You may have noticed a lot of people drinking coconut water these days. There are a number of brands that can be found in any of the large grocery stores and drug stores and they all make a number of health claims. So what is the deal with coconut water? What can it really do for you?

 

First off, coconut water and coconut milk are two different things. Coconut milk, coconut cream, and coconut oil are all products made from the meat of the coconut. Coconut water is the actual liquid that fills the center of the coconut. If you buy a fresh coconut, you can literally crack it open, put a straw in and drink it up. In fact, coconut juice is a great natural “sports” drink for post-workout and has been used as a source of hydration for centuries in tropical countries.

 

Benefits of Coconut Water:

  • Fat free and cholesterol free.
  • Low in calories.
  • Alkaline in nature – meaning, it is less acidic than juice and won’t upset your stomach.
  • Contains more potassium than a banana or your sports drink.
  • Contains less sugar most sports drinks.
  • Contains five essential electrolytes: sodium, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus.
     

Most brands of coconut water (sometimes also called coconut juice) will have no added sugar, but double check the label to be sure. Some doctors will also caution that if you are doing long, very strenuous workouts you may need more sodium than the naturally low sodium coconut water provides.  For most of us, however, coconut water provides a natural, refreshing way to rehydrate after a workout or just to drink throughout the day. It is also a great way to keep your kids hydrated without offering them sodas or sugary sports drinks. The kids at my gym love the many flavors that Vita-Coco offers, but my personal favorite is Amy & Brian.

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