When it comes to blood sugar concerns and drinks, you hear a lot about what not to have. Don’t drink juice, don’t drink soda, watch for anything interesting. Sometimes it can feel like you are stuck with nothing but water and tea. While we think water and tea are refreshing, we don’t like being limited. That’s why we’ve spoken so frequently about infused waters, new drinks to the market and if trends are healthy options.
One drink you might not think to try is coconut water. You might assume that, like juice, it’s high in sugar. However, coconut water can be a healthy, refreshing drink that may aid blood sugar while also quenching your thirst this summer.
Unlike water, coconut water does have calories; a cup has 45.6 calories and 11 percent of your daily sodium. So, it’s essential to keep that in mind. It also has carbs, 8.9 grams. But, it has 2.6 grams of fiber and 1.7 grams of protein. Additionally, a cup has 17 percent of your daily manganese and potassium, 15 percent of your magnesium, 10 percent of your vitamin C and six percent of your calcium.
In the summer, when you are sweating, it is crucial to replace your electrolytes to maintain hydration. Coconut water has about the same amount as sports drinks but with far fewer calories, sweeteners and ingredients. Coconut water has calories, and too much potassium can be a problem. So, if you like the flavor and want to get the electrolytes and benefits throughout the day, consider cutting it with water. You can “stretch” the drink, keeping the taste and all of the nutrients but having it more spread out.
There are other things to watch out for when enjoying coconut water. Some brands of coconut water add sugar. While it is naturally sweet, it’s not overly sweet, so producers up the punch with added sugar. Sweetened coconut water tends to have twice the amount of carbs as unsweetened versions. Always the label and make sure you know what you’re drinking. Another thing to consider is that coconuts are tree nuts. As an adult, you probably know if you are allergic to coconut. But, if you have a tree nut allergy and it has been a while since you’ve eaten anything made with coconut, you should steer clear of coconut water.
Some animal studies have found that drinking coconut water may lower blood sugar. But, human studies are needed. Coconut water is rich in magnesium which can increase insulin sensitivity. The drink has fiber, which is nice. And, it is low in sugar compared to juices, sports drinks and sodas. So, while the jury is out on if it can help blood sugar, it’s undoubtedly a better alternative to other heavier options!