When you're pregnant or breastfeeding, it seems like everyone has an opinion about what you should and shouldn't be eating, drinking, and supplementing. You might even start to feel as though if you tried to eat it all, you would explode! If you're looking for a great addition to a healthy pregnancy or post partum diet, however, these great benefits of coconut water might help convince you that it's worth the addition.
Coconut water is safe to drink during pregnancy and breastfeeding but, like most things, it should be consumed in moderation and ask your doctor when changing up your diet.
Still on the fence about whether or not you want to add it in? Check out these great benefits.
You Should be Drinking Coconut Water Because...
1. It helps with early pregnancy and during breastfeeding dehydration. During those early weeks of pregnancy, morning sickness puts you at a higher risk for dehydration. Coconut water, which is high in vital electrolytes including minerals, sodium, calcium, potassium, and phosphorous, can help reverse some of the effects of dehydration. Keep in mind, however, that commercially sold coconut water is lower in sodium content and vitamins than water straight from the fruit, but it is still a great choice.
Choose pure coconut water and NOT coconut water with added sugar and unnatural flavors. The ingredients should just list "100% coconut water". Whole Foods and similar natural food grocers sell this stuff in large quantities so it's easy to find.
While breastfeeding, staying hydrated produces more milk. So add in coconut water to break up the monotony of drinking water every twenty minutes.
2. Coconut water decreases the odds of muscle cramps. Pregnancy makes cramps in your legs more likely, which can make it difficult to sleep at night. A glass of coconut water every day, however, can decrease your odds of experiencing this particular pregnancy discomfort.
3. Decrease your odds of kidney stones during pregnancy with coconut water. Some women find that they're more likely to develop kidney stones during pregnancy, especially if they're having trouble staying hydrated or have increased their caffeine consumption to stay awake and energetic. Coconut water can go a long way toward decreasing those odds because all the potassium in coconut water has an alkalinizing effect on urine and decreases chances for stones to form...and more so again because you are staying hydrated.
4. Boost your energy the natural way. Caffeine is great in moderation, but since you're supposed to cut down on caffeine while you're pregnant or breastfeeding, you may find that it's difficult to keep your eyes open by lunch time. Also loosing the coffee addiction can be tough!
Coconut water in place of coffee isn't the same, but it's a great new "must have" to replace the coffee you normally would be having. Try adding coconut water to see your energy levels rise naturally.
Get even more excited because you'll be skipping the creamers and sugars like in your past routine. You may even see your body tone improve when cutting the sugar drinks out and switching to coconut water which is about 46 calories only per serving.A happy, healthy body makes mama feel happy!
5. Aid your digestion. When your stomach is already churning thanks to a healthy dose of pregnancy hormones, you'll be grateful for coconut water's digestion aid, which will help you process your food more effectively and keep that meal baby didn't like from lingering in your system longer than necessary.Not only that, coconut water can help decrease symptoms of constipation, which can be highly uncomfortable and is unfortunately common during early pregnancy.
We ain't gonna lie now. You know being preggo leads to a bloated feeling. Hey, we all need to poop and coconut water is morning relief! Drink it to start your day.
6. Regulate your moods. Pregnancy mood swings are problem enough. When you add in the prenatal depression and anxiety that some women suffer, coconut water's ability to help with mood regulation, including decreasing stress, lowering anxiety levels, and helping to alleviate depression, seem almost miraculous. Now it isn't a cure all, but the B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, and folate help with relaxation.
7. Improve circulation. When you're pregnant, the blood volume throughout your body increases by 50%. That's cray right?All that blood needs to flow efficiently in order to nurture both you and baby, and drinking coconut water regularly can help improve those circulation efforts, lowering your heart rate and helping you feel more like yourself. This is more due to the hydration effects once again.
8. Fight heartburn. You know that high levels of heartburn are said to mean a baby with a head full of hair, but that doesn't mean that you're enjoying the experience! Drinking coconut water can help you decrease heartburn naturally.
9. Low fat and low sugar. Everything you eat counts when pregnant and while breastfeeding. Avoid packing on extra unhealthy pounds because of a poor diet. Eat and drink as much as you want to this and other nutritious whole foods. This is a healthy happy body choice.
10. Coconut water will decrease your odds of a urinary tract infection. You're already running to the bathroom all too frequently. A urinary tract infection during pregnancy could mean that you never leave! Coconut water is said to have anti fungal and ant bacterial effects. So instead of taking the risk, embrace this key benefit of coconut water.
Coconut Water Myths
For every good thing about coconut water, there's always a myth to go along with it. While it's certainly great for both your health and baby's--not to mention making for a more comfortable nine months of pregnancy--there are some things coconut water just can't do.
1. Put more hair on your baby's head. There's no correlation between the amount of coconut water you drink and the long, flowing locks you're hoping your baby will have.
2. Coconut water is an acceptable substitute for regular water. Sure, it's tempting to chug down this slightly sweet, refreshing beverage all day long. Just like you wouldn't drink a sports drink every time you pick up a bottle, however, you shouldn't replace all of your drinks with coconut water. Plain water is always your best choice for hydration when possible.
3. Coconut water will make your baby's skin clearer. Coconut water might help make your skin clearer, but baby's skin is another matter. Baby's skin will depend on health, heredity, and a variety of other factors.
4. Coconut water will make up for nutrients you aren't getting in other ways. Coconut water may contain a number of vital nutrients that are great for you and your growing baby, but it's not going to make up for nutrients that you aren't getting. Don't use your coconut water habit as an excuse to binge on unhealthy foods or to skip out on vital nutrients that you and your baby need. You need to be eating a rainbow of healthy, low sugar, and nutrient dense foods. Take your prenatal pills as directed. Don't just drink coconut water!
5. Coconut water will make me birth a boy. Really? We've had enough.
Coconut water's numerous health benefits make it the perfect drink during pregnancy whether you're using it as an occasional supplement following a doctor-approved workout or sipping it in an effort to help control your morning sickness. When used as part of a healthy diet and pregnancy-safe exercise plan, coconut water is a compliment to a healthy, happy pregnancy. It's not a miracle drink. It's simply a great beverage choice during this incredible period of your life that keeps you hydrated without even noticing!
Make a Mocktail: Spice up your coconut water with some fresh cut fruits like pineapple, strawberries, and lemon...add an umbrella.