June 2, 2021 | Nutrition | 1 comments | Author: LFA
The coconut is an amazing fruit. It is so versatile and all parts of it are beneficial. You already know about coconut oil, and you’ve probably seen coconut water all over the place, and I’m about to tell you why it’s so great. I’ve seen a lot of conflicting reports floating around out there about the benefits (or lack) of coconut water. A lot of coconut water haters dismiss it as another fad and think that a “specially formulated sports drink“ is best for rehydration because it was created by scientists about forty years ago. Of course people in the tropics have been drinking coconut water for centuries, but it was difficult to import coconut products into the US for many years. Coconut water comes from the young, green coconuts. I’m of the opinion that nutrients are more easily assimilated in the body from natural whole foods.
I tell people it’s “nature’s Gatorade” because it’s full of electrolytes. It has approximately the same amount of potassium as a banana, and contains calcium. It’s low in sodium, which is ideal for most people. Several sources claim that coconut water shouldn’t be used as a sports drink for this reason, but you know you get enough sodium elsewhere in your diet. Most people don’t need to be drinking extra sodium. These electrolytes help balance the fluids in your cells. They allow water to more easily move where it is needed-inside the cell or outside it. When you work out, you lose some of those elements in sweat, which makes it more difficult for your body to assimilate the water you drink afterwards. Drinking coconut water simply makes it easier for you body to properly re-hydrate. The electrolytes are also in their natural state, as an acid from a food, not a rock mineral; so again, it is easier for your body to absorb. Sure you can just drink regular water, (and you should) but after a grueling workout when you want to bounce back, reach for that coconut water.
Coconut water has been touted as a great tool to help lower high blood pressure. Obviously it isn’t a magical high blood pressure medicine, but potassium and calcium are important regulators of blood pressure. Therefore, coconut water may help control your blood pressure. Just be sure to watch the rest of your diet and eat foods that help the situation as well. You certainly can’t take your coconut water into McDonalds and think that will fix your problem.
Now, why is it better than a sports drink? The most important reason is that coconut water only contains unrefined sugar. Unrefined, unprocessed sugars in their natural state are way better than anything processed or added. Gatorade on the other hand has 14 grams of added sugar per serving, and most bottles contain at least two servings. To put that in perspective, a snickers bar contains 12 grams of sugar. It is beyond me why anyone thinks drinking processed sugar more than a candy bar’s worth of sugar is a good idea, whether you worked out or not. In fact the sweetener of choice for these sports drinks used to be high fructose corn syrup—which is one of the worst offenders of all. I noticed recently the ingredient list reads sugar instead of the high fructose corn syrup. Powerade still uses high fructose corn syrup, according to the bottle I looked at in a gas station the other day.
Finally, coconut water doesn’t contain anything artificial. Those sports drinks have artificial coloring, at the very least. We can’t one-up nature by trying to formulate a chemical sugary drink to replenish us. We should take what is provided to us and use our intelligence to use it the best way possible, and feel our best. You may not realize how important being properly hydrated, but it is essential to feeling 100%.
By: Ashley Dance
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