The Hawaiians refer to coconut water as â€œdew from the heavens,â€ because of coconut water health benefits. Coconuts are classified as a fibrous one-seeded drupe, which is a fruit with a hard, stony covering. Coconut water is dissimilar from coconut milk, in that coconut water comes from the liquid inside a young, green coconut, while coconut milk is produced from the meat of a mature, ripe coconut. Coconut water has been used not only as a source of food, but also as a medicine. During World War II and the Vietnam War, doctors used coconut water in intravenous IV solutions, when traditional water supplies were low, and doctors realized coconut water benefits included electrolyte replacement. The American market for coconut water has grown tremendously since its introduction and manufacturers are offering various types of products that contain coconut water nutrition, such as sports drinks, fruit juices, yogurts and sorbets.Coconut WaterCoconut water benefits and coconut water nutrition are numerous due to the amount of essential nutrients it contains, which include vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, amino acids, antioxidants, enzymes and growth hormones; because coconuts grow near the sea, they have continual access to mineral-rich salt water supplies, which enables them to absorb the water through their root systems. This makes coconut water a rich source of major minerals, such as potassium, calcium and magnesium, in addition to the trace elements iodine, zinc, sulfur, selenium, sulfur, manganese, boron and molybdenum. One of the main coconut water health benefits comes from its electrolyte content and explains coconut water benefits associated with its use as a popular sports drink. Coconut water has relatively no fat content and is comparatively lower in sugar than other fruit juices. It contains a fifth of the sugar content that other fruits do, yet has a mildly sweet taste. Coconut water does, however, contain high amounts of sodium.Popularity of Coconut WaterÂ Although coconut water has always been a prevalent drink in Southeast Asia and the Caribbean due to coconut water nutrition, its popularity in the United States didnâ€™t begin until approximately 2008; however, today, itâ€™s not only a familiar American beverage, its sales are exploding. According to statistics by Beverage World, coconut water is one of the fastest growing beverages in the U.S., with sales increasing each year since its introduction by millions of dollars. As indicated by data from Beverage World, Vita Coco Coconut Water experienced an increase in sales from $4 million in 2007 to $20 million in 2009.Additionally, from 2008 to 2009 coconut water sales increased by more than 200 percent from 2008 to 2009 for another popular distributor, and sales doubled each year since launching the product. Initially, coconut water products were primarily offered in specialty health stores. However, itâ€™s now being widely offered in traditional supermarkets and promoted heavily by most major retail stores. Coconut waterâ€™s popularity has been attributed to an increase in the American consumerâ€™s interest in healthy living because of coconut water health benefits, and also due to the American obsession to have the latest and greatest. The most popular brands of coconut water include Vita Coco Coconut Water, Zico Pure Coconut Water, Naked Coconut Water and c2o Coconut Water.Health Benefits of Coconut WaterCoconut water health benefits include increasing rehydration, boosting the immune system, decreasing heat stroke, increasing blood circulation in diabetics and anti-aging treatments. Coconut water nutrition comes from the fact that itâ€™s a rich source of vitamins and minerals. Primary coconut water benefits are its ability to rehydrate the body following exercise if consumed during rigorous exercise due to the essential electrolytes it contains. Although itâ€™s been referred to as â€œnatureâ€™s Gatorade,â€ in comparison to popular sports drinks, itâ€™s 100 percent natural, has 15 times more electrolytes and is low in calories. Itâ€™s used successfully in treating and relieving symptoms of heat stroke because it enables the recipient to receive coconut water benefits quickly as itâ€™s absorbed into the bloodstream. Because of coconut water health benefits and its ability to rapidly rehydrate, it is also demonstrated to be effective in remedying influenza, dysentery, cholera and other infectious diseases that require hydration.Research continues to discover additional coconut water benefits, such as therapeutic advantages related to healing urinary systems and bladder infections, enhancing reproduction and sexual vitality, dissolving kidney stones, strengthening the heart, decreasing incidence of stroke, lowering blood pressure, improving blood circulation for diabetics and promoting anti-aging benefits as related to age spots, wrinkles and sagging skin. Coconut water benefits related to anti-aging are due to its content of plant growth hormones, called cytokinins, which regulated growth, development and aging of human tissues and cells. This finding led to research funded by The American Cancer Society regarding coconut water benefits related to cancer. Although the research is still in its preliminary stages, scientists from the 1950s have documented the success of cytokinins in preventing cancer from growing and spreading.Harvesting and Processing of Coconut WaterCoconuts are harvested when they are approximately seven months old. While coconut water can be extracted by simply poking holes in the â€œeyesâ€ located on the side and pouring the liquid out, it only remains fresh and retains its coconut water health benefits for approximately three weeks. In order to retain its vitamin and mineral content and extend its shelf life, coconut water is processed by microfiltration, pasteurization or sterilization or by using a combination of these methods. Because bacteria and various types of yeasts are of concern with coconut water, it must be cooled rapidly after the extraction process, and bottled and sealed as quickly as possible.