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This summer, discover the refreshing power of coconuts

Coconut water becoming a popular summer refreshment
Coconut water becoming a popular summer refreshment
Photo by Sergi Alexander

Summertime heat can bring about dehydration and loss of electrolytes, resulting in potentially serious health complications. After extensive physical activity or time outdoors it is important to replenish the body's fluids and minerals. Sports drinks like Gatorade have been widely promoted as a way to quench the body's thirst, yet for thousands of years people have been using a plentiful natural thirst quencher found in tropical and sub-tropical regions across the planet.

Coconut water is the liquid inside fresh coconuts that contains large amounts of electrolytes and relatively little sugar. It is especially high in potassium, and also contains sodium, magnesium, and phosphorus. It has similarities to blood plasma and it can stay fresh in sealed containers for very long periods of time. Coconut water can be obtained from cutting open a fresh coconut as well as by purchasing pre-packaged coconut water, an increasingly popular beverage. For those buying boxed or bottled coconut water, it is helpful to read the label to make sure that it is just 100% coconut water with no additional sweetener. Some brands also add additional flavors or juice from other fruits.

Coconut water is a healthy, refreshing beverage, and for those enjoying the outdoors at this time of year it is great to have it available as a refreshing drink. It provides the electrolytes that are usually lacking in water, a bit of natural sugar, and water for hydration. It is a far better choice than sodas, and is all natural and additive-free, unlike most sports beverages in the marketplace. Coconuts also provide nutritious and tasty "meat" that can be soft and jelly-like in younger coconuts and hard and fattier in more mature coconuts. This part of the coconut can be processed to extract coconut oil, which is a great health aid that is widely recognized as beneficial for treating and preventing Alzheimer's disease and for nurturing the hair and skin.