re willing to bet you’re not running marathons with a bun in the oven (and if you are, a heartfelt high-five to you) coconut water can make for refreshing rehydration after any kind of prolonged pregnancy-friendly exercise, such as walking or swimming.

Because coconut water also contains electrolytes and some carbs, it can further help with balanced hydration as well.

8. Provides you with a healthier mocktail choice

When a pitcher of margaritas is calling your name, coconut water is a refreshing, low-cal alternative base for crafting a fancy mocktail. Not only is it non-alcoholic, it’s relatively low carbTrusted Source at 10 grams per 8 ounces. Take that, Jose Cuervo!

Author's Bio: 

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