What Are the Benefits of Coconut Water for the Skin?

A little sweet and a little salty, coconut water is a native drink to the Pacific islands. Not to be confused with coconut milk, which is made from coconut meat, coconut water is the juice from a young green coconut. While there is no direct connection between coconut water and skin, the water contains nutrients that are important for healthy skin.

Chilled coconut water in a mason jar sits on a wooden cutting board with shards of raw coconut beside it. (Image: Svitlana_Pimenov/iStock/Getty Images)

Hydration for Healthy Skin

Every organ in your body, including skin, requires water to function properly. While water is always the preferred choice for hydration, according to Clemson Cooperative Extension, the occasional glass of coconut water is a healthy option for hydration, especially for those who need flavor in their beverages. Coconut water is low in calories, with 44 calories per 1-cup serving, and a source of the essential nutrients vitamin C, potassium, calcium and magnesium. Drinking more fluids such as coconut water may not make your skin more radiant and glowing, says the University of Wisconsin-Madison, but it keeps it healthy.

Nutrients for Energy and Structure

Carbohydrates, which your body turns into glucose through digestion and metabolism, is an important nutrient for skin health. Most of the calories in coconut water come from carbohydrates, with 10 grams in a 1-cup serving. Glucose from drinks such as coconut water is the primary source of energy for your skin, which uses as much glucose as your skeletal muscles, according to the Linus Pauling Institute. Glucose is also an important component of skin cells. Not getting enough carbs in your diet may affect skin structure and appearance..

Vitamin C for Elasticity and Protection

Vitamin C is a vital nutrient for skin health. One cup of coconut water contains 24 milligrams of vitamin C, meeting 40 percent of the daily value for this vitamin. You need adequate intake of vitamin C to make collagen, a structural protein that gives your skin firmness and elasticity and is also important for wound healing. As an antioxidant, the vitamin C in coconut water may also protect your skin against damage from the sun. Additionally, getting more vitamin C in your diet may help prevent dry skin.

Healthier Than Fruit Juice

While coconut water contains nutrients that are good for your skin, it is not a cure-all. As a beverage, it makes a healthier choice than fruit juice, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, because it is lower in calories and a better source of potassium. Drink unflavored coconut water to keep calories low and nutritional benefits up.

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