Get-Fit Guy weighs in on the health benefits of coconut water and whether it's a good sports drink.
If you’re working out for less than an hour and staying hydrated with plain water, then sports drinks really aren’t necessary at all. Not to mention the fact that many sports drinks contain artificial colors, flavors, and large amounts of sugar, and should be avoided if all you really need to do is replace fluids that you’ve lost during exercise.
But if you do find yourself in a situation where you need to replace both fluids and electrolytes (such as after a long day of working in the hot sun, or a few hours of tough exercise), then coconut water is certainly one of the more natural options available to you, and is relatively free of added chemicals. Coconut water actually has a nearly identical electrolyte profile as your own blood, and has even been used intravenously in wartime emergencies to save lives.
In addition, coconut water contains calcium, the B-vitamins thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, B-6 and folate, and vitamin C. For more information on the health benefits of coconut water (which go beyond simply supporting fluid loss from exercise), check out Nutrition Diva’s episode Is Coconut Water Good For You?
As an aside, I was recently at a health food store where I was offered raw, unpasteurized coconut water, and I must admit that compared to the typical canned or boxed version, it tasted completely different—more nutty and fresh. If you get a chance, I recommend you try it!
If you have questions about whether coconut water is a good sports drink, then ask away at the Get-Fit Guy Facebook page.
Coconut courtesy of Shutterstock