They’re one of the world’s favourite fruits due to their sweet taste and water, but coconuts are special for other reasons too. Drinking coconut water before bed could actually help you sleep, protect you from disease and boost your immune system. We explain how, next.
Drinking coconut water before bed: The surprising sleep aid
Coconuts have been eaten for thousands of years, with this tropical fruit providing both flesh to eat and water to drink. However, it’s only in recent years that we’ve discovered that drinking coconut water at night could be a natural sleep aid.
That’s because drinking coconut water before bed can directly help you sleep due to the presence of magnesium. Why’s that notable? Well supplementing with magnesium has been shown to help relieve symptoms of insomnia and improve sleep efficiency, sleep time and sleep onset. It’s also been shown to reduce anxiety – one of the leading causes of insomnia.
Coconut water is also a rich source of potassium. That’s important as low potassium levels can lead to disturbed sleep, whilst supplementing with potassium has been seen to improve sleep consolidation. However one caveat – if you have chronic kidney problems then consuming food and drink with a high potassium content may not be safe. So make sure to speak with your doctor.
Drinking coconut water at night could help sleep quality and onset due to the presence of magnesium and potassium. Both of which have been shown to have a positive effect on sleep quality.
Drinking coconut water at night: The other health benefits
Drinking coconut water before bed has other benefits too. That’s because this remarkable drink is also anti-inflammatory, and has antioxidants. Both are crucial to keeping your health in check, and can even reverse damage done to your body.
The anti-inflammatory nature of coconut water has been studied before, with one study going as far as concluding that coconut water has ‘significant anti-inflammatory activity’. That’s important to note as many major diseases like arthritis, diabetes and Alzheimer’s are often linked to chronic inflammation. Therefore incorporating anti-inflammatory foods and drinks into your diet – like coconut water or walnuts – is a no-brainer.
Coconut water is also a great source of antioxidants. That’s important as antioxidants appear to have a direct effect on sleep quality, as they support the immune system and help promote restfulness at night.
Antioxidant foods also help protect your body and can even reverse damage that has been done by oxidative stress. Oxidative stress comes about when there’s an imbalance between free radical molecules (which can cause harm) and antioxidants – that imbalance then causes illness and tissue damage. The result can be the development of diseases such as cancer, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and many others. Therefore consuming antioxidant foods and drinks – like coconut water or grapes – should be a priority.
The science has been backed up too. Whilst very few human studies have been carried out, in animal studies coconut water was shown to control blood sugar levels in diabetic rats, in another, coconut water appeared to prevent kidney stones, whilst another saw a reduction in cholesterol levels when coconut water was consumed.
Coconut water has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities. Because of this, several studies have shown coconut water to have a positive effect on health.
Incorporating coconut water into your diet
Coconut water is refreshing and delicious, so can easily be incorporated into your diet in its natural form. Although we recommend having it with some freshly squeezed lemon and lime.
However, you can also easily add coconut water to recipes in order to get its full health benefits. Use it for a smoothie alongside sleep superfoods like kiwi and chia seeds, add it in a salsa or as part of a salad dressing, or you can even combine it with peanut butter to make a dipping sauce!
Drinking coconut water at night: What about side effects?
If you don’t have a coconut allergy then drinking coconut water in moderate amounts shouldn’t cause any side effects. However drinking coconut water in excess can lead to an upset stomach, bloating, diarrhoea, and possible kidney problems due to the high potassium content.
As always, we recommend consulting with your doctor if undertaking a diet change, or if you have concerns about how a specific food may interact with any preexisting conditions or medicines.