Now that I’ve thoroughly frustrated you with the truths behind coconut water production, let’s get into why it’s so popular in the first place.
It is a nutritional powerhouse. In comparison to sports drinks it has high mineral content (electrolytes), low sugar, and doesn’t have disgusting additives. Sports drinks unfortunately have a lot of added sugar, artificial coloring and flavoring, and preservatives.
Coconut water is extremely high in potassium, and also has calcium and magnesium. The one mineral it is slighting lacking in is sodium. This is important because sodium is one of the main minerals we lose to sweat. If you are using it as a sports recovery drink, or recovering from severe dehydration you will need to give your coconut water extra hydrating power by sprinkling a pinch of sea salt in it.
All in all coconut water provides more nutrients, less harmful additives, less sugar and does the job of a sports drink. Also anything that comes from nature is going to be more easily assimilated by our body and therefore more beneficial.
HOW TO CHOOSE
To get the best tasting coconut water you will want to try to get real young coconut water and not the stuff that has been fouled up by manufacturers. (read my previous post on that here)
Once again, we must read the label. With our modern day processing, and big food companies it has unfortunately become important to be able to read food labels. (I made a video about that! check it out here)
What to look for:
- Where it was bottled. Was it in the US or in a place where coconuts actually grow?
- Where the coconuts are from? Did it come from a mix of different locations? If so you can bet that it has been concentrated.
**fyi: Thailand and the Philippines are known to be some of the best tasting coconut water!
- Check the ingredient list. Look for added sugar, water, preservatives, natural flavors?
- The statement “from concentrate.”
- Expiration date. If it expires in a year or two it has been pasteurized. Coconut water is delicate and perishable.
As long as you choose a 100% pure coconut water it is going to be superior to any sports drink or soda, even if it has been pasteurized or concentrated. So it’s not the end of the world, but the flavor will be different and may not be very good.
Remember to add a bit of sea salt if you are using it specifically as a sports recovery drink!
There you have it! Coconut water is an amazing source of essential electrolytes, it’s low in sugar and it’s a million times better than Powerade, Gatorade, or other fruit juices.
Although if you want the best tasting stuff with the highest nutritional profile you do have to be a label detective, if you don’t mind the taste of the more processed stuff then don’t fret about it.
If you haven’t ever enjoyed coconut water straight out of a coconut, then I highly suggest you put it on your list of To Do’s. Plus you get to experience another country and the joy of travel so you have an all around win!
With [icon icon=icon-heart size=14px color=#000 ]
PS. What’s your favorite coconut water? Do you use it for a sports drink? Tell me about it and let’s give each other some advice!
References and for more detailed information: