I received the following question as a comment on Monday’s post:
I have been really curious about this coconut water craze. Everyone swears by it but I am not sure if it based in “buzz” or nutritional information. People are treating it like the holy grail of hydration. Hmn.

This is a great question and whether its pomegranates, acai or coconut water it’s important to breakdown the buzz and look at the real nutrition information. Coconut water is from young, green coconuts and not the brown, hairy variety. Unlike coconut flesh or coconut milk coconut water contains no fat. Coconut water does have calories, 34 calories per 8 oz for the plain or natural version. This is lower in calories than Gatorade and higher than water.

I think coconut water got its buzz in part because it’s a natural drink and also of course due to celebrity endorsements. In some ways it’s a good thing people chose to emulate Madonna’s beverage choices and not her faux accent. Coconut water is also an excellent source of potassium, helpful for athletes and debloating (I’ve overruled my spell check and debloating is now a word). For athletes, potassium can help prevent muscle cramps. In terms of bloat, sodium and potassium work in a balance and if you increase potassium you decrease sodium.

As far as taste, while I really like the taste of coconut water I find a good number of people do not. Clients have described it as “milky” and “odd”. I find it mild and refreshing and because of this drink it a little faster than I would plain water. I have coconut water at home and at work and personally prefer the Zico brand though I liked the old packaging (tetra pak versus bottle).

Coconut water is great once a day. It’s a good pre workout drink or mid morning pit stop. I do not think it should be consumed throughout the day as calories add up and I would stick to the natural varieties as other flavors (for some brands) are higher in sugar. It is not the ideal drink during endurance events as there is too much potassium versus sodium for this purpose. It also isn’t a recovery choice after long workouts unless it is paired with some protein, for example in a smoothie. I still think if there is a holy grail of hydration it should always go to plain water or actually filtered water but that’s a whole other subject.
Do you like coconut water? When in your day do you drink it? How would you describe the taste?

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