You may well have seen coconut water filling the shelves of your favourite stores over the past few years. This healthy drink is fast taking over from traditional sports drinks, offering a natural alternative that still boasts all the same benefits. Even nutritionists think that the hype coconut water is receiving is well deserved! Here is why you should consider switching up your regular sports drinks with coconut water.
What is Coconut Water?
Coconut water comes from young, green coconuts, and is thus quite low in sugar. However, while its sugar content is minimal, it makes up for this by being rich in antioxidants, potassium and electrolytes. When compared to sports drinks and soda, this drink is also lower in calories, making it a great option for those who are trying to slim down. Of course, it is also good for hydrating when playing slots online for real money during a heatwave!
According to Allison Massey, a registered dietician at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, coconut water is packed with potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, and even small amounts of sodium, making it ideal for active athletes on the go. With that said, she stressed that water should always be your main source of hydration, and that coconut water and sports drinks should be drunk sparingly over and above your daily water intake.
What the Research Shows
Research has shown that 250ml of coconut water contain more potassium than a large banana. The drink also contains more potassium than popular options like Powerade or Gatorade. Potassium is great for relieving muscle cramps that often follow workouts, and experts say that people doing certain kinds of workouts will benefit from coconut water even more than usual.
Dr Massey says that this all depends on the person, as well as the intensity and duration of the exercise involved. She says that if you are exercising for less than an hour at a stretch, water is still the best hydration choice. On the other hand, if your workouts span 60 minutes or more and are strenuous in nature, coconut water could be your new best friend.
How to Choose Quality Coconut Water
Choosing a good brand of coconut water is essential to getting the most benefits out of it, according to nutrition experts. Some brands pack their products with added sugars, preservatives and colourants, while others use the water of mature coconuts instead of young green ones. Read the labels on your coconut water before making a purchase and ensure that no extra sugar or sweetener has been added.
Nutritionists say that even though this is a natural product, choosing sugary varieties or drinking too much of it could lead to weight gain in the long run. You would need to take in an extra 3,500 calories in order to gain a pound of weight, and ingesting sugar is an easy way to do this. Also be aware that some brands’ coconut waters do not contain any coconut at all – only nature identical flavourings. Your best choice will be natural, fresh coconut water from a reliable source. When in doubt, always opt for plain water instead!