Senior Health: The Hydrating Benefits of Coconut Water
When my senior aged mother was diagnosed with cancer May 2011, it was devastating. After a very rough summer and a fall spent in a rehab center. Mom came home and started intravenous chemo. One of the problems we had was the fact that cancer and chemo were causing her to be dehydrated, She just didn't want to ingest anything. This affected her blood pressure. She would often have low pressure. If it got too low it meant time in the hospital getting rehydrated.Sheriene, her nurse (a native of Jamaica), suggested we get her some coconut water. This really helped her blood pressure to level out, and she had not nearly as many problems with it as before. The nurse told us that coconut water not only improves hydration and has electrolytes, it also causes the body to increase hydrating from other liquids.
What problems can dehydration can cause an elderly person?
- Low Blood Pressure: Low blood pressure can lead to weak limbs and dizziness, which can lead to falls.
- Urinary Tract Infections: Urinary Tract Infections can lead to fever, disorientation and confusion. It can also lead to increased hospitalization.
- Poor Body Temperature Regulation: Poor Body Temperature Regulation can cause confusion, over heat, loss of appetite, and death.
- Brain Fog/Confusion: Confusion can be dangerous when it comes to remembering medication, where they are or are going, where they live, etc.
- Tiredness: Tiredness can take away from living a full life. Keeping folks from participating in events which can give life meaning and purpose.
- Weakness: Weakness is the greatest danger to quality of life. Broken bones can lead to long and uncomfortable stays in rehab, an increase in weakness, and a severe loss of mobility.
- Kidney Issues: Kidney issues people who are on dialysis or who have poor kidney function are very limited in the amounts that they can drink. Coconut water is a great plus for them because it causes the body to hydrate more effectively. Thus, helps them with not only their kidney function but the rest of their body and processing a low amount of liquids.
These issues are very serious issues. Keeping senior adults hydrated is important. When you have a loved or patient who is dehydrated from medicine, chemotherapy, and other kinds of chemically induced dehydration; coconut water is a great way to naturally rehydrate the body. Or better yet, keep from becoming dehydrated.
According to WEbMD, “There are some health benefits to consuming coconut water. It’s an all-natural way to hydrate, reduce sodium, and add potassium to diets. Most Americans don’t get enough potassium in their diets because they don’t eat enough fruits, vegetables, or dairy, so coconut water can help fill in the nutritional gaps.”
More Effective Hydration for Seniors & Every Body
Being more effective in hydration is actually the name of the game. It is much easier to stay hydrated than it is to combat dehydration. Therefore if you have a parent who is entering into their late sixties early seventies, it might be a good idea to start drinking coconut water now. Getting into the habit of drinking coconut water will help the body prevent dehydration.
There's an old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure.” Meaning that it's better to prevent something from happening than it is to correct it after it has happened. Coconut water is an acquired taste so it may take some time to find one.
Choose The One You Like Best
There are several brands of coconut water:
- Vita Coco
- Harmless Harvest
- Naked Juice
- Coco Libre
Mom never really found one she loved, but ended up preferring one. There are some with flavors and some plain. If your senior loved one likes an Arnold Palmer, I like Vita Coco’s lemonade and tea.
Coconut Water Recipes
I suggest you also make drinks with coconut water rather than regular water as the base.
Here is a recipe for nectarine frozen punch:
- 2 nectarines juiced (you can process the blender and work through a strainer. Leave the peel on for a gorgeous color.)
- 1c OJ
- ½ c lemon juice
- ¾ sugar or equivalent sweeter
- 16 oz coconut water
- Put 6 ice cubes in a blender with the other ingredients. Pulse until ice is crushed. Makes 2 servings.
Here is a recipe for Ginger Limeade:
- 1 inch piece of ginger
- 2 cups regular water
- 1/2 cup of lime juice preferably fresh squeezed
- 1 cup sugar or sweetener
- 2 cups Coconut Water
- In a small pot add 1 inch of ginger in 2 cups of water bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes and turn off, add the cup of sugar stir until dissolved. Leave to cool.
- Once cooled remove the piece of Ginger and add the ginger syrup to a pitcher. Add lime juice and coconut water, stir to mix pour over ice. Makes 4-8oz servings.
When it come to our senior loved ones, staying hydrated is akin to staying healthy. Coconut water is no cure, and it’s no miracle drink. It is a simple tool that can be used to keep your body hydrated on an ongoing basis.