Saturday, December 03, 2011

Question of the day: What is coconut water?

When you think of coconut water, probably the first thing that comes to mind is sitting on the beach under a palm tree with a hairy coconut in hand and a straw popping out a tiny hole. That is actually coconut milk and provides a different set of nutrients than coconut water, which is the liquid that comes from young or green coconuts.

Coconut water is just that, water from coconuts, and is packed with potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium and carbohydrates. With this blend of nutrients, it can be the perfect post-workout fluid replacement drink or be used for those that are dehydrated due to an illness or disease. It is important to replenish lost fluids after exercising as well as replace the sodium and potassium that is sweat out. A study conducted in Malaysia showed that coconut water can provide the same benefits as a carbohydrate-electrolyte beverage for rehydration and induces less stomach unrest for most individuals.

The water from green coconuts is high in cytokinins, which have been shown to function as antioxidants and possibly help fight the growth of cancer. B-complex vitamins are concealed within the water as well and help decrease inflammation and associated diseases.

Although coconut water is great after exercising, it does lack the necessary amount of carbohydrates required for energy during endurance exercise and for glycogen replenishment afterwards. It has a distinct flavor and some brands even contain coconut chunks to add a little extra kick to the drink. However, if you are looking for a new fluid and electrolyte replacement drink, give coconut water a try.

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