Ya’ll know by now that I am not big on processed products and I am always looking for healthier ways to do things. The world will tell you that you need some fancy sports drink to replenish minerals lost during a work out but that is false. Most sports drinks are sugar laden and include chemical stabilizers that are patented as flame retardants. If you are curious which you absolutely should be check out the petition. Needless to say when I started reading about coconut water, I was anxious to try it in my workout. I love it straight from a young coconut but the stuff in the box is great too. Don’t confuse the coconut water I am talking about with the stuff at the grocery store that is flavored with mango or strawberry or has added sugar. Look at the label, it should say 100% coconut or 100% coconut with vitamin C added.
I have been using coconut water as part of my hydration recovery post run for a while and as my training demanded longer and longer runs I decided to start adding it in during my run. I love it. I am a water drinker by nature and of course I believe that water is always the best option because our bodies are made up of so much of it. I do half water and half coconut water in my bottle belt for runs longer than 6 miles. I don’t like to drink a lot, but a couple gulps here and there go a long way. Now that the weather is cooler running outdoors in general is so much easier so that helps too.
Here is the breakdown of how coconut water stacks up according to WebMD:
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.
The next time you think about grabbing a conventional sports drink think about coconut water instead because it is a natural source of the electrolytes your body needs. I dig the Trader Joe’s brand or Zico. Remember to look for brands that don’t add sugar or additional flavorings. Drink it post run for mucho benefits or add it to my infused ice cubes for a healthy treat.