You just finished a thirty minute outdoor run in 85 degree weather. What started out as beads of sweat is now a torrential downpour down the sides of your face.
Hydration — and electrolyte replenishment — is top priority. Any type of solid food is out of the question; you prefer liquid nourishment, especially on a hot day like today.
Which of these three beverages are you most likely to reach for in your quest for ultimate replenishment? A sports drink, a cold bottle of water, or a cold pouch of coconut water?
Coconut water, you said? Good job — you pass hydration 101.
Most sports drinks are glorified sugar water. Their electrolyte values (particularly potassium, which is under-consumed in the United States) are paltry, and the artificial dyes and added sugars don’t do them many favors, either.
Although plain water is a great way to hydrate, it does not deliver on the electrolyte replenishment front, a priority after strenuous exercise. While that can easily be solved by accompanying water with some food, that is not always possible.
Enter coconut water. An 11.2 ounce pouch contains 50% more potassium than a medium banana. It’s also a good source of magnesium and phosphorus, and is free of added sugars, artificial dyes, stabilizers, and preservatives.
Unlike coconut milk, coconut water is fat free and low in calories (an 11.2 ounce pouch contains 60 calories).
This can be an acquired taste for some, so for better palatibility, I recommend consuming it chilled. VERY chilled. Be sure to buy brands that ONLY contain 100% coconut water.