In Japan, soaking in natural hot springs is a treasured pastime that’s steeped in thousands of years of tradition, and during my stay there, I visited a few. The experience opened my eyes (and pores) to a world of good-feeling benefits, many of which (but not all) are backed by a plethora of research.
I think heat is part of the stress relief. It doesn’t have to be a hot spring – a warm blanket/etc can do wonders. Wrapping up in one, insulating ourselves from what’s around – it’s a physical barrier.
It is true that some companies selling coconut water have vastly overstated the benefits of the drink. It will not make you younger. It will not fight kidney disease or osteoporosis. It is not an ideal choice of fluid for people doing extremely strenuous exercise. The New York Times debunked some of those claims this summer, as they should have.