Are there benefits to drinking coconut juice during pregnancy?

by | Jun 17, 2021 | Obstetrics & Gynaecology

Coconut juice pregnancy. We’ve often heard the old wives’ tale: pregnant women should drink coconut juice, especially during the last trimester. It is said that doing so will prevent cradle cap when the baby is born, along with benefits such as:

  • Babies will have fairer, smoother skin.
  • Cause babies to grow thicker, fuller hair.
  • Reduce the likelihood of babies developing jaundice.

However, there is no scientific evidence that coconut juice has these effects on newborn babies. Let’s have a look at what researchers have discovered about this beverage.

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Coconut juice replenishes bodily fluids, but so does water

Coconut juice is touted as a refreshing drink, popularly used in lieu of a sports beverage to combat dehydration. This is because coconut water is said to contain electrolytes like potassium, magnesium, sodium, phosphorus and calcium. This is true, but amounts can vary due to changes that occur in coconut water as the coconut matures. Pregnant women are indeed more prone to dehydration, and doctors recommend that they should drink at least 10 cups of water daily as they lose water due to:

  • Morning sickness and vomiting.
  • Increased frequency of urination.
  • Increased sweating from increased blood flow and body temperature.

 

How much coconut juice should you drink while pregnant?

Coconut juice is considered by medical professionals to be low-risk, and there is no guideline on how much one should drink. However, if one has health conditions that require limiting potassium, sodium, or caloric intake, then one should be cautious about consuming coconut water. People with chronic kidney disease should limit their consumption of coconut water because of how potassium-rich the beverage is. According to a sample analysed by the United States Department of Agriculture, 100 ml of coconut water contains:

Energy  19 kcal
Carbohydrates 4.62 g
Sugars 4.23 g
Calcium 23 mg
Potassium 215 mg
Sodium 13 mg

 

Bearing in mind that there could be more than 10 g of sugar in a 240 ml cup of coconut water based on the nutritional information above, it is important not to consume too much coconut juice during pregnancy. Expectant mothers may wish to lower their risk of getting gestational diabetes, by consuming less sugar in their diet. Pregnant women who have already been diagnosed with gestational diabetes should limit their coconut juice intake so as to keep their blood sugar levels under control. Plain water is still the best drink to hydrate your body, and contains no calories.

 

 

This article has been fact checked by Dr Khoo Chong Kiat, senior consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at the CK Khoo Clinic For Women & Laparoscopy, Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital.

 

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