I grew up drinking the typical gatorade after games and long workouts to “rehydrate”, especially during the summertime at all day softball tournaments. It tasted good, and I liked it a lot better than water. At that point, I had never even heard of coconut water.
Now, as I begin to learn more about healthy eating, I find myself branching out a little bit and trying things that I probably wouldn’t have in the past. Lately, I have been hearing about all the great benefits of coconut water, but I had never taken the time to try it or to do any research on my own about it. Well now I have – and I love it. What a great product! And as I research the benefits of this great drink, I’m finding out how much better it us for us than standard sports drinks.
Ready to give it a try, a friend and I decided to try some coconut water as a recovery drink after a hard workout. It happened to be a coconut pineapple flavored variety, which was fabulous. We liked it so much, we decided that we definitely needed to get some more to have on hand for future workouts!
After enjoying the coconut water so much I decided I needed to do a little more research and learn about the health benefits of this wonderful drink. Here’s what I found: The specific coconut water we drank contained 60 calories, 30 mg of sodium, 515 mg of potassium, and 16 g of sugar per serving. Gatorade contains 50 calories, 110 mg of sodium, 30 mg of potassium, and 14 g of sugar. A typical banana contains 110 calories, 1 mg of sodium, 450 mg of potassium, and 19 g of sugar. Now the numbers for a banana seem to vary depending on your source of information. However, the claim that coconut water contains more potassium seems to hold true.
In my opinion, coconut water is a great way to rehydrate after a workout. It contains electrolytes that your body needs after exercising. Electrolytes are substances such as sodium, potassium, and calcium that conduct electricity in our bodies. These electrolytes are critical for our nerve and muscle function, plus the levels of electrolytes found in our body are depleted after strenuous workouts. Coconut water is also 100% natural, which is always a good thing. So I would recommend that if you are looking for a good post-workout/recovery drink give some coconut water a try. I’m looking forward to trying some of the different flavors.
For the record, I have found that plain coconut water isn’t as enjoyable as the flavored varieties – but I’ll leave it up to your taste buds to decide your preference!