Not to be confused with coconut oil this type of drink is being marketed vigorously as an alternative to sports drinks of all brands. Many athletes across the world swear by it and it’s reputed to carry many health benefits. But is this as good as it sounds or is it all hype? Well, let’s investigate this further in order to give you the right information!
Because of the minerals contained fitness junkies looking for a natural alternative to sports drinks without artificial colours or preservatives are praising coconut water to the heavens!
Coconut water can be found in young, green coconuts. In South America, many people drink this through a straw placed straight into the fruit. It’s actually 95 percent water!
So What Can It Do?
Well if you believe the hype then this legendary drink can slow the aging process, fight viruses, reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, improve circulation and prevent strokes. There are much more such claims simply because it’s crammed with electrolytes, low in calories, and fat-free.
On much closer inspection, we have discovered it contains potassium, magnesium, calcium, electrolytes, phosphate, and sodium! Because there are no artificial colours or preservatives in the water then athletes have tended to go for it big time!
The fact is coconut water might be ok for someone working out simply to get themselves a little fitter but not for athletes who may be in intensive training, according to experts.
Why? Because it is low in carbohydrates and sodium, and these are vital for quick recovery following hard training or competition!
So What About Sports Drinks Then?
Well sports drinks do contain 15 times less potassium than coconut water and of course potassium is a vital electrolyte sweated out during a hard work out. But because more sodium is sweated out by the body than potassium this probably doesn’t matter in truth!
According to a fascinating research project published in the Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health, coconut water can rehydrate the body as well as any sports drink! 8 volunteers exercised in the Malaysian heat until they lost three per cent of their body weight – they then were given either plain water, coconut water of a sports drink to help them rehydrate. Amazingly all three drinks rehydrated them equally.
10 men then exercised in the heat for a period of 90 minutes and then took in either water, coconut water, a sports drink or coconut water with added sodium. The men who drank the sports drink and the coconut waters were a touch more rehydrated than those on pure water. Doctors felt the results made complete sense!
What About Those Claims It Can Fight Cancer?
These are bold claims indeed but in truth they are based on initial studies using test tubes on lab rats. It has also been claimed coconut water could boost overall body immunity as well as prevent aging! Why? Many believe plant chemicals present in the water could act as very powerful antioxidants.
The fact is however there are many such antioxidants in nature and experts say there’s no definite proof this type of water is magical in any way! Much more research needs to be carried out.
Just Be Aware?
When you hear people say or read somewhere coconut water is very low in calories and contains no added sugar you must remember? This type of water will carry around 11 or 12 grams of sugar in its make-up and normally 60 calories per individual serving. If the water is flavoured the calorie content will be higher!
DID YOU KNOW YOU CAN REHYDRATE QUITE QUICKLY BY SIMPLY HAVING A GLASS OF WATER AND A BANANA?
More research is being carried out and coconut water will surely reveal many other characteristics in time. There are a great many individuals who simply enjoy the water as an alternative refreshing drink of course and this is fine.
It’s cheap enough to buy in the supermarket and there are flavoured waters to enhance enjoyment. For those people who work out as part of a routine to get a little fitter or as part of an exercise programme, then this too would seem to be fine.
The jury is still out however, when it comes to very serious fitness campaigns or dedicated athletes, so it’s best to treat claims of great health benefits with a little caution until all of these things can be confirmed! The bottom line is it didn’t do the South Americans any harm at all as a lovely and refreshing drink! Coconut water definitely has its place in our world!