Whenever I hear anything related to the tropics, my ears immediately perk up. I love the beach, bananas – and yes - coconuts. I also love exercising and keeping up on the latest in health and nutrition. So coconut water has really caught my attention.
There’s a big buzz about this beverage – there are claims that coconut water can cure hangovers, cool body temperature, raise metabolism, boost the immune system and replenish fluids and electrolytes after exercising. Plus, celebrities such as Madonna are slurping away and investing in this tropical drink. What does this add up to? One hot commodity. According to the Associated Press, annual sales in the U.S. range from $40 to $60 million USD, and continue to grow.
But… buyer beware. Consuming coconut water will not turn you into the next Serena Williams or Michael Phelps. Nor will it prevent cancer. (According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, no major studies link coconut water to cancer prevention. Same goes for the hangover claim, although Charlie Duerr from Time Magazine found he did experience relief within an hour of drinking the beverage.
Now, the good news. According to research, coconut water may be a great natural alternative to sports drinks as it contains sodium, potassium and magnesium (electrolytes the body loses when it sweats). Additionally, it contains high levels of Vitamin C and is lower in sugar compared to other drinks.
Given all of my research and having tried coconut water on a casual basis (I’m not sure if I like the taste – more to come in my next blog!), I’m curious to see if it works for me as a sports drink replacement. Currently I’m training for the New York Marathon, and usually drink Gatorade during my long runs to maintain energy and rehydrate. During the next few weeks, I will drink coconut water instead. Stay tuned for Part Two to discover my results!
What are your thoughts on Coconut Water: is it a trend or here to stay?