Coconut Water

Coconut Water as Fluid Loss Replacement

Coconut water is the juice or liquid inside a young green coconut and is one of nature’s most delicious drinks, consumed all around the world expecially in the tropical regions, for it’s nutritious and health benefits.  It is rich in amino acids, vitamins B and C, enzymes, electrolytes and other important minerals such as potassium, magnesium and manganese, making it a very freshing drink.

Coconut Water Instead of Sports Drink

A new scientific study has found that among these health promoting benefits is that coconut water can be a great natural substitute of man made sports drinks for people that exercise moderately and want to or have a more natural, vegetarian, vegan lifestyle.

At the 244th National Meeting and Exposition of the Amercian Chemical Society (ACS) held last year, Dr Bhattacharya explained: “Coconut water is a natural drink that has everything your average sports drink has and more.  It has five times more potassium than Gatorade or Powerade.  Whenever you get cramps in your muscles, potassium will help you to get rid of them.”

According to Dr Bhattacharya’s research, they analysed coconut water, Gatorade and Powerade and found that coconut water contained up to 1500 mg/litres of potassium, compared to up to 300 mg/litres for Powerade and Gatorade.  Coconut water, however, had 400 mg/litres of sodium compared to 600 for the other two drinks.  Taking this into consideration, people have to bear in mind that if they practice high impact exercise which leads to a lot of sweat, coconut water cannot be a good replacement sports drink due to the poor sodium content.  This is because with sweat, a lot more sodium is lost than potassium, therefore the other 2 types of sports drinks are more advisable.

Coconut Water Better than Sugary Drinks

Coconut water contains less sugar than many sports drinks and much less sugar than fizzy drinks and some other fruit juices.  “But don’t overdo it, one 11 ounce container has 60 calories and if you drink several in one day, the calories can add up quickly” says Lillian Cheung, co-author of Savor Mindful Eating, Mindful Life, who suggests to always read package labels, so we can savvy choose plain coconut water and avoid with added sugar.

Other Benefits of Coconut Water

Coconut water is very beneficial in replacing fluid loss.  This water is ideal to maintain body fluids when a person gets dehydrated.  It was used as a substitute for blood plasma since it is sterile and does not destroy red blood cells, making it easy to be absorbed by the body.  hence it is identical to human blood plasma.  It is well known that it was frequently used in the Pacific War, helping to save thousands of lives through emergency coconut water transfusions.

A study published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine suggested that coconut water can be successfully used as an improvised intravenous fluid for quick hydration of critically ill patients in remote regions of the world where medical resources are scarce.

 

Tim Evans,

Hire Fitness, Surrey and South West London

 

 

Sources:

American Chemical Society:  “Coconut water is an excellent sports drink, for light exercise”

Science daily, 20 August 2012, web 13 Jan 2014

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/truth-about-coconut-water

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10674546