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RD Choice – Wild Harvest® Coconut Water

Written by Andrew Akhaphong
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Have a Healthy New Year and refresh with a cold can of coconut water.

Wild Harvest® Coconut Water is your Dietitian’s Choice, 4 for $5.00 on 8 oz cans from January 13 thru January 19th.

Why Drink Coconut Water?

Coconut water is obtained from young, green (immature) coconuts as they contain the most water. As the coconut ages, it start to lose some of that water, but the coconut meat becomes firmer in texture and nuttier in flavor.

Many sports drinks contain high levels of added sugar and are a popular choice among young children and adolescents. This becomes an issue if sports drinks are consumed on a daily basis. A study conducted in 2014 found daily sports drink consumption increases the risk for weight gain among adolescents. Another study in 2016  found daily sports drink consumption among young children increases the risk for type-2 diabetes, tooth decay, and cardiovascular disease in their adult life.

two-young-boys-drinking-beverages

Unlike sports drinks, coconut water is free from added sugars but do note it contains natural sugar, about 70% fructose and 30% sucrose. In addition, coconut water is packed with natural electrolytes whereas those added into sports drinks are often synthetic.

What Are Electrolytes?

electrolytes

Electrolytes are the basic minerals necessary for metabolic and body functioning. During times of illness, vomiting, diarrhea, sweating, or dehydration, your electrolytes become imbalanced and may trigger further risks or worsen symptoms. In addition, your electrolytes may become imbalanced related to certain medications. 

Potassium 
Your body uses potassium together with sodium like a partnership. When a sodium enters into a cell,  potassium leaves, and vice versa. Potassium is critical to your heart function. Too much or too little can cause serious heart problems. In addition, potassium prevents muscles from cramping.

  • Hyperkalemia (too much potassium): Weakness, inability to move muscles, confusion, irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias).
  • Hypokalemia (not enough potassium): Muscle weakness and cramps, feeling unusually thirsty and needing to pee frequently, dizziness or passing out when standing up too quickly. At higher levels, muscle tissue begins to break down (a condition called rhabdomyolysis, which can severely damage your kidneys) and heart arrhythmias become a serious threat.


Chloride
It plays a key role in how your body maintains their internal and external balance of fluid and is critical in maintaining the body’s natural pH balance (whether your blood is neutral, acidic, or basic).

Hyperchloremia (too much chloride)This can cause acidosis, which is when your blood’s acidity is too high. It results in nausea, vomiting and fatigue, as well as rapid, deeper breathing and confusion. This usually happens in connection with too much or too little potassium.

  • When related to hyperkalemia: When associated with too much potassium, it can cause severe kidney problems or kidney failure.
  • When related to hypokalemia: When connected with too little potassium, it can cause diarrhea, fluid leakage from the pancreas, and other serious urinary tract problems.


Hypochloremia (not enough chloride)

  • This causes your blood to become more alkaline, a condition called alkalosis. It usually happens with hyponatremia or vomiting. Symptoms of alkalosis are apathy, confusion, arrhythmias and muscle twitching or loss of control.


Phosphate
Phosphate helps transport chemical compounds and molecules outside your cells. It helps your cells metabolize nutrients, and it’s also a key part of molecules called nucleotides, which are the building blocks that make up your DNA.

  • Hyperphosphatemia (too much phosphate): This typically causes you to experience hypocalcemia because your body tries to use calcium as a substitute for phosphorus. It usually doesn’t cause symptoms until it becomes severe, and symptoms of hypocalcemia also often happen with this. It can also be associated with excessive itching.
  • Hypophosphatemia (not enough phosphate): The early symptom of this condition is usually muscle weakness. As it gets worse, more severe symptoms occur. They include rhabdomyolysis (breakdown of muscle tissue, which can cause severe kidney damage), seizures, reduced heart function and trouble breathing (caused by muscle weakness).


Sodium

Helps your tissues maintain fluid balance. Sodium also assists tissues to absorb nutrients. 

  • Hypernatremia (too much sodium): Can cause confusion or behavior changes, unusually strong reflexes and loss of muscle control, seizures and coma.
  • Hyponatremia (not enough sodium): Confusion, irritability, weakened reflexes, nausea and vomiting, seizures and coma.


Magnesium
Helps your body turn nutrients into energy. Your brain and muscles rely heavily on magnesium to do their job.

  • Hypermagnesemia (too much magnesium): Heart rhythm changes and arrhythmias, weakened reflexes, decreased ability to breathe and cardiac arrest (your heart stops).
  • Hypomagnesemia (not enough magnesium): Muscle weakness, twitching and loss of control, heart arrhythmias. This commonly happens in connection with calcium and potassium deficiencies.


Calcium
Calcium does more than just build strong bones and teeth. Calcium helps control the use of your muscles, deliver communication throughout the body, manage your heart rhythm and more. Having too much or too little calcium in your blood can cause a wide range of symptoms across different systems in your body.

Hypercalcemia (too much calcium)

  • Brain: Headache, fatigue, apathy and confusion.
  • Digestive tract: Constipation, abdominal pain and vomiting.
  • Kidneys: Frequent need to pee, kidney stones and kidney failure.
  • Heart: Arrhythmias, some of which can be severe.
  • Skeletal: Pain in the bones and joints.


Hypocalcemia (not enough calcium)

  • Brain: Confusion and behavior changes.
  • Muscles: Unusually strong reflexes and loss of muscle control, muscle twitching, spasms in the throat muscles making it hard to speak or breathe.

Coconut Water Lemon+Lime – Ade

By Bee of Rasa Malaysia, Oct 20, 2021
https://rasamalaysia.com/coconut-water-lemonade/#mv-creation-963

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Ingredients

  • 4 cups canned coconut water
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 3 limes, juiced
  • 3 tablespoons sugar or agave nectar
  • 2 lemons, sliced
  • 2 cups ice
  • mint leaves for garnishing

Directions
1. Slice the lemons (not used for the juicing) into pieces, set aside.

2. In a pitcher, combine the coconut water, lemon juice, lime juice and sugar together. Stir to mix well. Add the sliced lemons and ice into the pitcher. Pour the lemonade into glasses and garnish with mint leaves.

Sources:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4180814/
https://blogs.bmj.com/bjsm/2016/06/29/regular-consumption-of-sports-drinks-are-a-risk-to-childrens-health/
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