I recently had a bad cold and went in to see a naturopathic doctor about the ringing in my right ear. Suspecting that I was a little dehydrated, she recommended that I drink coconut water for a couple of days to rehydrate with an electrolyte-rich drink.

I’m not sure if it was the coconut water or the natural progression of my cold, but after starting my three-day regime of coconut water, I started feeling much better.

So what’s so great about coconut water? Here are a few facts:

1. Coconut water is a source of electrolytes in the form of potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphate, sodium, and small amounts of essential amino acids.

2. A small study of 10 men found that coconut water was comparable to a sport’s drink and was slightly more hydrating than water when sodium was added to it (it’s low in sodium, and high in potassium, so adding a pinch of unrefined salt could also help with hydration). A crossover study found that it was easier to drink than other hydration drinks, and caused less upset stomachs while being just as hydrating; the study concluded that it was a good choice. 

3. It’s delicious! I wasn’t sure about the taste the first time I tried it, but I have grown to love its sweet taste.

4. While a hard workout requires protein for recovery – something coconut water is not a source of – I think it’s a great alternative to sports drinks that contain a lot of ingredients I try to leave out of my diet, such as food dyes and corn syrup. 

5. It’s a great drink for children. Because it’s sweet, many children like it, and enjoy drinking it on hot days, or when they're under the weather.

Granted, it is expensive. Most of the time, just drinking water, and foods that give the electrolytes you need, is quite adequate. But when you're sick and not eating normally, or when you're feeling particularly dehydrated, coconut water can been helpful. I like mixing it with kombucha to create a delicious flavor. I mix 3/4 cup of coconut water with 1/4 cup berry-flavored kombucha and it is the perfect, refreshing drink on a hot day. However, just be aware that there are 12 grams of sugar per 8-ounce serving, so if you need to watch your carbohydrates, drinking lots of it everyday could be a problem. 

Related on MNN:

What's so great about coconut water?
You need to stay hydrated this summer, and coconut water is a sweet way to achieve that goal.