Maybe you heard about coconut water while reading a health magazine. Maybe you noticed that all the celebs in your tabloids now seem to be carrying coconut water everywhere they go. We’re not here to judge your reading preferences – but we do know that one way or another, coconut water has become ubiquitously associated with good health and diet practices, and here’s why:

1. Electrolytes. Coconut water contains electrolytes such as magnesium and calcium, but lack fat and cholesterol, meaning that you get a big benefit from the drink without any compromise. Interesting fact: These drinks have been recommended in place of water to rehydrate you after a night of drinking or just staying out late, because of these natural, system-boosting properties.

2. Affordable. Many athletes prefer to spend a few dollars for a coconut milk than $2 or more on popular fruity juices with artificially added electrolytes. This product may be priced lower than sports drinks of the same size because those drinks require extra processing to manufacture, while coconut water is easy to harvest, without modifications, from several countries where the fruit/nut/seed (it’s technically all three) grows in abundance.

3. Eco-friendly. Because the coconut is grown efficiently and can be harvested without harming the environment, it’s considered an earth-friendly drink. Some coconut water drinks also come in eco-friendly encasement, which may make these products your preference over other brands.

There are several brands of coconut water (which is different than coconut milk, a processed product of coconut meat), which you can find on most grocery store shelves. There are even flavored options, like strawberry or chocolate. Best of all, the FDA allows coconut water packaging to say that the product may reduce the risk of high blood pressure and strokes. Try it out and let us know what you think!

We all know that it’s important to drink a lot of water every day to stay healthy. But how much water are we supposed to drink? According to the Mayo Clinic, there’s no clear answer (no pun intended). How much you need to drink depends on your age, weight, location, lifestyle and other factors. For example, if you’re working out a lot, you obviously need to drink more water before, during and after your exercise routine. Those dieting may also want to consume more water throughout the day. Adults and heavyset individuals need more than children and thin individuals.

Benefits to drinking throughout the day include:

  • Staying refreshed in the summer heat.
  • Suppressing your appetite/encouraging your metabolism.
  • Flushing toxins out of your system.
  • Regulating your body systems.
  • Sustaining ongoing energy.

As a general marker, you might want to start with 8 cups of water per day (about 8 oz. each). This falls among the 2-3 liters of all beverages you should consume per day, with an output of about half as much clear, yellow urine.

Your intake of daily liquids may involve drinks other than water. We recommend beverages low on sugars and salts (you can check the calorie count in general) with antioxidants and vitamins. Orange or grapefruit juice are excellent picks, and coconut water has become a trendy drink to gain antioxidants without artificial additives. Learn more about the benefits of coconut water next week.