10 Alternative Uses of Coconut Oil for Paddlers

photo-110 Alternative Uses of Coconut Oil for Paddlers

Word and Photos by Rebecca Parsons

Coconut oil has become wildly popular as a healthy cooking substitute, but did you know it has many alternative uses as well? Many of which are perfect for paddlers. So discover why coconut oil is the perfect item to pack along for your next expedition.

Sunscreen. Coconut oil has a natural SPF of 4, meaning it blocks 75% of UV radiation and keeps you protected for roughly 45 minutes. Free from harmful chemicals and toxins found in traditional sunscreens, coconut oil is a cheap and healthy alternative. Just be sure to reapply often.

Bug Repellent. Trips to the tropics in search of pumping surf and turquoise waters often goes hand in hand with chemical-laden bug repellents and mosquito bites. Combine coconut oil with an essential oil such as rosemary or eucalyptus for an all-natural insect repellant.

Deodorant. Embracing an au natural look on a week-long paddle trip is one thing, but walking around smelling like a barnyard is another. Coconut oil is the ideal product for combatting body odor because it kills fungi, yeast, and bacteria to keep you smelling fresh.

Sports Drink. Try adding a tablespoon of coconut oil to your water for a quick energy boost without the high sugar content of typical sports drinks. Coconut oil contains a unique form of saturated fat known as medium-chain triglycerides (MCT's). MCT's provide the body with energy, while simultaneously burning fat. A perfect pre-paddle drink.

Moisturizer. Endless hours spent on the water may do wonders for your morale, but not for your skin. To alleviate dry skin, simply massage a small amount of coconut oil onto clean skin, let sit for 5-10 minutes, wipe off with a towel, and voila!

Lip Balm. Just like your skin, your lips take a beating from long days exposed to the sun and saltwater. Simply apply a small amount of coconut oil to your lips and reap the benefits of healthy, nourished lips.

Fire Starter. After a chilly surf session, there's nothing better than warming up on the beach with some warm food and a roaring bonfire. Soak a cotton ball in some coconut oil for a nifty fire starter.

Wound Salve. Reef rashes and battle wounds come with the territory of being a diehard paddler. In order to keep bacteria out and speed up the healing process, spread a thin layer of coconut oil over your wound.

Sticker Remover. Whether your board is decorated with a collection of stickers from sponsors or local businesses, when it comes time to sell your sled you'll probably want to remove your collection. Combine equal parts baking soda and coconut oil for an easy and effective goo be gone.

Immune Booster. Whether your immune system has taken a hit from a post-rain session or you're gearing up for a month of traveling, coconut oil can help. It's rich in lauric acid, capric acid, and caprylic acid, making it a great antiviral, antifungal, antimicrobial, and antibacterial snack with immune boosting effects.

Related

More coconut oil benefits.

Four guilt-free dessert recipes.