Use Coconut Water for Hydration after a long workout.
This post is a result of my remarks to a group of great people who work out and were discussing sports drinks. It took me awhile, but I found the coconut may just be able to help when you need more than just plain water to replenish what was used during your work out.
Arranged by Joan McDaniel July 9, 2012
The ONLY “Sports Drink” I Recommend, Dr. Mercola.
For most average exercisers and athletes, sports drinks are not only a waste of your money, but more importantly, can actually worsen the health of most who use them. Less than one percent of those who use sports drinks actually benefit from them. Most sports drinks are loaded with things you DON’T want, like refined sugars, artificial colors and chemicals, none of which are in natural coconut water.
For an example, look at the ingredients of VitaminWater 10 (owned by Coca Cola), you might be pleased to see that it contains the natural sweetener stevia. However, you will also notice that it is loaded with crystalline fructose, sucrose, and a mysterious product called Erythritol. What is the new sweetener called Erythritol? See my post on Stevia for an explanation.
If you exercise for 30 minutes a day at a moderate to high intensity, fresh, pure water is the best thing to help you stay hydrated. It’s only when you’ve been exercising for longer periods, such as for more than 60 minutes, or in the heat, or at extreme intensity levels, where you are sweating profusely, that you may need something more than water to replenish your body.
Besides plain water, coconut water is one of the best and safest option to rehydrate yourself after a strenuous workout. If you need the electrolytes, it will provide them. If you don’t need them, then it certainly won’t hurt you. And as you’re learning, coconut water has a mountain of other health benefits in addition to rehydration, which no commercial sports drink in the world can provide. Depending on how much salt you’ve lost through sweating, you might even add a tiny pinch of natural Himalayan salt to your glass of coconut water.
One study in 2007 found sodium-enriched coconut water to be as effective as commercial sports drinks for whole body rehydration after exercise, with less stomach upset.
The fat content of coconut water is so low, it is essentially fat-free. Coconut water is relatively low in sugar compared to other fruit juices. It contains only a fifth of the sugar that you get from an equal amount of fresh grape or apple juice. Even though it is low in sugar, it has a mildly sweet, delightful taste, making it an excellent alternative to fruit juice and sodas.
Coconut water is sterile when it comes out of the coconut, and extremely similar in composition to human blood plasma. These unique properties make it so completely compatible with the human body that it can be infused intravenously into your bloodstream. Physicians have actually used coconut water successfully as an IV fluid for more than 60 years, especially in remote regions of the world where medical supplies are limited and it has saved many lives. You can appreciate how safe and beneficial this natural beverage is, if it can be used intravenously!
Coconut Water’s Abundance of Health Benefits
Addressing every one of these areas is beyond the scope of one article, but I would like to touch on a few of the most impressive areas where coconut water may give your health a boost. According to Bruce Fife, author of Coconut Water for Health and Healing and one of the leading coconut experts, scientific research and clinical observation have shown coconut water to have the following broad-spanning health benefits:
|Rehydration (water and electrolytes)||Increased exercise performance||Cardioprotective (rich in potassium and magnesium); helps regulate blood pressure, improve circulation, reduces plaque formation|
|Anti-inflammatory; reduces swelling in hands and feet||Prevents abnormal blood clotting||Aids in kidney function (preventing and dissolving kidney stones, UTI remedy)|
|Helps balance blood glucose and insulin levels||Digestive tonic (rich in enzymes); feeds friendly gut flora||Remedy for constipation and diarrhea|
|Anti-aging properties||Enhances skin health (elasticity, age spots, wrinkles), improves wound healing||Enhances eye health (cataracts, glaucoma)|
|Supports good immune function; antimicrobial (contains monolaurin)||Helps prevent osteoporosis||Anti-cancer properties|
SO Much More Than a Sports Drink
Coconut water is one of Nature’s perfect foods—it is hard to say enough good things about it. It’s the perfect replacement for juice or soda. Please remember to read the label, to make sure it’s as pure and unprocessed as possible. Of course, drinking it fresh from the coconut, as opposed to bottled, is the ultimate choice.
I’d like to close with a quote from Jean Yong (et al), who published a comprehensive review of the potential impact on human health of this amazing natural elixir:
“The recent discovery of other medicinal values of coconut water signifies a good potential in improving human health. Better insights and understanding of the functions and properties of the individual components of coconut water will, therefore, help us to better utilize this marvelous and multidimensional liquid with special biological properties from nature.”
So next time you’re searching for a cool, refreshing after-workout beverage, crack open some coconut water. “The Dew from the Heavens”, Dr. Fife , The Coconut Research Center.