Coconut water has come a long way from being a tropical novelty enjoyed only on seaside vacations, peddled by sketchy looking vendors on the sand. It’s the newest health trend, and you’ll see it on store shelves and in your local gym. What’s the appeal? The combination of nutrients and minerals make coconut water uniquely suited to hydrate your body, better than most sports drinks (and much healthier!).
What is coconut water?
Coconut water is often confused with coconut milk. The two might come from the same place, but they are very different. If you break open a coconut (you have a machete handy, right?), coconut water is the clear liquid sloshing around on the hollow inside. Coconut milk, on the other hand, comes from the grated white meat of the coconut. Coconut water has a sweet, silky taste and is packed with natural carbohydrates, electrolytes, and minerals. Coconut water is also low in fat and calories, making it a better alternative than your sports drink. I prefer it to the artificial flavor of gatorade.
As a health and fitness enthusiast, I know how important it is to provide your body with the right nutrients for post-workout recovery. Coconut water contains two key minerals for this, sodium and potassium, which can relieve your body after a strenuous workout. In fact, coconut water has far more potassium than a sports drink, making it ideal for long, mid-paced workouts. But, if you’re planning a vigorous exercise that makes you sweat a lot, a sports drink still might be best because of their higher levels of sodium. Sodium and potassium are both great if you’re recovering from an exhausting workout, but for a light workout, water is still your best bet to stay hydrated.
CocoBonus: Potassium and sodium in coconut is very effective at relieving hangovers too!
Better than regular water?
Better tasting for sure. Coconut water is a sweet way to stay hydrated since it’s full of minerals and natural carbs and under 40 calories for every 8 ounce serving. However, while coconut has its benefits, nothing takes the place of plain water.
CocoBonus: Coconut water is a great soft drink replacement – just put a little lime in the coconut!
Fresh or Bottled?
Breaking open a coconut is a little easier than it looks, but not much. You can use the pry-bar side of a hammer to tap a circle around the top until it cracks open. Coconuts are on the small side, and that’s a lot of work for a drink – but at least you don’t have to check the label! Bottled coconut water, on the other hand, tends to be filtered and sometimes contains added ingredients.
Sweet and Sour Super Hydrating Coconut Water
1 cup coconut water
¼ cup watermelon cut into cubes
¼ cup grapefruit juice
2 teaspoons honey
mint leaves for garnish
1. Mix all ingredients together and chill