There has been a lot of buzz about the trendy new beverage coconut water. A lot of people are finding themselves questioning if it is actually worth all the hype. I read a really great article on the topic posted by the AND (here is the link: http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=6442471128 ) Below I have highlighted some of the main points that are made in it.
What is coconut water? Coconut water is the liquid that comes from an immature (meaning it is still green, not the brown ones that usually come to mind) coconut.
There are a LOT of posed benefits of the drink, here are some of them explained, or in a lot of the cases disproven.
1. It hydrates better than plain old water
–No! Although coconut water does have electrolytes, it has not been proven to hydrate you better over H20. It also has 46 kcals vs 0 kcals in water, so keep that in mind.
2. Speeds metabolism
-f-f-false. It is true that keeping hydrated keeps your metabolism chuggin’, but so does anything else that you eat or drink. Ultimately, exercise is the way to boost that metabolic engine.
3. Contains anti-aging properties.
-A refreshing drink that will fix crows feet. Sounds like a dream-come-true in a bottle, right? Too bad it isn’t coconut water. A lot of companies claim that coconut water will do wonders in protecting your cells, but there is no proven research to back up this claim.
4. Is a healthier than fruit juice
-Ding-Ding-Ding! Coconut water has about half the amount of calories than your typical fruit juice and it is a potassium power-house. However, be sure to get the UNSWEETENED kind. If you go to the sweetened you will tack those extra empty-calories right back on.
5. Prevents Strokes & heart attacks
-Not so much. While Potassium does counteract the negative effects of sodium, by no means is coconut water a miracle cure. It is best to stick with the overall healthy diet and exercise regimes rather than rely on a bottle of this stuff. If you are aiming to increase potassium you could try including bananas and potatoes in your diet, which are also good sources of the nutrient.
6. This is THE thing to down after a tough workout
–Pass. Coconut water WILL hydrate you and replace some electrolytes, but it is not superior to water and you can keep your electrolytes in balance with a healthy diet. If you hate plain water and won’t drink it, but enjoy coconut water, go for it because hydration is a MUST for physical activity. However, be sure that you are taking those carbs and calories into consideration.Side Note: don’t forget about your protein post-workout to help those muscles of yours recover!
All-in-all, you be the judge of whether to consume this beverage. Hey, if you want to turn up the heat, sit in a lawn chair, sip a tropical drink, and pretend your on an expensive vacation: be my guest! Coconut water is not harmful or bad for you. Just understand that some of the marketing on the benefits of it may be misleading. And lastly..you probably felt this one coming… moderation is key!