Is it the New Gatorade?
Coconut water is literally the water inside a coconut. This is very different than coconut milk which usually comes in a can and is a blend of coconut water and the coconut meat.
Is Coconut Water Better Than Other Juices?
Yes. Most store bought juices have a much higher calorie count, artificial flavors, colors, preservatives and binding agents. If you like the taste of coconut water and you’re trying to get off of Dole’s Apple Juice or Diet Coke than by all means drink it. Coconut water is high in potassium and is a source of sodium, magnesium, and calcium. But please don’t try and replace coconut water for plain old H2O.
Coconut Water is Not a Sub for Gatorade
I’m 100% not advocating Gatorade but there is a reason major athletes are drinking this regularly. Coconut water has a high amount of potassium, sodium, and a decent amount of carbohydrates. However, it doesn’t have anywhere near the same amount of sodium that traditional sports drinks have. Sodium enhances water absorption and sports drinks have more than double the amount of sodium than natural coconut water. If you are working out for less than 60 minutes you don’t have to worry about your electrolyte balance anyways. If you’re a serious athlete and you’re looking to swap out your sports drink for coconut water then add a tsp of salt into your coconut water and drink it after it dissolves.
It used to be relatively easy to find coconut water in stores that had one ingredient (coconut water). Nowadays I find myself reading four or five labels before finding a brand that hasn’t added extra crap. Avoid getting coconut water with added sugar or labels that say “from concentrate.” Remember the word natural means nothing to the FDA – read the ingredient list.
Think of coconut water like a less potent natural version of a sports drink. Don’t sub out water for coconut water. If you’re looking hydrate and you didn’t just work out for two hours straight then have a glass of plane H2O.
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