Coconut water has received quite a bit of buzz in the press for being a great hangover cure. As a person very interested in hangovers, I decided to delve into the subject and see what science is behind it. To begin my examination of coconut water, let’s see what is in it.
Coconut water is what is inside a young coconut. As the coconut matures, the liquid contains a bit more sugar and gets mostly absorbed into the meat of the coconut.Juvenile (also called tender coconut water) contains more anti-oxidants than mature coconut water. In addition, coconut water does contain potassium. It contains about the same amount of potassium as a banana or twice as much as 8 oz of Pedialyte.
After doing quite a bit of searching, I found thousands of claims about coconut water containing large amounts of diverse anti-oxidants. I had a hard time finding out exactly what they were. Finally, I discovered that the main anti-oxidant in coconut water is L-arginine, as well as some phyto-antixoidants, which are antioxidants important to plants.
Why are anti-oxidants important to hangovers? Because drinking alcohol causes oxidative stress on the body and consumes anti-oxidants, you need to replenish your anti-oxidant levels. Basically anti-oxidants prevent and repair damage to the body. If you are low on anti-oxidants, you will feel worse after a night of drinking.
So, coconut water does contain anti-oxidants and electrolytes, specifically potassium. Anti-oxidants and electrolytes are key components of any hangover treatment. The actual amount of anti-oxidants in coconut water is not very high. In one study, coconut water actually had lower amounts of anti-oxidants than many other fruit juices, such as Acai juice. But, the potassium, hydration, and small amounts of anti-oxidants in coconut water will probably help a hangover to a certain degree. If you can tolerate the taste, give it a go, but also try these other tips to not have a hangover in the first place:
1. Drink high-end alcohol, especially gin and vodka. They contain fewer impurities.
2. Hit the dance floor! If you are dancing, you take a break from drinking and get your metabolism up.
3. Read more tips on preventing hangovers here.
4. Read more about cheap alcohol and hangovers here.
For not much more than the price of a bottle of coconut water, try the Hangover Support Supplements by Hangover Heaven. They are custom formulated by Dr. Burke. When taken before drinking, they significantly reduce the likelihood of a hangover.