The Benefits of Coconut Water During PregnancyDuring pregnancy, staying hydrated and getting essential nutrients while avoiding potentially harmful foods can be a tough adjustment to your everyday diet—but the uber-popular super-drink coconut water touts loads of benefits and few downsides for pregnant women.
In Cincinnati, summer months get especially hot, and the vital hydration provided by coconut water can be a lifesaver for pregnant women.
Is Coconut Water Safe to Drink During Pregnancy?
Since OB/GYNs recommend avoiding anything with the potential for bacterial growth, like soft cheeses and sushi, lots of moms-to-be wonder if coconut water is safe. Most of the time, the coconut water sold on shelves (like VitaCoco and Zico) is pasteurized and completely safe for pregnant women.
Some cold-pressed coconut waters (like Harmless Harvest) are unpasteurized but still use a filtration process to ensure the product is sterile and bacteria-free.
The most important thing that ensures the safety of coconut water during pregnancy is whether the product was stored accurately. If it needs to be refrigerated or consumed within a certain date, those guidelines matter more than the brand or type of coconut water you drink during pregnancy.
The Benefits of Coconut Water for Pregnant Women
Although it’s important to acknowledge that coconut water won’t dramatically change your health, the nutrients in coconut water are especially beneficial to pregnant women. So, here are 8 reasons why pregnant women should drink coconut water.
- Coconut water is a good source of hydration.
Coconut water is a hydrating beverage that also provides electrolytes. It’s 95% water, and for some, it’s a more pleasant experience than drinking regular water. Coconut water is also a better option than sugary drinks or juices since it is free of added sugars, flavors, and dyes.
Although coconut water is a great source of hydration during pregnancy, OB/GYNs always recommend water as the gold standard for hydrating.
- Coconut water contains electrolytes, which pregnant women tend to lose.
Morning sickness is no fun when it’s happening—and afterward, the loss of water and electrolytes leaves many women feeling sluggish. Coconut water naturally contains potassium, sodium, and magnesium, which are electrolytes essential to your well-being.
Consuming coconut water after vomiting can help your system stabilize and make you feel more energetic. However, if you experience excessive vomiting from a condition like a hyperemesis gravidarum, consult your physician. You may need even more electrolytes than coconut water can provide.
- Pregnancy heartburn and acid reflux may be soothed by sipping coconut water.
As your baby grows, an increase in progesterone relaxes your stomach valves. Ultimately, uncomfortable sour burps work their way up. Acid reflux during pregnancy is not pretty, and sipping coconut water may provide some relief.
Although there is no scientific evidence to support the claim that coconut water works to soothe acid reflux, many pregnant women swear by it.
- Coconut water promotes fetal development.
Just as vitamins and minerals are essential for your health, nutrients are vital to your baby’s development, too. With some of these nutrients, coconut water can help supplement your intake of these helpful elements, including calcium, potassium, and magnesium (but the exact makeup will change depending on the brand).
Even though coconut water can help support things like healthy birth weight and strong bones, coconut water shouldn’t replace your regular prenatal vitamins.
- It might reduce blood pressure.
Many women experience high blood pressure during pregnancy, and the high potassium levels in coconut water may help promote healthy blood flow and lower high blood pressure.
More studies are needed, but a preliminary study found that a majority of people experienced reduced systolic blood pressure after just two weeks of regularly drinking coconut water.
- Coconut water can prevent UTIs.
If you’re especially prone to UTIs (which many pregnant women are), natural diuretics like coconut water will increase how frequently you need to pee and decrease your risk of UTIs.
- It’s a good post-workout drink.
Since coconut water is great for hydrating and contains electrolytes, it makes a great post-workout drink. It’s a healthier choice compared to sugary sports drinks, and it can rehydrate you from pregnancy-friendly workouts—whether you cultivate a gentle yoga practice or are training for something more intense.
- Coconut water makes a decent mocktail.
Saying hello to a baby means saying goodbye to Cincinnati nightlife. Even though you can’t go to the bar anymore, you can still enjoy refreshing mocktails. Coconut water is non-alcoholic, naturally flavored, and offers a low-sugar and low-carb option as a mocktail ingredient.
How Much Coconut Water Should You Drink During Pregnancy?
It’s always possible to get too much of a good thing. When drinking coconut water during pregnancy, be mindful of moderating your intake. Overconsuming the nutrients in coconut water (like potassium) could be detrimental to your health and your baby’s health.
You should try not to drink any more than two cups of coconut water each day while pregnant. And always consult your OB/GYN or physician before making extreme changes to your diet.