Coconut water has been vigorously promoted as a natural workout drink largely because of its high potassium and mineral content. In addition, it contains small quantities of other electrolytes including sodium, magnesium and phosphorus. For those of you who are hearing about this for the first time, coconut water is NOT coconut milk. It is actually a clear liquid inside young, green coconuts.
For the past few weeks I have been trying to determine if there are any benefits to this natural nectar and see if it lives up to the hype or simply falls to the ground with a thud. While some brands come mixed with fruit juices such as pineapple, pomegranate and mango, I found that the attempted masking of the taste is a dismal failure and actually makes the problem worse. In light of that, I chose the plain 100% coconut water to test.
One of the assertions I ran across during my investigation was that it is an excellent, natural remedy for stomach pain and vomiting. Take it from someone with some serious stomach issues, this claim definitely holds water.
As previously stated, coconut water has a high potassium content but is inadequate for athletes when it comes to sodium levels. If you are running a 5k, this drink can be beneficial but marathoners will not reap enough benefits to offset the loss of sodium during a performance.
Hydration during a run is crucial for staving off cramps and nausea. Coconut water has been promoted as a “mineral-rich rehydrating beverage for athletes“. I will agree that it is better than drinking plain water because you will dilute your electrolytes, but it is not the miracle you will be told that it is on other websites.
I believe that coconut water has value, but it is not the silver bullet that manufacturers would have you believe. My prediction is that this will be a fad for two reasons:
- Cost – At $2.50 for a 16 ounce carton, I think companies will price themselves out of the sports drink market once the hype subsides.
- Taste – I actually enjoy the taste, but it did take a while to get used to. Most people would rather stick to the fruity goodness of Gatorade rather than trying to acquire a taste for something new.
However, you could be doing a real service for people in other regions by purchasing some today. 150 people a year are killed by falling coconuts.
Run for fun, but race to place everyone!
© Copyright 2012 The Hornet, All rights Reserved. Written For: Adventures In Running