Coconut water has been celebrated for it’s nutritional benefits lately. Touted as the perfect work out drink, I like to work out so is it something I should be investing in? Is it really all it is cracked up to be?
Not to be confused with coconut milk, this is the juice from inside the coconut. Many brands are marketed as using coconut water only from coconuts aged under 7 months. I particularly like Vita Coco brand. Plain coconut water is slightly sour, but that is compensated for by the real pineapple pulp. It reminds me of a Pina Colada 🙂
I’ve used coconut water in my cooking, see my healthy sweet and sour, but how does it rate as a drink?
Can I just note here that I’m not being endorsed to promote any of these products. I’ve paid my own money for them, and all information is from my own research.
Coconut water is a good source of natural sugars, potassium and high levels of electrolytes, making it easy to absorb into the blood stream. The Vita Coco adverts claim that it is “as natural as it gets”. Containing only coconut water, pineapple puree, coconut puree and vitamin C I can agree that it is pretty natural. “Packed with electrolytes, low in calories and with no additives or preservatives”.
Cocofina promotes itself as “the perfect workout drink since it is naturally isotonic and contains the potassium and sodium you lose as you sweat”
A quick google of the definition of isotonic brings up following from Wikipedia
“Isotonic sport drinks contain similar concentrations of salt and sugar as in the human body.”
So you would understand that it will replenish salts and sugars lost as a result of exercise. However, it is an often quoted fact (but of course I can’t find one right now) that you don’t need a sports drink if you are exercising one hour or less.
Vita Coco with pineapple has 25cal and 6g of sugar per 100ml, that’s only 1g sugar more than the plain coconut water. However, if you drink a 330ml bottle, that’s 82.5 calories and 19.8g of sugar. How long does it take you to burn off 82 calories?
But then It has less sugar than many of the sports drinks on the market. Lucozade Original for example has 8.7g of sugar and 70 calories per 100ml. You could compare it to orange juice, which is approx 40 calories and 8g of sugar per 100ml. Not many of us would think of orange juice as a negative in our diets.
Taken from Web MD:
“Whether you choose a sports drink, coconut water, or plain water, they all work to keep your body hydrated. The challenge is when you exercise strenuously for more than three hours in the heat and lose lots of body fluids, you need easily absorbed carbs for quick energy and to replace lost electrolytes like sodium and potassium,”
For me, it is certainly a substitute for commercial ‘sports drinks’. I will still drink coconut water, it does have nutritional benefits and it makes a nice change from water. But I will keep it mainly for when I am working out for over an hour. It would make a nice non-alcoholic cocktail for parties – or throw in some rum…it is Friday after all! It would also be nice added to vegetable based smoothies, or some of my green smoothies rather than lots of fruit for sweetness.
- 200ml Coconut water with pineapple,
- 80g pineapple rings,
- 80 g frozen cantaloupe melon
- squeeze of lime juice
Put into a food processor/blender and whizz up to create a yummy coconut pineapple slushie. You know what they say…put the lime in the coconut and mix it all up…
Have you tried coconut water? Do you drink it for the health benefits, or just because you like it?