Sports Nutrition

Why are so many people suddenly drinking coconut water?

Within the last 5yrs the coconut water industry has rapidly grown. It’s in supermarkets, health stores and even some gyms, even Rihanna is out there endorsing one popular brand. So should we be drinking it and is it really beneficial to our health? Before you spend almost 5 euro on a carton of it do you really want to find out what you are actually drinking.  Not to be confused with coconut milk which is pressed from the coconut meat and is high in good fats which we need to burn fat. Coconut water is fat free and it’s not flavored and it is the liquid that’s found inside coconut. Each coconut yields about 4 cups of water, coconut water is also known as the “Fluid of Life” because it has an electrolyte balance that similar to human blood. Coconut water was used during World War 2 for emergency plasma transfusions! You can drink coconut water directly from the freshly harvested fruit. The tops of the coconut are cut off or drilled and the waters consumed straight from the nut. These are not readily available in Ireland. The only coconuts that you will see in your local Supermarket are hairy and brown and contain a lot less liquid. You can find commercial coconut water in bottles and in cartons. There are many claims of health benefits that it’s natures sport drink and life enhancer. Many of the companies that produce coconut water claim that it’s a superior source of hydration because it’s naturally rich in electrolytes like potassium.  In fact, it’s often marketed to athletes and exercisers as a healthy natural alternative to other sports drink with added sugar. Another advantage is that it’s lower in calories than other fizzy drinks and juice. Coconut water has developed quite a reputation to be some kind of magic drink that  is capable of battling viruses, controlling diabetes, accelerating weight loss, preventing cancer and many other miraculous powers. None of these claims have been substantiated.   1 cup contains about 45 calories. Coconut water is advantageous for serious athletes who exercise intensely for longer than an hour.  They will hugely benefit replacing the small dose of carbohydrates and some electrolytes that may be loss through sweat. The truth is most people don’t exercise heavily enough to need that special sports recovery drink.


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