Can Coconut Water Replace Sports Drinks?

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  1. #1
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    Question Can Coconut Water Replace Sports Drinks?

    Can Coconut Water Replace Sports Drinks?

    As we become more wary of artificially flavored and sweetened beverages, it's, well, only natural to start seeking out more natural alternatives. And that's especially true in the health conscious fitness community.

    So when companies like Vita Coco and Zico started touting coconut water as an all-natural, healthy and potassium-rich alternative to neon-shaded sports drinks (think Powerade or Gatorade), many consumers started to switch. The proof is in the earnings: the largest supplier of coconut water, Vita Coco saw a more than 400 percent increase in sales between 2007 and 2009, from just $4 million to $20 million.

    But does the drink stand up against the manmade stuff for hard-working athletes? A small new study from the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition took a look at 12 men in good physical shape, each of whom spent a full hour on a treadmill on four different occasions. After each strenuous and dehydrating workout, they drank either a bottle of plain water, a coconut water (provided by Vita Coco), coconut water from concentrate, or an unspecified carbohydrate-electrolyte based sports drink. Then, the researchers evaluated their response to the drink, using three different categories:

    Fluid Retention: Coconut water -- either fresh or from concentrate -- were equal in terms of fluid retention, which was fare for both drinks. The subjects lost an average 1.7 kg of mass following the workout.

    Exercise Performance: Once more, there was no difference between coconut water, sports drink or bottled water when it came to exercise performance.

    Self-Reported Measures (thirst, bloatedness, refreshment, stomach upset, and tiredness): The participants were more likely to say they had bloat or stomach upset after drinking the fresh or from-concentrate coconut water. But none of the drinks caused major physical discomfort.

    "Little difference is noted 3 between the four tested conditions with regard to markers of hydration or exercise performance in a sample of young, healthy men," wrote the researchers. Given that, water -- the all natural and calorie-free option -- may be best. After all, as an earlier article on the subject in the New York Times points out:

    Sports drinks serve a purpose among elite athletes and those who exercise for long periods. But for those who exercise at a moderate intensity for an hour or less, water is probably the better choice.

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    Thanks for the read. I just want to add that coconut water can be a healthy
    addition to the diet whether or not it's used for pre/pwo. It's a powerhouse of natural electrolytes, vitamins, minerals, trace elements, amino acids, enzymes, antioxidants and phytonutrients. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, protects your heart and urinary tract, is a digestive tonic, improves your skin and eyes, supports good immune function, and can even help balance your blood glucose and insulin levels. Coconut water is also rich in cytokinins (plant hormones) that have anti-cancer & anti-aging benefits in humans.

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    More likely to cause bloating than the sports drinks. Both coconut water and sports drinks are also ridiculously priced.

    Water is always best, with some carb-loading before any sort of extended athletics.
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    I like it as a post wo, I mix it with chocolate whey and I swear it tastes like a Mounds candy bar. Costco has the O.N.E. 12 paks for $15 and one a day is what I drink so it's fairly economical. It doesn't have the huge amount of sugar like sports drinks, 12grm for 11.5 oz, plus it packs the potassium of 2 bananas.

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    too sweet :/

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    Quote Originally Posted by tommygunz View Post
    I like it as a post wo, I mix it with chocolate whey and I swear it tastes like a Mounds candy bar. Costco has the O.N.E. 12 paks for $15 and one a day is what I drink so it's fairly economical. It doesn't have the huge amount of sugar like sports drinks, 12grm for 11.5 oz, plus it packs the potassium of 2 bananas.
    ^^^ amazing mix it with my whey as well, wasn't sure if others did it...lol
    “Our food should be our medicine and our medicine should be our food.” Hippocrates
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