A majority of us may not be able to resist this cool, refreshing nature’s gift, especially on hot summer days. Coconut water is rich in electrolytes and carries many vital nutrients that are beneficial during pregnancy. However, there are certain side effects of coconut water during pregnancy that should not be overlooked.
Drinking tender coconut water during pregnancy is an excellent remedy when diarrhea and vomiting strike. Therefore, many of us believe that coconut water can hydrate our body considerably. However, coconut water is rich in electrolytes and that helps to restore the electrolyte levels rather than hydrating the body.
In other words, coconut water is not a substitute for drinking water during pregnancy. You have to stick to those 8 to 12 glasses of daily consumption of water irrespective of whatever amount of coconut water you are drinking. No drinks have hydrating properties as best as normal pure water.
Side Effects Of Coconut Water During Pregnancy
Irrespective of the high nutritional value of coconut water and its benefits during pregnancy, there are some disadvantages of coconut water to consider, especially during pregnancy. Neither of these side effects of coconut water during pregnancy will happen if you limit its consumption.
On the other hand, if you consume it beyond limits or if you have some underlying health issues, drinking coconut water during pregnancy can bring about the following side effects.
1. Increases the risk of preeclampsia
Preeclampsia is a potentially dangerous pregnancy complication that ends up damaging internal organs, more often kidneys and liver. If not detected and treated at right time, preeclampsia can be fatal for both mother and unborn child.
This usually appears after the 20th week of pregnancy. It is characterized by high blood pressure even in expecting women who had normal blood pressure until then.
According to various studies, variations in electrolytes, especially sodium and potassium, contribute to preeclampsia. Coconut water is rich in electrolytes, and overconsumption of coconut water during pregnancy might trigger preeclampsia.
Therefore pregnant women with a history of preeclampsia should abstain from overconsumption of coconut water.
2. Side effect of coconut water during pregnancy- allergies
Even though rare, like all other foods, coconut water might be able to cause allergies. It can bring about allergic reactions like, hives, stomach pain, vomiting, breathing issues, and swelling in the face and lips.
If you are allergic to coconut, it is better to stay away from coconut water during pregnancy. Remember that pregnancy is not the right time for experimenting.
3. Frequent need to urinate
The diuretic properties of coconut water increase urine production. Consuming too much coconut water, thereby, increases your loo visits. An increase in the urge to relieve and frequent loo visits can be very annoying for expecting mothers. Drinking more than requisite quantity of coconut water during pregnancy can further make you urinate more and more. Also, it might put an extra burden on the kidneys
4. May interfere with surgery
This is one of the least expected side effects of coconut water. In case you have a scheduled c-section, doctors restrict you from drinking coconut water (plenty of) from two weeks prior to surgery.
This is because high potassium and sodium in coconut water might interfere with controlling blood pressure before and after the surgery. A single cup of coconut water contains 252 mg of sodium. This can be a serious concern for expecting women with heart issues and blood pressure issues.
So if you are having a high-risk pregnancy and there is an increased chance of c section, it is better to limit its intake throughout pregnancy and abstain from coconut water towards the end of pregnancy.
5. Increases the chances of hyperkalemia
Overconsumption of coconut water during pregnancy can bring about electrolytic imbalance. Thanks to its high potassium content. High potassium content brings about a condition called hyperkalemia. This can cause many complications during pregnancy.
Hyperkalemia is a condition in which the potassium level increased dangerously. It can trigger sudden weakness and lightheadedness in expecting mothers. She might lose her consciousness as well.
Studies have proved that acute hyperkalemia can result in intrauterine fetal demise and uterine rupture. Therefore it is important to limit its consumption during pregnancy. You must abstain from it if you already have a condition marked by high potassium in the blood.
6. May lower your blood pressure
Coconut water can potentially lower your blood pressure. Drinking excess coconut water might lower your blood pressure significantly. People suffering from low blood pressure should limit their intake of coconut water.
If you are under medicines to lower the blood pressure, drinking coconut water can double its effects and can result in blood pressure dropping too dangerously. A sudden drop in blood pressure during pregnancy can cause many complications for both mother and child.
It increases the chances of fainting and falling. It even can cause stillbirth. This is one of the important side effects of coconut water during pregnancy that should not be ignored.
7. Coconut water is high in suger
Coconut water is high in sugar content. A single cup of coconut water carries around 6.25 grams of sugar. Therefore, consumption of coconut water should be avoided or should be limited by expecting mothers with gestational diabetes or who have a history of gestational diabetes.
8. Carries ill effects of laxative property
Coconut water, due to its natural laxative property is an excellent remedy for issues like constipation during pregnancy. However, excess consumption of coconut water can bring about too much laxative effect on the digestive system of an expecting mother.
Too much coconut water might aggravate existing irritable bowel syndrome or might bring about stomach upset in expecting mothers. Too much of any good thing is not good. This is very much relevant during pregnancy.
Even though coconut water has many vital nutrients, too much of these nutrients will either accumulate in the body or be excreted from the body. Either way, these processes can take a toll on the pregnant body. This can be considered as one of the important side effects of coconut water during pregnancy.
9. Not good for a pregnant woman with a frigid body
Some people have a cold-natured body. That means they are prone to cold and react to a chilly environment. Coconut water is cool by nature. Therefore, expecting women who are prone to cold can suffer from an attack of cold and headache or inflammation of throat glands if they drink coconut water.. It is one of the major side effects of coconut water during pregnancy.
Disadvantages Of Packaged Coconut Water During Pregnancy
Growing awareness about the benefits of drinking coconut water increased the demand for packaged coconut water. When compared to the whole tender coconut, many people feel packaged coconut water is a convenient option.
However, packaged coconut water during pregnancy is not as beneficial as natural coconut water. Packaged coconut water is higher in calories than fresh coconut water. Where packaged coconut water contains 92 calories, natural coconut water has only half- 46 calories.
Also, during the packaging procedure, coconut water loses many of its nutrients. As a rule, you should consume coconut water immediately after breaking open the coconut to achieve all its nutrient benefits.
Keeping it open for a longer time, in and of itself, ends up causing the loss of essential nutrients. So just imagine what the packaging procedure would do to this nature’s gift! Therefore, always choose fresh coconut water over the packaged ones.
In spite of the amazing health benefits of this natural drink, it is always important to limit the intake of coconut water during pregnancy. One glass of coconut water per day may cause no harm. And remember that coconut water, by any means, is not a water replacement. Hence never compromise in drinking plenty of water during pregnancy.
No studies have proved so far that coconut water can bring about a miscarriage. Overconsumption of coconut water can bring about many health issues, but miscarriage is not definitely one among them.
Eating coconut during pregnancy is perfectly safe and beneficial if you stick on to the moderate consumption. However, if consumption exceeds the limits it can bring about many digestive issues during pregnancy. Also, it might result in putting on excess weight that is not appreciable during pregnancy.
Like anything during pregnancy, coconut milk works best if used in moderation. Using it too much can be detrimental. This is due to various reasons.
There is a lot of saturated fat and caloric content in coconut milk. This can be ruinous if you are attempting to lose weight. It can make you gain weight, especially when combined with a carbohydrate-rich diet.
Coconut milk also contains high dietary fibers. This means that there is a significant chance you experience digestive issues. If you do not usually have a lot of fiber, this risk is significantly higher. The side effects you experience may include diarrhea and gas- none of which are welcome during pregnancy.
A way to avoid this problem is to avoid starting to drink a lot of coconut milk at once. If you get into it more gradually, your body will have more time to get accustomed to it.
Another possible danger is Bisphenol – A, or BPA. Coconut milk itself does not contain this chemical. However, if it is canned, then there is a chance your milk contains BPA. This is because the manufacture of tins and cans involves the use of BPA.
You can avoid this harmful chemical by reading the labels of the brand to make sure the containers are BPA-free.
There is also another issue that relates to canned coconut milk. It may contain Guar Gum, which can prove harmful for you. Guar gum is a polysaccharide. It can cause many digestive problems.
For this reason, if you already have any pre-existing condition, especially pertaining to your gut, it is best to avoid canned coconut milk entirely. Instead, you can use homemade coconut milk, or specifically buy guar-gum-free coconut milk during pregnancy.