Popular in tropical climes, coconut water is loaded with electrolytes and theoretically supportive of erectile function. But with safe and effective ED medications readily available, is it worth the bother to track down coconut water?
There are a lot of foods and supplements being touted as “natural” treatments for erectile dysfunction (ED). One of the most recent trends promoted to treat ED is drinking coconut water. However, this coconut water “treatment” for erectile dysfunction is currently unproven.
In places like Ghana, where coconut water has been promoted extensively as a treatment for ED, the cost of the beverage has increased with demand. This article will weigh the proposed benefits of drinking coconut water against the evidence for its role in treating ED.
Claims for Coconut Water
Coconut water is the fluid found inside fresh coconuts. It is typically strained and served as a refreshing electrolyte-packed beverage. It has taken the spotlight as a natural health drink among athletes, members of the wellness industry, and health food lovers.
Coconut water is touted for its role in athletic performance, cleansing properties — and now, sexual performance. According to Nagumsi Nuh, a dietician and general manager of Medical Hospital in Ghana, “The electrolytes exchange charges across muscle cells in the penis to ensure that the blood vessels open up to take the increased flow of blood and help the penis sustain its stiffness for long periods of time.”
Hydrating with Coconut Water
Coconut water is known for being rich in electrolytes and as a natural source of hydration. It is a common drink of choice among athletes after strenuous performances, like marathons. Dehydration has been linked to ED, making it even more important for men to stay hydrated.
Many people enjoy drinking coconut water and promote it as a low-calorie alternative to sugary sports beverages. While it is low-calorie, only containing 40 to 60 calories per serving, it is difficult to guarantee the level of electrolytes in each glass. Some people may choose to stick with something more consistent, like a favorite sports drink.
Coconut water does help people to rehydrate. In fact, recent research comparing coconut water, plain water, and sports beverages demonstrated that coconut water was effective at rehydrating young men during exercise. However, there were no significant differences in performance based on beverage. This means it hydrates just as well as other beverages, but not significantly better.
Evidence for Coconut Water
So, how might coconut water hypothetically help men with ED? The electrolytes and nutrients it contains are key to supporting health claims.
Coconut water contains the following electrolytes and nutrients:
|Electrolyte or Nutrient||Erectile Health Benefit|
|Sodium||Sodium is essential to hydration. It also allows muscles to contract, which is important to erectile function. Too much sodium can result in adverse health affects.|
|Potassium||Potassium is critical to circulatory health, specifically to blood flow. Increasing potassium can help to reduce blood pressure. Maintaining proper blood flow is good for erectile health.|
|Magnesium||Magnesium is important to circulatory function. It aids in muscle contraction and relaxation. An imbalance of circulatory functioning can lead to ED.|
One research study demonstrated a link between coconut water and reduced blood pressure. Men consuming coconut water experienced a 71% decrease in mean systolic blood pressure. Consumption of coconut water demonstrated the most significant outcome in reducing blood pressure, compared to water and other tropical drinks.
Blood pressure is intricately linked to erectile health. Men with hypertension (high blood pressure) commonly suffer from ED symptoms. Managing blood pressure is essential to improving erectile health.
Is Coconut Water Worth the Effort?
While coconut water does offer a natural alternative to sports beverages for efficient hydration, claims for its effect on sexual performance remain unproven. Sexual arousal and performance are complex processes that depend upon cooperation between the brain, emotions, and body. Many factors can contribute to ED, making it important for men to speak to a medical provider to identify the underlying cause of their symptoms.
Coconut water might get great reviews in Ghana, but men in the United States are encouraged to turn to FDA-approved solutions like Viagra. Fortunately, men can speak to a medical provider and review options for erectile dysfunction treatment online. Visit eDrugstore.com to learn more about having your prescription delivered right to your door.
Shelby is a public health professional with research and field experience in sexual and reproductive health. She holds a Master of Public Health (MPH) and is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES).