Coconut Water: Yay or Nay?

You came in with the breeeeeze… on Sunday morning…

A little No Doubt, anyone?  No?

Anyways, hi!  Hope your weekends are going well.  Here’s a recap of mine so far:

Weekend Recap

Friday night I headed over to the House of Blues with Tim, his sister Katie and her boyfriend Vinnie, and my roommate Slesh and her boyfriend Will.  Umphrey’s McGee was playing and I got Tim tickets for Christmas.  February seemed so far away at Christmastime, and I really can’t believe we’re already almost halfway through the month.  I kept the drinking to a minimum and enjoyed two beers at home and one beer at the show.  I didn’t want to push it after my stomach issues last week, and I wanted to have a super productive Saturday.

Which I did!  A day of Kix (Carrie’s class rocked!), CVS, a yummy tuna/avocado/tomato sandwich and green grapes for lunch, and a lot of studying.  With small breaks to write out some Valentine’s cards, and a two hour stint making DIY Valentine’s present for Tim.  I can’t wait to give this to him, and I’ll let you guys know what it is later, but I don’t want to ruin the surprise!

Now Sunday is already here, and I have another productive day ahead of me.  Valentine’s dessert baking, spin class, laundry, more studying, and then fun!  Tim and I are celebrating our Valentine’s Day dinner tonight.  Solely because I wanted to teach Tuesday night class with a Valentine’s Day playlist.  Yep that’s right.  Anyways, I’m excited!

Enough about me.  Let’s get to today’s topic:

Coconut Water!

I feel like coconut water is all the craze lately.  It’s all over supermarkets, several celebrities and athletes are endorsing it, and all the ads promise it’s one of the most rehydrating drinks you can give your body.

First of all, what IS coconut water anyways?

[Picture Source]

“Naturally refreshing, coconut water has a sweet, nutty taste. It contains easily digested carbohydrate in the form of sugar and electrolytes.  Not to be confused with high-fat coconut milk or oil, coconut water is a clear liquid in the fruit’s center that is tapped from young, green coconuts.  It has fewer calories, less sodium, and more potassium than a sports drink. Ounce per ounce, most unflavored coconut water contains 5.45 calories, 1.3 grams sugar, 61 milligrams (mg) of potassium, and 5.45 mg of sodium compared to Gatorade, which has 6.25 calories, 1.75 grams of sugar, 3.75 mg of potassium, and 13.75 mg of sodium.”  [Source]

But is all the hype behind coconut water even true?  It’s boasted as being low-calorie, naturally fat and cholesterol free, super hydrating, and potassium rich.  However, I read an interesting article in Self magazine a few months ago on the facts and fictions behind coconut water, and I wanted to share these five with you here.

Please note that this information is all coming from the article and these facts aren’t my own.

The Talk:  Coconut water speeds up your metabolism
The Truth: 
“This is an urban legend,” says Liz Applegate, Ph.D., director of sports nutrition at the University of California in Davis. “There is no valid research proving it.” Another, albeit contradictory, myth: Coconut water makes you fat. This bad rap came from coconut milk, which is made from pressed coconut meat and packs 445 calories per cup, most from saturated fat. The water (the fluid in young coconuts) has only 46 calories per cup. Of course, for a truly trimming sip, opt for zero-calorie water, coffee or tea.

The Talk:  Coconut water is nature’s sports drink.
The Truth:  It’s a fine postworkout chug for the average active Jane, but it falls short for more hard-core athletes. The gist: When you exercise, you sweat out a lot of sodium and some potassium. You should replace both after intense sweat sessions (more than an hour a day), so your muscles contract properly. Coconut water is a potassium powerhouse, delivering roughly 600 milligrams per cup, about 175 mg more than a banana does and 13 times what most sport drinks offer. “The problem is that it has only about 30 milligrams of sodium per cup; we lose much more than that during a long workout,” Applegate says. Thus, serious athletes may need a sport beverage with a higher sodium-to-potassium ratio, such as Gatorade or Powerade Ion4; lighter exercisers can rehydrate with whatever they like best, including coconut water or plain H²O.

The Talk:  Coconut water makes you look younger.
The Truth:  Coconut water contains cytokinins, plant hormones shown to slow the aging process in plants and fruit flies, according to a study in Molecules. Alas, the benefits aren’t yet proven in humans. The search for the fountain of youth continues.

The Talk:  Coconut water is a hangover helper. 
The Truth: 
There’s a reason the morning after a bender is so painful: Alcohol dehydrates you, leading to nausea and headaches. Like any drink, coconut water refills your H²O stores, but plain water does the job just as well, notes Samir Zakhari, Ph.D., director of the Division of Metabolism and Health Effects at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. As for electrolytes, our kidneys preserve them when we drink, so there’s no need to replace them with coconut water. If the taste lifts your postspirits spirits, go for it; but you can save cash (and calories) with the tap.

The Talk:  Coconut water protects your ticker. 
The Truth: 
Diets high in potassium can help lower blood pressure and promote heart health, says Andrea Giancoli, R.D., spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. Coconut water is a good source of the mineral, but it’s better to get it from whole foods like veggies (spinach, sweet potatoes) and lowfat milk, which supply additional heart-healthy nutrients such as fiber and vitamin D.

You know what?  I’ve tried to make myself like coconut water.  I’ve tried different brands, different flavors, and drinking it after different workouts.  And I just don’t like it!  After reading this article though, I think I’m completing my quest for the ideal coconut water.  The “truths” haven’t convinced me that it’s worth it.

Sorry.

What about you guys?  Yay or nay to coconut water?  If yay, what is your go to brand or flavor?  When do you drink it most?  Do you think after reading this, you’ll still drink coconut water?  If nay, what’s your go to post-workout re-hydration drink?

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6 thoughts on “Coconut Water: Yay or Nay?

  1. I’ve never tried coconut water in packaged form, so I don’t have an opinion about that. I have been using coconut milk and coconut butter as substitutes though, and I am liking those. Have you tried either or have any thoughts?

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  2. Pingback: Coconut water isn’t better than water for hydration… « From the Flight Deck

  3. Pingback: Healthy Foods I Wish I Liked | Fitness & Feta

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